Monday, November 8, 2010

Welcome Home

Hello again, dear readers. I missed you. It's been exactly 18 days since I slept in my bed, made my own food, used my own shower. East, West, Home is best. I'm tempted to slack off today, turn on the fireplace and make some cocoa, read out loud to the charges. Except I know that tomorrow I will be 19 days behind instead of 18. And those Halloween decorations are still hanging around the house, the cobwebs of October past. Jack-o-lanterns don't look as cute next to piles of unloaded suitcase junk. Nope, I better put my nose to the grindstone. But first, here's a brief recap of my trip. And I do mean brief. They say that pictures are worth a thousand words, so I'll let my pictures do most of the talking.
My trip began in upstate New York. I settled in my two precious treasures with Oma and Opa and enjoyed the beautiful fall scenery for a couple of days.

They love spending time with Oma and Opa in New York, which made saying good-bye a little bit easier. A little tiny itty bit.
Nine out of ten of my siblings and most of the spouses plus my parents headed to the Middle East for 13 days of adventure. We started our journey in Petra, Jordan viewing the incredible Treasury carved right into the red rock.
We spent the next few days on and around The Sea of Galilee.

If you want to dip your feet into the River Jordan, beware. There are little nibbling fishies.

This is an underground cave in Bethlehem. There were approximately 500 million people in about 10 square feet.

We spend most of our time in and around Jerusalem. It was bittersweet nostalgia for me and my four other siblings that spent time there as students.

Here's my friend Omar, the olivewood carver and shopkeeper that I first met 20 years ago.

We tried our best to celebrate Halloween in a foreign land. The Quiet Man packed my witchy tights for a suprise.
My sister Laurie had Halloween treats for everybody. (And her ear is making a brave recovery, poor thing.)

This was my favorite spot as a student. Hezekiah's Tunnel is a dark underground tunnel filled thigh deep with water. (It used to be armpit deep with plenty of potholes but it's gone safe and commercial now.)I love to shop and hang out in the Old City of Jerusalem. It hasn't changed much.

The air in the Old City of Jerusalem is full of spices. I bought saffron and sumac and za'atar. Then I packed them in my suitcase. Now I smell like the Old City. In a good, spicy kind of way.

Our next stop was the Dead Sea for a filthy little beauty treatment.
Our first day in Egypt was spent snorkeling and lounging at the Red Sea.They had whirling dervishes for night time entertainment. They make me dizzy just to watch, but I can't look away. They also had belly dancers by the pool and I admit that I got sucked into a lesson. In my bathing suit. All video evidence has been destroyed. Violaters will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. (That means you, Jackson.)We headed to Cairo for our last stop. Yep, the pyramids and the Sphinx. You gotta see them once in your life. Or maybe even twice. But that's it for me.

We capped off our last night with a dinner cruise down the Nile. We were late enough that we had to be ferried to the cruiseship by speedboat. (That was the best part.)

This is my favorite picture from the trip. The middle aged belly dancer has just passed our table and it looks like my Dad and my husband are getting a little eyefull on the sly.
We spent our last minutes shopping at an open air market and then meeting the group for a last birthday lunch for my brother Roy before hopping on an airplane.

When they say don't drink the water in Egypt, remind me next time to watch out for the ice, too. The Quiet Man and I shared a blue raspberry slush right before we got on the airplane. Not smart. Not smart at all. That was the last time you saw us smiling till we landed in upstate New York. But now we are happy. We missed those little charges of ours. We made our own little people and when they are away from us, we miss them. They may be loud and crazy and wild, but they are ours. (And they have loud and crazy and wild in their genetic make-up. ) Huge thanks to Oma and Opa for being first-class babysitters. I hope they get a well-deserved nap sometime soon.

I missed you, too dear readers. Welcome back. See you tomorrow with more recipes.


gigi said...

I LOVE all your pitures and you have the greatest smile and sweetest family! I was wondering how your sister ear is doing? That was a long trip and I know you were ready to see your babies! Enjoy being home and catching up on everything.

Aren't you having a birthday soon? Seems like I remember it is in November too, already had mine and it was great.

The Renouf Family said...

Thanks for posting all those fun pictures....but where is my pregnancy disclaimer?? haha
My kids had a great time looking at them all morning. They may even forgive me for having gone. :)
I had a wonderful time with everyone and miss everyone already. I sure do love my family.
I hope everyone has an easy recovery and you and Quiet Man feel better soon! Curses on Pharoaph's Revenge.
ALSO looking forward to some more recipes.
We made your Italian slowcooker steaks last night and they were the perfect delicious/easy Sunday meal.

Anonymous said...

p.s. you could be a part-time model :)

Shelley said...

