Category Archives: Travel
Tomorrow we will be getting back on a loooong plane ride to head back to the desert…!
It is bittersweet because I am going to miss our family & friends here in America. So much it hurts sometimes, especially now that we have Lydia. I will miss certain things in America like Sonic and Target and other conveniences like central A/C and dishwashers. But after two months of being “homeless,” living in suitcases, having to pack and repack every time I turn around, not having a “routine” and time with just our little family of 3 I am ready to head back over, unpack our bags and learn what it means to be a parent and a family of 3. If you asked me 3 weeks ago I would have said I was not ready at all to return, in fact dreading it, but I thank the Lord for His grace in meeting me where I am at and preparing my heart to return. There are a lot of unknowns as we return, sometimes so many its overwhelming, but I am thankful that there are a lot of knowns as well. Two years ago we boarded a plane to a whole world of “unknowns”- we didn’t know the town we were going to live in (well much of it anyway), the place we were going to live, the people we would be doing life with, the language we would be learning or if we would be able to learn it, the food we would be eating, the locals we would become friends with… but today as we get ready to board a plane again, all of those things are known and in fact missed. Two years ago I never thought that would be possible, but by God’s mercy and grace I know it to be true!
So here’s to another chapter in our adventure with more stories, laughter, tears, joy and pain, but in a place that we call home (for now) and that feels familiar, a place we can unpack our bags and live and try to trust the Lord with each day we live. Oh and we get to return with an precious 4 month old who we could not love more!! Man, we have been blessed by her.
Family, friends, America… we will miss you and you will always be in our hearts. Thank you for a great two months and for sharing the joy of our Liddy Bug with us. Thank you for places to sleep, food to eat, cars to drive, shoulders to cry on and memories that will last forever.
We love you.
We are home for the holidays!!
And Lydia is officially a world traveler!
She did GREAT on our 36 hour and 42 minute (yes we timed it) travels back to the states. I wasn’t really sure what to think about traveling with a two month old across the ocean… I guess I didn’t give it a ton of thought because we didn’t have a choice. Since we have chosen to live overseas that equals traveling long hours with babies to see family and friends… it is a package deal. I talked to a lot of friends that have traveled with infants and they encouraged me by saying most likely she will sleep the whole time and to make sure she is either nursing or sucking her pacci during take-offs and landings. So we did our best to make sure these things happened… the first take-off was the only one that bothered her (I had her nurse too soon… she was done by the time we actually took off- rookie mistake), but the rest of the time she did great! She even slept through one of the take-offs. Our first flight to London Lydia and I slept the majority of the flight – we had a bassinet and an open seat next to us for all the flights- such a blessing! I think that I had the best airplane sleep I have ever had- I think it has something to do with having an infant and sleeping hard whenever I get the chance to… whatever it is I will take it. Lydia did have a tough time when we had to switch planes in London because of a leak in the engine (which caused a 3 hour delay for us)… she was not excited about having to get in my pack again and leave the plane, but other than that she was super sweet and easy. Thanks for your prayers for safe and smooth travel. Chase and I actually enjoyed traveling with her…
Here are some pics from our travels… (not all pics are the greatest quality- sorry)
How many hours will we be on this thing?
my travel buddy
lattes- makes traveling around the world possible…
hanging out in the London airpot
Nanny & Papa greeted us in TEXAS! Worth the 36 hour travels…
Finally I am getting around to posting the rest of our pics from Thailand! Between just having one computer now, nesting, and needing to nap again I have gotten behind on posting again… hope to catch up before miss Lydia comes in like 6 (plus or minus) weeks! I don’t think I can fully wrap my mind around how close it is… super excited.
This was the last stop on our tour around the island… gorgeous view. I am missing Thailand– the food, the weather, the green…
Every night we got dressed up and headed to dinner somewhere off our resort. It was fun to try local restaurants while enjoying the ocean breeze… and a bonus the food off our resort was super cheap!
Our last day in Thailand we got to spend about 6 hours in Bangkok. We got Starbucks and a map and rode around on just about every form of public transit system and explored the city as best we could in a short amount of time. I felt like we got a good taste of the city, but if we ever make it back it would be fun to explore a little deeper.
Sights from the ferry boat
Buddhist temple at sunset & after dark
Street food… I decided to opt out of trying any of this due to the baby growing inside me.. but next time I would love to try some of this!
Our last stop in Bangkok was this outdoor market that sold all sorts of knock off clothes, shoes, sunglasses, nail polish, etc for cheap cheap… oh and we found this awesome Barbie headband of some sort…
What a great trip we had! Something I will remember forever. We headed home exhausted from walking around all day, but feeling blessed for getting to spend quality time together. Chase tried (3 times) to get us bumped up to first class on the way home… no such luck, maybe next time!
