During the train ride to Alexandria, I saw the following things:
-white birds in trees, which was unusual.
-women carrying things on their heads, which was not unusual.
-greener land, which is not present in Cairo.
-boys surrounded by mist in tiny boats fishing on the Nile.
-empty/unfinished apartment buildings, so very typical.
-dried up palm trees, or maybe dust covered…like most Egyptian things.
-skivvies, as Kate says, hanging from balconies to dry.
Tea was served. I listened to Laura Marling and Miles Davis. Two hours later I was in Alexandria.
How do I explain Alexandria to you? A mini Cairo some might say, with Mediterranean flair of course. It was not as romantic as I had dreamed. Nonetheless, we drank fresh juice, went to the beautiful and modern library, saw ancient artifacts, rode in a lot of taxis, explored the eery hallways of the catacombs (walking on boards hovering only a few inches above water), and ended the day eating Chinese on a hotel rooftop. No complaints here!
Cairo, Egypt is a city of 26 million people, the largest in Africa, and the task of blogging about it is overwhelming! Seeing Cairo is an adventure! Middle Eastern culture is mesmerizing. The mosques are gorgeous, simple and intricate all at once…sand colored to match the landscape. The markets are amazing, and I want to lug home a huge lantern… although I am not sure how feasible that is. The traffic is absolutely wild…honking is one big conversation… seriously, a language of its own! Women are mostly covered and men hold hands sometimes. The food is delicious; hummus has a whole new meaning to me now. I’ve found people to be so gracious; I walked away with free fruit this morning, and paid the man back hours later…totally fine. You get served tea while shopping. We are staying in an apartment, far away from any other “tourists,” getting the real deal. The call to prayer sounding throughout the day will most assuredly wake you in the morning. Cairo is extremely polluted, but the light is amazing. The way the Egyptians function is mind-boggling…you have to come here to know what I’m talking about. I screamed when I saw the Nile. AND I HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN THE PYRAMIDS YET. AND I am going to go to the biggest mall in Africa… to their multistory H&M. Oh yeahhhh.
I bring you these images of Cairo fresh off my camera. Almost midway through the trip, I am so happy to share them with you! There will be more by the end of my time, I am positive, but here is some of what I am seeing every day.
Welcome to Cairo, my friends!
Although it doesn’t feel a thing like Christmas here, Happy Christmas Eve!!
Louisville. First thing I want to say about the town is that they have SO MANY VINTAGE STORES. I was in heaven. Who even knows how I didn’t break the bank! It was the greatest weekend. The amount of quality restaurants they have is also out of control. Lots and lots and lots of good eats. In addition, we walked around 21c Museum Hotel. It is my duty to always give you the facts about these locations, and Conde Nast Traveler voted it 2009 #1 best hotel in America, #6 in the world. HOW??? Yes, it is very cool and hip, but I don’t know about NUMBER ONE. I am not even sure if I would want to stay there on a vaca, too much art art art. Am I in a museum or am I on vacation?? It would be confusing. A bit odd for me, but fun for an hour or so. But yes, many folks love the 21c Museum Hotel, and if you do, no judgment here…I’ll just stick to Ojai… for now.
But as for the rest of Louisville, I want to keep on coming back and back again. My love for it abounds.
–Cutout page from a children’s book pasted on the wall of Ojai’s OUTDOOR bookstore, Bart’s Books.
School is about to be a whirlwind and I am strangely apprehensive about it!! There are already stories to be written for the newspaper, people to be interviewed, photos to edit, and friends to be seen! Basically, I totally feel like a Martha here running around like a nutso. When I was reading last night, I was sincerely comforted by Luke 10:41-42….”’Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”
But as the whirlwind is about to begin, I keep thinking about Ojai!! IT WAS THE DREAMIEST TRIP EVER. Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is honestly a feast for the eyes. My mom traveled there ten years ago and has been dying to go back ever since. California was the only place my family of three could agree on for vacation, and so we ran with it! My mom referred to this trip as our “appetizer” to California. Well, our appetizer of a trip left me longing for the full course.
I LOVE OJAI.
Little oranges called pixies (locally grown, naturally) are left in your room for snacking, and chocolate finds your pillow nightly. Lavender grows EVERYWHERE and the air even smells like it. YEAH. Go to the herb garden (yes there is one of those) if you feel like strolling through the wonderfully scented outdoors on steroids. California light? Yes, everything they say about it is true. Popsicles are handed out at the pool so you can cool off (even though the temps are PERFECT). Olive oil? Grown in town (Am I in Spain again??). Multiple pools? I don’t even think I saw all of them, but I managed to loaf at three. YOGA CLASSES!!!!!!!! I have never gotten this fit ON VACATION. And it is especially great because they tell you “Relaaaaax, you are on vacationnnn!” But then you feel it later and think ‘Hey! I did do something in that class!’ And I got a sneak peak at the spa. TO. DIE. FOR. Cucumber and mint water is never further than a few steps away…hydration recommended. Blue tile, lush robes, decadent body products. SO. BEAUTIFUL. And I WENT ON A TEN-MILE BIKE RIDE!!!!!! It felt so good!! Once again, thank you perfect weather.
