Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Favorites

Hello,

Sorry for not posting yesterday! But my class schedule got rearranged just for that day and I had 7 AM practice and then left at 3 pm for the airport so my timing was well I had none!  So basically I was running to class or rushing to do work or prepping for the trip from about 12 pm onward on Wednesday and wasn't able to relax until last night and then I did reading for homework - see I am one of those kids that does her reading by first reading the passage and highlighting and then going back through and typing up in notes format what I highlighted! It is a very long process but gets the job done!

Ok, on to my Friday Favorites - I won't be posting my Thursday Throwback/Travel this week because I am working on my Abu Dhabi (pt. 1) trip and there are a lot of photos to still go through but I started them on the plane ride from Newark to Pittsburgh.  We were on a propeller commuter jet and even though it was pretty stable during the flight there were some bad pumps, but I did some reading but it actually made my stomach a little uneasy so I switched from reading to going through photos!  I just love looking through the old photos and seeing the stories, so I can't wait to share that with everyone but really, now onto my favorites.

(1) Ever since I tried Bliss triple oxygen face wash at Sephora last week, I have been craving to add it into my routine - it would take the place of my Say Yes to Carrots in the morning (I would still use that face wash for the evenings with my Clarisonic).  I just have heard such amazing things about Bliss and I guess it might be soon to take the plunge and try it out!  And I would use it without the Clarisonic (Which I am still just in love with)!


(2) I am in love with these leggings and this look that they are in!

(3) Also, with the super bowl coming up, S had me re-watch a ton of This Is SportCenter commercials and these two are amazing!
First is one of my favorites and I love the capitals and of course below I had to include the newest on for the Super Bowl.  It is pretty funny!  

(4) Lastly, I guess I just want to say GO BRONCOS!! I actually like Seattle but I grew up with loving Peyton Manning so I have to cheer for him and Denver! Super excited even though I really won't get to watch because I will be flying back with the team on Sunday at that time from Cleveland. We are landing at Newark a little after 8ish which probably means I will be able to see the halftime show from the plane since you fly over the Giant's Stadium and it is an outdoor arena! Hope they figure out a way to keep everyone warm since it has been so frosty there!  

Thanks for reading!
With joy,
A

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snazzy Sneaks

Hello,

So it is freezing here in NYC! It is so cold that even with gloves on my fingers still burned in pain from being so cold!  As S would stare at me and say, "So Cold... SO COLD!"  I know the whole country is freezing, my sister living in Atlanta got snow (2 inches) and it shut down the city, and then my parents who moved to Texas (their whole lives have been slowly creeping south) recently are freezing in Austin!  There is definitely something up with our environment...I am just saying!

Today's post is all about sneakers...with basketball season being in full swing as well as all my classes starting day 1 (what ever happened to the easing back into classes and syllabus day?) I am definitely a bit overwhelmed and tired (and very very sore) so I am trying to put some effort into my outfits but mostly looking for warmth and comfy! Sneakers would play an important part into it except I hate when my feet get cold (isn't it the worst?)! So I have been sticking to my old UGG riding boots that are completely filled with fur (like most UGGS) but I am looking to warmer days to resort back to skinny jeans/leggings and sneakers! I could really use with some warmer weather... but I am headed to Pittsburg and Cleveland this Thursday so I highly doubt that I will see any relief in temperatures.

Sneakers January 2014


Also, fun fact, but I will be landing Sunday night at Newark, so I probably will get to see the end of the Super Bowl since Newark is right next to the Giants Stadium where the Superbowl is being hosted this year...and boy do I feel bad for those people!  It is going to be cold! And also, I keep hearing that the Farmer's Almanac is saying that a huge snowstorm is supposed to hit that day... we shall see (maybe next time they should pick a warmer climate and/or a closed ceiling stadium? just saying...).

Thanks for reading!
With joy,
A


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

Hello,

First day of classes went well! Survived three classes in a row and even managed to squeeze in errands and grocery shopping.  Sadly, I already had some homework to do which is why this post is going to be short (homework and watching the two released episodes of lost girl, elementary and how i met your mother.... but good news is I cleaned the kitchen and my closet while watching them so not a total bust right?).

I made this two weeks ago for the road trip to Chicago and St. Louis in addition to my pumpkin bread.  While I love pumpkin bread, there was basically none left after 24 hours, even though it was meant for that Saturday road trip to St. Louis.  We are away this weekend and I have decided to just make two loaves of banana chocolate chip bread, though I am probably going to make one more pumpkin bread since I found a pumpkin in a can while going through the cabinets, but it will be for me to have snacks during the day!