Finally, am sitting down to post pics of our babymoon in Thailand! I have way too many pictures to just share a few, so I thought I would create some collages to share with ya’ll.
First, I want to say that we were incredibly blessed to get to go spend a week together in Thailand before Lydia arrives. We had an amazing time- just being us, reading, resting, eating, talking, laughing, and enjoying cooler weather. I am so lucky to have married my best friend- I seriously have so much fun with Chase and couldn’t be more thankful for the times that I get to spend with him. I am excited for our next phase of life as we become parents, but I want to always remember us and make sure we make time for each other and learn how to love each other well in the midst of no sleep, dirty diapers, and a crying baby… (I know there is much more than that when it comes to a newborn, but you get the gist).
If you are pregnant for the first time and have not taken a trip or “stay-cation” with your man yet, make sure you do… it is totally worth it!
Now for some pictures…
Around our beautiful hotel… Mai Samui Resort & Spa on the Koh Samui Island. It felt very “Thai” like, with a great pool, great food, staff, and rooms. One of my favorite parts was how excited the lady receptionists at the resort were about our baby… every time they saw me they would rub my belly and put their ears to it and tell me it sounded like she was sleeping! ha They were also very opinionated in what I could and could not do as a pregnant lady around the island- like no hiking and no riding a scooter motor bike around town… glad they were looking out for me!
One day we hired a guy to take us around the island and show us some sights (everything was so cheap out there that we were able to have our own car for 6 hours to do whatever we wanted!) We enjoyed our day, however, we wished our driver would have spoken more English so we could have learned more about the island. Above are pictures of us at the “BIG” Buddha- I thought it would be fun to take a pic of my round belly with Buddhas- ha!
One of our island stops included this unique spa treatment! The fish cleaned the dead skin off our feet- it was super ticklish at first, but then you got used to it and it was super relaxing… definitely a fun experience complete with green tea and relaxing music.
I will leave you with some pictures of the food (yes, one of my favorite things to photograph) …all the food was Delicious! I think I had Phad Thai like 3 or 4 times… yummm and for those Lubbock-ites that read this- Thai Pepper is pretty legit, so keep supporting them.
Believe it or not, I have more pics to share… until next time…
I am back with more pics of the mcgough trip! (can you tell I have more energy in 2nd trimester?! I am trying to catch up on the blog while this wonderful energy lasts!)
…more exploring, more memories, and more fun!
Jebel Akhdar “green mountain” visit. We drove up the tallest mountain in Oman and stayed at a hotel up there… enjoyed the sights, food, cooler weather and an early night to bed. On our way up we stopped and were invited for coffee and dates with the guards. They also honored us by giving us “rose water” to rub on our hands and hair, this water is made on the mountain and is used for cooking, medicinally, for celebrations and used to be used as perfume. I have to admit, I am not a fan of the strong smell- it smelled like smoked meat because of the way they make it- which is by distilling and boiling the flowers, read this article if you are curious about the history and making of this Oman tradition. This was a fun cultural experience.
Next stop: Nizwah Souk (“market”)- we have heard that on Friday mornings this place is happening… I hope to visit it one day on a Friday, but it was still nice to shop around even if we were one of the only groups of shoppers.
Next-door to the souk is the Nizwah Fort…
we Chase & Cecil (Glenda & I were done in about an hour) spent 2 hours exploring and checking out this historical place. It was really neat and a fun stop.
After exploring the interior cities of our country we came back to our town and rested for a few days before our final trip to Al Ain and Dubai. In Al Ain we got to show them the hospital where our peanut will be born! I think it helped them feel better about us staying here for the birth. I didn’t take many pictures of our “resting” days.
Dubai- the city of man-made beauty, malls and a taste of America with an Arab flair! Oh how I love getting to go on weekend get-a-ways here every once and a while. The first night we took them to the Burj Khalifa for some yummy Italian food (don’t think I mentioned before but all I really wanted to eat while they were here was Italian food- I think I calculated that we ate it 8 times during their 19 days with us! sorry guys… didn’t know you were gonna come to the Middle East for Italian food did you?!) and the water show. It is a must see if you ever travel to Dubai. On a side note, the restaurant we ate at serves gummy bears instead of mints at the cashier counter and has fresh basil plants at every table- love it!
Musandam is about a two 1/2 hour drive from Dubai so we decided to take a day trip there for a Dhow boat cruise, snorkeling, and dolphin watching. It was well worth the drive! Gorgeous views and beautiful weather. And a bonus was that neither Glenda or I got sick on the boat- Praise Jesus cuz we both lean toward getting sick on moving objects.
Our last night in Dubai we did a desert Safari. What a crazy, fun, somewhat scary experience! We trusted our lives (including our child’s life!) with a shabab (“young guy”) driving an SUV across the sand dunes. I thought for sure a few times we were going to flip, but thankfully we never did! We all had a great time…however, Glenda said she thinks it was a one-time thing for her, as she had her eyes closed the whole time worrying about her 8th grandchild while getting sick- poor thing.
