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.