I’ve made it, on December 20th when I wrote my last blog post I couldn’t imagine being where I am now. It was too stressful to think that far into the future – because it was a future that I couldn’t really fathom, I didn’t have anything to grasp onto in my mind to imagine where I’d be today. I followed my tried and true advice and I lived in the moment as best I could. Thinking of all the things I had to do stressed me out but I asked for and accepted help where I could. My new “team” – friends, neighbors and businesses – allowed me to get so many things done in just one week! December 27th – the girls and I headed off from DC to NYC to Amman with all of our tasks behind us!
What I’ve been doing: Landing in Amman, getting off the plane and walking right into a new country was pretty cool. After buying a tourist visa for our older daughter we went down to the luggage carousel to find our driver and wait for our luggage believe it or not, this was a first for the girls and I since we always carry on! – and then out into the airport where Mike was waiting to greet us! Driving to our apartment felt like being in any other place – on a highway from the airport and into the city, but once in Amman the driving got a little more ‘exciting’. Our neighborhood is Abdoun and has a lot of huge houses with lovely gardens. We back up to the US Embassy which means there are guards on either end of our street and farther up the road are the Gendarmerie, who are Jordanian security officers. Many places in Jordan have security, on our first outing we went to a grocery store and walked through a metal detector and had our bags scanned on an x-ray machine like at the airport, same process at the mall and at the hotels.
What I’ve been eating: The food so far has been phenomenal, especially for a vegetarian. My older daughter is vegan and this trip has been the easiest for her to find satisfying meals. We walked to Zain Circle from our apartment and got an inexpensive meal that the whole family enjoyed. There is a Tandoori Oven right up the street and we picked up dinner there last night and it was AH-MAZE-ING. Also in our neighborhood is a coffee shop called Seven Pennies – with indoor and outdoor seating and a mission; for every JD (jordanian dollar) you spend you get to donate to your choice of 6 local causes.
After getting settled into our apartment (I’ll share a few pictures once I get some of our things here – first batch should be arriving within the next couple of weeks and the second batch within the next couple of months!) and trying to get used to the 7 hour difference, we rented a car and took a 4 hour road trip to the Red Sea. The (bumpy) Desert Highway was just that, lots of stretches of desert and then we would slow down to go through small towns to quickly observe. There were people walking along the road or sitting out with their cars selling fruits and vegetables. We saw herds of sheep, herds of goats and the occasional camel.
After about 2 and a half hours on the road we drove through an area of Jordan called Wadi Rum which took our breath away. Check out the link – as you can see from the list of films that have been on location here, it is otherworldly. We will definitely be planning excursions to investigate further!
Our stay at the Intercontinental in Aqaba was exactly what this over stressed, over tired, over travelled lady needed and a great time to spend together as a family. We relaxed at the pool, at the sea and walked into the town where we had lunch, picked up some souvenirs and met the Imam of the local mosque; his nephew was the very nice souvenir salesman! 😊 We also saw some cool street art.
What I’m reading: it has been so nice to be able to read again without the nagging worry of the things I needed to do for the big move. On Jillian’s recommendation I’m reading Just Kids – a memoir by Patti Smith. If you are a fan of music, art – really of any “scene” – you will find that Patti is a captivating writer about her experiences in NYC in the late 60s/early 70s. I hope I’m developing a writing style just like I hoped to have a painting style – I guess it does emerge over time if you are patient and stick with something. I also need to work on my blog photo process since I’m literally taking a picture with my iPhone and just uploading it to the blog without any edits. I’m not a fan of how they look once they are uploaded so I’ll work on that. Thank you for reading, bye for now.