Here is the link that I used to get the recipe!

I feel like you can guestimate on the chocolate chips, if you really enjoy them add more (or less depends on what you like). Otherwise, I stuck closely to the recipe!  Though I wonder if it could have used a little more time!  Also, man was the batter delicious, though you probably should not eat the batter since there is raw egg in there.

Honestly, this was the first time I made banana chocolate chip bread, normally I have just made banana bread and that has been a huge hit but this one was even bigger.  But if you want, here is the link for that recipe as well!

Thanks for reading!
With joy,
A

Monday, January 27, 2014

Grammy's Fashion

Hello,

Doesn't it feel like there is an awards show every weekend?  I don't know but I am kind of overwhelmed with it so I think I now have just tuned them out.  Maybe I am just getting old and for instance with the Grammys, I feel like each year, I know fewer and fewer artists.  But I always enjoyed the Grammys because the fashion can be so ridiculous and over the top and jaw dropping.  I was really hoping to have some of that this year but I feel like it was played pretty safe... I did not get to watch it but from looking at photos on People and PerezHilton, there seemed to be sequins as well as a lot of red. These are my top picks:
 This dress on Taylor Swift is perfection! I give it the gold and my favorite pick! Simple with some bedazzling but not too much to be overwhelming.  It is perfect and compliments her body well! 
 I like and dislike this dress...I love Anna Kendrick and typically find her clothing choices to be awesome, but I could do with less cleavage/exposure but still not a bad choice.
 T-Swift again! I like it but I also feel like this has been done before by both her and other actresses.
 Not a fan of deep-v but still she rocks it and also makes the red look super sultry/sexy without blending into the carpet!
 Don't care for the person but love this dress!
Honestly this was the first dress I saw on People that I was like ok I like.  It is playful and fun without being too youthful but perfect for the Grammys.  Well done!

Those are my choices and I honestly would love to create a list of really did not like looks but I don't want to be negative so I won't.  But to be honest there were way too many bizarre (not cool bizarre but rather ugly bizarre looks).  Oh well.  

Hope whoever is reading this had a great weekend. It was bitterly cold here in NYC but my dad flew in Thursday night and I got to see him Friday, Saturday and Sunday! I was so happy to see him! He used to come to all my games (well home games) my freshman and sophomore year but he has since moved to Austin for employment so he can no longer just drive up or take the bus - it just is not as easy to do! It was awesome because we beat #7 Emory on Friday and my Aunt from the city (but is now on the road with a new show) and my dad were there to see a great team win! And then my cousin from Indiana has business today in NJ and decided to come a day earlier and stay with me and see me (the team) play URochester and win!  Today's was tough to earn since quite a few of us are really sore and tired and sick but it was a tough and ugly victory but we pulled it out so it was  great weekend for us and I am looking forward to seeing how rankings go this week!  -- 5 weeks left in the season FYI.

Classes start today (I know super late) and I have a full day and I don't think any of them will be cut short by just reading over the syllabus.  So it begins, my last semester of college!  How scary?!?! Shoot I can't think about it too much because it causes my heart to flutter and stomach to flip so not wanting to prompt a panic attack I will move on and say that these next five weeks will pass by really quickly because classes + basketball means super busy, time flying by and wishing I could sleep more.  This weekend we are away at CMU (Pittsburgh) and CWRU (Cleveland).  Just got to survive and keep my head down and keep working! I also will be interested to see how I do with posting! 

Thanks for reading!
With joy,
A

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Favorites

Hello,

(1) Favorite purchase and skincare item: Clarisonic <-- I can't get enough of it! I love it so much! Though I only use it once a day (at night before going to bed).  I now get what everyone has been talking about!
If you are interested, I did my research and would not recommend buying one off of ebay or amazon, supposedly there has been major issues of tampering/fake products.  So I saved up the money (via meal money from the coaches and what not) and went to Sephora.

(2) Favorite song (or song that I can't get out of my head) is: Ellie Goulding - Goodness Gracious <-- it is going to be a total summer hit, or at least I think it will be!


