Saturday, April 14, 2012
According to Shay, our trip to Wadi Rum was the best vacation ever.
Truth be told, it was pretty awesome.
We've been wanting to go for ages, but everyone says it's best to go with a group of people so the kids will have built-in entertainment. And when is it ever easy to get a group mobilized?
We finally picked a time when the kids were on Spring Break, and my relatives were in town, and we made it happen. I am so glad we finally got there. Wadi Rum is just... choose your adjective. Spectacular? Beautiful? Amazing?
It's a bit over 3 hours from Amman, so our group of almost 40 people met up for a late lunch at the camp. A few of us broke out the sweet tea vodka and the beer, because, heck - it's not like anyone is ever going to find out that we're drinking at 4 in the afternoon, right? Who'd be dumb enough to post that on a blog?
Okay, well, it was just a few people drinking. The rest of the grown-ups were busy checking in, or looking under beds for scorpions, or making reservations for our evening jeep ride.
Along about 4:30, our entire group piled into 4 trucks. The kids all went in one big jeep, which had sides and a roof - reassuring later, when we realized just how bumpy those dirt roads are. The adults squeezed into the backs of three old pick-up trucks, from whence many of us were nearly bounced onto the desert floor in the ensuing madness.
And off we went! First we drove out to a giant sand dune - the kids all climbed up and sledded down, over and over. Personally, I made it to the top only once. That was a serious workout! For every step you take up the dune, your feet slide back a step-and-a-half. But I was rewarded for my efforts when I slid down the dune with Ainsley - I leaned back a little too far and felt the back of my pants fill up with sand. Nice.
From there we went on to a few other stops, where the kids climbed giant rocks while the adults oohed and ahhhed over the vistas and a few of the brave bedouin truck drivers tried to sled down the dunes on the kids' sleds. We stayed out there long enough to watch the sun set over the rocks, which glowed red in the fading light.
Later that night, we had dinner back at the camp. One enterprising dad passed out glow sticks to the little ones, and one of the moms organized a flashlight scavenger hunt. The bigger kids played soccer out in the desert, under the full moon, until they eventually passed out from exhaustion.
Me? I went to bed.
The adults all had little "chalets," which is a fancy way of saying we had actual cement walls around our beds. The kids all slept in tents, two to a tent, except for a few who got scared. Ainsley and Kyra even fell asleep in a tent, though Ainsley awoke at 2 in the morning and made her way, in the dark, all the way to our chalet. She wasn't scared - she just had to use the potty.
The next morning we awoke, packed our gear, shook the sand out of our undies and continued on to Aqaba.
But that's a story for another post.