When Blonde Guys Wear Thobes…

There is an old, historic shopping area of Jeddah called Al Balad where you can wander through old buildings and shops full of hookahs, traditional dress, and jewelry.  It’s a fun place to go when the weather is nice because other than the shops, it’s mostly outdoors, so as you can imagine in the height […]

Changes are Coming

Depending on your normal news source, you may have seen reports that some big changes are coming to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the not too distant future. Many of these changes are coming as a result of the country’s Vision 2030 in which there is a push to diversify the economy of the […]

Places: Fire Grill Fresh Mex Kitchen

It’s no secret that we love Mexican food (and by Mexican, I mean Tex-Mex).  In fact, we had a very Mexican-heavy week this week, which we haven’t done in a while, and it was glorious.  Over the course of 5 days we ate tacos, nachos, quesadillas, and burritos…twice. The only thing missing was a few […]

Places: Exit the Room

You have to find a way out. Time is ticking. You only have an hour, and the only way out is to use the clues. Do you think you can do it? Sounds serious, right? Well, it’s only as serious as you make it. This is the dilemma of an escape room. If you’re not […]

Jeddah International Market

Places: Jeddah International Market

Despite the presence of some international brands like Canon, Sony, and Fender, I’m not sure why this mall is called an international market.  It doesn’t strike me as being very international because of its lack of goods and food from other places, nor does it feel very much like a market because there aren’t stalls the proprietor […]

Whale Shark

Looking for Whale Sharks: A Weekend on the Red Sea

In 2016, we had an amazing chance to swim with whale sharks with Red Sea Safaris, a research group based out of KAUST. It is still probably the coolest thing we’ve done in Saudi Arabia, so when registration for the 2017 trips opened up, we decided that we probably didn’t need to go back this year knowing […]

Al Baik

Places: Al Baik

Whataburger. In-N-Out. Cook-Out. Taco Cabana. All are regional fast food restaurants in the U.S. that are unique enough they demand a cult-like following from locals and first time visitors alike. You’d better believe I don’t make a trip back to Texas without stopping at Whataburger. In the same way, western Saudi Arabia has Al Baik. […]

Places: Evania Ladies’ Spa

Need to kick back and relax a bit? Want a nice massage to release some stress?  Look no further than Evania Ladies’ Spa at the Park Hyatt in Jeddah. I recently had the opportunity to go to the spa with a bunch of ladies for a friend’s birthday, and though I’ve never been to a place […]


Camping in the Desert

If you’re anything like me, you don’t expect that there will be much of an incentive to venture into the desert to spend the night.  You probably have images of rolling sand dunes, an overbearing sun, and creepy, crawly animals.  Add to that the lack of modern amenities like running water and electricity…not exactly the makings […]

Coral Reef

Snorkeling from KAUST

When spending time in the Red Sea, Ashley and I usually prefer to scuba, but if you’re not a certified scuba diver, snorkeling is still a great way to explore the reefs. We’ve done some snorkeling off the coast north of KAUST before, but I was recently invited on a snorkeling trip from the KAUST […]