Latest Designs and Adventures

Egyptian Pyramids 8 Day Tour - Day 2 to 3 Overnight Train from Cairo to Aswan October 06 2017

From Cairo we took the overnight train which left at 8:00pm and arrived in Aswan around 8:30am. The train compartment had two sleepers and a sink to wash up in and we were served dinner on the train. The ride was pretty comfortable and it was clean. Of course, the bathrooms not so much by time morning came! But I've seen worse! I really enjoyed this experience. We had a really great bunch of G Adventure travelers and we all hung out and chatted with each other during the trip.  

From the Aswan train station, we headed to the Nile Hotel which overlooked the Nile and Elphantine Island. The hotel rooms weren't that impressive in itself at the time of my visit, but the views from the room and rooftop were amazing! We found some wine at the Aswan Duty Free store a few doors down and enjoyed the views at night. It appears that the hotel has undergone some renovations and the rooms look really nice now, which is wonderful to hear because the hotel is in a prime location. The market is nearby and so are many nearby local sites and you can walk to the Nile and catch the boats to Elephantine Island and for our trip on the Felucca down the Nile.

During the tour of the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, the temperature was 32 degrees, which rose to 42 degrees in Aswan. Now that's hot!! Lots of water and ice cream!

View overlooking the Nile and Elphantine Island from our hotel room.


Egyptian Pyramids 8 Day Tour - Day 2 Cairo Pyramids of Giza October 01 2017

Ahhh the amazing Pyramids of Giza. The feeling of standing next to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx that you've seen in books, movies and documentaries was overwhelming. These pyramids are the last standing original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to survive. The Sphinx, Guardian of the Giza Plateau, is dated around 2500 BC. The Great Pyramid was built by the 4th-Dynasty King, Khufu, between 2589-2566 BC. The two smaller pyramids were constructed by Khufu's successors, Khafre and Menkaure.

The Sphinx, Pyramids, inside Menkaure's Tomb and our G Adventures group.

The Pyramids and Cairo in the background.

The Pyramids of Menkaure and Khafre.

The Sphinx!

I paid to go inside the Pyramid of Menkaure, which was pretty cool.


Egyptian Pyramids 8 Day Tour - Day 2 Cairo Egyptian Museum September 30 2017

Our Day 2 was a very full day as each day to come would be as well.  First thing in the morning, with our bags packed and loaded in the van, we headed to the infamous Egyptian Museum of Antiquities (Egyptian Museum) established in 1902.  The museum has two floors with multiple rooms full of wonderful antiquities. The historical artifacts range from the Narmer Palette, dating around 3100 BC, through to the Graeco-Roman Fayoum Portrtos of the 2nd Century AD. Impressive is the Colussus of Amenhotep II and Queen Tiye and the King Tutankhamun galleries.  The museum also has a room full of animal mummies with lots of large crocodiles!

Colussus of Amenhotep II and Queen Tiye

On the ground floor are artifacts from the New Kingdom, the time period between 1550 and 1069 BC. These artifacts are generally larger than items created in earlier centuries. Those items include statues, tables, and coffins (sarcophagi), it also contains 42 rooms, upon entering through the security check in the building, one looks toward the atrium and the rear of the building with many items on view from sarcophagi and boats to enormous statues.

On the first floor there are artifacts from the final two dynasties of Egypt, including items from the tombs of the Pharaohs Thutmosis III, Thutmosis IV, Amenophis II, Hatshepsut, and the courtier Maiherpri, as well as many artifacts from the Valley of the Kings, in particular the material from the intact tombs of Tutankhamun and Psusennes I. Two special rooms contain a number of mummies of kings and other royal family members of the New Kingdom.

Various Animal Mummies

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly...

During the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and the 2013 Protests, many museums and tombs were raided and valuable artifacts were broken and stolen. In 2011, in particular, the Malawi National Museum, located in El Minya, was heavily ransacked and partially burned and took 3 years to reopen. The Egyptian Museum had mummies and other valuables stolen during these two time periods. The Egyptian Museum was protected by the people and army of Egypt during the riots which reduced the loss of artifacts.

 

*Note: These photos were taken from the web except the one photo with me in front of the Museum.  Therefore I assume no credit for any of these photos nor for the quality of the photos. I have solely added the photos for the purpose of sharing the exquisite artifacts and social climate of Egypt. The floor plan is copied from my Eyewitness Travel Egypt book.


Egyptian Pyramids 8 Day Tour - Day 1 September 30 2017

Back to my travel blog on my African adventures....

I booked an 8 day tour of the "Best of Egypt" with G Adventures, a Canadian touring company. The tour makes its way from Cairo to Aswan and back and focuses on the major Egyptian sites along the path. 

The tour includes the following:

  • Local Living: Felucca Sail to Nubian Village with Traditional Meal, Aswan
  • Local Living: Lunch with a Local Family, Luxor
  • Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx entrance and guided tour
  • Egyptian Museum entrance and guided tour
  • Nubian village visit
  • Felucca overnight sailing excursion with support boat
  • Karnak and Kom Ombo temples entrance and guided tour
  • Temple of Hatshepsut and Valley of the Kings guided visit and donkey ride
  • Colossi of Memnon visit

We also visited the Philae Temple, Edfu Temple and I added the Hot Air Balloon ride over Luxor and the Abu Simbel Temple.  The full itinerary can be found here: https://www.gadventures.com/trips/best-of-egypt/3693/itinerary/

I flew back from Hurghada to Cairo and the tour company picked me up at the airport. I stayed at the Santana Hotel in Cairo which the tour company booked. The tour is about a 3* hotel accommodation and the rooms are shared, unless the single supplemental is paid. That single supplemental fee can be costly and it irritates me that single travellers have to pay this regardless of the number of stars a hotel is.

