Monday, August 8, 2016

It's my Birthday

I turned another year older this weekend and decided to have a week of celebrations!

On Thursday night Allen and I went out to a new development, Abdali Boulevard, where there is the #LOVEJO sign and two towers with restaurant / bars on the roofs. We had a lovely view over Amman and Allen had an excellent Mojito but I unfortunately got a dud drink...
 The next day we went to the Ma'in Hot Springs Hotel and visited the Spa
 Had a lovely G+T on the balcony
and the hotel gave us a nice cake that we only managed to eat the next day - my actual birthday!
 The proof we were at the Springs on my birthday!
 Abi baked the biggest cup-cake in the world that evening
and I finally got to go out for a nice drink the next night to the U Lounge
It was a brilliant week...

Ramadan and UK Trip

It has been a busy three months since I last posted as we experienced our first Middle East Ramadan and then went to the UK for 3 weeks to see family and friends.

May was also a frantic month for Allen with some major exercises and demonstrations as it was the 100th Anniversary of the Great Arab Revolt. Some photographs!

At the start of June we went to the Club Summer Ball
and also had a lot of Girl Scout activities.

Ramadan started on the 6th of June and it was an experience. We did not have to fast but of course we refrained from eating and drinking in public. What that meant for Allen and I is that we did not eat most of the day: you get used to it pretty quickly and even managed to go for some great Wadi Walks.

as you can see, it was quite tiring
We learnt how to cook a Jordanian meal
and at the end of Ramadan we headed to the UK. Allen and I quickly abandoned Jacob and Abi to go to Belgium for the weekend.
After that we met with Marion, Louise and Stuart in the Lake District, celebrated two birthdays and had some excellent walks.

 We met lots of friends

and celebrated our 19th Wedding Anniversary!
There seems to be a lot of pictures of us drinking!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Wadi Rum with the Girls Scouts!

Last weekend we paid our first visit to Wadi Rum. We went as part of a Girl Scout trip with 80 people! What a place - it reminded me of Canyonlands in Utah set in a desert.

I traveled in a bus with Abi and the Girl Scouts and we managed to make a 3 and a 1/2 hour journey last over 5 hours with lots of discussions on where to stop. We arrived at Wadi Rum and eat lunch in the Visitor Centre before making our way to Rahayeb Desert Camp.

The afternoon was spent sorting out accommodation and making para-cord bracelets

before going out on a walk to see the sunset
We returned to have our dinner dug out of the ground (sorry no photograph) and we finished the evening with Smores on the campfire!

With a few hours sleep we were raring to go the next morning after a typical Jordanian breakfast of bread, dips and boiled eggs. We went on a jeep safari around Wadi Rum.

About to depart
Wall murals
Can you spot the face
Lawrence of Arabia's Canyon
The end of the trip was a cooking lesson and a camel ride

Monday, May 2, 2016

Abi is 12

Abi's 12th Birthday was last month and she had a fantastic time with a family meal on her actual day and then a party with a sleepover for 7 friends on the weekend!

We were surprised when she woke up at a normal time and there was only a few minutes to open cards and a few presents before school.
When she got back we went out for a meal to TGI Fridays so she could have her favourite Mac 'n' Cheese! The restaurant staff sang a funny version of Happy Birthday for her and we went home for cupcakes..
After school on Thursday she went climbing with 7 friends at ClimbAt. We all had pizza at home and the girls eat on our roof terrace so Jacob could have some peace,
but our living room was soon full of girls eating an amazing tie-die cake!
We decided that we could not face cooking for 11 people the next morning so went out for breakfast.
So, it was a busy 18 hours and a very full house....

Thank you everyone for all of her presents, :-)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

USA Holiday

The end of March and early April has been busy as we left Amman on Friday the 18th of March for a holiday in Colorado and Utah. The travel there took a whole day flying to London, onto Philadelphia, then finally to Denver. We were traveling for more than 25 hours!

The weekend before that Allen ran the Dead Sea to Red Sea in a relay team. He said he will never do it again, just like when he ran his first marathon, but I think he might be telling the truth this time.

 Allen with the kids after running for 14 and 3/4 hours

The D2R Fat and Furious team

Back to the holiday - when we arrived, to snow, we spent the weekend with our friends catching up, eating lots and having one or two beverages...

We then went to Utah and explored Arches for 3 days and visited Canyonlands for the first time - an excellent experience with lots of walking that our two lovely children enjoyed.

Arches Day 1
We stopped at Balanced Rock Arches on our first day in Utah after a 6 hour drive

We made it to Delicate Arch after a 1 hour hike

Canyonlands Day 2
 We found another good arch

 and views of the canyons

plus a great selfie

 then visited a very strange site - could be a meteor strike

Arches Day 3
The start of the long hike in Arches

 enjoying the precipice holding onto the kids for safety (!)

to get to the Double Arch - the walk was more impressive...

 The end of the 7-mile hike

Arches Day 4
 Our final day in Utah

The Windows
A proper double Arch!

The whole family...

The next week was spent in Denver exploring old haunts and catching up with other friends.

The kids had an Easter Egg Hunt on our old Street finding eggs in the snow

It was great to see John and Sherri in their beautiful new home and meet their daughter Claire. We had some lovely meals with Mindy and met up with old neighbours Ken and Kelly. On our last day before heading to Breckenridge we took Jacob and Abi, Shawna, Will and Mallory from our old street to a trampoline centre.

After too much time following Abi around shops we headed up to Breckenridge for 6 days, skiing for 4 of them, walking around the town on our rest day, and tubing one morning.

 First day skiing

and the first beer in Breckenridge

 Recovering from the 2nd day in an outdoor pool and hot-tub!

 Happy Hour with a great view of the Mountains

 3rd day on the slopes

 enjoying beautiful runs with great views

 A day off to go tubing

 and our last day skiing was hampered by blizzards so we spent a lot of time drinking hot chocolate

but Abi went on a Black Run with Allen while the storm was approaching...

The trip back was quicker but no less exhausting. However, it was helped by having reclining seats on the flights...

and luckily we got to use BA's lounges as well.

A great trip - thank you to all our Denver friends for looking after us.