Prudy, we've all missed you, too! Thank you for this wonderful post - loved the pic of you with the scarves and in the Halloween tights! And I will never be able to enjoy a blue slushy again without thinking of you & the Quiet Man! It was great seeing you when you were in upstate NY, loved the canal pics & Powers pics. Your charges are adorable. Now back to reality and give us some great new dinner recipes - my week is waiting!

Hansen Family said...

My two sisters spent semesters at Jerusalem as well (I was on the list to go, but served a mission instead). They both loved Omar! I am happy to know he is still there. They both got beautiful nativity sets from him and I am dying to get one from him as well. Did you go with a tour group or did your family plan it on their own? My husband and I would love to go to Israel and Egypt, but thought you needed to go with a group. Will you share how you made your plans???? Thanks! (BTW - I served with Michal.)

Erin said...

Welcome back!

Seth and Julie said...

Welcome Home! I have been waiting for this post so that I could look at the pictures and pretend I had been along for the ride. Looks like there were lots of laughs and memories made. I am also always happy to see pictures of upstate New York. Oh, and the picture of your dad and hubby is too funny.

Angela FRS said...

Oh my goodness, post more pictures when you can! I will live vicariously through them. What a great trip.

Prudy said...

Gigi-You are so sweet! Happy Birthday-sorry I missed it! Yep-mine is coming. I have mixed feelings about this getting older thing. My sister's ear is making a good recovery. Thanks so much for asking!

Prudy said...

Heidi-I looked for a picture to add a disclaimer, but I can't find a single one that requires it, you skinny little toothpick. I squash your pregnant little body out of the picture with my non-pregnant she woman figure. I had such a great time with you. You were sooo funny. I laughed and cried until I was dehydrated.

Prudy said...

Depending on the street.:)

Prudy said...

Shelley,It was so GREAT to see you. I've got pics for you! Lynn is just way too gorgeous. She's headed for fame!

Prudy said...

Hansen family,
Wow! Always great to meet a friend of Michal's. We did take a tour group, and you almost have to do that to be able to see everything safely. There were a few other young couples on our trip. I hope you get to go! I'll babysit for you. Michal can vouch for me!:)

Prudy said...

Thanks, Erin!

Prudy said...

Would you believe that I read every post of your while I was away? Whenever I had internet in the Middle EAst, I was on your blog. I was supposed to be doing the bare bones basics, like answering student emails, but then I couldn't resist. I LOVED Alex's costume-so clever! I kind of want to be it next year myself, except now I have this modest belly dancing costume that I bought. Really-it's a modest belly dancing costume. Did you ever think there could be such a thing? I'm going to be a frumpy, middle aged belly dancer. I love it.

Prudy said...

Thanks, I hope I get a chance to. I want to post a pic of all my purchases. Although, that might make my husbands eyes pop when he sees it all together. I just watched the first part of Cook YOur Heart out tonight. so great to see you there!

becky comstock said...

What year and semester did you go to Jerusalem? I went in the summer of 1990. I wonder if we were there at the same time? I loved seeing you pictures it brought back so many good memories for me. Thanks for posting!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Wow, what a great trip. I bet ya'll had non-stop fun.

Glad you guys are all home safe and sound.

Katie and Mark said...

Love all the pictures, and I am glad everyone is home safe now. You look so beautiful in all your pix!

Prudy said...

I was there as a student in fall of 91. My sister was there in 90 for jan-june. Were you there then? Five of us from my family have gone, but all at different times. Isn't it the best?

Prudy said...

Thanks, Japanese Redneck! Thanks for your steady support!

Prudy said...

Aw, thanks. I loved reading about Grayson this morning. HIlarious!

Julie Harward said...

This all really took me back there..I have been here too and it was the best vacation ever! I know Omar and have a piece of his work. Glad you made it back safely. :D

Mary Ann said...

Amazing! That's all I can say. I don't know how else to comment. Your family is amazing, your trips are amazing, your pictures, your food, everything. You are amazing!

Michal said...

I can't get enough of your pictures. The summer I spent there has got to be one of the best of my life. I can only imagine how much fun it was to go with your family. I'm so glad you had such a wonderful time there. Looking forward to seeing more regular posts from my favorite cook and foodie!

Lisa said...

Wow, what a trip! Welcome back!

Catherine said...

Oh I love all of you pictures. I haven't loaded mine yet so I'm still looking at miniature versions of them. It really was amazing. And I love the pictures of your kids. They look so cute. And I'm a little jealous of their vacation. =D

Anonymous said...

Hey aunt Erin I would like to check Sailor's blog, do you mind giving me the name of it


Barraza said...

This all really took me back there..I have been here too and it was the best vacation ever! I know Omar and have a piece of his work. Glad you made it back safely. :D