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.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Luxor, Karnak, and Boating the Nile!

Yes, I've been MIA a few weeks on my blog.  My apologies!  First was a monstrous household pukefest (do not despair - I'll be blogging about that soon), and then was the second round of sick, and then we were on vacation.

But I'm back!  And with a story and photos to tell about the awesomeness of our Egyptian vacation to Luxor.

Coming to Egypt, I had a list of sights-to-see:  Giza Pyramids (check), Alexandria (still on the list), Coptic Cairo (still on the list), The Citadel (check), Khan al Khalili Market (multiple checks), Coptic Cave Churches (check), Red Sea (check), and Luxor/Karnak (CHECK!!).

We've been planning this trip for a few months.  We heard from friends that the weather was pleasant in Luxor in the winter (60's-70's), so we thought that we'd head down there in January.  The fab hubby knew of a gorgeous resort on a private island, and I was school-girl giddy after looking at the resort pictures online.

We debated on where to go - yes to Luxor Temple, yes to Karnak Temple, no to Valley of the Kings.  Kellen is only 15 months and while he walks, he walks like a drunkard and falls over uber easily. Not to mention he has the uncanny baby knack for getting into absolutely everything he shouldn't.  The Temples are stroller-friendly, but Valley of the Kings is not.  And while he's ok with the being tied on to me in the mei tai - I'm not so keen in carrying around a nearly-30 pound baby for hours and hours.  We kept it simple.  Stroller friendly = acceptable vacay destination.

We arrived very early in the AM last Friday and checked in early at the resort.  We opted to spend this day just relaxing at the infinity pool and watching the feluca's drift by on the Nile.  We loved the fresh, clean air and enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Who knew that boats could be so stroller-friendly?

On Saturday we took a boat to Luxor and visited Luxor Temple.  The kids LOVED the boat ride!  Ok, I totally admit it -  so did I!  It's beautiful along the river. And there's so much to see - people working in the fields growing crops, camels hanging out, Valley of the Kings on the west bank, Luxor on the east bank.  We docked into Luxor near the renowned Winter Palace and walked to Luxor Temple.

In the U.S. we're well-versed on the DO-NOT-TOUCH regulations at most monuments and museums.  But Egypt is way more lax.  The kids got to touch, feel, run, and climb through Luxor Temple.  It was fantastic!  After our tromp through history, we went to a local market and allowed the kids to try their hand at bargaining.   We've never taken them to Khan Al Kalili in Cairo, mostly because it would be seriously overwhelming for them (and us).  This market was smaller and not so busy, perfect for them to check out some local goods. They got some trinkets, met some really wonderful people, and we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.

The 2nd Boat Ride!
The next day we opted to take another boat ride along the river, but the trip from the resort to Karnak Temple is pretty far - and would take the boat out of it's river region.  However, we lucked out - our boat captain had a friend who worked along the river near Karnak, and midpoint, we hopped boats.  In the middle of the river!  The kids were ecstatic.  And the ride was beautiful.

Karnak Temple is impressive.  It's huge and the detail on the art is amazing.  I'd even call it overwhelming. It's difficult to take it all in, but we took our time and lingered for quite a bit through the temple.  When we were done, we opted to take a horse and carriage ride from the temple to Winter Palace to enjoy a late pool-side lunch.  The carriage ride was especially amusing, since we had to hoist the monster jogging stroller up into the carriage.  Kellen giggled much of the ride and the kids enjoyed sitting up-front with the driver.

We spent our last day of vacation at the resort, another beautiful day of relaxation at the pool, a bit of ice cream, a leisurely lunch overlooking the pool and the Nile, and a run around the island for me!  Our flight home was late (arriving in Cairo at 9:45PM) and the kids were kinda peeved about having to get up for school early the next day.  But they got over it real quick when I told them we'd NEVER TAKE THEM ON VACATION AGAIN if they whined about it.

Ahhhhhh.  Mad Momma Skillz!

Luxor Temple.
I told Owen the dude on the far left said something
really disrespectful to his parents - and look what
happened to him....
Sweet ship, with Valley of the Kings in the background.

Camel sighting!

Hungry Bubs (Kellen's nickname) - the bread maker at the resort
loved him and treated him to this snack before we boarded the boat!


Kids playing on the west bank.

Inside Karnak.


Owen pulling an impressive Indiana Jones move.

View up.

Sleeping Bubs - Kellen slept thru the ENTIRE Karnak trip!

View over the massive stroller in the carriage ride!


  1. You are so lucky to have such awesome sights to see! Love the pics.

  2. Fantastic Mommy moments! And two rounds of sick before vacation is much preferable to two rounds on vacation. Glad you were all well enough to enjoy your amazing destination!

  3. Awesome photos! So glad you guys were able to get away for a few days sans sickness. Looks like a perfect time to go, too - weather- and people- wise.

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