Our tour guide, Said Attia, met us at the hotel and gave the group an overview of the trip. Said was the most amazing tour guide. He was very attentive, knowledgeable and had the patience of a saint!  

Said took us on a short walking tour through the neighbourhood to have dinner at a local eatery. That definitely gave me a different impression right away about Egypt as I was unsure about the safety of walking the streets as everyone was so worried about me going to Egypt on my own. However, the area that we were in felt very safe and it was a great introduction to the local culture around us. After dinner we stocked up on snacks at a local grocery store and hung out at the hotel getting to know one another in the group. 


NEW! Die Cut Palm Tree August 02 2017

Look at this new die cut palm tree that I just made.  I think it's amazing!  I have made it very sturdy and full of palm fronds and added the little brown coconuts. The base is the same colour cardstock as the Natural Palm Tree Invitation.  This palm tree is about 6" high and 4.25" wide.  I plan on making some larger ones as well.

 

 


Ticket to Paradise Boarding Pass Invitation and coordinating luggage box. August 01 2017

I love this new wedding boarding pass suite!  I love the combination of the wildflower purple with the turquoise.  I've created my own folder for the invitation as well.The invitation comes wrapped in turquoise raffia with a cut out airplane and "Ticket to Paradise" tag. It comes with a full sized response luggage tag that fits into a RSVP envelope and the invitation fits into the turquoise #10 envelope.  I plan on posting this on my shop and making some more of these in the future.


Tropical Beach Destination Wedding Accessories! August 01 2017

As you recall, I posted this new incredible tropical beach wedding invitation a couple of months ago... I will be posting these on my shop soon! 

I have made a whole bunch of accessories for this invitation suite.  In this photo I've made the new menu and dinner tags and tags to wrap around flip flops with the ladies names on them.

My seashell program was used and as the wedding was taken place in Maui, I have incorporated some tiki items and a whole bunch of tropical and colourful flowers.  The gold text has been kept for the guests names, on the booklet and on the signs.

I love this morning after door sign! 

I also created a little booklet for the thank you note and itinerary through the few days.

I've created quite a few new signs as well.  I have added a sheet of gold metallic cardstock with the turquoise for the welcome sign.

I've created this new Hawaiian canoe for a new place card option.  On this one my customer was going to add the umbrella and needed a tag for the menu items.

The new Aloha and Mahalo canoe signs!

Everything together!

 


2018 4x6" Photo Calendars have arrived! June 13 2017

Well last year I was a bit behind in getting my calendars out so this year I decided to get them out early!

These calendars include 12 - 4x6 unbound & borderless photo pages for each calendar month as well as 1 - 4x6 collage cover showcasing the photo selection. I've bundled up the calendar in a beautiful folder that is tied together with coordinating ribbon. The folder contains one pocket with a little paper stand that is a perfect holder for the calendar. The other pocket holds the belly band bounded calendar. A photo collage of all the photos for each month is neatly placed in corner slots on the front of the folder. These make perfect little gifts for your friends, co-workers and family.  Or don't forget yourself this season!

These calendars range from photo sets from Belize, Cuba, Maui, Floral and Fauna from the Pacific West Coast, Black and White photos from around the world, and my favourite Doors and Windows.  Now available are three new calendars with my 12 top photos of the pyramids in Egypt, my safari through Kenya and Tanzania and from Zanzibar.

Check out my 2018 PHOTO CALENDARS HERE!

 


Hot Pink Flower Cube Favour Boxes June 01 2017

Recently I made 60 of these hot pink 2.5" cube flower boxes that were designed not only to hold the most darling "Kate Spade" inspired gourmet oreo cookies but also were used as the place card for the guest with the table number.  Inspired by "Kate Spade", the box was made with the hot pink paper and flower with a black brad, the band around the box was black with a gold glitter ribbon around it, and I also added a bit of gold glitter to the front of the place card. 

My customer, Diane, sent me a couple of the photos of the boxes with the gourmet chocolate oreo cookie and the boxes all displayed on the table for the guests when they walk in.  That oreo cookie looks so delicious and the colours of the cookie with the hot pink, gold and black coordinate so well together with the boxes.  Thanks Diane for the photos!


Large 1 Airplane Themed Luggage Favour Box May 04 2017

My latest luggage box design!


Hot Pink/Turquoise Tropical Flowers, Leaves and Seashells Beach Wedding Suite May 02 2017

Here is my final design of this beautiful and colourful tropical seashell beach wedding suite. Yes, hot pink and turquoise and touches of gold are the featured colours and work perfectly with the colour seashells and tropical flower and leaves wreath of the invitation and that of the response card. I've added gold coral behind the wreath with a few little fish and a turtle. The background is a lovely soft watercolour blue. I've tied the pocketfold with hot pink raffia and gold ribbon and a little monogram luggage tag which ties into the luggage tag save the date.  This new save the date luggage tag is so cute!


Mexican Tile Wedding Suite now available in 4 different colour combinations! May 02 2017

Here is my "Mexican Tile" wedding stationary design, now in four different colour combinations. To keep with the traditional tile style, I've designed this suite using a 6x6" pocket invitation. I've designed a special front on the pocket flap with the addition of the monogram. The suite is nicely tied up with a gorgeous bow.


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