Friends

Thanksgiving 

We celebrated Thansgiving this week in our new home surrounded by a group of our new friends. As I sat around my table in South Korea eating my apple crisp I reflected on the community of people that surrounded me.  Around our table sat friends from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Korea, and the Dominican Republic. The children who were playing together were born in Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, Kuwait, and the United States.

We are so much to be thankful for including the people from all these different corners of the world that have come into our lives.

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Beach Time in Portugal

Last June when we finished the school year, we started the long trek from Kuwait back to Minnesota.  The school books our flights to and from Kuwait each year, and they usually book all of our flights using Lufthansa Air.  Lufthansa has a sweet policy on layovers.  Here’s how it works: when you book a flight with Lufthansa you can extend your layovers for FREE.  Meaning that our flight path took us from Kuwait to Frankfurt before it took us back to the U.S. Using Lufthansa’s layover policy we were able to extend our stay in Europe for 6 days to soak up some time on the beaches of Portugal, before we headed home for our whirl wind of a summer.  IMG_7102We convinced six of our friends to join us on the Southern Coast of Portugal, in an area known as Algarve.  We rented a beach house with amazing views for dirt cheap.  Our vacation began once we landed in Lisbon, where we grabbed two rental cars and drove a few hours from the capital, down to the beach.
IMG_7103We very purposefully planned nothing to do on this vacation!  We just enjoyed the stunning views over the ocean, played cards, bar-b-qued, and stayed up late listening to music and laughing with friends.  
IMG_7146My words aren’t really going to be able to describe how beautiful this area was, so I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.

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IMG_7154 IMG_7155 IMG_7156 IMG_7157Friends + Sunshine + Exploring a New Country = a Fantastic Vacation  Thanks for the great time crew, I would travel with any of you, anywhere, anytime.

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – October 19

After a brief break from our weekly Happy Hour posts, I am back!  It was tough to come up with a list of topics for this week, because basically all we have done is cuddled our new son Hayden.  Today he is officially two weeks old, and still perfect (in our eyes)!

Hayden is 2 Weeks Old Today!

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Some of my favorite pictures of Hayden thus far.

  • We’ve been adjusting to life as parents, and couldn’t possibly love it more!  We feel so blessed to have such a happy & healthy little boy, who brings so much joy to our lives.  Sure, sometimes changing poopy diapers at 3am isn’t much fun, but when he snuggles in and falls asleep in your arms, it makes it all worth it!  He eats, he sleeps, and he poops, so he is a perfect newborn baby!

Our New Sleep Schedule

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All snuggled in!

  • As all new parents know, living with a newborn baby leads to many sleepless nights.  The first couple of nights we would just stare at him while he slept, periodically checking his pulse to make sure he was still alive.  The night before my birthday he gave me the best present ever, he slept for 7 hours straight!  We didn’t sleep for 7 hours straight that night though, we were still up every half an hour checking his pulse.  Since then he’s been a little rock star when it comes to sleeping!  He loves his crib and must have inherited his love for sleep from his mother.

Maternity & Paternity Leave

  • We are pretty fortunate that our lives in Kuwait provide us with time off to spend at home with Hayden.  By Kuwaiti law, Rachel is able to  take 70 days off of work, with full pay!  Her maternity leave will run until December, when we get another 3 weeks off of work, so technically she is off until after our holiday break in January!  Kuwait doesn’t have a law granting fathers any paternity time, however my position is very flexible and my employer has been supportive of my desire to stay home and help care for Rachel and Hayden.

Now That We Have A Baby, Is It Time For A Minivan?

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Durango looking all tough with the jack on the back . . . .

  • When guys find out their wives are pregnant, one of the first things that goes through their mind is, “oh crap, we better not be buying a minivan, because I refuse to drive one!”  Well, we aren’t buying a minivan (yet) but our Durango did lose a bit of its masculinity today and is one step closer to looking like a minivan.  Today I decided to take the big ass jack off the back!  The jack is so heavy on the backdoor, that someone has to hold it open to load the stroller in.  When you are trying to load a baby, bags, a stroller, a wife, and everything else, there was just too much going on to have two adults load a stroller. So, I swallowed my man pride and took it off.
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No more jack . . . .

Canadian Thanksgiving

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Thanks to our friends at www.thepearlcurriculum.blogspot.ae for organizing the potluck, and for this great photo.

