Our Adventures in Sri Lanka

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

Our Nile Cruise

Starting in Cairo, we sailed to Luxor, Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Aswan.

Trouble at Sea: Our Red Sea Dive Trip in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia

The Red Sea is one of the top diving destinations in the world, but Saudi Arabia is a very restrictive country to get into. That alone would have made the trip memorable...but then things went south and the Saudi Coast Guard and a hospital got involved.

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.

Discovering Turkey

We emersed ourselves in Istanbul, explored the white travertines of Pamukkale, and traced history through Laodikeia, Hierolopolis, and Cleopatra's Baths.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The FSCE Assignment Process

Our assignment process differs from most other Foreign Service officers and specialists because Foreign Service Construction Engineers usually go somewhere to support a new project instead of filling a position that already exists. This means that places that don't currently have projects will have to actually create a position for us to fill and subsequently vacate and eliminate when the project ends. But I'm getting ahead of myself, so let's go back to the beginning...
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

How I organize my digital photos for multiple photo streams

Remember when organizing your digital photos was easy? You had one camera that you connected to one computer and no one else really wanted to look at them. These days, it's not uncommon to have photo streams coming in from your phone, your camera, your significant other's phone, their camera, your family's pictures, and Facebook or other social media. Then you have the organizing aspect of all those photos, to include backing up across multiple computers and in the cloud, which lends itself to the ultimate reason we take pictures: sharing. 

So, what's my system? I'm coming around to Picasa, having previously used Windows Live Gallery until I upgraded to Windows 8.1. To ensure proper cross-platform backups within my Photos directory, I have several folders with a consistent naming system on Kacey and my computers, as well as an external hard drive.  
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Sunday, October 05, 2014

Downton Abbey at Winterthur

This past weekend, we drove up to Delaware to visit Winterthur to see their "Costumes of Downton Abbey" exhibit. More than just an exhibit, the sprawling estate was like an American version of Downton in no small part because it once served as the home of the unimaginably wealthy du Pont family. The exhibit even compared the many similarities between Downton (fiction) and Winterthur (fact) that served to make both seem that much more alive and real. Winterthur also had two great areas for the kids: the Enchanted Woods and the Touch-It Room.



Even the entrance to the estate set the mood for the experience. We drove in through the gates at the edge of the property, then followed the winding road around rolling hills of a well manicured lawn. My first thought was that it was a lot of grass to mow. From where we parked, it was a short walk down hill to the visitor's center.


Parent note: If you're deciding whether to bring/use a stroller, yes. The grounds are pretty conducive to using a stroller (there's even a marked-out, stroller-friendly path), and if your kids are like ours, there are plenty of walking opportunities to wear them out. Also, there are stroller-friendly trams that stop at the Enchanted Woods, so they've really thought things through for the little ones.
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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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