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Earlier this year, I casually mentioned to the husband that we should try and go to the F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi while we can. It’s only been going on for 6 years and we probably would not be able to go to any other Grand Prix anyway. That’s one of the good things about living in the UAE, concerts, movies, events like this are far more affordable that if we were back in the Philippines.

So this past weekend was a double celebration: our first Grand Prix and my birthday.
f1 - sunday

It wasn’t a big celebration of course because our family is incomplete. We’ll do a proper birthday when we go to Manila next month. My husband, however, took us out to lunch at the Red Lobster (Patrick’s choice). We always have fun there, but we didn’t have room enough for dessert, and also we had a road trip ahead if we didn’t want to miss the start of the F1 race.
bday lunch

It was a great day for a road trip. The weather is getting better and better every day, humidity is getting low, sun shining but not as harsh as before and there is even a gentle breeze. I tried to stay awake for as long as I could to keep my husband company, but I always ALWAYS fall asleep on a road trip.
road trip

Yas Island turns into a whirlwind of activities during F1 weekend. It must be one of the busiest times of the year for them, but kudos to them for sorting out parking spaces and free buses to get around. Thank goodness I bought my tickets from F1 directly because I got to jump the long queue at the collection point. As soon as we parked the car, we hopped on one of the buses and made our way to the North Grandstand to witness this amazing sunset.
sunset at yas

The circuit turned into a gorgeous setting after sunset. Perfect for the qualifying sessions! It went far too quickly for my liking but race day was something to look forward to the next day.
qualifying at dusk

Sebastian Vettel, ladies and gentlemen, driving his Red Bull RB10 for the last time this season.
vettel

This helicopter was freaky! It was hovering over the North Grandstand for a good long while taking video footage from our side of the circuit, which we could see on the two jumbotrons. Whoever the pilot was had freaky steady hands because the helicopter was just there, hardly moving.
hovering

This Etihad Airways airplane went around a few times over the circuit, flying rather low and creating a spectacle. I cannot find information on what type of aircraft this was, it certainly was not an A380. This made me realize that Abu Dhabi can be as spectacular as Dubai is when it comes to major international sporting events.
fly by

And here was our first glimpse at #44 Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedez Hybrid. I thin kit is Hamilton. I can’t really tell as they whiz past so quickly. The cars have no distinguishing marks, unlike the Williams-Mercedes team (Massa and Bottas) with their driver’s numbers clearly printed on the side of the car. Or Jenson Button’s happy pink helmet.
hamilton

Lots of flags flying around the grandstand, but mostly the Union Jack. I’m sure Hamilton saw some of them esp this one proudly displaying his number.
support

#44 once again doing victory donuts and carrying a Union Jack after winning the race. Shame I was not quick enough with the video on my iPhone. It was pretty exciting having him do this in front of each grandstand. It was a great race – Hamilton kept the lead for the most part, only slipping a couple of times when he made pit stops, but maintained the top spot throughout the evening.
victory

The boys had school/work the following day so we didn’t leave it too late to head back. On the drive home, we encountered this very spooky stretch of road with fog hanging over the lights. It was surreal. The camera couldn’t quite capture the eeriness of it. And not surprisingly, there was fog in Abu Dhabi early the next morning!
spooky

It was a great way to celebrate my birthday, certainly a novelty for us and it was wonderful. I wish all the kids were with us too but then we have Christmas to look forward to. In about two weeks, we’re heading to Manila to celebrate with the family. Can’t wait!

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