  • Last Monday was Thanksgiving in Canada.  We have a lot of awesome friends here from Canada, so we were invited to celebrate with them at a potluck dinner!  There was about 30 people there, and it was so nice getting everyone together and giving thanks for such great friends.  On Thursday, November 26th, we’ll celebrate the “real” thanksgiving with our American friends! 🙂

Hilton Resort Walking Paths

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2 weeks old, and has already been to the ocean multiple times.

  • One of the reasons we got a membership at the Hilton Resort this year, was because of their awesome paved walking paths throughout the property.  We were excited that we could spend all winter outside going for family walks and getting Hayden outdoors.  We’ve been a couple of times already since he’s been born, and we just love it!  One loop is about 3-4 kilometers, so its the perfect distance for a short walk, or you can do the loop multiple times for a decent one.

Boat Tour in Portugal

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The group heading out to sea.

While we were in Portugal last summer, we mostly sat on the beach with our friends, looking at the ocean, and soaking up the sun.  One day though we hopped into our rental cars and drove a half hour to the coastal town of Faro.  Once we got there, we walked up and down the boardwalk and saw what tour options there were for tourists.  IMG_7114After reviewing our options, we decided to take a boat tour of the caves in the surrounding area! Our friend Niamh’s cousins were coincidentally in Portugal at the same time we were, so we were able to fill the entire boat with just our group.   As we headed out of the Marina the blue skies and jutting cliffs were just what we were hoping to see.  The pictures just don’t quite do this natural phenomena justice.

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Private beaches along the coast.

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Niamh and Lauren showing off their cute life jackets!

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Mitch looking super serious on the boat ride.

 

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Mitch & Adam, the day after the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup.

Eid Vacation Plans – 2015

Around this time a year ago, we were busy making plans for our Eid Vacation to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  We shared our plans with you in a post entitled: Eid Vacation Plans.  Today is the first day of our Eid Vacation, and our vacation is a little different than last year.  This year we are enjoying our 10 days off, staying put in Kuwait for what we are calling our: “stay-cation.”

Since our little guy is scheduled to arrive in about three weeks we knew traveling was out of the question for this break.  I have to admit, I was a bit jealous when our friends all piled into our car this morning for Mitch to drop them off at the airport.  A group of them are headed off to the Greek Islands for an awesome beach vacation.  However, in actuality I am kind of looking forward to some quiet time at home to read books and catch up on my Netflix que!

Beyond relaxing and making sure to take some mid-day naps, our plans involve spending lots of time at the Hilton.  We also hope to spend lots of time in the air conditioned malls, to walk some laps so that this little baby spins around the right direction to prepare for his exit!

While our travel plans for Eid this year are not nearly as exciting as our Dubai and Abu Dhabi trip last year, the amount of excitement in hearts for our baby to arrive far exceeds any trip we could possibly be taking!

Perez Hilton Photo

Last year Mitch wrote a blog post about going golfing with our friend Adam out at a sand course here in Kuwait.  If you need a reminder of that post check it out here.  The whole point of the post was to show our friends and family what the sand course looked like, and to share a few pictures of what their experience.  Here is one of the pictures Mitch put on the blog:

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Now fast forward about 6 months.  While we were home this summer I received this text message from Adam:

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WHAT?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you are not familiar with who Perez Hilton is, according to his Wikipedia page, he is an American blogger, gossip columnist, and television personality.  He is pretty well known around North America, and currently has over 334,000 followers on his Instagram page where he posted the picture!

 

I dug a bit deeper into Perez Hilton’s Instagram feed and found the picture Adam had sent me.

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Clearly this picture had been taken from our blog, and clearly Kim Kardashian wasn’t laying naked in the middle of the sand golf course waiting for Adam to pelt her with his golf ball, so I started wondering: How did someone find this picture?  What are the copyright laws of our pictures? and…Who has time in their day that they are spending their time photo-shopping pictures from our blog together with Kim K? I was able to get some of those answers but not others.

How did someone find this picture? I googled sand golf and right there on the front page of google images was Adam in all his golfing glory so finding the picture was not hard at all.

What are the copyright laws of our pictures?  I started googling around with this question and things got too deep, too fast for me.  Bottom line I don’t really care who “borrows” or “steals” our pictures, but I still think Perez Hilton should be paying us at leas $3 or $4 million for the picture (haha)

Who has time in their day to be spending time photo-shopping pictures from our blog together with Kim K?  Just like the world will never know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop we will never know who has this kind of time in their day either.

