Monday, January 3, 2011


Oh, it was fabulous.

If I had a million dollars and a private plane, I'd go there every weekend.

It's about a 4-hour drive from our house to the Movenpick Tala Bay, just south of Aqaba. Incidentally, for you geography buffs out there, we were a few kilometers north of Saudi Arabia - we could've walked to the border. Across the water we could see Egypt and Israel. Shay thought that was pretty cool. (Go to the hotel website and you can see a map of just where we were.)

The drive down was boring until the last hour-ish, when we descended into canyons that were just - words fail - stunning. Efficient packer that I am, I'd packed the camera in the back of the car. So no pictures of that. But it makes me excited to see Wadi Rum, which is somewhere in those canyons. (On the return trip, we went a different way, along the Israeli border and next to the Dead Sea. Even more beautiful, looking down at the turquoise waters of the Dead Sea - and again, no camera.)

We spent no time at all in the town of Aqaba, unless you count driving through it on our way to the resort. The town looked interesting, but there was a beach calling our name just down the road.

It was a really nice resort. Lots of pools, though only one is heated, so that's where we spent most of our water time. Kyra swam back and forth, back and forth. It was scary, as she's a self-taught swimmer, and I kept expecting her to go under from exhaustion. The heated pool is not shallow. At one point, after her umpteenth lap across, she took a deep gasping breath and said "I definitely need to take some swim lessons." Yes, Kyra: this summer you most certainly will.

Aidan loved the gigantic waterslide. It was two or three stories tall, and despite the fact that it dumped into one of the cold pools, we couldn't keep him off of it.

Shay would probably tell you that his favorite part was tossing the football with his dad out on the sandy beach. Or maybe it was the pizza delivered poolside for lunch.

Ainsley had a blast digging on the beach, and all of the kids loved running on the floating dock, which was quite bumpy because of all of the waves.

Personally, I loved that moment when the waiter came up to me while I was sitting under an umbrella on the beach and asked what I would like to drink. Dang if that latte wasn't delicious.

The only downside was that it was phenomenally expensive. We needed two rooms because of our gigantic family, so even at the government rate that was a lot of cash. And the food was expensive, too. We spent more on one dinner at the buffet - about $140 - than we did on one hotel room, and that's with the two youngest eating for free. Aqaba will be one of those places we'll save up our pennies for, so we can go a few more times while we're here.

Kyra was afraid of the extremely wobbly dock. So was Aidan. So they held hands and made it safely back to shore.

That's Egypt behind us...

loved these signs along the way:

the amazing waterslide:

There is a similar picture in my parents' albums, of my angelic baby sister smiling for the camera while I just looked pissed. So this cracked me up:


Connie said... [Reply]

Beautiful photos!! My favorite pics are those with the kids on the docks, esp. Kyra and Ainsley walking hand in hand. Aqaba was nice. Expensive, yes, and we went in July during a heat wave with lots of sand and wind, but it was still very nice. We spent a lot of time in the 'river' looping about the pool areas, that was deep too, esp. for Honor, and yet we went around and around and around! Glad you had such a lovely time!

Kim said... [Reply]

Hi Donna,

Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog -- I'm flattered that you're interested in "the news" -- an unintended cliffhanger-of-sorts. I just wrote in the Christmas letter (which apparently isn't showing up on some screens) that my husband and are are expecting our first baby in June. :) So, good news for us in 2011. Happy new year to you as well; it was great to read through your blog and get to know you too. Best--

Nomads By Nature said... [Reply]

I'm jealous!! Your trips sounds as awesome as your pictures look -- FABULOUS! We never made it down to Aqaba, but now I wish we had. Glad you got a family get away with happy, busy kids and a moment for a poolside latte in peace.

Deborah said... [Reply]

"Angelic"- yup, sounds like me!

Becky said... [Reply]

It looks fantastic! So glad that this trip went well for you.

Linsey said... [Reply]

Holy, wow! What a great trip and a wonderful way to ring in the New Year.

Shannon said... [Reply]

Wow that looks amazing. What a great way to ring in the new year!

LeesOnTheGo said... [Reply]

We are still 2 years out from having to bid on our next post, but each time the conversation comes up and the word "Jordan" is tossed around I remember your blogs. You sure do show how much there is to enjoy in your new post!

I think I'm going to start saving my pennies for Aqaba now so I can go down the water slides too!


Kami said... [Reply]

so, we got almost 2 feet of snow here in Boston. Needless to say your vacation is making me salivate.

Linsey said... [Reply]

The weekly FS blog round-up is posted, and you're on it.

Let me know if you'd like to be removed.

Brooke said... [Reply]

oh! Aqaba was one of our favorite trips when we lived in Amman. It's worth saving your pennies for! I'm glad you guys had a great time.

Please. Write your own stuff.