travels

the Temples of Abu Simbel

We boarded a passenger van for the 3hr drive to Abul Simbel from Aswan at the crack of dawn, so that we’d beat the groups of tourists flying there (and to beat the nearly 120-degree-temperatures). When we arrived, it was immediately obvious why the place is so popular. It’s next […]

Aswan, Egypt

We landed in Aswan at 9:30am. We went straight from the airport to the Nile River, where we boarded a small boat piloted by a child to Isis Temple at Philae. This was our first temple in Egypt; my bride and I were amazed at how well the carvings had […]

glamping in the Smokies

We spent last weekend in a giant tent with a bed, hardwood floors, a shower, and a bathroom next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park; the children were in a much smaller teepee (called a “hive”) 20 feet away. This was how my bride wished to spend the weekend following […]

Ramadan in Cairo

After 8 hours to Rome and another 4 to Cairo, a friendly brown-skinned man met us to take us to baggage claim, looked incredulous when we told him we didn’t need such a stop, led us through passport control, into a van, and to our hotel. Shortly after, the guide […]

spring break in Italy: Rome

It was Saturday, April 6 when we woke up in Rome, and my kind bride had scheduled the most fitting activity I could possibly engage in at that moment in that place: gladiator training followed by a trip to the Coliseum. Why? Because Monday, April 6, 2009 was the first […]

spring break in Florence, Tuscany

We arrived by train in Florence and navigated the throngs of tourists toward our AirBnb, a unit requiring climbing several flights of wooden stairs with steep rises. Its exterior doorway opened onto a sidewalk maybe 6” wide before a curbed one-way street where Italian men liked to exceed 40 mph, […]

Father’s Day weekend in Birmingham

Traveling and seeing live music are 2 of my favorite activities. Three Father’s Days ago, I saw Kenny Rogers at Chastain. Last year, we toured Hiroshima. Two years ago, we saw U2 in Philadelphia–combining both loves in a Father’s Day extravaganza. In that vein, we loaded up the Model X […]

spring break in Italy: Venice

We arrived at the Milan train station at 7am and arrived in Venice just before 10. I couldn’t wait to lead my family out of the train station and toward the Grand Canal where we could stand and look across the water at the most beautiful city I’ve ever visited. […]

spring break in Italy: Milan

The children’s Christmas present this year was our first international Spring Break; we landed on April Fools Day in Milan and dropped off our bags at our AirBnB by the Galleria del Corso before walking 500 feet to the beautiful Milan Cathedral. We’d pre-booked tickets to explore the inside of […]