A Travellerspoint blog

Egypt - Take 2!

We're finally going! (again)

We've gone beyond the planning stage and have moved full speed into the "booked" (as in "paid for") stage.

We have our flight itinerary booked for early May using our miles: Los Angeles to Istanbul to Cairo. Unfortunately we will only be in Istanbul for a couple of hours so no venturing beyond the airport. Darn it. I would love to see Istanbul. Jordan is off the table. We realized that we would need to take three weeks to include a trip to Jordan and t.s. can't be gone for that long in May; this will be an Egypt only trip.

Yeeeaaahhh! We're going to Egypt!

Posted by MeijiBlack 19:41 Archived in USA Tagged itinerary Comments (0)

Update - Completed Egypt Reads and Films

Completed as of February 12, 2011

Finished watching:
1/31/2011 - Death on the Nile (1978, Paramount)
2/05/2011 - The Mummy (1932, Universal)
2/06/2011 - The Mummy (1999, Universal remake)
2/06/2011 - The Mummy Returns (2001, Universal sequel)

Finished reading:
2/05/2011 - The Crocodile on the Sandbank
2/12/2011 - The Curse of the Pharaohs

Posted by MeijiBlack 19:44 Archived in USA Tagged egypt books films Comments (0)

Major disappointment

Well, we have decided to wait a month to see how the situation in Egypt evolves. I'm so disappointed - I was really looking forward to this trip. I'm not willing to give up on it yet. We will re-evaluate next month.

Posted by MeijiBlack 09:09 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Setting up the vacation clock

Today I set up my vacation clock at work. This is one of those little gifts I received from a work friend for a Secret Santa gift exchange back in 2005. I first used it for my trip to Greece in 2006.


I know I don’t have an exact departure date yet for this trip – I put in a leave date of 16 December – but it is a daily reminder that my life does not revolve around work and I have lots of things to look forward to. I will update my vacation clock if my leave date changes.

I took this picture today so I have 325 days until I leave. I know, I know, it seems like a long time away but I know from experience that it will be here before I know it.

Posted by MeijiBlack 10:01 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Egypt Reads

Again, I doubt this is a complete list but it's a start... I will add to it as I find more titles.

The Arabian Nightmare, Robert Irwin
The Cairo House, Samia Serageldin
The Cairo Trilogy, Naguib Mahfouz
The Crocodile on the Sandbank, Elizabeth Peters*
Death on the Nile, Agatha Christie
Egypt: How A Lost Civilization Was Rediscovered, Joyce Tyldesley
The Map of Love, Ahdaf Soueif
Moon Tiger, Penelope Lively
Taxi, Khaled al-Khamissi
A Thousand Miles Up the Nile, Amelia Edwards
The Yacoubian Building, Alaa Al-Aswany

  • "The Crocodile on the Sandbank" is the first in the Amelia Peabody Emerson series and one of my absolute favorites.

Posted by MeijiBlack 18:18 Archived in Egypt Tagged books Comments (0)

Films Set in Egypt

I doubt this is a complete list but it's a start...
(in alpha order by title)

The Awakening (1989)
Cairo Time (2009)
Cleopatra (1963)
The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb (1980, made for TV)
Death on the Nile (1978)
The English Patient (1996)
The Egyptian (1954)
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Land of the Pharoahs (1955)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
The Mummy (1932, Universal)
The Mummy (1959, Hammer)
The Mummy (1999, Universal remake)
The Mummy Returns (2001, Universal sequel)
OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2008)
Queen of the Nile (1961)
Ruby Cairo (1993)
The Scorpion King (2002)
Sphinx (1981)
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Stargate (1994)
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Valley of the Kings (1954)
The Yacoubian Building (2006)

Posted by MeijiBlack 17:16 Archived in Egypt Tagged films Comments (0)

Maybe a new piece of luggage?

She said hopefully

Hmmm... I think this trip might call for a new piece of luggage. I have been lusting after a piece of Mandarina Duck luggage since Hong Kong (stumbled upon an MD store at one of the malls there and fell in love. I didn’t know they had stores!).

On our last trip I realized that a bag that is slightly larger (on the inside) than the one I have would make a huge difference in how much I want to pack. Even one with an extra inch or two would make a big difference. I realize this might mean the size would relegate it to being a “check-in only” bag.

I would love to have this one:


It would replace my current carry-on and I wouldn’t have to carry a separate computer bag. Getting in and out of my current bag is really inconvenient in what little space I am allowed sitting in coach. I've had my current luggage since our 2001 trip to Italy.

Two pieces would be really great. I like this one if I'm not going for matched set:


Or this one if I want a matched set:


Of course, this all requires careful budgeting. Damn it. (I have said it before and I will say it again: this whole budgeting thing sucks.)

