Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Well, I have now parted from the Traveling Canadian Family, and to say that trip was worth the money I spent would be an understatement. From day one I was anxious to get started on my first traveling adventure with the Watkins family and from knowing them closely as good friends for several years – even before they started their world travels – I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed. Our first stop in Frankfurt, Germany was cool (even thought we spent the majority of our time there in a Starbucks), but things didn’t get interesting until we arrived in Amman, Jordan. The first hotel was practically falling apart; it was dirty, small, the closet door in our room fell off when I tried to open it, and the bathrooms seemed like something you would find in a concentration camp as Brandon had so elegantly put it, and yet, it was exactly what I was expecting it to be like. It didn’t take me long to get adjusted to this new type of lifestyle because I’m the adventurous type and after a long day of exploring and sight seeing, coming back to the hotel, flopping on a bed and going to sleep is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face, no matter what the bed looks like. The ruins of Jerash and Amman were really fun but the first highlight of the trip was definitely the Dead Sea. It was interesting to know that I was 1200 feet below sea level when I went swimming there. For everyone who’s reading this and plans to see the Dead Sea, I have done some extensive hands on experimentation of the Dead Sea’s waters and have come to a couple conclusions: It should not be taken internally, nor used as eye drops. I was probably using the beach shower as an ‘eye wash station’ for about 5 minutes straight after being foolish enough to take a nose dive right into the water. Tasting it was no better of an experience; the water didn’t even taste like salt, but more like a super concentrated extremely bitter acid (which is basically what it was). The beach however was pretty nice which, I guess, they had to make it that way because you really couldn’t do much in the water but float. The next highlight of the trip was Petra. Currently nominated as one of the next world wonders, Petra was quite a sight to behold and definitely has my vote! We spent 2 whole days there and still didn’t get to see all of the ruins. After Petra, we made our way to Dahab which is a hub for Scuba diving activity in Egypt and definitely where I had the most fun on the trip. While the Watkins’ were learning to Scuba dive, I decided to go my own way for a while and check out some of the other famous diving sites along the coast since I was already an open water diver. It was really fun and there were a lot of things to see in the Red Sea - including an Octopus which I had never seen before - but the best of my 5 dives was the one I did with the Watkins for their last open water dive. Seeing everyone and their antics from an underwater perspective was really entertaining to me which really goes to show that the diving experience is only as fun as the people you are diving with! Next, there was Saint Katherine’s Protectorate and the 3 hour hike up Mount Sinai. I enjoyed the hike but the best part of Mount Sinai was the view from the top! After just over a week in Dahab, we had our fill and moved on to Siwa. Spending 24 hours on bus on my 20th birthday was a new experience. The only thing I learned from those bus rides was that Hindi movies are Hilarious with a capitol H!!! In fact, I think I’m going to go rent one as soon as I am done writing this blog. Siwa was like no town I have ever been in; donkey carts replaced the usual sights of cars and scary black robed figures replaced the usual sights of women. Yes, it’s true, Siwanese men go crazy with desire when they see Grady in the lobby of their hotel. YUK! Every time I wanted to leave the hotel, I had to get Savannah to distract the owner at reception just so I could sneak past without him noticing me…awkward! The bikes we rented in Siwa were definitely the worst bikes I have ever ridden despite the fact that mine held together a lot better than most of the other bikes the crew had to ride. Being a sandboard on the sand dunes isn’t as bad as it sounds and is highly recommended for those who don’t mind having sand in their hair for a couple days afterwards. Cleopatra’s Bath was a life saver and doing crazy flips and ‘penguin dives’ will always be retained in my memory. The movie set was a waste of time, but at least the girls got a chance to be on camera and I can’t complain with getting 100 L.E. for doing absolutely nothing. Cairo was awesome and it’s been a childhood dream of mine to see the pyramids of Giza! I just didn’t think I would be riding a camel with my lovely girl friend at the same time. The last month has been full of adventure and fulfillment. Thanks for the memories you guys and I miss being there already! Savannah, you have my love; for the rest of you, good luck and best wishes! Look out for one another and keep each other safe!


P.S. I have to thank you again for the twinkie cake, that made my day!


At 11:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Grade!
Too bad you weren't able to extend the flight two weeks:(. Dang right those men from Siwa thought you were hot stuff. I don't blame them! Great diving, biking, swimming, sand boarding "and stuff like that" with you ahah. You forgot to mention always hitting your head on things and trying to convince the little kids that you were Brad Pitt! Silly. I can't wait until you come back. I miss you being my pack horse :D and punching bag!!!
Savannah XOXO


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