Kaunas! (It’s In Lithuania)

Hello Dear Readers!

I’m still aboard my interminably long flight from New York to San Francisco, having drunk two glasses of ‘sparkling wine’ and made my decision to stay conscious regadless. I shall soldier on.

We last left off at Harrison’s bemused discovery of our destination, Lithuania, which most people know as ‘that one country near…umm…Europe?”

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Our flights were dirt cheap and just over four hours long, which may seem like an awfully long flight for a three day weekend, but only because it is.

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Worth it

To top it off, we flew to Kaunas, not Vilnius (the capital), which meant we spent one night in Kaunas before taking the train to the capital.

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We spent the day as tourists do, wandering the old town, taking photos, and generally goofing off in the form of excessive amounts of food.

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“I swear I won’t put this online either,” -Me, shortly before putting this online.

You know, as one does.

– Carissa “Help I love Food” Rawson

Surprise! Lithuania

Hello Dear Readers!

I’m still writing to you from the depths of my transcontinental Alaska Airlines flight, where Brit is snuggled securely under my feet and I’ve just braggily finished my first-class steak. It was a little overdone, to be honest.

But I digress.

It was Harrison’s birthday this last April, and amongst the gifts I showered about him (I have a problem), I also decided this was the ideal time to surprise him with a secret vacation. Well, ok, he knew we were going on a trip, but he didn’t know where.

I’ll start by saying that my choice of destination was entirely dependent on the cheap-ass fare that I found, courtesy of Ryanair and its yellow plastic seats.

So it was that on the morning of our journey, he packed his bags, having attempted to guess our trip location for the past several months and having failed miserably. His only hints included, “Yes, you’ll need a passport. Yes, bring your swimsuit. Yes, bring your jacket too.”

I have to admit, I was super stoked to be surprising him with this. It’s been a long time since I’ve planned all the activities on our trips (he’s usually the doer-planner), and I had packed our itinerary with things I knew he loved.

We arrived at the airport with him as clueless as can be, knowing only that we were flying on Ryanair (never again, by the way).

He squinted up at the flight information board, staring at all the departures.

“Are we going to…Rome?” he asked, his brow furrowing at the thought of a repeat visit to a country.

Nope!

“We’re going to…Paphos?” he frowned as he considered what a common destination Greece was. 

Nope!

With only one destination left up on the board, he read it out slowly, “Are we heading to…Ki-wan-us?”

Kaunas! Yes! I grinned triumphantly up at him, excited for his reaction.

“Uhm…where’s that?”

And so our journey to Lithuania started, with bags of bikinis and rain jackets and multitudes of places to explore.

-Carissa “Help I’m on a Ryanair Flight” Rawson and Harrison “It’s Pronounced K-oh-nus” Diamond

Generous Jordan

Hello Dear Readers! Does it always seem like I’m saying I’m going to write more trip reviews for you guys? I realized yesterday perusing through my posts that I’ve promised a thousand and one stories…so I guess I’d better start making a dent. I told you all that I spent four days at the Dead […]

Hello Dear Readers!

Does it always seem like I’m saying I’m going to write more trip reviews for you guys? I realized yesterday perusing through my posts that I’ve promised a thousand and one stories…so I guess I’d better start making a dent.

I told you all that I spent four days at the Dead Sea, and I invited Alaa and his family to come hang out the pool. He showed up on the last day, but unfortunately his family couldn’t make it. We still had a great time! He was suitably impressed with my suite, and when check-out time came, we loaded up the car and took off for Amman.

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In case you forgot what it looked like

Along the way, he invited me to his son’s birthday party. How cool is that?? His son, Yaseen, was turning two, so we spent the whole rest of the day going around getting ready for his party.

I even got to pick out the cake!

Though I’m not going to lie to you guys, 100% of people were extremely confused by us walking around speaking in Arabic. Hanging out with a Jordanian gives me some serious street cred. Also, having Alaa with me means I don’t have to pay the tourist tax anymore! This means everything  costs about 98% less- from coffee to french fries.

We stopped off at his sister’s house (he has five), and drank some coffee while we chatted. His sister scrolled through the photos on my phone (danger!), telling me how pretty I was, and, matter-of-factly, that I used to be fat.

Thanks.

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She wasn’t wrong, per se’

After everything, we headed to Jerash for the party. It was at his mom’s house, where his whole family was waiting, including his mom, dad, two of his sisters, wife, and all three kids. You guys saw a photo of his daughter, Sally, before. She’s my new best friend, though literally impossible for me to understand. If you thought learning a foreign language was hard, try to understand it coming out of the mouth of a squeaky tiny little kid. Luckily she’s small so I can just laugh and ignore everything she says!

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Since I was the guest, I got one of everything, despite my protests. So, I had a piece of cake, some dessert I don’t know the name of, another dessert I don’t know the name of, some Jello-y dessert, and several drinks. I nearly exploded.

Honestly guys, I’m so happy. Nothing will ever replace the look on Yaseen’s face when I gave him his present (joy, combined with his intense fear of me), or the warmth I felt at being so welcomed into this family. Their generosity is profound, and I am so grateful to have gotten the opportunity to spend a little time with the people in this corner of the world.

-Carissa “Nour” Rawson