back in Cairoback in Cairo Everyone has been asking me if things feel or look any different here in Cairo after the revolution.  When I left, there were tanks in my neighborhood, a curfew, lots of gunfire, there was no internet, and Mubarak was still president.  Now, Mubarak is gone, the police are back on the streets, the tanks have rolled out,...

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from ancient to medieval in Cairofrom ancient to medieval in Cairo On Tuesday we started our day with a cab ride to Tahrir to see the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. We spent a few hours enjoying the Tutahnkamun exhibit, Akhenaten collection, and other ancient art and artifacts of Egypt. We then took a taxi to the Citadel. The views of the city were stunning. We...

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weddles in luxorweddles in luxor This past week has been a whirlwind!  After seeing some sights around Cairo with Ryan, my parents arrived and we left for Luxor.  We arrived in Luxor around midday and decided to check out Luxor Temple in the afternoon sunlight.  It was incredible.  The city of Luxor creeps right up to the edges of these ancient sites,...

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Mount SinaiMount Sinai Last weekend we went on a faculty trip to Mount Sinai.  After a 9 hour bus ride through barren, empty, desert, along the eastern coast of Egypt and across the Sinai Peninsula, we made it to Dahab where the best thing about our hotel was the coral reef meters from our room.  Another 2 hour bus ride through a forbidding...

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Unfinished ObeliskUnfinished Obelisk Once we got to Aswan and after a crazy taxi experience that entailed some serious driver rivalry, keys stolen from the ignition, a chase involving a tire iron, and a group of tourists, ahem, us, quietly unloading our luggage and finding another cab... (yeah, I know, OH EGYPT!) Anyhow once we got to Aswan, we decided...

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Camping in Texas


Category : in America and Elsewhere, Travel & Sightseeing, Uncategorized

I know it’s been ages since I last posted. Long story short, we’ve moved to Texas, ya’ll. To be honest, I still get homesick for Cairo every now and then, but we are really enjoying life in our little town. When we moved to Texas in August, everything was dead and brown. Now that spring is here, I am amazed at how beautiful this place has become. Since the wildflowers are in full bloom and it’s not oppressively hot yet, we decided to go camping this weekend at Lake Georgetown.

The hike was beautiful. The terrain changed from sharp volcanic rock with scrubby little trees to fields of wildflowers and prickly pear.

We saw two or three small cacti with absolutely brilliant pink flowers and vowed to stop and take pictures on the hike back. But when we returned, the flowers were gone.

We saw tons of butterflies and even more caterpillars. I even tracked a wild boar for all of one footstep. Ha.

We decided to camp at Sawyer Hollow. After a 7 mile hike, this sign was a welcome sight (despite its grizzly story).

Our tent was very cozy…

…and very attractive to caterpillars.

We made our own blend of awesome trail mix with almonds, raisins, peanuts, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, and banana chips. And because I didn’t want to be “that guy,” we decided to forgo the campfire and instead had fireless-fireside veggie dogs and tortillas with avocado and pico de gallo. I had forgotten how much I love veggie dogs.  Yum!

The views from the campground were really nice. We were right by the lake, and the sounds of the water and chorus of chirping frogs, crickets, and birds were awesome. I don’t know whether it was the time of year or the copious amounts of Burt’s Bees bug repellant I used, but the bugs, despite their great numbers, pretty much left us alone.

The full moon made the night sky pretty bright. We couldn’t see many stars, but the reflection of the moon as it rose above the lake was quite a sight. It first appeared huge and orange, but by the time we got the camera and tripod it had already risen over the edge of the lake.

These next two shots are long exposures of the full moon.

This was the first time I’ve ever camped without the luxury of the car nearby (oh, memories…), and therefore may be the first time I have ever had to carry so much weight on my back. I felt a little ridiculous and a little bit tiny with my huge backpack, but it was a great experience!

Happy New Year!


Category : Cats, Family, Uncategorized

Happy New Year!!

Wishing everyone a wonderful year in 2011!

Looking up


Category : My Life in Cairo, Uncategorized

I was in a hurry to get to the store even though I had no idea what to make for dinner and for all I knew it would be as empty as it was yesterday.  I was kind of in a bad mood, but then, I looked up and realized…

Wow.  It’s a really beautiful day today.  The weather is nice, there are clouds in the sky, there’s a warm breeze blowing through the trees.  It was just all around nice.  Even the wild dogs looked like they’d just gotten back from the groomer’s!  I wish.  But still, it was beautiful.

By the time I reached the somewhat understocked shelves of the grocery store, I’d decided what to make for dinner, and what do you know, they even had everything I needed.

