Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Texas

I'm in Texas for the first Thanksgiving in four years!  I'm only here for a week but I thought it was time for a family holiday and I needed to get my hands on that grandbaby of mine. I spent two days in Austin with my mom and step-dad, two days in New Braunfels with my dad and brother and the rest of the family.  Then I drove the six hours to Odessa in East Texas to visit Jessica, Johnny and Michael.  They just moved here a month ago for work and they're getting all settled into their new home.  

Gruene Texas

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Temple of Hatshepsut & Handling Vendors in Egypt

Ancient Egypt is a huge part of the curriculum in American schools.  Or at least it was when I was growing up.  We learned all about the pyramids and hieroglyphics.  My dad's collection of National Geographic was another source of information.  

Ancient Egypt is also very popular in Hollywood.  Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, Raiders of the Lost Ark and who can forget Steve Martin's ode to King Tut.  You're going to have that little ditty in your head all day now.  You're welcome.  Or how about "Walk like an Egyptian" by the Bangles.  Even better.

It's obvious how Ancient Egypt has captured the imagination of generations of people.  To see it all up close and personal was a dream come true.  It's even more magnificent than you expect.

Handling Vendors Touts in Egypt

Monday, November 16, 2015

Luxor, Egypt

I still have several posts about our week in Egypt planned.  When the horrible crash of the Russian passenger plane happened last month, it was devastating.  To think of those hoilday-makers flying home full of memories of Egypt and then to be killed so tragically.  Then there is all of the speculation of it being a terrorist attack and possibly a bomb.

I thought initially there is no way that I can write about Egypt now.  More and more people are questioning whether it is a safe travel destination.  The plane crash in Sinai isn't the first time terrorism has rocked this country, specifically the tourism trade that supports thousands of Egyptians. 

But, then I changed my mind.  Of course I will write about our time in Egypt.  It was one of the most incredible weeks of my life.  I will not let fear keep me from traveling and I will not let terrorists keep me from sharing some photographs and stories of our time there.  The last thing I want to do is offend anyone, but I think writing about Egypt is the right thing to do, especially in this situation.  So, on to our next stop.

Luxor, Egypt

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Royal Ascot 2015

Once I submitted my application for British citizenship, it seemed we spent the summer doing all things British.  What's the most Britishy Brit thing a future Brit can do?  Dress up to the nines and head to Ascot to rub shoulders with the royals.  The races at Ascot were founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and over the past 300 years more and more pomp and circumstance have been added to this special event.  Officially known as the Royal Meeting, each June 300,000 people attend the event, all hoping to win a few quid and spot a Royal.  Well, we didn't win anything but we did spot a few Royals. 

Royal Ascot 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

On Becoming British

It's official.  I'm a British citizen.  The process has been long (4 years) and expensive (£4K), with reams of paperwork.  But I've been lucky.  It can take a lot longer and be much more complicated.  Going through the process as the spouse of a British citizen definitely makes things easier.  It started with a Visa, then Indefinite Leave to Remain and now Citizenship.  My ceremony was just a few weeks ago. 

Becoming a British Citizen

Friday, November 6, 2015

Chestertons Polo in the Park

I'm in complete denial about the transition to winter.  I don't mind the cold really, but don't get me started on the darkness.  I left work at 5pm yesterday and it was dark.  This does nothing for my mood, let me tell you.  So instead, let's pretend it's still the height of summer.  We actually had a pretty warm summer in the UK.  We tried to enjoy every bit of it.  One Saturday we spent watching polo in the sun.  It was the perfect British summer day. 

Chestertons Polo in the Park