Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Way past due....

Wow! I can't believe how long it has been since our last entry.... here is a quick update as to what we have been up to since March:

In May, Jared had a work trip in Holland and I was able to go with him! It was an absolute blast! We spent time in the Netherlands, Brussels and Burge.

In June, we took Jared's oldest sister, her husband, and 2 oldest kids sailing in the BVIs. It was a lot of fun to take family and show them what sailing is all about!

August 3, we celebrated our 5th Anniversary!!! Jared surprised me with an extended weekend trip to Mesa Verde and Telluride, Colorado! It was absolutely beautiful and so much fun! I can't believe it has been 5 years!

Other than that, we have been working and just hanging out.... hopefully it won't be months until our blog is updated next!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pure Luck!

I learned from my sweet mother that you should enter as many contests/drawings as you can... so I do. Jared always laughs at me because I enter a TON of contests and get excited every time and never win! I figure that eventually my time and effort will be awarded.

Last month, for an entire week, I tried calling 107.9 twice a day, in hopes that I would be caller number 10. The very last day of the contest, I was caller number 1, then 3, and then 10!!! I won tickets to see.... Wahoo!!! I can't wait! It will be such a fun concert! The other night, I was listening to 107.9 while I was making dinner and they announced another concert. Adrenaline kicked in- I grabbed my cell phone and home phone. My heart was racing. Could I be caller number 10 again? This is how it went down: I was caller number 1 and then a few rings later, caller number 10! In July, Jared and I will be seeing...

I can't wait! All I can say is that it is PURE LUCK!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Egypt (Days Ten & Twelve)

Days Ten & Twelve - Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
(Final Egypt Post)
We spent both day ten and day twelve enjoying our resort in Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea. After spending the previous days doing a lot of traveling, it was so nice to just relax at a beautiful resort.
This was the view of the Red Sea that we enjoyed from our room.
The resort was amazing. After spending the previous week and half in the desert, it was refreshing to see so much vegetation.

The resort had several infinity pools just feet from the Red Sea.
One of the coolest features of the resort was the floating pier that went to the edge of the reef. This made it very easy to go snorkeling without disturbing the coral in the reef.
The reef by our resort is one of the best dive spots in Sharm el-Sheikh. The water was crystal clear and full of beautiful coral and fish. After five minutes of snorkeling, we both came to the surface and agreed that this is the best snorkeling we have ever done.
Every part of the resort was perfect, especially the restaurants. While talking to our server at one of the restaurants, we were surprised to find out that we were the only Americans he had served in the two years he has worked there. We don't know where the other Americans are... this place is fantastic!
This was a great way to wrap up a trip of a lifetime. We are grateful we had the opportunity to go and see so many historic and amazing places. We also enjoyed the time spent together for two weeks during another adventure. Traveling always brings us closer together!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Egypt (Day Eleven)

Day Eleven - Petra
I know, I have skipped day ten. Don't worry, it will be in the next post.

From our resort in Sharm el-Sheikh, we booked a tour to go see Petra in the country Jordan. To get there, we were picked up from our hotel at 3:00 am. From there, we had a 5 hour bus ride up the coast of the Aqaba Gulf. Then, we took an hour long ferry ride across the Red Sea. Following the ferry, we were back on another bus for 3 hours. Finally, we were at the trail head for the mile hike that leads to the city of Petra. We ended up being gone for over 22 hours before we returned to our hotel. It was an exhausting day, but we were glad we did it!
There are several options to get down the trail. You could ride in a carriage like this.
Or, you could ride a horse like this lady. (Seriously, isn't this the best picture ever?)
We decided to just walk the trail. It reminded us a lot of Southern Utah.
This is our first glimpse of the Treasury.

