From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saudi Arabia Road Trip Eid 2014 - Day 3

Today, we planned on spending the day in Taif and driving to Jeddah.  We left the hotel at 9:15 and drove around trying to find the entrance to a cable car that would show us the heights of Taif and the rocky terrain of the mountains.  Since it is the first day of Hajj, everything was closed until about 1:00.  When we arrived at the entrance to the cable car, we just hung out for about 2.5 hours and let the kids play on the playground.   Interestingly enough, there was a Chicago’s Style Uno’s pizza place next to the Ramada Inn there, so we waited until it opened too. 

While we waited, we saw dozens of baboons that roamed the grounds. They were easy going enough, and the kids enjoyed seeing them.  Everyone got away unscathed or bitten, so all was well with the baboons.  Some went up to the gate and rode some camels with some very aggressive guys who would tug you and even take your kids and put them on the camel.  One guy kept pulling at me until I yelled at him to not touch me.  James was a little scared and certainly didn’t want to ride the camels, so we walked away.  As we were leaving, I saw one of the guys hitting a camel, so I’m glad I didn’t give them any money.

Uno’s was a nice treat and getting on the cable car was a breeze even though we had to wait forever.  The ride down the mountain was very interesting.  I wouldn’t say beautiful because it was just rocks and more rocks, but it was certainly not what you think about when it comes to Saudi Arabia.  When we arrived at the bottom of the mountain, there was a small little touristy area that had a pretty cool water park (kids and males only) where we ate some ice cream bought from some guys who were very surprised we were from America.

We rode the cable car back up to the top of the mountain and loaded up for the 2.5 hour drive to Jeddah.  The most amazing part of this journey was the split when we arrived near Mecca or Makkah.  Even if it wasn’t Hajj, non Muslims aren’t allowed in the city of Mecca.  Instead, they route you around the entire city where there is a cool little sign that separates Muslims from non-Muslims on the road. 

We arrived at a compound in Jeddah where our friends and former co-workers had graciously offered to find some villas for us all to stay in. It was great to see them, and they were so helpful settling us in. 

A great day again.  The boys were dead tired when we finally put them to bed, but they again were so well behaved all day.  We are so fortune.  Plus, we didn’t leave our bag behind!

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