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magistramarla
12-19-2011, 08:47 PM
Hi Everyone,
My daughter Heather and her fiancee Eric are off globe-trotting for the holidays again.
I'm a bit worried this time - she just joined him in Cairo, Egypt. Eric is a political science professor, and he's been there for a few weeks, observing the elections and all of the political unrest. Heather has joined him, and they are going to travel around Egypt for three weeks. I'm envious that they are going to get to see the pyramids, the Nile and Alexandria, but I'm going to be worried sick until they get back to NYC.
Heather has promised to post to her FB and upload pictures whenever she can, so I'll add to this thread when I hear from her
Hugs,
Marla
(one worried Mom)

BonusMom
12-19-2011, 10:18 PM
Oh M, I understand how worried you must be. I, too, would be worried sick if one of my kids was traveling in Egypt right now.

I'll keep a good thought for the kiddos. Let us know when they land safely back in NYC.

Merry Christmas!

Gizmo
12-20-2011, 06:43 AM
Marla, I'm in worry mode for the holidays, too. My daughter and her new husband are traveling to Lapland (above the Arctic Circle) for Christmas. They are in Germany for a year, and have some warm clothes, but not for Arctic climes. My thoughts are with you, it's hard to be separated by oceans at Christmas, especially when the world is not at peace.

rob
12-20-2011, 09:25 AM
Marla,

Like you, Egypt has always been on my list of must visit places. However, I would be worried too, as the situation there has been so volatile. I hope they have a visit that is both safe, and enjoyable.

Rob

PS-Part of me is envious too-they get to see the Great Pyramids after all! People tell me they are like the Grand Canyon, photos just cannot do them justice.

SleepyInSeattle
12-20-2011, 09:53 AM
Wow - that's exciting and scary for sure...LOL my daughter is 13 and I worry about sending her to the corner store sometimes. I am seriously going to have to be medicated when she grows up and goes off on her own. We love to travel and want her to see the world, but that's hard to reconcile with the protective "Mama Bear" side of me!!!

Best of luck and happy, safe travels to them - and wishing you peace and at least a few good nights' sleep while they're gone... :-p

magistramarla
12-20-2011, 10:16 AM
Well,
I've already gotten the first update from Heather. As usual, they are having a wonderful time. Eric is an extremely experienced traveler, so he knows how to do it right.
They've traveled in China, Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, most of Europe and of course, Greece with us. Those are just the ones that Heather has accompanied Eric on!
Everyone enjoyed Heather's updates from China last year, so I'll do it again. Here's the first one:

Hi Moms and Dads,

We are having such a great time here! Yesterday, we slept in, had as lovely brunch of a pizza-like dish, and then went to see the Pyramids of Giza. We hired camels and rode around in style, stopping at the Sphinx and a lotus oil / papyrus store for a lesson served with tea and beer. After changing into nicer clothes at our hotel, we walked to an extremely lovely and fancy restaurant right on the Nile at the tip of our little island. (Eric chose a hotel on the island in the middle of the Nile because it's upscale, full of embassies and thus guards, and isolated from any trouble.) Our dinners here have been incredibly good and cost less than half of what we'd pay for fancy restaurants in NYC.

This morning, we're relaxing over another long brunch and researching cruises on the Nile. These look luxurious and romantic!
It's a wonderful vacation so far, and I feel safe and happy. We're keeping an eye on the news and staying far from trouble. It seems like the most dangerous part of being here is the traffic. Eric mentioned that the saying goes that Egyptians have heard of traffic rules but only as the subject of jokes. ;-) There's a "Me first and nothing else matters" attitude on the road, and most cars here have the scratches and dents to prove it. At least no one can move all that quickly!

Anyway, I'll try to keep you updated, but all seems good here.
Tourism is down, so I feel badly for those who rely on it. We're treated extremely well and told to spread the word that people should visit Egypt. It's been good for us though in that we arrived quite late at the pyramids yesterday and were still able to get one of the
300 / day tickets to go deep into the biggest pyramid. When Eric last visited years ago, he had to be there by 7am and race everyone to the ticket office. We seem to be visiting at a good time for us. ;-)

Much love,
Heather

So, I guess I don't have to worry too much about Heather & Eric. I'm a bit more worried about my grandson, Kyle. His father (the jerk) has him for Christmas this year, and since he's too much of a cheapskate to fly, he's driving from Denver to Dallas with our little guy. There was just a huge blizzard in the area where the jerk will be traveling. At least, he's not leaving 'til Thursday, so I hope that the roads are safe by then.
Gizmo and Sleepy - it is much worse when the kids are adults. You still worry about them, but you have much less control over their safety. All you can do is worry about them until they get in touch. I'm lucky that Heather is so good about keeping in touch.
Hugs,
Marla

rob
12-20-2011, 11:47 AM
After changing into nicer clothes at our hotel, we walked to an extremely lovely and fancy restaurant right on the Nile at the tip of our little island. (Eric chose a hotel on the island in the middle of the Nile because it's upscale, full of embassies and thus guards, and isolated from any trouble.)