FAQ’s of the Summer

When we were back in the United States this summer, we had a great time hanging out with friends and family!  We were able to reconnect with a lot of people and do a lot of catching up.  People were excited to hear about our experiences in Kuwait and to learn more about our lifestyle overseas.  Interestingly, most people asked many of the same questions.  Thus, I decided to compile a list of what I’m calling, “FAQ’s of  the Summer!”

Is Kuwait safe?

Yes, yes, yes, and yes!  Kuwait is a very safe country, and I can honestly say that I have never felt unsafe at any time since we have been here.  The people here are fabulous, kind, genuine, and sincere.  We’ve met some incredible people who have been so welcoming to us.  Before we moved to Kuwait last year, I made a promise to Rachel.  I told her that if either of us ever felt unsafe, we would immediately board a plane, and leave the country.  I reassured her that we are always only one flight away from leaving.

Are you going to have Baby J in Kuwait?

Yes, we are having the baby in Kuwait!  Believe it or not, nearly 350,000 babies are born every day, all over the world, and only a small fraction of them are born in the United States.  Babies are born in the jungles of South America, in the deserts of Africa, and the 5 star luxury hospital we go to in Kuwait.  Our doctor is fabulous, the hospital is excellent, and the care we receive there is top notch. Neither of us have any reservations about having our baby here.

Is Baby J going to be an American even though he is going to be born in Kuwait?

Yes, he will be an American and will have an American passport.  The United States is the ONLY country in the world, that gives birthright citizenship. (Meaning that if you are born in the U.S. you automatically become a citizen).  Baby J is just going to have a cool birth certificate in life that is called a “Birth Abroad Certificate” indicating that he was born abroad, but still has citizenship in the United States.

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When are you going to move back to the United States?

Right now we have no plans on returning to the United States.  We are currently in the second year of our two year contract in Kuwait.  At the end of the year we can decide to resign another contract here, move to another country, or return to America.

What is your favorite country that you guys have traveled to last year?

Mitch: For me, it was definitely the Maldives! It was such a beautiful and magical place with the best beaches I’ve ever seen!  The white sand beaches and the crystal clear water were awesome, and it was such a relaxing place. I highly recommend it!

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Rachel: Sri Lanka, I loved the option of being at the beach or in the jungle in such close proximity, and learning more about the people who survived the Tsunami 10 years ago was completely humbling.

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Where are you guys going to travel to this year?

So far, we only have two trips planned.  For our Holiday Break over Christmas & New Year’s, we are heading to Thailand!  We have a nice long winter break so we are looking forward to spending some time at the beaches.  My family is also planning on going to Thailand, so it will be fun to meet up with them and spend time together over the holidays.

The other trip that we have planned this year is to Oman.  We have a friend who has been living there for about 7 years, so we are excited to go visit him and his family, as well as see the beautiful countryside that Oman has to offer.  From what we hear, outdoor enthusiast’s dream location with all of the beautiful mountains and beaches.

We also have a week off for Spring Break, however we haven’t decided yet where we want to go.

 

This is a brief recap of some of the common questions we received over the summer.  Perhaps some of our readers also had similar questions, and if so, hopefully this provides a bit of insight for you.

 

VIP Treatment at the Cairo Airport

Earlier this winter when we decided to go to Egypt for a long weekend, our buddy Adam (who traveled with us) was telling some friends of his that we were heading to Egypt.  As he was talking to his friends about Egypt he soon found out that they used to live there, and still had some great connections in Cairo. They were so excited that we were visiting their home country and offered to help us plan our trip to Cairo!  We were all pretty excited to have some help from people who knew the country so well.  They asked for copies of our passports and flight itineraries, then assured us that everything would be taken care of.  We were so surprised and grateful for their help!  A couple of weeks before our trip, they told us that they would have a driver for us at the Cairo airport, and that everything was taken care of for us . . . . . . . we all thought hmmmmmm . . . . . . I wonder what that means?!?

We all just figured that we would be looking for a guy at the airport holding a clipboard with our name, and that he would give us a ride to our hotel.  We were super excited about it, but then this happened . . . . . .