Maadi Dogs

Category : My Life in Cairo, Uncategorized

As I was walking home from the grocery store today, I ran into these guys.  They were wagging their tales and relaxing in the last bit of sunlight before the sun went down.

hand in hand’s the only way to land

Category : Uncategorized

Found Rabbit

Category : Uncategorized

Last week, my sister took in a lost domestic rabbit that was found hopping around somebody’s garden at McChord AFB.

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…than to be in Carolina


Category : in America and Elsewhere, Uncategorized

After touring Reynolda, we made a quick stop at one of the most memorable places from my childhood: Krispie Kreme. 

Sure it looks like any old Krispie Kreme doughnut shop in any old place, but it isn’t.  It’s one of the original stores from before you could get a Krispie Kreme doughnut in Arizona or Oregon or Hong Kong, for that matter.   I actually have lots of memories of riding in the family van to this place filled with hope that the “Hot Doughnuts Now” sign would be illuminated.  Unfortunately on this hot summer day… it was not.  But for old time’s sake, we had to get a box to go.

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Nothing could be finer

Category : Uncategorized

A couple of weeks ago we decided to take a day trip to Winstom Salem where my earliest memories come from. We got lunch with some longtime family friends and had a lot of fun visiting and catching up.   We then embarked on a whirlwind day of sightseeing.  If I could remember it, we visited it.  First up on the memory tour was Reynolda House.

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it’s raining, it’s raining


Category : Uncategorized

After a few days of scorching heat and merciless sunshine, it’s finally raining.

But for the record, it’s still 95 degrees so it sort of feels like a sauna on the sun porch, but that’s okay.

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the stars are projectors


Category : Uncategorized

There is one of the four stars or so that we can usually see.  See it there in the upper right corner of the picture?  I think it’s Venus.  Hi, Venus!

the end of an era


Category : Uncategorized

Call me crazy, but I love LOST.   I just received the iTunes email notification that the final episode of ABC’s LOST is ready and waiting.  Either you love the show, or you hate it.  And I happen to love it.  Why?  Because LOST has been there, through thick and thin since 2006 when I was finally convinced to give the series a try.

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the same in the rain or sun


Category : Family, My Life in Cairo, Oh, Egypt, Uncategorized

Some of you may have heard the story of the Egyptified letterpress print I received manhandled in the mail recently.  I’m not ready to fully comment on it yet (or touch it), although I love it so much.  I really do.  And years from now, I’ll look back on it and think, whoa, I lived in Egypt. Crazy.  So when I am ready to photograph it in all its glory and write about that fateful day, this will all make sense.  So for now, long story short, the mail I have received thus far in Egypt (while thank goodness it makes it all the way from point A to B) isn’t always handled with tender loving care every step of the way.

After a package has been knifed open en route, and it’s contents (i.e. tiny fuzzy Easter chicks) were deemed safe and not of tremendous monetary value, the package is taped back together and sent on its way to my apartment.  It’s not unlikely for things (i.e. an unlucky and now maimed fuzzy chick) to get caught in the web of tape the mail handlers use to reseal the package.

So, when I received something in the mail from my wonderful sister last week, I didn’t notice this little surprise that must have befallen the same fate as the tape-maimed fuzzy chick and gotten stuck to the tape inside the envelope.  Anyhow, I finally got around to some tidying up around the house this afternoon, and as I was getting ready to throw away the envelope from last week’s mail (yeah, I know, it’s been sitting here all week), I found this delightful surprise.

I believe the cupcake pin is by cakespy (a really cute blog about sweets), and the little horseshoe, well, I guess I have that to thank for the intactness of my mail.  Thanks, Mer!

P.S. Mer, we have to get cupcakes and coffee this summer…!!



Category : Uncategorized

Picture 1

New York Lottery Sweet Million \”Sleepy Time\” on YouTube

This New York Lottery commercial has been stealing my attention periodically over the last two days.  I wish I could forget it existed, but I can’t, and I keep watching it over and over.

I can’t handle it.  It is ridiculously cute.

Here is my question.  Is it real?  And is there a career path out there that leads one to dressing pigs in pajamas and teaching them how to hoist their potbellies up onto a bunkbed?  Incredible.

It’s probably best for all of us that there are no more pigs in Egypt.

P.S. While I was doing a little internet research on “can pigs wear pajamas” which eventually got diluted to googling “tiny pigs,” I found this little gem.  Brace yourself.  It is CRAZY, and I laughed till I hurt.

Hi there.


Category : My Life in Cairo, Uncategorized


This will be the beginning of our beautiful new friendship via this sunny little place on the internet.  I plan to talk a lot.  It’s just my nature.

Since I accidentally commandeered Brandon’s blog, I decided it was time to get my own.  I have posted a few things that I never managed to post on Brandon’s blog because I was convinced I would get around to making my own, so I’ve tacked them on here.   And from now on, I’ll be here, not there.