(3) Favorite blog post from this past week - I had 4 (lucky number):
 From the Spaz Magazine (especially love that necklace against a long sleeve lbd)!
 From the Pink Peonies.  So jealous that she got to escape to Hawaii! Plus just love that dress (darn Asos for no longer carrying it in my size)! 
 Even though this blogger lives in San Francisco, she is rocking a total New Yorker outfit! Love the all black! Gal Meets Glam
Love this outfit, but I just wish her outfits were more affordable! Damsel in Dior

(4) Last favorite, but with the heaters on full steam and the cold + wind outside has made it an absolute necessary item but my favorite hand cream is: L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream.
This evening we play #9 Emory here in NYC and I am really looking forward to the game despite still being a bit sick and sore.  It should be a fun match and will really test our team to see if we can defend out home court! Go Violets #violetreboundingbobcats and also my dad is coming into town for the weekend, and my Aunt is coming to tonight's game and then my cousin is flying in (who I haven't really seen in years) for Sunday's game against Rochester.  Busy weekend and then classes start on Monday! 

Thanks for reading!
With joy,
A


Travel/Throwback Thursday: Chicago and St. Louis

Hello,

So I am not doing so well this week with posting on time!  But it is my last week before classes start, I have a head and chest cold, and my back went out during practice yesterday, oh and I lost my phone (but luckily recovered it this morning) so maybe I deserve a break?  I really shouldn't cut myself a break, I am just being lazy.  Ok so onto the post... this past weekend I (as well as the team) flew to Chicago Thursday night, played UChicago (and won hazzah!) on Friday night then we bused to St. Louis early Saturday morning, practiced and then Sunday afternoon played WashU (we lost... our first loss).  It was difficult to lose, especially we took the lead at the beginning and competed the whole game.  This also meant that I would never beat WashU at WashU (but granted they have basically lost only like 7 games at home in the last 10 years or something like that).  Though my Sophomore year, we definitely beat them at WashU...but thanks to the refs the game was called in their favor even though the shot clock had gone off and we were supposed to get the ball <-- you can check out the link here.

Here are the photos:

 Chicago - right by our hotel! These towers are definitely unique to Chicago! 
 This tower reminds me of the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in Dubai)! - I bet it was designed by the same architecture firm.  My mom mentioned to me that the firm that designed the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is a Chicago based firm!
 Soldiers Field:



Not many pictures of St. Louis but rather leaving it.  That would be the fourth time I was in St. Louis and normally you take a picture of the arch but otherwise I don't really take any photos there (this time I was asleep as we came into St. Louis, so I missed the arch).  Normally, I just walk a block to the grocery store for some snacks but otherwise stay in the hotel and sleep in between practice, walk throughs, meals and game.  Here is some photos from leaving St. Louis:
 I was fortunate to play 33 (out of 40) minutes against WashU, but it meant my body was super sore so over my nice stockings and outfit I had ice wrapped up around my right leg (where I took a nasty fall) on the bus ride to the airport. 
 I was so hungry at the airport that I ate dinner with the team at one of those restaurants by our gate (salad with fried chicken fingers cut up into it) and then promptly went to Dunkin Donuts and got this donut above as well as a jelly donut and a large hot tea.  Super Yummy! S will tell you that I don't like sprinkles but for some reason, probably just because I was still ridiculously hungry, I loved this one! 
Instagram photo on our approach into Newark but of the NYC skyline! 

Some other photos to add from this past week:


Earlier last week, we had a water main (I feel foolish but that doesn't seem the right spelling?) explode right by our place and it has wrecked 5th avenue (still closed) and supposedly the street was entirely flooded.  It still looks like a disaster zone and it is a week later!  The second image is after the street flooded and of course water got into all the buildings so not only did people in the buildings have to throw out anything that got wet they also had to pump out all the water that got into the buildings (to prevent further damage and mold)!

Then of course two days ago, we had another nice snow storm in the city (and the weather went from being 47 to 27 in one day and then yesterday was basically in single digits).  It snowed all day and supposedly we got about 10 inches but because people were plowing and salting all day it did not get to be too bad.
 S and I went out close to midnight to investigate how much had fallen and if it was still snowing.  Honestly, we couldn't tell if it was a lot or not but I still took this classic photo. S of course posed like this before ducking down and throwing yet another snowball at me.  
Photo from the Chelsea Apple Store, where I was having my computer looked at (it is all good now)...I guess you can't see the snowflakes too well in this photo but I thought it was nice! 

Thanks for reading!
With joy,
A

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Bread

Hello,

This post is also a bit late because my days are off and I am also just exhausted from basketball but I thought I would also add a recipe post to make up for missing Tuesday!  I did not make this recipe but I came across it two years ago and have fallen in love with it.  Every fall I start getting really into the mood for pumpkin and it doesn't go away until, well, maybe Easter.  I don't really drink coffee but who can say no to Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte in addition to pumpkin pie and obviously pumpkin bread is the next logical step!

