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!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bedouin Night in the Arabian Desert

We took a break from the city of Jeddah and headed into the Saudi Arabian desert, where we saw a camel farm before catching dinner and a show at a bedouin camp. There was food, dancing, loud music, and several other activities that you just don't see in the city.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Ok, I know it looks like I've been totally off-grid for five months, but we've been busy at home and work. If you're reading this and that previous statement makes no sense because I have lots of posts between April and October, consider this a mid-year summary post. Otherwise,

1) I still have to finish writing up the last posts from April about our Nile Cruise, and that link will hopefully be finished by the end of the month, along with the other posts from Egypt.

2) In July, we went on R&R to Florida, California, and Canada with a stop at a Kentucky horse park and Ireland along the way. Again, those links will work when I publish the pages. They're mostly written, but not quite ready for release just yet.

3) Then in September, we went to Sri Lanka for over a week and saw leopards, elephants, and went from the beach to the mountains. A great time, with lots of photos and stories...but that also takes time to write up, and don't even get me started about trying to schedule my photo uploads to compensate for the slower internet speeds during the only times I seem to have to work in this.

4) We have trips planned to Oman and Qatar in the next three months as well as Christmas in the US. With luck, I'll clear the backlog by the time we generate more content. That in itself is a challenge with all the other daily living stuff going on, but I'm a glutton for punishment so...

5) I am also reviewing and overhauling my personal media strategy, which at present is about as organized as a filing cabinet that has caught fire and fallen over. I suppose that's a rather incoherent way to describe how incoherent it is, which is either ironic or apropos. Anyways, here's the new plan:

  • Blog: The Passport Stamp Collector blog (the one you are reading right now) will be the primary focus and will link other social media to it using #PassportStampCollectorBlog and to a lesser extent #PSCblog. So, of course, I'm going to spend days tweaking the template. It also gives me an excuse for any formatting errors and broken links, but I am working to correct them as I find them.  
  • Instagram: I gave RRR his own Instagram account at @WorldTravelRRR because I have far too many snapshots of him (on the order of hundreds) that didn't make the final blog post. If you like stuffed animal travel companions, follow RRR on Instagram or find him with #TravelRRR. When appropriate, I might drop in a #PSCblog tag to let you know there's a related blog post.
  • Tumblr - RRR: Since Instagram doesn't support links very well, I'll also be using for the "bonus material" RRR photos that may or may not have an associated Passport Stamp Collector post. For instance: Mardi Gras 2005. If there is a related blog post, I'll link the two together.
  • Tumblr - Passport Stamp Collector Bonus feed: I've set up what you might call a "Slightly Askance Tumblr Feed" for the Passport Stamp Collector Blog where I'll post the one-off things that don't really substantiate a full blog post but I still think are worth sharing #PassportStampCollectorBlog
  • Tumblr - Travel Trinkets: I collect travel trinkets from the countries I visit, and you can either read more about what I look for in a travel trinket or see the full gallery at The travel trinkets descriptions also feature a link to a blog post related to when I added the trinket to my collection.
And since "no plan survives first contact", I expect the kinks to be worked out over the next, let's say, two months. Now, where's that fire extinguisher...

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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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