When we landed in Cairo, I was a bit disappointed when there wasn’t a gate available for the plane to pull into.  Instead, the plane had to park on the runway, and we would be shuttled to the terminal in those cramped busses, like cattle going to the slaughterhouse.  Rachel and I got off the plane first, with our friends Adam & Lauren a few rows back.  We were approaching the bottom of the rickety staircase from the plane, about ready to head towards the bus, when we noticed 3 huge dudes, in black suits and aviator sunglasses standing with their arms crossed, looking all tough.  One of the guys was holding a sign that said, “Adam XXX and friends.”  I thought to myself, holy crap I know Adam XXX and that means I’m one of the “and friends!”  We introduced ourselves to the guys, as they quickly grabbed our bags from us.  Adam and Lauren were soon to follow, and were just as surprised as us, to be greeted on the runway at a major international airport!

Once we were all together, the three dudes led us AWAY from the packed busses and the crowds, towards two luxury cars parked on the runway next to the plane.  These weren’t just two  regular cars, they were brand new Jaguars!  Adam and I kind of looked at each other like, “WTF, are these for us?!?!”  We were correct, they were!  Rachel and I hopped into the back seat of one car and Adam and Lauren had their own.  The next thing we know, the driver is hauling ass across the tarmac!

I’m sure the grin on my face was from ear-to-ear. I kept whispering to Rachel, “this is so awesome!”  I didn’t want to talk to loud, so the driver knew that this is how I “always” travel.  We were able to sneak a quick selfie in:

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After a high speed ride around the tarmac, we pulled into a special VIP entrance at the terminal.

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When we walked in, we were the only passengers inside this special area, and it was so fancy and nice inside!  There was a little security checkpoint inside and when we tried putting our bags on the conveyor belt, the worker started laughing at us and told us, “no, no, no.”  We walked through the metal detector (as it was beeping like crazy) and were ushered through to this super fancy terminal area. They even laid out the red carpet for us!

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Then they led us into our own private waiting room!  The room even had a butler, who brought us complimentary food and drinks!

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After we got cozy in our own private hang out area, a worker took all 4 of our passports and said he would be back soon.  He ran off with them and headed to Immigration/Customs to get our visas for us.  We just sat there giggling, enjoying the moment, living the life of the rich and famous!

After about 20 minutes our guy returned with our passports and we were all set to leave the airport.  He walked us through towards an exit, where another driver and a tour guide were waiting for us.  We soon found out that they were “assigned” to us for the next four days!  They would do anything we wanted, at anytime, and take us anywhere.  They had a four day itinerary jam packed with things to do.  All of this was arranged by my buddy Adam’s friend, who’s main focus was to show us a good time and to make sure we enjoyed their home country!

All weekend in Egypt, we just chuckled about the whole experience.  We wondered if we would have the same VIP treatment when we departed Cairo, but we didn’t want to get our hopes up.

The day we left Cairo, my fingers were still crossed that we would get to ride in Jaguars.  When we pulled into the airport, we quickly realized that our driver wasn’t going to the Main Terminal.  I held my breath, and sure enough, we had arrived at the special VIP entrance at the airport!

We were greeted by a butler and led back to our special private waiting room.  We didn’t have to check any of our bags, stand in long lines, check-in, or deal with any of the other hassles of airports.  A worker grabbed our passports and told us he would be back with our boarding passes soon.

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As we were enjoying our morning in the lap of luxury, we soon realized that our plane was departing in 45 minutes, and our guy still hadn’t returned with our passports or boarding passes!  We were getting a little nervous so we double checked the status with another worker, and they said, “no problem, have a seat” as they pointed us back to our room.  Next thing you know . . . . . 30 minutes until departure . . . . . . 15 minutes until departure . . . . .

About 10 minutes before our plane was scheduled to depart, our butler returned without any sense of urgency with our passports and boarding passes.  We were practically freaking out and thought for sure that we were going to miss our flight.  However thankfully, they had two cars waiting for us outside to escort us directly to the plane on the runway again!

After our high speed cruise across the tarmac, we approached the plane and could see all of the other passengers getting off the crowded bus and boarding.  The driver pulled right up to the staircase, but wouldn’t let us out of the car until all of the passengers were on the plane.  As we got out of the car you could just tell that everyone was starring out their window thinking, “are these people rich celebrities or something?”

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Perhaps we gave it away though when we walked past all of the First Class seats on the plane, and cuddled into Coach with all of the other middle class people!

Until this trip, I had no idea that services like this even existed!  It is something that none of us will probably ever experience again, but it sure was fun and makes for some fun stories!

