Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm Back!


Wow it sure does feel good to be back. I have to say I did just get back from one of the most amazing trips-no one of the most amazing things I've ever done in my life. I ended up going to four different places: Medina, Mecca, Jordan, and New York. While most of the trip was vacation, part of was religious and spiritual. We spent one of the days doing something called Umrah and it was awesome. I almost feel like a different person.

I ended up going with half of my family-my parents, two of my sisters, and my younger brother. I had no idea my older sister was coming, she actually surprised me at the New York airport. I've only been gone for about eleven days, but it feels like it's been a month or two. It kind of feels weird to be back in America. Everything is so different overseas, it almost feels like a different world. For example, in Mecca and Medina, there were only Muslims, so it was a big big change from America. Although even though there were only Muslims, they were from all over the world, so it was still very diverse. Also it was different not driving, you literally walk everywhere which is really nice. 

I went on a total of seven plane rides: four there and three on the way back with the longest one being 11 hours. I read six books in all and they were all great! I can't wait to post those reviews. I definitely missed blogging and the blogging community. My scheduled posts unfortunately didn't post, but it's OK I'll just post them next week.  I haven't even touched the internet for eleven whole days. I took lots and lots of pictures. Here are just a few:

Here's all of our suitcases ready to leave for the airport.

I think we're the only family that takes a whole carry on just for snacks hahaha :)

This is a very historical/religious place in Mecca. Millions of people come from around the world just to visit this one place. I felt very blessed and lucky to get to visit this place. 

Yes, this is a picture of a bug. There is a little incident that goes along with this picture. First off you have to understand that I'm terrified of bugs. Ok so in Mecca you are required to wear the traditional dress called an abba. You either put it over your head or tie it on the side (I'm sure I'll be wearing one in the next few pictures) So I was walking into the hotel lobby. I felt something crinkly on my shoulder, like maybe the tag or something. I reach in and try to rip it off, turns out it's not a tag at all. It's one of those huge huge (bigger in person) bugs! I throw it out and it starts running. I freak out! I start yelling and screaming and running as well. I embarrassingly enough rip off my abba and shake it. I was only wearing a tank top underneath. You have to remember this is in a place were everyone is very modest and covered. Luckily there wasn't that many people around. That's not it though as I frantically search my body, I see some black legs. It's another one! That's when I immediately run to the bathroom. My mom is freaking out on the side, my sisters are laughing to death, and everyone else it just staring. And I'm there...still traumatized to death. For the rest of the trip I spot checked myself every couple of minutes and somehow I kept on "feeling" things. Haha don't worry, I'm not always like that, bugs just freak me out big time!

This is the view from the very top of Jordan. I love it there.

You can't really see us, but I'm the one in the middle. We're exploring some ruins in Jordan. I literally could of spent all day there it was so beautiful. 

This is me on the eleven hour airplane ride. I was so tired, but The Maze Runner kept me up all night. It was amazing! :)

I just thought this was kind of funny. For a snack over there they just grab a cup of corn! They sell them everywhere. Haha I tasted some before I left and it was pretty good.

This is another historical/religious place in Medina. It was so beautiful at night.

You literally can't step within a block without passing people selling things everywhere! It was sorta crazy. People loudly repeat the price over and over. 

Camel ride anyone? These were everywhere! I was too scared to get on one though haha.

I'm only uploading the first batch of pictures tonight, so I'll be adding some more later. I'll be happily spending my first night with my bed tonight! I'm happy to be back! :)


Book Monster said...

I understand your bug problem. I went to Japan and there was a cockroach in my room. I'd never seen one in my room, and I literally screamed bloody murder. My friend laughed at me, but I was literally terrified to sleep in that room.

Juju at Tales of said...

A. Amazing pictures!
B. This may sound crazy but I would love to see Mecca. I have a huge respect for faith and people's sacred places.
C. Maze Runner! Can't wait to see what you think.

Jami said...

Wow, what an amazing trip! I would love to travel someday and get out of the "bubble" of America. And no, your family is not the only one with a suitecase full of food. Mine does that too! Awesome pictures Sara!

And Welcome back! I missed your posts!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had an awesome time! I learned about Mecca when I took World Religion in the eleventh grade. That's so cool that you were able to experience it first hand! And the corn in a cup is kind of weird but strangely awesome too haha. I would also have taken a picture of that. ;D

Glad to have you back!

CAM said...

Love all the pics, Sara! can't wait to see more :)

Raviya said...

My first night in South Africa, the hugest cockroach I've ever seen in my life wandered in. I started crying and hyperventilating...and then proceeded to spray it with Mace (the only thing I had near me). Unfortunately the Mace got into the air and caused a coughing fit. I never did see another cockroach after that though.

Emidy said...

Welcome back! I've been missing your posts!

It sounds like you had a great time. I love the pictures you posted. And I can't believe there were two huge bugs on you! That reminds me of the time when I found a spider floating at the bottom of my tea... ew.

Dwayne said...

I'm reeking of jealousy right now - you've done Ummrah! Inshaallah I will to some day. Glad you had a great time (inshaallah also garnered Allah's forgiveness and rewards) except for the bug business :) Overall, a worthy trip! Welcome back!

Jamie said...

What an amazing trip!! I'm oozing jealousy right now. Thanks for sharing your pictures and stories :)

Tahereh said...

wow great post.

love the pics :D :D

looks like you had a fab trip!!!


Lina said...

Your bug story is too funny! Great pix and welcome back :)

Eternal Night said...

Welcome back Sara.

I so understand your bug problem. When I was a little girl (about 5 or 6 years old) I was going to Yemen but my parents stopped to visit Jordan, and sadly it was the season for some type big, fat, ugly, hugh, slug/worm. When my parents went to see the ruins, I saw the ugly slug/worms all over the place and I was practally screaming to death. My parents had to carry me (Mostly my dad) because I refused to walk on the ground full of slugs. My older sister was laughing to death. She still makes fun of me to this day. When ever she says the word bug, I panic and get mad as she starts laughing at me.

My Simpathy,

Stacy said...

your pictures are so beautiful and what an incredible experience! i had goose bumps reading your post about Mecca!

As an aside, has anyone suggested you email the publisher of Maze Runner this post with a notation about the picture of you reading Maze Runner? I bet the publisher would really like that!

Dazzling Mage said...

Ahh, your pictures of Mecca sent pangs to my heart! I miss that place so much. Really, your heart and everything in you goes calm just stepping in. And Jordan looks beautiful! I want to visit one day.

I hope that you drop by the UAE next time! It's another different experience. ;-)

Samya said...

What a wonderful post! I love reading through your journey there. iA, I hope to go there one day myself! Also, I am also afraid of bugs. Haha, but not so much afraid as totally creeped out! So, I'm totally with you on that one. And my favorite would definitely have to be the carry on full of goodies!!

Fatimah said...

You are an amazing storyteller sister! Love you :)

Bere said...

Welcome back Sara! Glad your back, I really missed your posts! First of all let me tell you, the pictures are amazing! It sounds like you had so much fun! I would definitely love to travel out of America one day. Loved your story about the bugs! I'm super afraid of bugs as well. Ugh, they creep me out! Awesome post Sara, glad to have you back =)