Posted by MeijiBlack 00:37 Archived in Egypt Tagged planning luggage Comments (0)

Guide Books for Egypt


Posted by MeijiBlack 15:50 Archived in USA Tagged travel guidebooks Comments (0)

Working on itineraries

Spent all day working on possible itineraries for December and October. Ugh! I’ve never spent this much time planning a day-to-day trip before I actually get there. We usually have a general list of things we want to do with the flexibility to change it depending on how the trip is going.

I feel there’s so much I want to see and do on this trip that if I don’t have a list, and a general idea of how much time it will take, I won’t have enough time.

I have to do a Nile cruise on a dahabiya and I would like to work a side trip to Jordan into the itinerary - no matter when we go I think including Jordan might extend our trip beyond the two week travel plan. It would suck if we couldn't work it in this trip (it's so close!) but money is an issue for this trip and we need to be careful not to go overboard. Is it possible to go overboard when planning a "trip of a lifetime"?

Posted by MeijiBlack 12:05 Archived in Egypt Tagged itinerary planning Comments (0)

The miles game

We received offers to apply for the United Airlines VISA card which will give us each 50,000 additional miles. I expect these miles to show up by early February so we can start working on a flight itinerary.

Posted by MeijiBlack 12:52 Archived in Egypt Tagged itinerary planning Comments (0)

Maybe a December trip

Spent Thanksgiving week driving to and from Santa Fe and visiting the McDs. We discussed a few details and set out a time frame based on R's school schedule, 16 December - 30 December.

Posted by MeijiBlack 12:46 Archived in Egypt Tagged itinerary planning Comments (0)

A list of Egypt guidebooks

While visiting friends in Portland I had to stop at Powell’s (always a must when in Portland!) and I was able to pick up the following books on my Egypt list:

The Traveler’s Key to Ancient Egypt, John Anthony West
Culture Smart! Egypt
Egypt (DK Eyewitness Travel)

I also purchased a Footprint Africa guide book online, “Egypt: Nile Valley and Red Sea”. They were having a fifty percent off sale.

Posted by MeijiBlack 12:13 Archived in Egypt Comments (0)

Yes! We're going to Egypt!

But when?

I can hardly wait! We are still working on the details of the itinerary but I told t.s., "I have always wanted to go and I don't want to wait anymore!". So we decided this year to celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary by going to Egypt. We have invited the McDs and they are interested with the possibility of bringing N along as an early graduation trip.

I have decided to keep a travel journal blog about the things I do to get ready for a trip, even when it's more than a year away. I love getting ready for a trip and thinking about what I'm going to do once I get there, how I might do something different on this trip based on the experience of my last trip. I have way too much fun planning for a trip. And I know most people find this very tedious. Including my husband.

Posted by MeijiBlack 12:43 Archived in Egypt Tagged itinerary planning Comments (0)

I love my photo books

In 2010 I received a coupon for a free 20-page shutterfly.com photo book as a Borders Reward member. I thought “Okay, I will put something together even though the quality of the printing and binding will probably be crap. But it’s free, right?” I decided on a photo collage of the Cambodia portion of our most recent trip.

The Shutterfly book interface was actually nice – there are a lot of layouts available, a lot of background designs to choose from, with the potential to be very scrapbook-y.

Other members had uploaded their completed books to Shutterfly’s gallery so I checked out some of those books. A few books ran into the 100+ page range. I knew I didn’t want that because I don’t need to show every trip photo I take (and with four of us taking photos we ended up with almost four thousand pics). I wanted a book that would give people an idea of what we did on our trip and would provide us with good memories whenever we look at it. None of that hooking the laptop up to the television for a slideshow. Very boring. And a slideshow still requires at least one thorough review to get rid of the repeats, missed shots and boring photos.

A lot of people use Photoshop or PS Elements to design “scrapbook” pages and uploaded those to Shutterfly. Great idea but it’s still a lot of work and you can easily end up with very busy-looking pages.

So after a few days of work (a few hours a day) my Cambodia book was thirty-one pages. I submitted my order with my coupon and credit card number and… five days later I had my book in my hands. And it was pretty f****g awesome. The print quality was good, the binding was much better than I anticipated (laminated hard cover, no dust jacket), I loved it.

I then proceeded to spend the next few months creating photo books of my international trips going back to 2001. They won’t last forever but they make me smile every time I look at them.

Note to self: do this within a couple of months after returning from a trip when details are still fresh. Going back to 2001 and trying to resurrect the details through pics – even a few of them – was hard. I was still using film back then so I had all the photos scanned from prints. The prints were not great to begin with so it was hard work trying to find a few good pictures. Still I am pleased with my Italy book – even if I can’t tell the difference between all the hill towns we visited (and still can’t name them all because none of us can remember!).

Posted by MeijiBlack 10:05 Archived in USA Tagged photo_books Comments (0)

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