[Conde Nast Traveler Magazine: Gold List, Top 25 North American Resorts
Travel + Leisure Magazine: T+L 500, The Greatest Hotels in the World
Hello from the Tampa Airport! I am about to head home.
Constantly my mind is running with thoughts of where to go next… India? Brazil? Egypt?
I don’t know if I have ever been this itching to go back overseas. Honestly. After a canceled venture to Zimbabwe, I am about to die! New Mexico was nice, yes, but it was no Zimbabwe.
In order to make this longing even more intense, I browsed through some of my Thailand images. Andddd read two issues of Conde Nast Travel (it was laying around the beach house, I couldn’t help it).
Laura Marling’s words describe almost exactly how I felt about my time in Thailand and Cambodia.
“I am never ungrateful for anything that I do because all of it is an incredible experience. But it was an experience unlike…it was very different than I expected it to be.” -Laura Marling
|so many things to buy. and to be sold.|
|beggars are passed by. people often disable themselves in order to get more money. the worst i saw was in Myanmar (Burma).|
|almost every man in Thailand is a monk at one time or another.|
After I departed there, I almost would go far enough as to say I didn’t want to return. But at this point, I would go back in a heartbeat. I would be more than happy to eat fried rice for breakfast EVERY DAY FOR A MONTH!
I hope you enjoyed this small taste of Asia for the day.
My dear friend Margaret has transplanted herself from GORGEOUS Charleston to the small (very small) town of Americus, Georgia, and she is doing quite well for herself!! My foodie friend has also transformed herself into a wonderful cook! She made me all kinds of goodies, so if we were not eating out we were dining in with some serious taste. First night I get there…BAM! Pork with nuts, rosemary, and honey coating…sweet potato fries with parmesan…a salad with peach dressing… and chocolate torts with goat cheese and blueberries!! I am immediately impressed.
But anyways… the weekend consisted of great things:
-Going to bed early.
-Eating at the town hotspot (apparently) at lunch to try their new burger, and Trellis, the only fancy fance place in town (delicious alfredo+mushrooms, and a reason to get dressed up).
-Sitting on the porch.
-Antique shopping. A JACKPOT for vintage necklaces, and I purchased a jewelry box that was not even for sale before I walked in. Haha I can be a smooth talker if I want to be!
-Snooping around the Windsor Hotel searching for a way to get in the tower. No luck.
-Fresh coffee at the house andddd frappucinos from Café something or another. SO good.
-A tour through Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village. AMAZING. (More on that to come!) I got my “passport” stamped at like 15 different countries, believe it or not.
-Driving through certain areas of town looking for her swanky bike that was stolen listening to choice tunes.
-Going to the lake to see fireworks. And I won a game of Uno.
All in all, I heart Americus.
OK, here is the deal. I am dying to go to New York again.
I want to go to Topshop!!! I want to eat at fancy places like Puttanesca!!!
Anybody want to come with me?
I will be cheating on the city later this summer to go to California, which I am equally excited about, but its just not the same!
Filed under ., personal, travel
This restaurant was totally delicious and equally good looking. We stopped in Brevard for lunch on our way to Highlands, and went to a couple of places.
This tomato basil soup has a bajillion ingredients in it, which makes it quite tasty.
Also, meet my dear Grandmother…
She told us last night, “I have earned every single one of my wrinkles.” Now, is that quote worthy or what??
More from the NC mountains later!
Photos from my New Mexico story are uploaded, edited, and captioned…I am set!
Off to Arizona we went…
THE. BIGGEST. CANYON. OF. MY. LIFE.
My dislike of landscape photography was once again reaffirmed (I like to look at photos of land, you know, I just don’t particularly enjoy taking them) because I cannot possibly capture how BIG this place is. Real big. Wowza.
Also, I SAW A WOLF. And a horse ran by our car faster than we were going, and I saw a bunny and a lizard. I think I have seen my share of wild animals for the summer, eh?
We were wildly excited to get to a nicer hotel room…even though our view was cows.
Well I am flying home tomorrow!! Only to unpack, unpack, unpack, and pack again. Yes, yes yes.
Up Next? High Hamptons, baby.