Travel Itineraries: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Writing

Part of an assignment to research and create travel itineraries
for destinations all around the world, for different types of travelers.
This installment: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

This assignment required me to “step out of self” more than the others in the series, because Saudi Arabia is not a country I’d care to visit, and nor would it want me there.  (Its strict legal codes based on Islamic principles—it’s the only Arab country that claims sharia law as its sole legal code—means men and women can be put to death for being gay. Also forbidden, with much smaller penalties: public consumption of alcohol and interacting with unrelated people of the opposite sex.)

While I wrote these itineraries for Jeddah, I put myself in the mind of executives who’ve been told they have to attend business meetings in Saudi Arabia’s commercial capital. What would they want to know and to see in their downtime?

The one thing that stuck with me, though, was the cuisine and culinary ingredients. Shakshuka! Coffee-date pudding! Orange-blossom mints! Mouhalabieh! Mint vinaigrette! The screenshots below have been saved on my desktop since last October as prompts to research the recipes and re-create the dishes (closer to home, where they could be accompanied by a digestif or a mimosa).

Head here for a two-day “Culinary Tour” piece — which includes an embedded photo of a spice market in the article that inspired me to log onto the Penzeys website — and here for a whirlwind “24 Hours In” itinerary.

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Travel Itineraries: Bal Harbour, Florida

Writing


Part of an assignment to research and create travel itineraries
for destinations all around the world, for different types of travelers.
This installment: Bal Harbour, Florida.

Sometimes I get exhausted just writing about all the activities in a suggested itinerary. When I was putting together the three-day “Cultural Treasures” article here, I swear my lower back seized up based on the walking and standing required to hit all the listed museums and arts events. To make up for it, the two-day “Romantic Getaway” itinerary here includes mimosas, massages, a private beach bed, quiet time in the hotel room, and an intimate, eight-guest restaurant where dinner lasts more than 2½ hours.

I mean, you could pick your favorite activities from each one …

Travel Itineraries: Kuala Lumpur

Writing

Part of an assignment to research and create travel itineraries
for destinations all around the world, for different types of travelers.
This installment: Kuala Lumpur.

I’m not sure if it’s too wise to admit it, but before this assignment I didn’t know much about Malaysia. (In fact, if you had asked me the name of this city, I’d have called it “Kuala Lam-pur.”) Researching articles like these can teach you a lot — especially when the first lesson is how far behind you are in learning.

That education started with my first sentence. Tin mining? I didn’t know that adding a tin alloy helps strengthen some metals, like copper, and I marveled how someone, somewhere, millennia ago, had already figured that out and determined how to smelt tin from ores. It only got more interesting from there.

Head here for a three-day “Cultural Treasures” adventure,
and here for a two day “Culinary Tour.”

Travel Itineraries: Sanya, China

Writing

Part of an assignment to research and create travel itineraries
for destinations all around the world, for different types of travelers.
This installment: Sanya, China.

I’m just happy they kept the word sylvan in the intro text. I’d tried to use it in another (earlier) destination, but their powers that be changed it to something more common. (Which made me determined to use it somewhere else instead.)

Head here for a two-day “Romantic Getaway” piece, and here for a five-day “Family Vacation Fun” itinerary (which let me use “See the Village People” as one of the intros, so of course it’s one of my favorites).

Travel Itineraries: Abu Dhabi, UAE

Writing

Part of an assignment to research and create travel itineraries
for destinations all around the world, for different types of travelers.
This installment: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Unlike the other nine cities in my mega-assignment, I had a friend who recently had spent a year or two in Abu Dhabi, and was able to suggest some suitable places to profile. Such an assist was greatly appreciated.

Head here for a whirlwind “24 Hours In” piece, and here for a two-day “Culinary Tour” itinerary (which is one of my favorites because they left in several of my intros that had fun plays on words, like “Every Day Is Hump Day” for a blurb about a place that serves camel burgers).

Travel Itineraries: Sintra, Portugal

Writing

Part of an assignment to research and create travel itineraries
for destinations all around the world, for different types of travelers.
This installment: Sintra, Portugal. Of all the locations I wrote about, this one enchanted me the most, and I might just end up visiting the area in 2018.

Head here for a three-day “Countryside Pleasures” piece, and here for a five-day “Family Fun” itinerary (which let me use the phrase “It’ll be epoch!,” so of course it’s one of my favorites).

Travel Itineraries: Key Biscayne, Florida

Writing

Part of an assignment to research and create travel itineraries
for destinations all around the world, for different types of travelers.
This installment: Key Biscayne, Florida.

Head here for a five-day “Family Fun” piece — the opportunity to wear
a real diving helmet sounds cool, but personally I’d spend all day at Vizcaya — and here for a three-day “Island Adventure” (which includes a snorkel/scuba tour of a series of shipwrecks).