by Nina Sabin - Travel
Repat number five we decided to go back to the US to our home state, Florida and then travel to the UK before going back to KSA. We had about a month to travel around the world.
It is always such a blessing to be able to come back to our home country once a year. We love to be able to visit family, see friends, and shopping.
In Saudi and other countries, it never feels quite like the US with all the variety stores and products. We also loved the fact that we didn’t have to wait for prayer time to be over in order to shop. In Saudi, in order to go shopping we had to wait until prayer time was over. Prayer time, also known as Salah, happened five times a day for about 20 – 30 minutes at a time. The freedom to be able to shop for anything we want, when we want, is a wonderful treat.
Our first visit was with Nina’s mother and father. One of our favorite ways to travel is on a cruise. The girls, Nina's mother and Nina took a Royal Caribbean Cruise to Key West and Cozumel. At this time Jessica and Brooke were ten and eight. They loved the Kids Club. So many exciting activities for children, especially the night they were return to the cabin after midnight. That was truly a big deal for a ten and eight year old.
Next John came to join us and we started our tour through Florida. We drove up the East Coast from South Florida where Nina’s parents lived to Titusville. You can’t miss the opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center in Titusville. Seeing the rockets close up was amazing and they had a great film all about space and the life of an astronaut. We tasted freeze dried foods that astronauts eat. I think our favorite was the Neapolitan ice cream. However, our most memorable part of our time at the Kennedy Space Center was meeting and taking a picture with a real astronaut.
We left Titusville and proceeded to Orlando to visit friends. Just to let you know there is more to Orlando than theme parks, though Disney and Universal are the main attractions. There are so many restaurants to explore. Our one-day visit in Orlando entailed visiting friends and going to one of our favorite restaurants. We really enjoy Texas Roadhouse Grill. Their sourdough bread is mouth-watering and it brings out the animalistic behavior in us when we can throw peanut shells on the floor.
Moving on from Orlando we drove to Daytona Beach and then St. Augustine. Each about an hour ride. We love to do road trips where after an hour or so we can stop in a town and experience the ambiance of the area. Even though John and Nina visited there when they were younger, things change and there are more adventures to be had.
Daytona is known for their beautiful white sandy packed beaches. It is cool to see cars driving along the sand. St. Augustine is a famous historic town with lots of quaint shops and restaurants. Our favorite things to do when in St. Augustine is see the fort, the neat old cemeteries, the cigar rolling shops, and of course a day is not complete without fudge tasting.
After two days in St. Augustine, we were off again driving six hours to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. It is another quaint town like St. Augustine. We like that people dressed in colonial outfits and walked around the area. It made us feel like we had gone back in time. One of the places had an attic where the girls and I could try on outfits and use our imagination that we were back in time.
Something we found totally amazing was running into John’s cousin while we were at a restaurant. We always call it a divine intervention when we see someone we haven’t talked to or seen in years and we randomly meet up. We believe nothing is random. God always has a plan and timing for things to happen in our lives.
On our second day in Virginia we drove to Jamestown which is very close to Williamsburg. We took the Colonial Parkway, which is a twenty-three-mile scenic roadway stretching from the York River at Yorktown to the James River at Jamestown. It connects Virginia's historic triangle: Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Several million travelers a year use this route to enjoy the natural and cultural beauty of Virginia.
We then traveled to Washington DC. It was about a three hour ride from Williamsburg, Virginia to Washington DC.
Nina visited the capital as a child but didn’t remember how amazing it was to see the incredible historical city of our nation. We loved seeing the Lincoln memorial and the Washington Monument. A great memory is just after we went in the monument we had the opportunity to hear a national military band play. We felt so official walking around Washington DC.
When we were at one of the Smithsonian buildings we ran into some friends from Saudi who were also visiting. This again another divine appointment. Such a small world.
We finished our US part of our trip by driving to Georgia and visiting John’s parents. It is always a joy to visit family. We love Georgia with the fresh air, amazing scenery, and being able to go blueberry picking.
In our next blog we will take you from the US across the world to the UK. We spent most of our time in London. It is so cool to be in another country in just a matter of hours. Stay tuned for the rest of our ‘Around the World in a Month’ repat.