It was stunning! You might remember this from Indian Jones and The Last Crusade. This is the temple they enter at the end of the film. The formal name for this is The Treasury, however that name is misleading. It was originally built as a tomb and never held any treasures.
This is the side view of the Treasury. We were surprised to see that a cafe sits in the same area.
This is what the inside looks like. The sandstone was beautiful. It doesn't go any further back than that. The inside that was shown in Indiana Jones was all fake.
This is the view from inside the Treasury looking back at the canyon that we hiked down.
We were surprised to find that there are over 1000 tombs in Petra. These five tombs are right around the corner from the Treasury.
We were shocked to find this amphitheatre that can seat thousands. Petra had several thousand inhabitants anciently.
Again, the sandstone was stunning.
Here are several more tombs etched into the cliffs. It was amazing to go explore through the various tombs. We only had about two hours to explore since we had a long journey back to our hotel, but we enjoyed the time we had to look around this incredible site.
On the way out, we passed this little shop. They are still living in the fame that Indiana Jones brought to this area.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Egypt (Day Nine)

Day Nine - Abu Simbel
We woke up today in Aswan. We caught a flight to Abu Simbel, had two hours to explore, then caught a series of 3 flights that finally took us to Sharm el-Sheikh. It was a long, but amazing, day!
As we were approaching the airport in Abu Simbel, we saw the Ramses II temple that we were coming to see.
This temple is another one that was going to be flooded when the Aswan dam was built. Again, UNESCO stepped in. They built a dam around the temple, dismantled it, built a fake mountain a few hundred yards away, and reassembled the temple on this fake mountain, exactly the same as it had been before.
We couldn't take pictures inside, but we were able to take a few through the door. The inside of the temple was the best we had seen in Egypt. The entrance was lined with large statues.

The giant statues guarding the entrance were meant to show the power of Egypt to people who were entering from other countries since this is right on the boarder of Egypt. It was meant to intimidate enemies. I bet it worked!
Seriously, these guys are huge!

It was crazy to think that the mountain surround the temple is man made.
Nefertari's temple is only about a 100 yards away. It was also quite amazing.

The view of these two temples side by side was incredible and completely worth the flight.
After we left Abu Simbel, we began the three fight trek to Sharm el-Sheikh. We missed one flight because the staff of Egypt Air are entirely inept.
Once we finally made it to Sharm el-Sheikh, we took a taxi to our hotel on the shore of the Red Sea. We had booked the cheapest room in the resort: a queen bed with a garden view. When we arrived at the front desk, the guy who checked us in smiled and said, "I have upgraded you to the suite." When we entered the room, we were shocked! We had a full kitchen, living room, giant bathroom, washing machine, king size bed, and two large balconies with a beautiful view of the Red Sea. We couldn't believe we got all of this for less than $100 a night!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Egypt (Day Eight)

Day Eight - Aswan
Our Nile Cruise ended this morning, so we were back on our own. We decided to hit a few locations that the tour groups never go to.
We started the morning by hiring a boat to take us to a few sites on the Nile. The boat captain would take us to the sights and then wait for us to go to the next site.
Our first stop was the tombs of the nobles. The nobles were a step or two below the pharaohs, comparable to a governor. The tombs were built into cliffs that overlook the Nile.

We found that they are rarely visited since the stairs are almost completely covered in sand. Also, we were the only ones there.
We found that several of the tombs were locked. Two guards were willing to open the tombs and let us take pictures in exchange for a tip and a promise not to tell the other guards. It was well worth the small price!

It was fascinating to see the inside of these tombs that are rarely seen.
The colors inside are original and were amazing!
We found these baskets inside one of the tombs. They were filled with bones that appear to be human... but maybe they weren't?
This hieroglyph was unique since it shows a man with a crutch. We never saw anything like this anywhere else that we visited.
Some of the tombs had expansive exteriors as well.After the tombs, we went to a Nubian village that is on an island on the Nile. Nubians differ from Egyptians in that they are African and Egyptians are Middle Eastern. Nubians tend to stick together in their own villages. Our guide book told us that if we came to this village, the chief of the village, Hamdi, loves to talk to people about his culture. Sure enough, right as we walked into the village the guy in the photo above showed up and said that he was Hamdi and would like to show us around the village.
He took us into this guy's house who keeps baby crocodiles as pets.
Reini was a bit nervous to hold it.

Parts of the village were brightly colored.
While other parts were completely demolished and forgotten. It was so interesting to jump into a different culture without hoards of tourists.