The dive shop probably opens by 7:30 so they can prep new divers but they don’t expect people to show until 8 am which is when I was finishing my broccoli, blackberries, and bread as I couldn’t get the enthusiasm for the passion fruit that felt like a mix of sour, bitter, and tart while chewing on the seeds that the internet recommends you swallow for the benefits without releasing the extra flavor via chomping. The shop was between hanging our things up outside and putting them on a bench inside to dry when we arrived, so I wrung out what I could and we went back to the room to pack some and put the wet gear in the sun while waiting for mini-golf to open.
A lot of the activities offered at the resort come with an added cost but we were unfortunate that the one complimentary entertainment idea was still under maintenance (which is why we missed it yesterday located by the spa) because there will be more tarp and holes than tees and clubs until tomorrow when we’re already back in Bahrain writing about this trip and telling the guys about it at work. Also included with the room is water bottles (though there is one sign that says you can purchase a reusable one to use at their flavored water stations in each lobby) they also supply mini coolers with a few plastic bottles each between lounge chairs by the pool.
The hotel has a shuttle service that takes guests to a nearby souq and the Avenues Mall (closer to the airport) so we will be on the 10:30 am ride as I shove another date in my mouth and throw the seed in the bowl before we part. The Lulu’s has a luggage service (apart from their usual your bag is too big we will hold it for you while you shop) where you leave your bag and they give you a corresponding numbered tag to take with you. We begin to walk around and I reach into my purse and come back empty-handed instead of with my phone to take a picture of a display.
Caleb calls the hotel who calls the driver and lets us know that I can have my phone that I forgot on the bus back at 12:40 and then 1 pm. A taxi driver offers us a ride for 8 and then 5 rials, but I tell him not until after lunch. Back inside we walk around and up and down and through the stores, get my phone, and then return to BBQ Nation where we decided to have lunch for what I thought would be a chilli fest, but that’s only for dinner. It’s a new Indian buffet restaurant chain and I love it. You get soups, salad, main courses, and desserts while the waiter brings you appetizers and other things to try according to your veg or non-veg preference.
I got grilled peppers, pineapples, and mushrooms on skewers at the grill in our table; some potatoes, crunchy corn, and a trio of veggie patties to try; and left Caleb’s pandan and date ice cream stick after he had already refused its delivery. The waiter couldn’t understand “no” when he reminded us that the food was limitless but forgot that our stomachs are not. It’s been a year since we’ve been to the movies and we weren’t going for great but something to pass the time for the next two hours.
The buffet was 6 OMR each, the movie 7 rials for both, and the taxi was 6 OMR after I haggled him down from 9 rials because I knew I could get it cheaper and that he didn’t have to pay airport fees. I knew we’d have to wrap our bags again, but this left me with 3 OMR in cash and the minimum per bag was 2 rial so I smiled when he said he takes Visa, but he also charged 6 OMR total. Oh well, our vacation would soon be over and we’d be in an Uber in Bahrain listening to the window flags on the car from National Day. Now I know what they sound like.