Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Night in Jeddah

When we were contemplating our move here to KAUST, I think we were told that we were about 40 km from Jeddah - at least that's what I remember.  In reality, if it is 40 km, that is only to the very northern most part of Jeddah and doesn't really even get you into the city.  It takes at least an hour to get there and since traffic is normally busy and I can't drive, getting things we need for the house and kids tends to be a bit of a challenge.  Since we go into Jeddah every Friday, about two weeks ago, we decided to go in on Thursday, do our shopping and then stay overnight.

We accomplished much of what we wanted to do for shopping.  Our first stop was Saco World which is like a Home Depot type of store with home improvement things and outdoor furnishings.  I bought the shower curtain rod which I had forgotten on my last trip in to Jeddah that we needed for the boy's bathroom.  The funny thing (or not so funny) was that I bought the wrong size - it's too small.  So we are still in need of a shower curtain rod! 

After this stop is was prayer time, so we decided to head to the hotel to check in.  I have found that travelling with a large family outside of the US is a bit more difficult. A lot of hotel rooms are very small and are set up of 2 or 3 people. So earlier in the week, I had emailed the Sheraton to verify that their rooms would sleep 4 people.  It was confirmed and I made the reservation.  We got to the hotel where we were checked in and taken to our rooms.  Much to my chagrin, they were very small rooms with 2 twin beds in each.  Definitely not enough room to sleep 4 people unless you're used to sharing a twin bed!  The gentleman that took us to our rooms said that he could bring in a roll away which I didn't find acceptable because we would have had to climb over it to get around the room.  So we headed back to the front desk.  I explained the situation and that I was told via email that the rooms would sleep 4 and the ones we were given did not.  I'm very proud of myself for not getting upset :-) 

They were very nice and helpful and finally accomodated with a 4 bedroom apartment (for the same cost as the 2 rooms).  If the first 2 rooms were way to small, this apartment was exactly the opposite!  It had 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, full kitchen, living and dining room and a maid's quarters with full laundry facilities.    We were on the 4th floor of an apartment building next to the hotel and had balconies that had a view of the Red Sea.  The apartment had seen better days - I think the decor was circa 1975 but it was clean and we all had a bed to sleep in.  I'll post pictures at the end of the blog.  They hadn't finished cleaning when we checked in so we decided to head out to finish shopping and get dinner and then we'd come back.

We set out to find a store where my friend Belky had bought a piano.  We decided to buy an electronic piano here for a couple of reasons.  The kids really want one to play while we are here, they are a bit cheaper here than in the US and there is no sales tax, and we can pack it up and ship it home when we return to the United States.  We purchased a Yamaha Clavinova 340 and are very excited about receiving it.  Our only problem is that it is 2 weeks later and it still has not been delivered.  They say today but they've said that before so we may never receive this piano...I'll keep you updated.

We next headed to Ikea where as we walked in, we realized it was close to prayer time again.  The kids were a little hungry so we got a snack in the cafeteria and ate during prayer and then headed in to do our shopping.  Nothing exciting here - just stuff for the house.  On our way back to the Sheraton, we at Chili's at the Roshan Mall and then headed back to turn in.  I am always exhausted after any amount of shopping in Jeddah!

The Sheraton Jeddah Hotel

The dining room in the apartment

The living room(s) in the apartment

A view of the Red Sea

A little store you could see from the balcony

A pretty view of a mosque on the water.

Outdoor landscaping at the hotel


  1. I love to hear about your adventures! It sounds like you guys are making your way around just fine. Are your "blondies" getting much attention?

  2. wow! now I understand the excitement of the kids that Friday!

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