Off to the beach!

After spending two glorious and exhausting days in Petra, we left the comfort of the Al Rashid hotel ($24 per night, including breakfast for two!) to move on to some real R&R.  (The Al Rashid is actually the #1 hotel in Wadi Musa, despite its budget price – I wouldn’t say it’s luxurious by any means, but it’s comfortable and has air conditioning.  It also inspired several rounds of jokes between Jolyn and me, such as, “I splurged on the Al Rashid for you, honey” and “Romance at the Al Rashid!”)

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Hiking to the Monastery

After the Treasury, the second most famous structure in Petra is the Monastery.  The Monastery, or al-Deir in Arabic, is inaccurately named – it was likely a temple.  The Monastery is about an hour and a half’s hike from the Treasury, and consists of roughly 800 steps.  The best time to go is in the afternoon, as the steps are largely shaded at that point, while the facade of the Monastery is fully lit up by the sun.  You will have many offers for donkey rides, so if the 800-step ascent seems too daunting, hop on a four-legged taxi.

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Finding the Lost City of Petra

When we were thinking about where to go this summer, the overwhelming urge to go to the Middle East was spurred on by our desire to visit Petra.  We had seen it on shows such as An Idiot Abroad and Departures, and that only fueled our interest.  Despite some less-than-glowing reactions from friends and family who were nervous for our personal safety, we had made up our mind – we were going to Jordan and the Middle East.  (I’ll explain just how safe the Middle East can be – depending on your destination – in another post.)

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Ever been off the grid?

One of the things John and I do when we travel is try to push the envelope. That is to say, what is the most “culturally immersed” activity we can do or place we can go. And sometimes it’s not easy or is a little uncomfortable at times. I’m ok with that. When I’m old (soon) and cranky (too late) I imagine we’ll dial it back a bit, but until then… we’re going off the grid. Continue reading

Amman to Feynan – but first, lemme Wadi Mujib

After a mostly restful sleep, (Good Morning! says the local mosque at 3:30AM) we prepared for our day of travel.

Tasty breakfast in tummies of the typical eggs, halloumi cheese, beef sausage and yogurt with fruit, we carried down our bags to meet our driver, Adli. Our original plan was to go straight to the Feynan Ecolodge, but our host insisted we go to Wadi Mujib as it was on the way. And since it was something I had hoped we’d get to, but figured we wouldn’t have time for, it was a nice surprise. Continue reading

I was told there’d be falafel

Hello dear readers! After arriving back from Jerash, we were ready – very ready – for our first falafel. We are falafel fans. Whether it’s a street cart in midtown Manhattan or a food truck in Paris, count us in! And we were so fortunate to be staying near one of best falafel joints in Amman, Hashem. With map in hand, we meandered through the narrow, downhill streets. Continue reading

Middle East, here we come!

Greetings from Jordan! We have been anxiously anticipating our summer trip since beginning to consider this destination in late 2015. There has always been an interest in the Middle East, and Jordan especially, but the fires were stoked back in late 2014 while watching the Netflix favorite An Idiot Abroad. And then shortly after, another of our favorite series, Departures (season 1, episode 2), featured it… and after that, we knew our hearts were set on it and our minds and wallets just needed to catch up. Continue reading