My wife and I went on a trip to Jordan for eid 2013. We had a great time at the Dead Sea, Petra, and then for the remainder of the trip we visited my wife’s family in Amman.
On the first day in Jordan, we traveled to the Dead Sea and stayed at Movenpick Dead Sea. It’s a beautiful and large five star hotel that has a theme of old time Jordan. The rooms are spacious and beautiful looking with a unique Arab design compared to other hotels. They have three pools and the large pool is gigantic and fun to swim in. We spent the majority of our stay at the pool having a bunch of fun. Only criticism is that they are set way too cold. Instead of going into the huge large pool we opted to swim in the smaller pool because it was 1 degree warmer! Here is a photo of he pool view from the backside:
I have two negative things to say about the hotel. First, all the food sucked. We ate at the Italian restaurant for lunch. The starter bread was to die for, but the minestrone soup was bland, and my main dish of stuffed chicken was dry and flavorless. The spinach that was stuffed inside the chicken tasted like nothing. My wife didn’t finish her penne’ arabiata because half the pasta was undercooked and the sauce was bad tasting.
Later that night, we ate at the outside cafe and had a shawerma plate and it was dry. We opened the sandwich up and you could see the insides were burned. The next day, we went tot he free morning breakfast buffer and it was just okay. I had one of the cooks make me an omelet but he overcooked it to hell.
For lunch we ate at the pool cafe and it was pretty bad. We ordered a shawerma plate and it was gigantic, enough for four people, and the chicken was charred way too much and didn’t have that great of a taste. They didn’t even serve bread or garlic mayo to eat with the shawerma so it was weird.
The second negative thing at the hotel was the flies. There are flies EVERYWHERE along side the pool. Tons and tons of them. Whenever you get out of the water you get surrounded by them. They really need to do something about them because they were unbearable.
Highlights include an awesome belly dancer on the night we ate at the outside cafe. She was incredible and my wife and I couldn’t stop watching her dance for an hour! She had great skill.
Before we left for Petra, we drove up the mountain road to the Dead Sea Panorama view. It’s got an incredible view and I took a photo. Here it is:
After that, we were off to Petra. Let me tell you, DO NOT USE A GPS TO GET TO PETRA!!! It took us on this HORRIBLE mountain road that wasn’t paved and took us high up into some mountains where the lane was tiny, had no guard rails, and if you looked to the left or right you’d see nothing because you were so high up. It was scary and took an hour and a half to drive through, but we eventually got to Petra all shaken up.
So, after that horrifying ordeal, we got to Movenpick Petra. This Movenpick was smaller, and the rooms are pretty standard hotel rooms. It was rated five stars but it felt a lot more like a four star hotel. Either way, they were really nice and we had a good nights sleep. For breakfast, we went down to the free breakfast buffet area and the food was better than Movenpick Dead Sea. Again, I had one of the cooks make me an omelet and this time it was cooked just right and was tasty.
Then we went on our epic seven hour journey through Petra. It’s stunning to see the sights, but this was our second time seeing Petra so it wasn’t as amazing. If anything we were way more annoyed. There are tons of bedouin shops along the roads trying to get you to buy junk, bedouin kids trying to get you to buy postcards and rocks, and bedouin donkey and camel owners trying to get you to have a ride. It’s annoying how much they try to solicit you, and the funny thing is each one of them can speak about 5-6 languages so they can get the sale. That, along with the constant donkey, camel, and horse shit all along the pathways and stairs, makes it a pretty disgusting journey. I think we’ve had enough of Petra. One viewing is enough, but now we’ve done it twice. Not to mention it’s really exhausting. It took us seven hours to go in and out of Petra, and it’s full of uphill walks, stairs, and uneven/stony walkways.
Here is a photo of Petra at the top of some 8o0 stairs.
It was a fun journey. We’ll go to the Dead Sea again, but probably not Petra.
For the rest of the trip we visited my wife’s family in Amman, Jordan for eid celebrations. I took hundreds of photos of the family, but I’d like to share a special photo that I took. It’s a photo of one of my wife’s identical twin cousins.
We had a great time. My wife’s brother was a great host for the two day trip we took to the Dead Sea and Petra, and my wife’s family is always fun to be around in Amman.
I’ve been on a sonic journey these past couple of days in an attempt to find new some new music to listen to, and I’m finding a pattern with a handful of bands that I keep hearing. Many of them are from Canada. The great northern country has been pumping some quality metal lately and I thought I’d quickly share the three best I’ve listened to so far.
An instrumental band that are highly progressive. Their songs are pleasing to my ears with the highlight being the soulful solos . My personal favorite from them is the song Tapestry, and you can check it out right below:
Protest The Hero
Protest The Hero have been around for a while now, but I recently found them through their song Hair-Trigger. They recently kickstarted the production of their latest album with the website Kickstarter. I really like the quality and breadth of the vocalists voice, and with each guitar focusing on different styles of rhythms at the same time, the whole experience is brain stimulating. Hair-Trigger remains a favorite and you can check it out below:
Another metal instrumental band that focuses on tight melodies and addictive rhythms. I quite enjoy the track ** Stars **.
