American Southwest Family Vacation

We followed historic Route 66 on our way to see the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, the Painted Desert, plus much more in New Mexico and Arizona.

End of Tour Summary: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Here are our stories from two and a half years of living in Saudi Arabia while exploring the region.

Excursions to Oman

On two different trips, we strolled Muscat, hiked Wadi Shab, and sailed a dhow through the fjords of Musandam.

Our Expedition to Jordan

Highlights included tracing the steps of Indiana Jones into Petra, following Lawrence of Arabia into Wadi Rum, and floating in the Dead Sea.

Our Adventures in Sri Lanka

Safaris to spot leopards and elephants, swimming in the Indian Ocean, sipping tea in the mountains, and several more!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

While my mom was visiting us, we took her down to Rothenburg. Rothenburg is known for being a picturesque German village and an enormous Christmas store called Käthe Wohlfahrt - Weihnachtsdorf:

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This store is huge!
Inside the Käthe Wohlfahrt - Weihnachtsdorf
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pisa

 Worst airport I've been to? Pisa.
For lots of reasons.
1) Don't try to return a rental car on Sunday in Pisa, as it's nearly impossible to find a station that is a) open, b) takes cash/credit and not bank cards because c) the car rental return place doesn't think that the "full" indicator is accurate.
2) Ok, so remember we bought some marble in Carrara? That stuff is heavy. And everyone on the flight was trying to fit their rocks into the weight limit of their luggage. Some folks were wearing 6 or 7 layers of clothes to make weight.
3) Crowd control is non-existent.



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Friday, November 28, 2008

Carrara & Cinque Terra


Drove up to where they mine marble in Carrara & the museum there. I had no idea that there were that many kinds of marble.




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From Carrara, we drove down to Cinque Terra. We drove into the middle one, then took the train outbound.






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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Florence

Florence, also known as Firenze, is well-known for it's beautiful art and architecture.

 






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So, funny story about Florence and getting in to see the David. There is a convoluted voucher system where you pay part of the ticket online and bring a print-out of that payment to their desk where the cashier proceeds to tell you that it is only a partial payment. And if you don't have that voucher with you, you have to run all over Florence to find an internet cafe to print it out. All before the museum closes. And if you're lucky, you're not so frazzled on your return that you don't forget your tour guide book on the security x-ray machine in your rush to get admitted to the museum. So, understand what you need to get in or it can make the experience much less enjoyable.



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And there's also this bridge: Ponte Vecchio that spans the Amo river.


Shopping on the Ponte Vecchio
The view from the Ponte Vecchio
The view from the other side of the Ponte Vecchio
Florence at night.
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Pyramids of Giza

Our tour of Cairo started off by boarding a plane in Sharm El Sheikh that had some sort of fire damage on the overhead luggage compartment. Nice.
This photo reminds me of Pink Floyd's
Delicate Sound of Thunder album cover
We arrived in Cairo, boarded the tour bus and were off to the pyramids.



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Time for a camel ride!

Camel toe...
Heh.
Our camel caravan through the Sahara




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Inside the pyramid...not a lot of head room. 
Not handicap accessible
The Sphinx and the Great Pyramid

The National Museum
We went on a Nile cruise, too.
Sadly, this was the best picture from it. 

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End Of Tour Summary: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

We spent two and a half years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on our second tour in the Foreign Service with the US Department of State. As you migh...

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