The Refugee Crisis: Stepping into the Story

As we slowly say good-bye to the Middle East, to Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and Greece and head farther west, it’s impossible to not take time to reflect on the Syrian Refugee Crisis that has been intensifying over the past four plus years and affecting all of these countries and more. While in the above mentioned countries, we enjoyed the history, century-old traditions, the cultures, and delicious food.  And let’s not forget the fresh hummus, the lamb gyros and falafel, or the creamy Gelato.  Our memories are intense and we were at times overwhelmed by the… Read More

Day 380: Jordan/Israel and the Dreaded Border Crossing!

After enjoying a few days in Jordan, we headed to the Jordan-Israel border at Allenby/King Hussein Bridge, as we had opted to drive to Jerusalem versus fly into Tel Aviv. We found that the easiest way for our family of six to do this was by arranging for a taxi to the Jordanian side of the crossing from our hotel by the Dead Sea. It was so much faster, we thought…just an hour or two away to our destination from the Dead Sea by land.  Why go through the hassle of checking in… Read More

Day 376: Discovering Jerash, Jordan

I have to confess, I knew NOTHING about the city of Jerash, not one, single, solitary thing.  I had never even heard of it!  Our discovery happened because we chose the only available nonstop flight between Istanbul and Amman, Jordan leaving at 1am in the morning from Istanbul. We had initially planned to fly out the day after, but choosing this late night route allowed us to maximize our short time in Jordan.  Making this decision ended up being very fortuitous, because just 9 hours after we departed, there was a country wide blackout, a suspected act… Read More

Day 370: In Search of Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail – Petra

Many of us remember the famous scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where Harrison Ford and Sean Connery race through a steep, narrow canyon on horses, and burst through a sudden opening, discovering the hidden city.  I’ll never forget their first glimpse of Petra, the stone city carved deeply into the side of the red cliff. At the time, I thought it was just make believe, a brilliant part of the cinematography used to create the movie, but I was wrong.  When I realized that this unusual destination, Petra, the Capital of the Nabataean… Read More

Day 367: Floating in the Dead Sea

After leaving exotic Istanbul, we headed to Jordan!  One of our top priorities here was to take a dip in the Dead Sea.  We wanted to see if all of the hype was really true.  Could we, indeed, float on the surface of the Dead Sea without any floatation devices?  While we believed this might be true, we had yet to verify this claim.  We were extremely curious to discover the truth as well as experience this strange phenomenon for ourselves. Can you guess what our conclusion was?  Here’s a photo that may… Read More

Day 366: Time Flies…One Year Already!

Unbelievable! Today, June 16th, marks our Round the World one year anniversary! It’s difficult to believe a whole year has passed, and yet here we are in Vienna, Austria, making plans for our return.  Over the last few days, I’ve been putting together a “Year in Review” with photos and commentary, but as I progressed, I realized it would take much longer than I anticipated.  Perhaps I will save that for our return. In the meantime, as I was reflecting on the past year, I was reminded of God’s goodness to us in… Read More