They must be staying in the Zamalek district on Gezira Island. It's chock full of embassies and luxury hotels. I have a friend who was stationed at one of the embassies there. It's a very upscale, and very secure area. It's one of the safest places you can stay when visiting Cairo.

Eric knows his stuff.

Rob

magistramarla
12-20-2011, 03:33 PM
44304431

Heather has sent pictures already!
I'm jealous.

steve.b
12-20-2011, 08:37 PM
it is good to see eric does his homework.

he has picked a safe place to stay.

i tooooooooooooo am jealous. (bad spelling)

magistramarla
12-21-2011, 08:36 PM
I just heard from Kayla that the jerk left today to avoid another storm that is going through tonight. Kyle called her just as they were getting to the outskirts of Ft. Worth.
So, at least Grandma can stop worrying until they head back to CO. I'm sure that he will have fun with his other grandparents this year.

Heather and Eric are on a train to Luxor, so I won't hear from them for a bit.
Hugs,
Marla

lucky7
12-22-2011, 06:00 PM
OH HOW COOL is THAT! We can live through the travels of others!!!! WOO HOO!!! Thats so GREAT Marla! Its nice she can see so many places!

magistramarla
12-23-2011, 07:43 PM
Here's an update from Egypt:
Hi all,
This is a quick update from my phone, since we need to get to bed soon. We have a 6am ride to more Egyptian tombs tomorrow. Today, we went to the Valley of Kings, among other places. Wow! We had seen King Tut's treasure at the museum in Luxor a couple of days ago, but today we went inside the tomb itself and saw his mummy! We saw several remarkable tombs and then had a wonderful Egyptian meal after a long day of sight-seeing. We've learned how to get the behind-the-scenes tours here. Most gates will be lifted for a tourist willing to give a few Egyptian pounds on the way out of a closed off room. I feel a bit bad treading in these areas officially closed to tourists (probably for conservation reasons), but we have seen some really amazing things.
Tourism is down here, so we are constantly accosted by vendors, which is annoying. Otherwise, everything is great. I feel very safe everywhere we go. Tourists are looked after.
We are arranging our Nile River cruise now, which should be fun. These cruise ships are supposed to have 5 star everything, so that will be a treat. I'll try to keep you updated as we go.
Much love,
Heather

She really makes me want to see Egypt soon.
Hugs to all,
Marla

rob
12-23-2011, 08:48 PM
We've learned how to get the behind-the-scenes tours here. Most gates will be lifted for a tourist willing to give a few Egyptian pounds on the way out of a closed off room. I feel a bit bad treading in these areas officially closed to tourists (probably for conservation reasons), but we have seen some really amazing things.

Oh man, I would happily turn over the pounds, and tread very lightly!

Angel Oliver
12-24-2011, 07:40 AM
wow i could feel the warmth ....how fab!!

Love
Amanda.xxxx

lucky7
12-24-2011, 11:41 AM
WARMTH is NICE! I feel it too Amanda! We can be toasty warm together! WOO HOO!!!XXXXXOOOOOOOO

magistramarla
12-27-2011, 07:58 PM
Hi Everyone,
I just got another update from Egypt - this time from Eric:

Hi Jeff & Marla,

Since I have a few minutes on my own at the internet cafe, Heather asked me to let you both know that we're having a great time and that we are safe and sound here. Here, at the moment, being Aswan, where we spent an afternoon today visiting a Ptolemaic-era temple on a small island, as well as the Aswan High Dam. Tomorrow is a long day trip to Abu Simbel, and the day (actually night) after that, a long train ride up to Alexandria, one end of Egypt to the other. We're becoming increasingly exacting amateur Egyptologists, confounding our guides with obscure questions about the symbolism and style of Egyptian temple art, and we're delighted to be here together.

Hope all is well with you both.
Eric

Now I'm really jealous. I used to teach about ancient Alexandria. I would so love to see the harbor where the famous lighthouse used to stand, to walk the streets where Cleopatra, Caesar and Pompey walked and to see the beautiful blown glass for which the city has been since ancient times.
For now, I'll enjoy living through Heather and Eric's adventures - sigh.
Hugs,
Marla

magistramarla
12-30-2011, 12:53 PM
Hi friends,
I just received an update from Alexandria. It sounds like they are seeing some incredible sights.