Baby J a Boy or Girl?

Disclaimer:  This post contains inappropriate words like penis, vagina, sex, crotch, and genitalia.  It also has a few funny pictures that some people might think are offensive!  If you are my grandma, someone who is easily offended, or someone who doesn’t enjoy humor, please don’t read this post.  You will hate it and it will probably ruin your day!

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As soon as we found out that Rachel was pregnant, and that we were having a baby, we knew that we wanted to find out the sex.  Neither of us are big fans of surprises, and we are both planful people.  We anxiously waited for the baby to develop it’s genitalia so we could find out!

At our doctor’s appointment last weekend, we knew we had a good chance to see if there was anything growing between the legs, depending if the baby would cooperate.  About a minute into the ultrasound the doctor said, “whoop, there it is!”  We were so excited that the wait was over!

We decided to have a little Gender Reveal Party to find out the sex.  We invited a few friends over to share the excitement with us and to have some ice cream sundaes.  To reveal the gender, we ordered this huge balloon and had it stuffed with the appropriate colored confetti (blue for boy or pink for girl).

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Before we popped the balloon though, we decided to have a vote to see what our friends thought it was going to be.  Rather than doing something lame like writing it on a piece of paper, we decided to have some fun with it.  We decided that in order to cast your vote you had to make a headband, and draw the genitalia of the sex that you thought it was going to be.  It was a ton of fun (even though it was a bit inappropriate) to see what people came up with.  Here are a couple of pics of some of the artwork that people were proudly displaying:

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Allison wanted to draw a vagina but got scared, so she drew a penis because it was a lot simpler to do.  Jooles also voted for a girl, but opted against the crotch region and went top shelf.

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Our buddy Ethan went all out on his drawings. A for effort bud!

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Adam should win an award for his artwork, and perhaps another award for the amount of confidence he is displaying while wearing a penis on his forehead!

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Once the votes were cast and the ice cream was gone, it was time for the big reveal!  We each grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen and began the countdown:

3 . . . . .

2 . . . . .

1 . . . . .

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POP!!!!!!!!!

 

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Yes, ladies and gentleman . . . . . . . . . Baby J is a BOY!!!!!!!

Now we can comfortably refer to our child with the proper pronouns like: him, his, he, and himself.  It really didn’t matter to us if we were having a boy or girl, as long as they are healthy.  We feel a sense of relief since finding out the sex, because now we can eliminate half of the names in the world, as we begin to narrow our search for the ‘perfect’ name.

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A couple of weeks ago I heard a funny quote from a friend of ours:  “If you have a baby boy, you only have to worry about one penis.  However, if you have a baby girl you have to worry about all of the penises in the whole wide world.”

Now we are just continuing to keep our fingers crossed for a healthy baby and a smooth pregnancy for Rachel!

The Camel Ride from Hell

**Warning this post is going to contain lots of fucking vulgar language.  Like . . . . . tons!  So to my mom, “I’m sorry.”  The events listed below were a traumatic experience for my friends and I, and swearing is the only way to effectively describe it.  We still laugh uncontrollably when we reminisce about this camel riding experience in Egypt.  Now, let’s fucking begin! (oh shit, there’s another curse word).

Before our recent trip to Egypt, I was reading online that you could take a camel ride through the desert around the Pyramids.  I thought to myself, “cool, what an awesome experience!”  Unfortunately our experience wasn’t awesome. Now that it’s over, it makes for a funny story though.

After a long day exploring around the Pyramids, which Rachel talked about HERE, we headed towards a viewing point.  This vantage point provided some awesome views of the pyramids.  We were able to take a few good pics with our friends Adam & Lauren there.

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It also provided a nice backdrop for Adam to take some great “jumping” pictures.  You know, the same ones that all of the super cheesy tourists take!

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After we snapped some pics, it was time to board our camels to take a stroll through the desert.  As we headed towards our camels, Rachel made it clear that she was not interested in riding another one, especially after her experience in Dubai (refresh your memory by reading about it HERE).  She hates the mistreatment of animals for the benefit of tourists.

As we were walking towards our camels, I’ll never forget Adam saying, “I hope I get Angry Arnold” with a laughter in his voice.  Famous.  Last.  Words.

We were all pretty excited as we hopped on our camels.