What prompted my baking last week? Well whenever we have an away weekend, I like to bake some stuff for the road just so that way it deters me from spending all the money the coaches give us and also I am basically the grandma (was the mom) of the team and this way we have food to eat on the way to the airport and then while we bus between cities.  This past weekend is one of the longest weekends because we have to fly to Chicago on Thursday, play UChicago on Friday and then Saturday morning bus to St. Louis to play WashU on Sunday before we fly back to NYC.  A lot of traveling and even tougher games to play, so I brought along pumpkin bread and banana chocolate chip (and puppy chow) but today I am only sharing the recipe.

Here is the recipe! It really is not that hard and oh - my - goodness, the batter is delicious!  All in all, I would say it usually takes me 45 minutes to make the batter then another hour to cook it.  But I will also admit, I like to be watching something while I cook or do anything in the kitchen so that might be why it takes me longer!

Now, I am not sure if this recipe calls for two but I have a large loaf pan, so I always make 1 and it always takes 15-20 minutes longer to cook since there is more in just one pan.  My problem is, I always forget how much it rises so I need to move the racks in the oven around next time because the top got really messed up this past time because we kept moving it.  Also, because I only make one loaf, there is usually enough left over to pour into two small pyrex bowls and also cook (they take about 30-40 minutes, depends on the amount of batter).  Don't overfill these because again it has to rise and I would suggest putting the extra amounts in the bowls on top of a cooking sheet just in case any run off happens!
Thanks for reading!
With joy,
A

Late Monday Post... So really Wednesday's Post.

Hello,

Sorry for the very late posts! I am following this up with a Tuesday post. Classes have not started yet and with being away this weekend for games in Chicago and St. Louis, I don't quite have a grasp on what day of the week it is.  I spent all day Monday sleeping since I was super sore from playing Friday and Sunday, which by the way we came back to win against University of Chicago but still lost against WashU <-- I was quite sad to lose because that meant I never got an opportunity to beat WashU at WashU but hey at least I get one more shot at them at home and I am really looking forward to it.

Today I had practice and then S and I finally caught up completely on How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM)! It was exciting and I know that my friends R and T will be relieved now that we can talk about it, though R is still waiting for me to see Thor 2.  I also still need to see American Hustle and The Hobbit 2.  I also loved loved loved the return of Sherlock.  There was a ton of information thrown at us in the new episode but it still was good.  I actually need to ask my mom if she was able to watch it but I also know she has been super busy.   Now I am catching up on Elementary, which is America's answer to Sherlock.  Good but it has already caused me to miss one of my resolutions since it is 1 am.
I still need to watch the new episode and season for Lost Girl and I also am still watching Psych and Last Man Standing.

But enough, it has been snowing all day Tuesday and we have supposedly about 10 inches.  I did not dress well this morning when heading to the gym but it was fine when there was no wind but as soon as the wind picked up the snow was biting.  Here is my stab at a great snow weather outfit with different items I am totally craving.  But I must warn you, I have already made a promise to myself that I will not purchase any coats and workout gear until fall 2014 because I need to see if I really need/use the things I have.  But here is my polyvore set:

Snow Storm

Friday, January 17, 2014

West Point and Jordan - Israel Week 6

Hello,

Last night, I landed in Chicago with the men and women's basketball teams for our game today against University of Chicago.  It is very exciting.  I originally meant to post this on Thursday, for Flashback Thursday but I did not finish it on time nor did I have good internet for most of the day.  However this post starts with the WBB trip to West Point.  Honestly, I have been working on this post for a while  and when I started it (for reals) I did not get too far because I  loaded up netflix and clicked on Resident Evil...I have always wanted to get into that series but I started to watch it and o-m-g! It was so scary...20 minutes into it I turned it off... but it still haunted me last night (basically I did not sleep well).
But in other news, I loved that the team went up to West Point (it is about an hour outside of the city).  It took over an hour to get near the Army base/college and then we had dinner.  Eventually we got to the base and then got a tour by a former WBB player and also got to see our former assistant coach (who is now an assistant coach at West Point)!  The game was great and it was their third conference game.  They are now 3-0 in conference! good for them! And they leave today or tomorrow for Annapolis (MD) for the Navy game which is very exciting!  I wish them the best of luck.  Here are some photos from the trip:
This was the restaurant we ate at, just outside of the army base at westpoint.  It was nice to see that just a little ways outside the city (about an hour driving from the city) you can get a ton of food for so little money!


