Well, after a lovely trip I came home to find out my Google account had been hacked, which meant I couldn't post to the blog until it was resolved. Such a bummer! I was so excited to tell you about the week! Oh well, a little delayed, but here it is...
It was quite a contrast from the last time we were there 2 years ago. A little one changes the rhythm of a vacation! Thankfully, Ira would get up with her in the morning and they would have some daddy/daughter time and go for walks while Mama caught up on some sleep. Most days we had a family breakfast and then either headed for the pool or the beach, depending on the water. The first couple days, the sea was really choppy and not good for snorkeling. I was out at one point and actually felt a little panicked when a wave crashed over my snorkel. I swam for shore and cut my foot on some coral! But the last few days it was really calm, the last day it was almost like a lake. So we would hang out at Eel Garden where we could drink lemon juice and take turns going out to snorkel while the other one played with Ramona on shore. When you're snorkeling, if you've never been, it's a bit like taking a long walk by yourself. You have a lot of time to think. Since we've moved away from my beloved East Coast of the U.S., I have often complained (sometimes loudly) that there isn't any "nature" here. I was often met with "oh, but the desert is so beautiful!" or "the trees bloom here year round!" but I had a hard time appreciating it. I love color and life and things around me can sometimes feel sparse. Even as we were packing for our trip there was a part of me that was wishing I was folding up sweaters and jeans for a camping trip instead of tossing in my swimsuit and sunscreen. But as I was marveling at the periwinkle coral and the cobalt blue fish, and the crystal clear water, I realized that there is a lot of beauty and color in this country, most of it is just underwater! I'll spare you the obvious "sometimes you have to look under the surface to find what you're looking for" analogy, but let's just say I was able to relax and enjoy myself more once I was enjoying what was in front of me instead of missing what wasn't.
My birthday was glorious, and I truly have the best husband in the world. I woke up (or, Ramona woke me up, more accurately) to a brand new digital SLR camera, which I'm sure you'll be seeing the fruits of very soon. I did some yoga in the amazing yoga shala at the hotel. I went for a snorkel, of course. AND Ira set me up with a massage! It was awesome and she worked out all of my knots resulting from carrying around my little sack of potatoes all the time : ) I even got to talk to both of my parents, which they were very excited about. I don't think the day would have been the same if I didn't get to hear them sing to me.
So now that we're back, the days are filled with preparations for another birthday in the family! I've been making decorations, testing out icing ideas, makings lists, reworking recipes, and anticipating the 50 people we're having over on Saturday. I didn't know that we KNEW 50 people in Cairo! But all of them want to come and celebrate with our little girl, how exciting! I will be sure to post all of the details, complete with pictures from the new camera. Now if only I wasn't afraid to use it!