Kicking off the trip on the official first day, our motley crew arose from our respective deep slumber at the crack of nine. Maybe the crack of noon in Peter and Eddie’s case, but it’s all good, they put in a hard days night emptying the contents of their mini bar. Most everyone assembled in the lobby of the Kempinski, coffee’d up, and it was off to the beach.

Since there were some stragglers, we split up; you can’t fit everyone in one cab anyhow since we’re rolling nine deep. Pat Moore, Forum/Foursquare/Blend filmer Jeremy Petit, and myself were the first out the door. We caught a cab to a local public beach that had been recommended to us. It cost a couple bucks to get in but it looked pretty sweet, and even sweeter the second we stepped foot outside of the confines of our heavily air conditioned taxi. Walking up to the ticket booth we were greeted with a heavy language barrier. I was under the impression the woman at the booth was informing us that only women had to pay, a little odd but hey that deal was in our favor. As I proceeded to stroll into the beach park, the woman starts smacking her hand on the counter and raising her voice. Apparently it was ladies day at the beach, and men were not allowed-weak! We caught another taxi that took us about ten minutes down the road to an all gender beach. The rest of the posse showed up within about thirty minutes, just in time for us to warn them about the jellyfish, which were aplenty in the warm inviting waters of the Persian Gulf. Turned out most of the jellyfish are dead by the time they reach the shore, about 80 percent, but we didn’t know it at the time, so we had to warm up to the sneaky little guys.

After a few hours at the beach, we headed back to the hotel, and back to the mall to drop some coin. They have shops for days here at the Mall of the Emirates, many of which you can find at home, but everything seems cooler and so much more unique because of your dramatic change in location. Wads of cash were blown, and then it a change in wardrobe was in order because we were going shredding!

I’d never been to an indoor resort before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did expect the things to be relatively warm, but it turns out they’re cold as shit! And all I had were sweatshirts, luckily two of them, ’cause it was frigid. I also thought it would be icy in there but the snow was super good. Ski Dubai has a vertical rise of about twenty-five stories, it’d be small in Minnesota, but here it might as well be Whistler. There’s a fair amount of room to make your turns, and they’ve set up a flat down mailbox, two small jumps, another mailbox, and a barrel for park features. They also constructed a quarterpipe, which you’d hit from the side, and a cliff-like drop off the end of that which was pretty intense. All in all Ski Dubai totally rules, and everyone had a blast. We held it down there until about midnight, and then it was time for us to hit the sack after a late dinner and a couple of beverages. Tomorrow it’s off to a couple of local outdoor market places, which are a far cry from the mall we’ve been to, and after that we head out to the sand dunes in search of a first descent.

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