Saturday, April 30th
We finally arrived in Jordan, got our luggage, and got on the tour bus (there were two buses). By the end of the trip we really got to know our fellow travelers pretty well. What a great group of people! Most were from Utah, with a few from other places.
Also, in each of the three countries we visited we had local tour guides that stayed with us all the way through our time in their country - so we had them giving us the historical information, along with John and Bonnie Lund adding the spiritual aspect (although John and Bonnie were also a wealth of knowledge on the history also).
Another thing that we learned was that we were traveling at the perfect time of year as far as the weather in the countries we were visiting. It was fabulous the entire time. It would be a little cool in the morning, and then top out in the 80's later in the day, then the evenings were cooler and very pleasant. When we got to Luxor in Egypt it was quite a bit warmer - approaching 100 degrees at the hottest part of the day. But it definitely would be much hotter when it got into the summer months there.
We drove for about 3 hours to our hotel in a little town in Jordan called Wadi Musa. Located just outside this town is the "Rose-Red City" of Petra!
The hotel we stayed at was called Taybet Zaman. It used to be a Bedouin village, but was converted to a five-star resort.
Every room was different. It was fun to walk around to each of our family's rooms and see the different layouts. This was our room...
and the view just outside our room...
I loved seeing all the terracing on the sides of the mountains - both here and in Israel.
One not so exciting thing that was explained to us was the sewer systems in all the places we were visiting (Jordan, Israel, and Egypt) were not built to handle toilet paper (even in the nicest 5 star hotels!). We were supposed to use the little trash can next to each toilet for ALL toilet paper (as you can see from the sticker on the underside of the lid). As you can imagine, the bathrooms didn't smell very good. Most of the time we didn't follow this rule in our hotel room.
One thing I discovered on my first night in Jordan was that my flat iron and blow dryer were not going to work here. Even though I had the correct adapter for the country, my flat iron would turn on for about 5 seconds and then go off. My blow dryer would turn on, but the force was so weak I could have dried my hair faster by blowing on it with my mouth. The blow dryers installed in the rooms of all of the hotels we stayed in were so weak it would have taken an hour to dry my hair. I gave up and decided to let my hair be wavy for the duration. At least it cut down on my time getting ready in the morning!
The first night we were there I was so excited that they had free Wi-Fi. I could make a wi-fi call to my kids! It was so nice to hear their voices. Jamie was also fantastic at getting them to write us an email every day so we could stay up to speed on what they were doing. That lasted about a week and then it was more sporadic - but I LOVED getting their emails and writing them back.