This was another afternoon – we went sandboarding. Basically you walk up the dune and and go down on a snowboard or sled. It was a hard, steep walk up so we only tried it a few times but it was so so fun. Piper had a blast too playing in the sand and sledding down with Jordan.

What you can’t really tell from the pictures is how steep this thing was and how fast you went down. Really really fun.
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Needless to say – we went home and took showers because we had sand EVERYWHERE!

One of the things we did while we were in Saudi was dig for sand roses. You’ve probably never heard of sand roses, I never had. Here’s the wikipedia article – here. It doesn’t say much and I still have no idea how they form, but they are like rocks, made out of sand, that you can dig and find. And they look like roses, kind of.

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DSC_0034DSC_0045DSC_0048DSC_0058Here’s a picture of some of the ones Taylor dug up and Evan’s HUGE one!

We went with several friends to a traditional Arabic dinner, called Kapsa. The room was AWESOME and with kids, I wish every restaurant was like this Smile It was a big, bright, empty room with pillows around the sides. Perfect for running, playing, and building forts, which Piper and her new bff Jordan did a lot of.

 

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When it was time to eat they came in with a big plastic tarp and taped it to the ground. DSC_0090DSC_0091DSC_0096

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It was chicken and rice, soup, hummus YUM-O! And so fun to spread out an the floor and eat. We ate with forks but traditionally they eat with their hands. They each take a section of the big dish, ball us the rice in their hands and throw it in their mouth with a piece of chicken. This was another favorite from the trip.

Coming soon (maybe) because I don’t have the pictures Sad smile

I didn’t think I’d have much of a problem with jetlag since I’m used to being up all hours of the night with babies. We had appointments to get up first thing in the morning to get our IDs. Calder came home and went to sleep after his appointment and I went with my mom and kidlets to the Golf Course for lunch. Then we went to the park. We went pack and Calder was still asleep. The first few days were kind of a blur but thankfully my mom and planned our trip and we had activities scheduled for every day.

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My mom had borrowed some fun toys from a little boy from church and we had a lot of fun playing in their backyard.

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Our second day we relaxed and played outside all morning (Calder slept) and went out to Al-Khobar to go shopping at the souqs that night. I wore Whitney’s ababya since she wasn’t there yet, but bought my own while we were out. This was my favorite thing to do in Saudi was downtown Khobar.

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And the souqs…

The Saudis don’t really like to have their picture taken so we don’t have many of us out but we did have fun playing in the Persian Rug shop. Five times a day they have ‘prayer call’ and all the stores have to close. Prayer call came while we were in this store and the shop keeper told us we could stay but ushered us to the back where we couldn’t be seen from the outside. He gave us bottles of water and Piper some orange juice while we waited, then he left (I guess to do his prayers).

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Look at the piles of rugs (that cost tens of thousands of dollars each). In case you were wondering, we did NOT let Piper drink juice on top of them Smile

We had dinner at Phuket, a hole in the wall Thai place.

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We also bought Rhett a Thobe and ghutra (spelling?) to have a little photo shoot.

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One of the first few days we went to the fruit and vegetable market – SO FUN! We got all kinds of yummy fruit and vegetables to eat – and to make food for Rhett. I went with Calder and Pa-Pa into the fish market too – EW! Really the smelliest place I’ve ever been, I literally couldn’t breathe for a few seconds and there was fish blood all over the floor. Whole fish laid out and guys with big knives to chop them behind the counter. Not somewhere I’d want to hang out.

That night (I think) we went to schwarma night by the pool. YUMMY! (We were officially not vegetarian on vacation) A schwarma is kind of like a gyro, with chicken, white cream sauce, pickles, and hot sauce. I loved them and ate lots!

The next morning (my days were so mixed up at this point, since they have church on Friday) we went swimming! The big pool was a little chilly but the baby pool felt like a bath tub. So fun! After swimming we had lunch. Piper had an icee and Rhett had a nap on the ground.

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And here’s some pictures of the next few days…

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Rhett LOVED the exersaucer we borrowed and Piper loved ‘decorating’ the bottom of the Christmas tree and playing with Uncle Taylor’s phone. He kept finding it in the middle of an Angry Birds game.

I’m sure if you’re reading this you are also my friend on Facebook and have seen all the pictures, but I wanted to go ahead and document our trip so we don’t forget all the fun things we did. This’ll be divided up into several entries. Enjoy!

We left to fly to Saudi Arabia December 15. Calder’s mom borrowed a suburban and picked us up at our house early that morning. We had me and Calder, two kids, three suitcases, one carry-on, one backpack, one diaper bag, two strollers, two carseats, and Piper’s little backpack. We had it loaded up on two luggage carts that were very heavy and hard to turn, and the carseats kept falling off. At one point we were trying to turn the cart to get into the check-in line and it fell over – almost crushing poor Rhett baby in the stroller next to it!

When we were checking in they asked if we wanted to bring Piper’s carseat for her to sit in on the plane. YES! I didn’t even know that was an option, and it was sure a pain to carry it through the airport but it was worth every bit of effort because she knows that when she’s in her carseat she has to stay put. Just putting her in the airplane seat would have been a disaster.

I don’t remember much else of the airport leaving or the flight to DC other than Piper kept kicking the seat in front of her because the carseat put her at the perfect height for that.

(I did take some pictures on the plane with my phone, maybe I’ll try to upload later)

In DC we had like a 3 hour layover, perfect to find our gate, eat lunch, change diapers, and get on the plane.

The flight from DC to Kuwait city was 12ish hours and I was dreading it. I have to say, first, that it went way better than I could have ever expected. Piper colored, watched movies (Toy Story, The Lion King), played with Dora the Explorer Bandaids, made jewelry with blue painters tape, played with a stringing game, and lots lots more! Our seats were the second from the back in the middle aisle and we put Piper in the middle of us. She fell asleep before they served dinner (which was fine since they somehow didn’t get our request for a kids meal) and slept until morning (or whatever). She did wake up every hour or so and cry for a few minutes so nobody else got much sleep.

Rhett was actually harder on the plane than Piper. He’s going through a not wanting to nurse thing so my plans to just nurse him to sleep didn’t work out as planned. We were constantly washing and making bottles for him to not want to eat them. He was a little fussy sometimes but he really didn’t ever cry. He didn’t sleep much either.

Sometime in the beginning of the long flight Piper peed through her last pair of spare pants (we had 3) so she went in a diaper most of the time. Maybe we saved one pair for when we got off the plane.

In Kuwait we had to get off the plane, get all our stuff off the plane, and sit in a little waiting room. It was only supposed to be 30 minutes but there was some delay with paperwork and it was more like 2 hours. And that was the worst part of the whole trip because Piper was WILD!

Finally we left and after a short flight arrived in Bahrain where we had to walk down the stairs outside the plane with our two kids, carseat, carry-on, backpack, diaper bag, plus whatever else. I think someone else carried Rhett. When we got down we didn’t see the strollers that we had gate checked so we proceeded towards baggage claim hoping for the best. By the time we got to baggage claim everyone else had gotten their bags and left (that’s about how long it took us to get our crap off the plane) so we took our time changing diapers, going to the bathroom, loading up our luggage on cars and were relieved that it was all there.

We got out and met my dad (only then did I find out that we had been delayed a few hours) and the rest is another post!