And now, I worked on this before practice as well as after practice but I think that I can finally share my photos from Israel (which was the trip I took during my 6th week of living in Jordan).  I loved my time there, especially for the food, ac and just exploring Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.  The culture and people are incredible and I honestly could see myself easily living there! I just loved it.  I have begged my parents to go back with me and hopefully we will get that opportunity in the next few years!  I stayed in hostels and traveled with my good friend Si, who I also lived with in Jordan and also had taken Arabic classes back at NYU with!

The days leading up to our trip, which we had planned since like the third week of living there, I was really sick.  I had constant migraines (light sensitivity) and heat stroke and I had been unable to eat or really move, since we did not have AC. The day of, some of the professors recommended against going since I was really sick but I figured if I could get into AC I probably would be better off, and the professor from NYU even said that if I died in Jerusalem, at least I could get buried there...I guess it is not as funny as I thought it was at the time but we were pretty miserable from the heat that it seemed funny.

So after morning classes, Si and I (and some other students) caught the Jet Bus to take us to Amman and an hour later we were at the bus station where we had a driver waiting for us to take us to the border.  We had heard that it would be best to get a driver (not a taxi) to take us to the border so there would be a set fee and also this way we would not risk angering certain people.  The ride to the border was much longer than I thought it would be but it was pretty scenic (though I have no photos).  The driver dropped us off at the border crossing and we went through the Jordanian checkpoint but were told we would have to wait for the next bus to take us over the crossing.  I kept asking how long till the next bus and they kept telling us 15 minutes... 2 hours later (and sitting in the 110 degree heat) we finally got on the bus (little anger here but: why should they send a bus every hour like they say they should when they can just wait for last call - last trip across the border and then send us, if not to only make us pay the 99 US Dollars to become  VIP which would get us into an air conditioning room while we wait for a driver to take us across the border... which we, as college students, all refused). To say the least I got more sick and it was so hot that my phone (Iphone) was damaged in the heat - like the pixels melted/broke or something so that I had lines going vertical down my screen.  Finally we get across the border, through the bomb checks and what not and get through visa checkpoint and I could not believe we were in Israel.  Granted, we had to wait for a shared taxi (sharta I think?) to fill up, and there was one very angry woman who did not understand why we had to wait for the car to be filled before leaving the border but eventually it was full and we were off heading into Jerusalem.  It was very exciting but not much to see since it was so dark.  We got let off, where we were told was right by our hostel, but I can't say for sure we were because we wandered for some time through the old city before eventually making it back to our place but luckily in the night it had cooled off some.  I also got to see the Wailing Wall lit up at night and see how Jerusalem was like at night!
We stayed at the Abraham hostel (link here) -- we booked it through hostels.com and Si and I were able to stay in a private room while some other students opted to stay in the dormitories.  Not big but did the job and had AC (big deal)! As soon as I was able to cool down, I almost immediately started to feel better and we were able to venture out and grab food.  I cried when I was finally able to eat some real food and relax a bit.  It was really nice and the food was so delicious!  I did most of my shopping and eating on Ben Yehuda Street and that is where much of the night life revolves around! Jerusalem is such a crazy city because there is such a mix of old and new, but it works! I honestly could easily see myself living there or anywhere in Israel.  I really loved my time here.  Below is some pictures from my tour with Si and a family friend of hers that offered to give us a private tour of the old city.  We started out on the roofs and it is pretty clear to see the different quarters (Jewish, Arab, and Christian) and you can also see how the territory has been divided based on the last few wars/treaties.  It is very interesting to learn about the politics and history of the nation.



















Those are views from walking to the Old City and then walking on top of the Old city.  This last picture is from when we came back down to the main level of the old city (though many people do use the roofs to get around, or so it seemed) and we walked into the Christian Quarter (though it appears that most Christians are leaving, and I believe the quarter is mainly the Greek Orthodox sect but they have been selling their buildings and leaving).  I got to see, what is believed to be the sight of Jesus' burial and a fabulous church! Pictures below:











afterwards, we continued the tour and visited some other ancient sites inside the old city (or around it) and visited another part of the wailing wall where you can write a prayer on a piece of paper and stick it in a crack in the wall.







