The Trip that Broke My International Travel Cherry
As my sisters and I gazed out of the window of our first international flight, my heart felt as if it were seconds away from jumping out of my chest and running for the nearest exit on the plane. Where were we headed?? Cairo, Egypt and Israel. The year was 2008 and it was my first plane ride. The sound of the plane starting its engine reminded me of the many hours spent under the hair dryer at the beauty salon and the force of the take off felt as if I was riding with a weighted vest over my chest.
Safe on the Ground
After a 24 hour layover in New York City, which felt like I was an extra in Tom Hanks “The Terminal” and another layover in Amman, Jordan, my sisters and I finally arrived to Cairo. Once we made it through customs, we were greeted by our Uncle (close family friend) and his tall glass of milk of an assistant. From there, we were transported to our hotel Le Sphinx, which had a jaw dropping view of the iconic Great Pyramids. Upon our arrival, everyone got settled into their rooms and toured the hotel while supper (yes…I said supper) was being prepared. While in Cairo our itinerary consisted of stops outlined in the Bible…the new testament to be exact.
First Stop: The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities
Like any museum, your first thought is “Where do I start?” To be in a structure that holds hundreds and thousands of years of history was mind boggling and it had my heart pumping. Fortunately, our visit came around the same time the King Tut exhibit was in town, so I figured that would be a good starting point.
When you think of a king, you envision a strong, tall, muscular man wielding his power as he saw fit. However, to my surprise, King Tut looked nothing like I imagined as a child. Instead, the examination of Tutankhamun’s body has also revealed deformations in his left foot, caused by necorsis of bone tissue. The affliction may have forced Tutankhamun to walk with the use of a cane, many of which were found in his tomb.
As we ventured the streets of Giza and Cairo, we wandered into a local bazaar. Chatter filled the air as local shop owners bargained with tourists and neighborhood locals. One particular store caught my eye, so I grabbed my fathers’ arm and dragged him inside. “I want this!” As I pointed to a sterling silver cartouche with Queen Nefertiti’s name spelled out in hieroglyphics on one side. So after using my gift of gab and expert persuasion skills, the necklace found its way around my neck. To make it EXTRA special, the store owner offered to spell my name out in hieroglyphics. Now, ten years later, the necklace is still attached to my neck. I never take it off and it can be seen in most of my pictures.