Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Let the Countdown to Cairo Commence

I'm so giddy I can hardly stand it.  In the past three days I've actually had time to sit down and talk with my husband and we're on track with planning our upcoming move to Cairo.

First!  We have flight reservations.  Break out the smelling salts cuz I know you just swooned.  We leave on September 4th.  Pittsburgh to NYC to Cairo.  Eleven hours direct flight from NYC to Cairo.  Barf and bring on the Xanax.  But at least it's a direct flight.  I'd hate to have to deal with a layover with the following items:

*Two adults
*Two children
*One 10-month old very active baby
*One 5-month old very active puppy
*Five suitcases
*Five carry-ons
*Five personal items
*One Britax car seat
*One Cicco full-size stroller
*One Pack-N-Play
* One Starbucks Triple Shot Soy Latte.  Maybe two depending on the size of my headache.

Second!  We appear to be CORRECTLY in-process to get diplomatic passports.  Our travel passports have arrived in the mail and special issuance is handing our dip books.  One more item to check off --- Visas to enter Cairo! --- and we're fully legit.

Third!  We have an assigned house in Cairo!  Four bedrooms, three baths, gorgeous hardwood floors, and green space nearby.  The extra bedroom alone is worth the move.  Since his birth, Kellen's crib has been in my room in our small Ohio home (I say "my" room as opposed to "our" room since Jason's been shacking up in Baghdad for the last year).  Kellen is not a quiet sleeper.  It will be uber nice moving him into his own room.  Plus, Jason has done his homework for me and mapped out our location.  The all-important distance to the nearest Starbucks...wait for it...only 2.3km! I can run that in less than 15 minutes.  Because I've heard the traffic in Cairo is killer.  So maybe running for a latte fix instead of driving for a latte fix may be in order.

Forth!  We're stocking up on the important things.  I have in my reserves three jumbo boxes of diapers, three months worth of formula, and six large jar Yankee Candles.  I can think of nothing else that we'll need since we'll have PX to shop at and an APO to have items shipped to us.  I *heart* amazon.com and target.com.  'Nuff said.

And FINALLY!  Jason will be home in under 20 days.  Each day creeps by, but at the end of the day it's one less day to go.  Looking at the calendar, I realize we have only 9 weeks until Cairo.  We're loving our time here with our family and friends and enjoying the summer as much as we can.  But the countdown has started and we can hardly wait to begin our journey to Egypt!

(Photo from some obscure internet site)
Not only is there a Starbucks in Cairo,
there are actually many!  But if I'm right,
this is one that is actually near to our home.
And it's IN A MALL.  I can get my latte and my
shopping fix all in one awesome trip.


  1. Sounds wonderfully exciting, especially since you have so many things already sorted! Safe travels. I know direct is great with small ones, but to consider taking a layover at some point on one of your travel legs. We have done this, make a layover in Paris, Amsterdam, or transit country of your choice. Because you are flying economy you rate one night layover. Extend that a few more days and make it a vacation break to adjust hours, get out and explore, walk, and when you make the second leg of the trip you are actually refreshed and landing on the ground running at your final destination! Think about this option when R&R comes up next!

  2. We seriously considered this, but were concerned about what to do with the dog. What do you do with your pet in another country on a layover? Can they go to the hotel or is there an issue with them leaving the airport? Because honestly, I think I'd prefer to split the travel into two days if possible!

  3. Our cats moved to Cairo via a pet transport company and they handled it just fine. We loved our time in Cairo and I am sure you will too! Starbucks is NOT the best cafe in town either try Cilantro in Maadi when you get there :) Hope all your travel goes safely and smoothly!

  4. Thanks so for the info! I will tray Cilantro! I actually love all kinds of coffee shops. But I have a special place in my heart for Starbucks. It's one of those 'home' things I think.

  5. Woohoo! Excited with you!

    And I'm with you on Sbux. . . it's not the coffee, but the consistency. . . the feel of "home". . .

    That's why I liked McDs when we lived in Ukraine. I -never- eat McDs when we are in the States, don't even like it. But overseas? Woohoo!

  6. Question, why only 5 bags? Aren't you authorized 2 per person? Totally understand not wanting to lug that much stuff, but if it's direct it's so wort it in the end. I guess having PX makes a difference in packing and having APO you can send last minute must haves and it'll get there in a reasonable amount of time.

  7. So exciting!!! It is so interesting to see everyone's process getting "there" because it is often so different. We have our gov't passports but no house! And definitely no Starbucks. So jealous!

  8. Such excitement! And yes, life in the FS is easier nowadays, with Starbucks even in some remote corners of the world (we have several here in Jordan). But beware - they don't always serve the same drinks. Can't get a mint frappucino here at all.