Check List

25 07 2009

A quick word before I share some of the wonderful things I’ve done and seen in the past week.  It is with great sadness that I share the news I just received – the passing of my beloved grandfather, Cecil Smith III, who for years wrote for the LA Times and instilled in me a love for writing.  It is in memory of him and his love of all things global and adventurous that I write this brief update.

– Arrive in Amman: check.

– Rent a car, purchase a “map”, and drive the winding and Arabic-signed streets of Jordan cities and villages: check.

– Wander along the Jordan River and visit the site where Jesus was baptized: check.

– Take in the expanse of the Promised Land, from where Moses did atop Mount Nebo: check.

– Get lost in random Jordanian village, only to be led by an overly friendly village man to a delicious Turkish meal and tea in the back of his hardware store.  Throw roadtrip schedule out the window: check.

– drive through the WILDERNESS: check.

– wander the majestic rock carvings and canyons of Petra, by candlelight: check.

– make friens with other tourists: check.

– drive through the WILDERNESS: check.

– watch the sunset over the red sands and mountains of Wadi Rum.  Camp under the stars in the Jordanian Desert: check.

– drive through the WILDERNESS: check.

– eye the Red Sea as we drive through Aqaba: check.

– float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea.  Rub mineral-laden mud all over me.  watch the sun set over Palestine: check.

– wander the souqs of ancient Damascus, stroll Straight Street, visit the house of Ananias where Paul was healed of his blindness and the part of the wall where he was lowered down in a basket to escape the Jewish leaders who were after him: check.

– enjoy the Middle East: check.