These are some images of food we ate/saw! The first one is from our breakfast in the outdoor mall by the old city and we ate at Aroma (which I love in NYC and had no idea it was an Israeli company) for breakfast.  Did you know that there is no Starbucks in Jerusalem?  They tried to open one there but there are already so many fabulous cafes/coffee shops that it was not profitable so it closed down!  Actually, a really famous coffee drink in Israel is Ice Coffee (Ice Kaffee) which is like iced coffee but in slurpee form.
Now these are photos of the Shouq.  It is an incredible marketplace and really large.  In the back is a famous bakery called Marzipan - we got there right when they were bringing out the goodies from the oven and it smelled divine! I wish a photo could capture that smell in a photo!












The face of happiness! 

After spending a full day in Jerusalem (two nights) we caught a bus from the bus station (after eating at the most delicious food - Shwarma right now at a gas station right by the bus station...supposedly the best in all of Jerusalem .... and I have to admit it was pretty darn delicious) to Tel Aviv.  One of the most shocking things I saw and had to get used to was seeing kids my age and younger carrying automatic guns in public places and on buses.  It was quite different from what I was used to and shocking but it also made me feel safe in an area that isnt necessarily and also showed me how these people need to live.  It was very impressive.

Our hotel was a block away from the beach and I could not have been happier.  Luckily Si knew all the places to go and see and where to eat! One night we got fish right on the water and it came with so many salads and what not I barely had room for the amazing fish.  And I found a place very similar to 16 Handles - froyo and they had such amazing food and it was across the street from the hotel... I ate thre 6 times in three days (was it three or two?) ... they started to recognize me! I am telling you, I had not eaten well in some time because I had been so sick in Jordan but these 5/6 days away was a life saver and helped me survive the rest of the time back in Jordan.








We decided to return to Irbid, Jordan on a Saturday - Shabbat (since classes started up again on Sunday) and most public transportation is shut down for Shabbat so we had to pay extra money to get from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a shared taxi and then again extra money from Jerusalem to the border crossing.  This time we had AC but we still had to wait a while before they took us back over the border to Jordan and to catch yet another shared taxi to the Jet Bus Station to take a bus back to Irbid.  So lots of traveling.  To put it mildly, I was very sad to leave Israel - I actually cried.  But I made a promise to myself and with my parents that I would return and to take them to the places I have seen and also perhaps explore some of the places I did not get to visit like the Dead Sea and Tiberius (aka Sea of Galilee).

There is so much I wish I could share but I don't know if I could accurately describe my experience or my feelings that I had while I was there but I am not the same person that I was before I went to Jordan and even from the time I was in Israel.  It was an incredible time.  The last two weeks, Si and I talked about returning to Israel to visit the Sea of Galilee (Tiberius) but we were both so sick from the heat that we actually got to a point where we just needed AC - I mean it was late July and the heat was bad and it was Ramadan (so like no stores were open during the day but it was like a major party at night so I also was not sleeping at the right times) but we go to a point where we were soaking towels in water and freezing them and that was a way to keep us cool enough for a time to sleep but eventually we would over heat and have to switch out towels.  Later on we learned that because we were on the top floor, the heat was even worse!  We moved into our friends living room two floors down and it made over 10 degree difference... all of a sudden we could sleep but we did not do that until the last week!

However, for the next two weekends we found a boutique hotel that was in a very posh area and we literally stayed in our room, watched the Olympics (in Arabic) and slept and ate good food!  And during the day if we did leave, we escaped to Rainbow Street to one of the few places that was open during Ramadan, during the day that is, the Turtle Cafe a foreign expat coffee shop! It was our way of surviving...but we learned to enjoy it even though it had a cost (for our parents)!
To be honest, I was pretty discourage and sad about my time in Jordan.  There was so much more I wish I could have done and learned but at the same time my body did not let me do much ... I became almost nocturnal because the heat would bring on my migraines during the day so I would knock myself out with tea or sleeping medicine or some painkillers and then wake up at night and do work/read/watch something...it was my bodies way of coping I guess. All in all I lost about 15 lbs during my time in Jordan but don't worry ... I gained it all back!  But luckily, my neighbors back in NoVa introduced me to a Jordanian family who planned to visit Amman toward the end of Ramadan and they showed me (and Si) a different side of Jordan that I had never seen.  They took us up to the Amman Citadel at night during Ramadan and we were able to participate in festivities, listen to live music and eat good food and enjoy good conversations (and I was not scared to be seen in ordinary clothing).  It was a good experience.

I am still glad that I went.  I am a different person and I have both many good and bad experience.  I wish I could have done things differently in certain scenarios but I don't believe I could have changed how I handled things then.
Thanks for reading!
With joy,
A