The Birthday Girl

Eri­ca want­ed to cel­e­brate her birth­day, in part, by hav­ing me take lots of fam­i­ly pho­tos. We start­ed out in the fam­i­ly room, moved to the stair­well, then to a park set­ting near The Red Sea, and end­ed up at Safaa Golf Club. I tried to pick just a few of my favorites so it wouldn’t be too over­whelm­ing.

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Chocolate cupcakes!

So Maus­ki and I decid­ed to make Eri­ca choco­late cup­cakes for her birth­day. I looked up some great recipes on the inter­net for choco­late cake and frost­ing and had bought some fun gum­my hearts and lips from Robitaille’s in Carpin­te­ria before com­ing here. And I also brought some can­dy canes I had left from Christ­mas, so we crushed those up and had our dec­o­ra­tions. Here are the results. They were SO yum­my! And I fig­ure peo­ple will ask for the recipe, so here’s the link: http://addapinch.com/cooking/the-best-chocolate-cake-recipe-ever/

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Safaa Golf Club

We walked to the near­by golf course and one of the employ­ees took us on a tour via golf cart. It’s a beau­ti­ful 9-hole course. You can see the uni­ver­si­ty and near­by homes from dif­fer­ent parts of the course. It was a fun ride with lots of plume­ria trees and oth­er famil­iar plants and trees. The first pho­to is of Eri­ca and Mohamed’s home.

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Safaa Golf Club

Museum day and the Mosque — part 1

I need­ed to get my pho­to ID with­in three days of enter­ing KAUST and Sun­day (Sau­di Arabia’s equiv­a­lent of Mon­day in the US) was closed because of the death of the king. So off we went to see if the card was ready. Secu­ri­ty hadn’t approved it yet, so we went to the muse­um before going to pick up Maus­ki, then back again to the office to get the card and to take her to Kuran lessons at the Mosque. Dur­ing her les­son, Eri­ca, Abdu and I wan­dered around out­side and I took a lot of pho­tos. There are quite a few, so I think I’ll put the muse­um pho­tos in this post and the Mosque pho­to in the next.

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This is at the main entrance of KAUST.

This is at the main entrance of KAUST.

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Hangin’ at the pool

We spent most of the after­noon at the pool. This place is so beau­ti­ful. Down by the beach is peace­ful… no swim­ming allowed, since it’s pro­tect­ed for wildlife. And the pool is great for kids and adults alike. It’s huge. There’s a kids’ pool off to the side, but not heat­ed cur­rent­ly.

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Saudi Arabia… and so it begins.

This is to doc­u­ment my trip to Sau­di Ara­bia to vis­it my daugh­ter and her fam­i­ly, who are stay­ing in Thuw­al in the KAUST com­mu­ni­ty, an hour from Jed­dah. I decid­ed to post pho­tos to show the expe­ri­ence. Here is the first set… from San­ta Bar­bara to their home.

Ready to go

Wait­ing for the San­ta Bar­bara Air­bus

East Beach

East Beach, San­ta Bar­bara

Right on time

On time pick up and ear­ly to LAX.

Green-bearded hills going over the Conejo Grade

Green-beard­ed hills going over the Cone­jo Grade

Passing the boot of Italy

Pass­ing the boot of Italy

Getting close

Get­ting close

Nice flight on Saudia

Nice flight on Saudia

At last... Mauski!

At last… Maus­ki!

Santa Claus Beach, photo by Donna Greene

Beachin’ it

Santa Claus Beach

My broth­er and sis­ter-in-law came to San­ta Bar­bara to drop off their ‘baby,’ Sarah, who is attend­ing UCSB. While they were here, we got some good time in at the beach, one of the things they miss most about mov­ing away many years ago. Here are a few cap­tures of the day.

 

Passengers loading a jet

40 Genius Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever

School has start­ed, and that’s when a lot of peo­ple pre­fer to trav­el… when the sum­mer vaca­tion­ers go home and it’s less crowd­ed out there.

I don’t trav­el all that fre­quent­ly, but I found these trav­el tips real­ly great. Some are com­mon sense, but oth­ers I wouldn’t have known. For one, I like #20 since I tend to get motion sick, and I didn’t know that the tur­bu­lence fac­tor dif­fers depend­ing on where you are in the plane. We sort of fig­ured out #22 last time we were on a trip and dri­ving from place to place with­out wifi or data turned on. #31 is cool. And #35! I use Pho­to­shop, but I had no idea about that one. There are some excel­lent tips here. See what you think.