Hi Moms and Dad,

We're about to head out for a dinner of local seafood, so this will be quick, but I wanted to tell you that all is well. We arrived in Alexandria this morning and have already explored the catacombs (in which I snuck some pictures just for Mom) and Pompey's Pillar. We wandered the overflow library area for ancient Alexandria underground there. Wow! After some tea, we promenaded along the ocean for a bit near our hotel. Our patio looks out over the Mediterranean, and we smell the sea air in our room. Life is good, and I very much look forward to telling you all of the details soon. I'll let Eric tell you about some of it first, since he's the one with a way with words. My accounts of our adventures tend to be a bit pedantic. ;-)

In the meantime, Eric and I both send our love.

Heather

I'm really anxious to see the pictures!
Hugs,
Marla

magistramarla
12-31-2011, 01:15 PM
And yet another update from Alexandria - this one with a picture:

Hi Mom,
Yes, we can see right across the bay to the fort that was apparently built of the remnants of the Pharos. We just had a long late breakfast, and after Eric finishes his shower, we're going to go explore the fort. We are so enjoying our time together and our adventures! Last night, we went to a seafood place, picked out our sea bass and had it grilled with garlic and herbs. We also had fresh grilled prawns, plus all of the extras they bring - a good 10 plates of salads, dips, breads, veggies, etc. It was enough to feed four! All of this cost a whopping total of $25. ;-) Our yummy lunch yesterday of two different types of fuul and all the extras, including a plate of fried cheese and another of falafel, was less than $5. I do so love travel. So far, we've been very careful and avoided the stomach upsets so many people experience except for once. I was less careful in my eating on the cruise ship and wound up throwing up after dinner one night, probably due to one of the salads, which I ate and Eric didn't. Thankfully, that was bad for only about five minutes, after which I was fine.
Anyway, life is good. I look forward to telling you all of the details, but I promised the writer in our family first crack at telling of our adventures. ;-)
Much love,
Heather

The picture is taken from their balcony. It is of the fort which was built on the site (and using the materials) of the ancient Pharos lighthouse, which had been built by the Romans, and was eventually destroyed by an earthquake. The light from that lighthouse was said to be visible nearly 70 miles out to sea, and allowed a safer and easier passage for the Greeks and Romans going from Crete to Alexandria. This is the stuff that I used to teach about, and it still gets me excited.

kim,l
12-31-2011, 02:18 PM
oh marla sounds great stephen and i have always had and interest in egyptwe collect things about there . we wouldlove to visit one day but right now we are happy to listen to your stories hugs

Nonna
01-01-2012, 05:30 AM
Marla, thanks so much for posting all of this. I am a geek about ancient Eygpt and always wanted to go. Just returned from my parents last night. I spent Friday at Everglades national park looking at app 66 alligators. Of course the tram was in the Sun and I walked up the ramp almost to the top of the tower.

So I overspent my spoons for two days in a row; today I rest and relax and read threads. Thanks ever so much for sharing their adventures

lucky7
01-01-2012, 10:37 AM
Its so nice to hear about SPECIAL moments in your familys life Marla. How Beautiful. Live life to the FULLEST, Right!

magistramarla
01-06-2012, 10:16 PM
Hi Everyone,
I've fallen behind on my updates. Here is one from when Heather was on her way back and spent a night in Vienna. (Eric won't return for two more weeks).

Hi Mom,
Vienna is lovely! It is so clean and open and friendly. I went out to dinner last night with two college students from Brazil, one of whom is studying architecture and restoration in Milan this year. The other guy is studying biology. I had a wonderful Viennese meal of pork and sauerkraut and dumpling with dark beer and then we split a couple of desserts. While the guys headed to the happening little bar in the basement of our hostel, I took the Metro to the heart of the city and wandered around. It's lovely and all lit up for Christmas (both the December 25th date and tomorrow's), but it was all high-priced shops, so it had a bit of an outdoor mall feel. Everything was closed, but a few people wandered around in the cold. It's so nice to see PDA after so long studiously avoiding it in Egypt! (That was sometimes difficult for me and Eric, but it is a Muslim country.) There was one uncovered area with Roman ruins right there among all of the shops and lovely buildings. You would have appreciated that ;-)
I like Vienna. The hostel offers a welcome drink, so I had a small beer in their bar and got to bed for my early morning bus ride back to the airport. I did stop at a little bakery on the way to have some Viennese treats Eric recommended. I stuck with green tea rather than coffee though since I want to sleep on the plane.
I look forward to talking to you soon! Hopefully, Eric will soon send you his description of our trip so I can send mine. I promised him that he would get to go first.
Love,
Heather

By now, she is safely home in NYC. She has promised to write about her experiences in Egypt and she'll soon be making some more pictures available to me.
Mom is relieved that she is back home!
Hugs,
Marla

Saysusie
01-07-2012, 08:12 AM
I truly enjoy reading the adventures of your family (including yours). Thank you for always sharing them with us :-)

magistramarla
01-07-2012, 08:47 PM
Saysusie and others,
LOL - I'm glad that our family's antics can bring a smile to other people. There is certainly never a dull moment with my crew!
Hugs,
Marla