Egypt!?

“Are you crazy? Why Egypt?”

And to that I say “WHY NOT!?”

The big 1-0 wedding anniversary is this year… that’s 15 years together as a couple and that is something to celebrate. We desperately miss the ability to travel and decided (with the help of wonderful grandparents who offered to help with the kids) we would set off on an adventure. We didn’t want to just sit on a beach for a week with our umbrella cocktails but instead sought out something exciting- Chris is too much like Clark Griswold to allow for any relaxation.

Our original thoughts were to travel to Peru to trek the Incan Trail to see Machu Picchu. After figuring in the trek on the trail, the time for the altitude adjustment, and flights we simply didn’t have enough time off to make that happen. So it was back to the drawing board. Next up, let’s go to Italy! Just like the book we can eat, pray and …. Well once that idea was stuck in our heads we looked back at the calendar to discover we were traveling on Good Friday and landing on Easter weekend in Rome. Being Catholic, we couldn’t simply land in Rome and not go straight to Easter Mass. Chris panicked a little at the thought of Easter Mass crowds at St. Peters and suggested we start at the other end of the country to which I scoffed and said “Nope. We can’t even be in the country if that is the case. We need a new plan.”

Then we thought of Morocco and the South of Spain. In looking at the map, I saw how close Egypt was and thought well that would be cool and I needed to mark Africa off of the “continents visited list” anyway so I started to research.

Luckily, I came across a travel company called Memphis Tours. Their packaged trips looked really interesting so I started researching their company and reading many, many reviews. Once I was satisfied, I decided to shoot them an email to see if the trip plan could be altered to add an extra day or so. Mohammed wrote right back and worked with me to create a very detailed itinerary (which will be addressed in additional more detailed posts). I simply cannot say enough about Memphis Tours- they were fantastic! They handled every aspect of our trip. We booked the flight but other than that Memphis Tours and their team took care of everything else. We were picked up at the Cairo International Airport, where another gentleman dressed in a suit named Mohammed picked us up, completed our visa forms, handled the customs/immigration desk and put us safely in the air conditioned, Wi-Fi enabled van that lead us through the heart of Cairo to Les Meridian Pyramids.

There is not one reason why I would not travel to Egypt again. It was Spring Break for most who we interacted with and many of them where taking family trips with children of all ages. We never once felt uneasy (well maybe once but that story is still to come) and felt extremely safe especially since we had a tour guide and driver everywhere we went. We loved every minute of the culture, food, sights, sounds, and I hope the series of blog posts that are to come about our trip will help you to fall in love with this ancient civilizations and consider taking a trip to this amazing destination.

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2015: It’s a new year- do something for you!

Each year as resolution time rolls around, I don’t necessarily make a list of resolutions that I MUS T stick to. I figure if I want to make a change I will do it when I am ready. I don’t like the idea of sticking to January 1 and then three weeks later I have forgotten the commitment I made to myself or maybe life just got in the way. It’s too much pressure and when you don’t stick to it for whatever reason it’s a real bummer.

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Christmas in Bangkok: Not so different from home

IMG_7422Bangkok is a land full of expats, who have their own traditions and expectations when it comes to Christmas time. My first Christmas in Bangkok, I wrote a post about “Christmas sensory overload” and at times it still feels that way, with the massive trees, light displays that could cause a seizure, and the random “Christmas themes” that whatever marketing department for the building being decorated feels works as Christmassy enough but in all reality I have no clue what they are going for half of the time. For example, at Terminal 21 this year by my house, they had a winter wonderland full of what reminded me of the Travelocity gnome and mushrooms that you would see in a Mario Brothers video game. To top it all off this Christmas, Central World Mall, which normally has the biggest display around, was overrun with astronaut Snoopy (hundreds of them!) and spaceship Santa Claus. Can someone tell me how this works as a Christmas theme? Not that I am to upset about this since Killi is on a total Charlie Brown Christmas and astronaut space theme right now; he loved it. Although Christmas isn’t the same for Thai’s as it is for Westerners they still get into the spirit with the gift giving and partaking in the Christmas activities around town. You can read this article about what some Thai’s think of Christmas… it’s about on par with my expectations.

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Bangkok’s Art in Paradise: 3D Museum

DSC_0491In February 2014, Bangkok’s first 3D art museum opened its doors to the public. This type of art is very new to my family; we had never seen anything like it before. At some point last year,(probably for this museum’s opening but since everything is normally written in Thai I had no clue what it was about) there was art like this on the BTS Skywalk at the Chitlom station. We saw artists at work and they had magnificent paintings of dinosaurs, whales, and even the Silver Surfer to name a few. The next weekend we went to see the finished product and people were standing on the paintings! I understood that it was a 3D painting you could take a photo of when you stood in the designated spot but I just about lost it when I saw people walking all over these masterpieces but come to find out that’s the point of this type of art…. Who knew?

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