After the sand dune ride they brought us to a desert camp where we got to enjoy a short camel ride, a traditional Arab BBQ, and entertainment by a belly dancer and Tanoura (this dance form originated in Turkey) dancer. It was a fun touristy-cultural experience that I hope we get to take anyone who comes to visit us on.
Like I said before we had a wonderful time getting to show Glenda and Cecil around. It was a blessing to get to share this part of our lives with loved ones. Thanks for the great memories!
We can’t wait for our next visitors! Let us know when you are coming 🙂
…. yup, that means We travel tomorrow!” in Arabic… or at least I think?! Ha! Hoping that all our Arabic has not gone out the window this summer. 🙂 Next time you hear from us we will be across the seas.
Tomorrow is the day we head back to the desert. Tomorrow is the day we say goodbye to America once more. Tomorrow is the day we have Sonic drinks with crushed ice for the last time in a while. Tomorrow is the day we say “see you later” once again to family & friends. Tomorrow is the day we continue this adventure. Tomorrow is the day we trust the LRD and rejoice in all that He has (and will) provide for us.
We are excited & ready. Sad to leave loved ones, but comforted in knowing we are headed where we are supposed to be.
Thought I would give you an update on what we have been up to… sorry for the break in posts lately- seems like we haven’t had much time to sit down all summer! (it might be in two parts)
1. Believe it or not, we are enjoying a little cooler weather here in the states. I am not saying that it is cold here, but it does, surprisingly, feel a little cooler than our desert home. Especially in Albuquerque where it was 75 degrees last week- glorious!
2. Our purpose for coming home was to celebrate Aubrey & Nate’s wedding! We had a great time celebrating their love. The wedding was gorgeous, the weather was great (well for the most part- it rained, not as much as it did at ours, & it was a little windy, but what is an outdoor wedding without a little weather-right?), the food was delicious, the dancing was fun, and it was such a blessing to see my little sister marry her best friend and a man that loves Jesus and that I am confident will love Aubs forever. We couldn’t be happier for them! Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Myers!
3. So far we have driven over 3500 miles and we have one more trip to Dallas to make! We have traveled to Houston, Austin, Round Rock, New Braunfels, Dallas, Lubbock, Lamesa, Midland, and Albuquerque… here are a few pics of people and things we we saw along the way.
Austin: Celebrated 3 years of marriage on July 19th! Wow, can’t believe how fast the time has gone. I am super thankful to be married to my best friend. I thank the Lord everyday for him and look forward to 80 more years together! For our anniversary we stayed in a hotel, went out for dinner, and hung out at a coffee shop to read for a few hours together- it was great and much needed as it landed in the middle of our stay in America. I love you Chaser!
Will post more of the summer later…
On a side note, we head back to the desert August 15th! It is quickly approaching and we are getting more and more excited. Thank you to everyone that we have seen or talked to this summer. It has been blessing and encouragement to us to catch up with you. Thank you for your hospitality, love, prayers, and care for us. We could not be where we are without you.
Chase and I just finished up a week break from school, which gave us some time to explore, shop, visit friends & do some touristy things. Our drive from city to city reminded me of how much I love this place. It is a beautiful country with warm people, great scenery, and lots of opportunities.
We also had friends come visit the week before our break- it was super encouraging & refreshing to have them here. It was fun to show them where we live & to explore the country with them.
Here are a few pics from our break…
We drove around the mountain and came to a lagoon area, but the tide had withdrawn a lot so we were able to walk around and explore. There were also some woman walking around and of course I had to take their picture..
There are small mosques in every neighborhood here.
Fun shoes at the souk
This weekend we drove to Sohar with some friends we met in language school. We had a great time, ate great food and got to go to the beach! We are excited about Sohar because it is only an hour away, we have friends that live there and they have a beach, malls, and a big grocery store! I have a feeling we will become regular Shoar people 🙂
By the way, when we decided to go to Sohar we didn’t know there as going to be protesting going on. We are fine- safe and sound- resting in our father. We know that we are here at this time for a reason and trusting in that. Things seem calm around us and we are just avoiding big crowds of people. We will keep you updated. Please just be asking for this area- for the leaders, the people and for what lies ahead.
Here are some pics from our trip!
Beach time with our friends kids:
Chase making friends with an on-looker:
Our picnic food that we ate in at a park near the ocean.. so much food= very tasty!
Just thought I would share a few pics from around Dubai from last week!
We finished our first week of language school and survived! We are actually really excited about it and look forward to the semester. Lots to learn!
Hopefully we will be getting our car tonight- so there will be more exploring ahead for us… and hopefully some good pictures.