Great American Western Road Trip: Summer 2018

4 weeks, 3 kids, 1 van, 16 different lodgings, 5400+ miles, 12+ National or State Parks and Monuments adds up to 1 Epic Adventure.

American Southwest Family Vacation 2017

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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Jeddah Festival 2016

There aren't too many festivals in Jeddah, but the biggest one is the Jeddah Festival. Unlike the religious holidays of Ramadan, Eid al-FitrHajj, and Eid Al-Adha, the Jeddah Festival is the rare secular celebration and if focuses on the history of the local area. If you didn't know, Jeddah is in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia, which has always seen itself as separate from the rest of Saudi Arabia. I have another post with more details on the Hejaz region, so this post will focus on Jeddah in particular.
Welcome to the Jeddah Festival!
So I drove down to Jeddah's Old Town (Al Balad) and walked up to the festival entrance using a map I found. You can see my starting point was the red arrow, and there were almost 70 sites identified (in Arabic) for me to see. Spoiler alert: I didn't see them all. But what I did see was how the residents of Jeddah used to live way back when.

And since it's a festival, there were lots of traditional Saudi cuisine that I got to try:
So the map had three routes, as you probably guessed from the map above. If that wasn't enough, the pamphlet also had individual routes. Seemed redundant, but I guess they were slightly larger. I mostly followed Route 1 (the red one) today, but I'm putting all the maps up here so I can access them next time I'm in Al-Balad and I need a map:
Route 1
Route 2
Route 3
And now for the photos of the festival:
Old men playing board games at the coffeeshop

Monday, January 04, 2016

One Year In: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

We just finished the first year of our assignment to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with the U.S. Foreign Service. It's hard to describe just how foreign things are to those who haven't been here, but the following posts might give you some idea.

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