God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Christmas in Luxor

Well, we are coming to the close of the Egypt portion of our grand Christmas adventure. Soon we will be in Jordan. By now we have seen pyramids, tombs, palaces, museums and temples. We have traveled by plane, ship and camel--well, actually, maybe 200 meters by camel, to be honest. We've eaten well, laughed, explored, people watched, drank mint tea, listened to the call to worship uncountable times and just had fun. Oh, yeah--met lots of Mohammeds.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were spent on the banks of the Nile at the Luxor Sherator Resort, which was really quite nice--a great way to relax and enjoy these two days that are special to us. We loved seeing the large Christmas tree in the lobby and other decorations reminding us of our heritage and beliefs. We had wondered about Christmas in a Muslim country. Once when someone wished me "Merry Christmas" I ended up asking, as I caught myself saying Merry Christmas back,: "What should I say to you?"..."Just say Happy New Year." That worked.

We had used Starwood points to stay here and I guess because Ken has residual status after having been top tier many times in his working years, we were upgraded to an incredibly large and lovely suite over looking the Nile with a balcony that stretched around two sides. It made Christmas that much nicer not to be cramped in a regular hotel room cramped with a bed for Casey.

Nice Welcome Gift from Manager

And...the commode was a masterpiece which Casey still talks about. I had heard of these Japanese innovations but hadn't seen let alone used one before. It took a manual to know what to do. Hot air/cool air/warm water/cool water/for him/ for her.... Never did get it all figured out but sure replaces the bidet.

By the time we arrived at the hotel, we were rather beat from the day's activities--see last post--and wanted to do nothing more than kick back, relax, enjoy late lunch and walk the grounds along the Nile--which we did. That night we enjoyed Christmas Eve dinner at La Mamma--one of the hotel's restaurants. It was such a good time with the three of us and we laughed at Casey's arrabiata made appropriately spicy with jalapeƱos.

The hotel had a large Christmas banquet type dinner that night with multiple courses and fancy dress which didn't appeal to us for many reasons, chief among which being who wants to spend an evening with people you don't know, eating more food than you want and dressing up (which we could not have done anyway.) Our way we had the entire Italian restaurant to ourselves, totally enjoying interacting with our waiter and listening to Dean Martin singing That's Amore. Who would have thought in Egypt?

That night, Santa, amazingly, found us so many miles from home, even bringing Casey's stocking and wrapped gifts. Thank goodness for reindeer who can travel so quickly. Casey was surprised in the morning and enjoyed the small gifts and candies that had nestled safely in our suitcases.

That afternoon we hired a boatman to take us across the Nile to deposit Casey to where we had arranged a horseback riding session and then on down the Nile to where Ken and I went to the quite enjoyable Luxor Museum. (This should not be confused with the less well thought of mummy museum in Luxor.) We thoroughly enjoyed this museum as it has some wonderful antiquities and yet is not so large as to overwhelm. Even then we hurried through faster than we would have preferred as we needed to get back to our little boat to return to the other side of the river to retrieve Casey. There was such a fairy tale quality to the day,

That night we opted for dinner in the every day type dining room of the hotel where there was a pretty bad buffet. We should have returned to La Mamma, I think. Maybe Dean would have been singing White Christmas with Bing.

The next day we repacked, after buying a new satchel to carry new treasures, and were whisked off to the Luxor airport for a flight to Cairo and from Cairo to Jordan and mysterious rose- colored Petra, a place I had dreamed of seeing but never thought I would. As you will see, it was wonderful and held a whole new set of adventures for us. Bedouin encampments, more horse rides donkey rides, Roman ruins and Mexican food.


B.J. Greenwald said...

WooHoo! Another blog entry. Loved the toilet part. We always look for interesting toilets when we travel. We are SO warped but it adds an extra layer to our travel experiences!
Yesterday at 9:09am · Like

Letizia said...

so nice to see your happy selves !

sandrac said...

Wow! What a remarkable, memorable Christmas!

Sluggh said...

Fascinating stuff. The photos of the Kom Ombo and Edfu temples are awe-inspiring! Thanks for all this great work.

Jane said...

Thanks, Sluggh. In your many travels, have you been to Egypt?

Sluggh said...

No, Jane, I have not. But I'll be there for Ramadan 2013.

Jane said...

Sluggh, that will be very interesting. Will you be fasting?

Sluggh said...

I am not Muslim, so no.

Sluggh said...


Starting Tuesday, July 23. I will make a lot of mistakes. Counting on you to keep me honest, Jane!

Jane said...

Sluggh, and how am I to do this?

Sluggh said...

Haha. Not sure how to respond. Leave a comment, I guess. Your trip inspired me to come to Egypt. I will always be indebted. What a place!