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Once we were all up on our camels, they tied them together in a line.  Lauren was first, I was next, then Adam was in the back.  We were led through the desert by an 18 year old kid, who was holding onto Lauren’s camel with one hand and a whip in his other.  Rachel hopped back in our minivan and drove back to the Pyramids, where we had planned to meet her in about 30 minutes.

If you have never been on a camel, it is actually pretty tricky to ride.  There isn’t a saddle to put your feet in to help balance, and it’s a really bumpy, uncomfortable ride.  However when you took a look around, and realized that you were in the middle of the desert, on camels, heading towards the Great Pyramids, you realize that this is a pretty sweet experience!

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Our camel ride was off to a great start!  We even stopped about half way and had our camel guy take a few pics for us!

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It was at this half-way point when things started to go sour with our ride.  Before our camel guy took our pictures, he wanted to line them up just perfectly with the Pyramids in the background.  In order to accomplish this, much to our disgust, he began whipping the crap out of them until they were just perfect.  We all looked at each other with wide eyes, and gave the look of, “what the hell is this guy doing!”  The camels did not appreciate the whipping either, and were making goofy sounds and started acting strange.  We immediately interjected, because we couldn’t handle witnessing this abuse any longer!

After a few pictures, we resumed our trek towards the Pyramids.  Suddenly I noticed that Adam’s camel was biting the thick-burlap blanket on MY camel!  I’m sure he was getting a little piece of my camel’s skin each time too, because I could tell my camel was starting to get pissed off.

Here’s Adam’s camel: Angry Arnold which started all of the ruckus!

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After my camel was bitten a few times in the ass, he had a major meltdown!  Out of nowhere, he put his head down, leaned forward, and bit Lauren’s camel right in the thigh!  AND DIDN’T LET GO!!!!!!!!!

LET THE CHAOS ENSUE!

  • Lauren’s camel begin moaning and making some of the most awful sounds I’ve ever heard come from a living creature.
  • I started yelling at my camel and kicking him in the neck so he would let go of Lauren’s camel’s leg
  • Lauren’s camel started to kneel down in pain, spin around, and looked like he was going to toss Lauren off.
  • Then, the camel guy started whipping the crap out of HER camel for not standing up, even though MINE was still biting hers!
  • All of a sudden I heard Lauren yell, “OWW!”
  • Adam and I started yelling to Lauren, “get down, jump, get the hell out of there!”  I think we both knew that she was about to get bucked off and go flying through the air at any second.
  • The camel dude finally realized that my camel was the one being the asshole, and started whipping my camel, so he would let go.
  • Lauren took a leap of faith and jumped off her camel.  I think she started running away before her feet even hit the ground!
  • Adam immediately jumped off his camel to check on Lauren.  Keep in mind that the top of a camel’s back is 7 feet off the ground!  He was flying through the air like a ninja warrior!
  • My camel finally let go, and all three of these ugly creatures were just standing there in the middle of the desert.  I was the only one still on their camel.  Lauren’s had blood gushing down his leg!
  • The camel guy, in broken english, kept saying, “it’s ok, get on” to Lauren and Adam.  They basically told the guy to get bent, and that there was no way that they were getting back on.
  • That’s when I decided, “fuck this,” I’m outta here!  I asked the guy as politely as possible to please let me down.  After pleading a few times, I quickly realized that he wasn’t going to let me down.  Then Adam, being the great friend that he is, marched over and repeatedly told the guy to, “get him the fuck down!”  The guy didn’t know much english, so Adam was nice of enough to say it multiple times, in a louder voice, and pointing his finger!  It was a little dose of Good Cop/Bad Cop.  Soon I realized the guy was not going to get me down, so like Adam did earlier . . . . I busted out my own ninja move and jumped off my own 7 foot tall camel!

All of this happened in less than a minute, but it was like slow motion.  As soon as I jumped off, we all decided to abandon our camel ride experience, and just start walking away.  So the three of us began trekking through the desert towards where we were going to meet up with Rachel.  We laughed the whole way back, reminiscing about what we were now calling our “near death experience.”

Rachel soon saw us walking over the horizon and greeted us with a, “What the heck happened?  Where are the camels?”  I just smiled at her and said, “you were right!”

**Remember when Lauren yelled, “OWW!” when she was on her camel?  It’s because she got whacked in the back with the camel dude’s whip!!!  She had a pretty wicked bruise to remind us of our “near death experience!”