Bring the METAL.
With the help of some loved ones and the awesome Salmeen Musical Instruments, I’ve been able to attain a wonderful made in Japan Ibanez RG1570z.
As soon as I got it I went ahead and put some Dimarzio pickups into it. The Crunch Lab for the bridge and Liquifire for the neck. This guitar has a direct mount system for the pickups and initially the bridge pickup was too high and too close to the strings. I ended up having to add a neck shim in the neck pocket so I could raise the bridge in order to get some distance between the pickup and strings, but now it’s great. The guitar tone is really meaty thanks to the great woods used by Prestige and also thanks to the great Dimarzio pickups.
The neck is incredible. The Prestige necks are not only really thin but very wide as well. It fits my hand really great and feels natural.
I love this guitar and don’t see myself purchasing anything lower than another Prestige ever again. Ibanez guitars ROCK!
I just made a post about getting back into Diablo 3 and now, only a couple of days later. it is now done! I called upon my brother and good friend and we had a LAN party where we gathered our strength and beat Diablo 3!
Our goal was monster power 8. It was tough, and we did die a handful of times, but we managed to finally beat the game. It was a really fun time and now I’m tired of playing Diablo 3. I am putting this game to rest.
Here’s some more photos of us beating Diablo 3.
Last year I went all Diablo 3 crazy with a close friend of mine. We played a ton of hours to reach inferno mode which is the highest difficulty that can only be played after beating the game three times in a row. We plowed through the other difficulties like a piece of cake, but unfortunately it didn’t last. Inferno was way too tough and we couldn’t even finish act I in that difficulty.
A lot of the problems can be attributed to a dependence on the in game auction house. You could farm and farm for days in act I of inferno mode only to get little to no items that would be useful for your character. So instead you would jump into the auction house and buy some armor or weapons with your hard earned gold, but the problem was the good gear was way overpriced. We’re talking hundreds of millions for gear needed to beat inferno mode, and we didn’t have that kind of gold. That factor along with life itself lead to my friend and I dropping the game and never beating inferno difficulty.
Flash forward a year and it seems like everything has stabilized. They’ve patched the overall difficulty of inferno mode and the auction house high rates for good gear has significantly reduced. When I logged in and went to the auction house I completely re-geared my level 60 barbarian for cheap and it made her much stronger.
I shall call that friend of mine and we shall beat inferno mode together!
Have a listen:
I recorded this instrumental cover of Dark Saga by Iced Earth. I personally love Iced Earth and one of my favorite albums of all time is Dark Saga. I thought I’d pay homage to the band by recording this cover. Listen and let me know what you think.
Check it out here:
I made this lyric video for the song Dead Man’s Plight by Ashes of Ares. I’ve always liked lyric videos and decided that I wanted to learn how to create one. I taught myself the program After Effects and within the time span of a week I produced this video. Check it out and let me know what you think.
I’m a die hard Berserk fan. I thought I’d share with you these threads on reddit showcasing Berserk references in video games such as Dragons Dogma, Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. When I used to play online in Demon’s Souls I noticed many Guts like character builds and thought it was really cool. I even made one myself with a Dragon Bone Smasher and Crossbow.
Dragon’s Dogma (Capcom actually got permission to put this in the game)
This week my wife and I are on a mission, to eat at home all week long. If this is a “duh” to some readers, listen up.
You see, in Kuwait, fast food and restaurant chains are abundant, and when you’re bored at home and have nothing to do, the #1 thing to do is to go out and eat. That’s what my wife and I do at least. Honestly though, we are getting sick of it. The average cost to eat out for the two of us is around 11KD and by the end of the meal, and the subsequent hours ahead, we feel bloated and horrible. Portions are huge and I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t like things to go to waste. Plus the amount of oils they use at restaurants is staggering. Don’t forget that sometimes the food at certain restaurants is not that good or can cause food poisoning if not handled or cooked properly! Eating out has also has affected my weight. I’ve gained weight and while I’m not obese or anything, I think I could lose a couple of KGs.
So this weekend my wife and I went to the grocery store (Lulu Hypermarket in Qurain which is our favorite), bought some fresh meats and veggies, and been cooking all week while my wife is at school/work and having everything prepared when she gets home. And no, I don’t ask the maid to do anything. I do all the preparation and cooking myself.
On Sunday I made an American dinner. 24 hour marinated and baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. Yesterday I made an Italian dinner. Fresh spaghetti sauce with baked meatballs and farfalle pasta. Today I’m making a Kuwaiti dish called “chicken marag” which is a whole chicken cooked in tomato sauce with potatoes and carrots served with rice. I’m thinking of making some fresh meat burgers tomorrow and maybe a chicken casserole or vegetarian dish for another day.
The effect of eating at home is instantly noticeable. No more bloated feeling, no more mounds of oils in food, and it’s honestly better tasting than some restaurants because it’s fresh and cooked the way we want to eat it. I think a lesson can be learned here from us Kuwaitis since Kuwait is extremely obese.
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