Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Yet another luxury hotel in Jeddah.


As beautiful as it is, the service is hilarious! They lost the billing information from YPO, didn’t send a car at the right time, couldn’t find an abaya for me to wear to the event, called as 1 a.m. to be sure we wanted a wake up call and then called us 50 minutes early this morning. Funny! BUT this is the view our our window.


And inside our room:


We got in just in time to iron our clothes and head for the venue, which was again a gorgeous, enormous home in the neighborhood! There was a huge theatre downstairs where a group of forty of us fit very nicely!

Here are our hosts who were also outstanding parents! We met their daughter who is in her 5th year of medical school. They had two children and then 10 years later had two more. They adore their children and they are obviously very successful parents!

One woman had a son who had cancer in his eye when he was two and has consequently lost the sight in both eyes. At fifteen he is a composer, plays four instruments brilliantly and claims that he is perfectly happy being blind! Interestingly they sent their children to boarding school, at ages 8 & 10, including him.


This group was so fun! Again, a night we’ll never forget!


What a place is Saudi Arabia! There are no movie theatres, but people seem to know all about the movies. Also dad came in so thrilled this afternoon after taking a quick look at the most incredible hotel gym he’d ever seen, including a squash court and a bowling ally. I was so excited to go in the morning until I was telling one of the women about it tonight and she reminded me that no women are allowed in the gyms. YIKES! Dad just went bowling by himself! This morning in the Jordanian newspaper (on the plane) there was an article about closing down all the athletic clubs for women, which are illegal, even though there is a real health issue for women because of lack of exercise.

This is the sky over Jeddah this morning from our hotel room.


At the airport there are literally hundreds of enormous tent-like canopies that accommodate all the pilgrims who come to the Hajj. Mecca is only a short distance from Jeddah so this is the main entry point for the three million pilgrims who come here every year! These tents are about ten rows wide and ten rows deep. Amazing!



On to Beirut!

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