You won’t be hearing from us again until we return from Egypt. We will be BUSY anticipating Egypt – doing things like:
Completing our Architect work! Lynn has to submit her Bleacher Inspection Report to the Rockford Public Schools District 205 and Rob must be done designing and specifying materials for a new Gym Floor at Roosevelt Community Education Center AND done with plans for Renovation of four Commercial Tenant Spaces for a private developer. And the fun part, we hope to attend the Grand Opening of Salamone’s Ristorante, at our neighborhood shopping center. We have really enjoyed watching our repeat clients, the Salamone family, grow their restaurant business. We are really proud of their latest accomplishment and look forward to being “regulars” there! We have our fingers crossed that the Grand Opening will happen within the next month. Otherwise they will have to wait until their Architect returns from Egypt!
Packing! – Lynn just printed out our “Packing List” to use herself this morning! At this point she is checking it for things she has to order, or pick up, so that we don’t have to chase all over town at the last minute. The most important things we pack are things that contribute to our health and well being, that may not be available in the destination. You know – things like Bleach Wipes to keep your environment clean, or super glue for an emergency repair. They are all on our “Personal Packing List” because your trip is always more enjoyable when you have everything you NEED! She is officially adding Benedryl, because her pharmacist friend told her that it will absolutely make us sleep on the plane!
Preparing our home for a house-sitter. Per Lynn’s standards every square inch must be CLEAN! Because no one wants to stay in a dirty hotel which is what our house is to a house-sitter. We always select a responsible young person to live with and care for our Dog and Home while we are gone. Loukie the Standard Parti Poodle loves Collin and Nathan. This trip the very talented Artist, Collin will be here because Nathan is busy on the Campaign trail!
And of course we will be working on your Travel Bookings! We will be adding new cruise bookings as they come in, working on some Air Reservations for an existing Destination Wedding that we have in progress. We will enter payments for clients as needed. If you are one of those who can book travel yourself – feel free to shop our website www.BellesWorldTravel.com Our website has a live connection to all of the cruise lines. If you create a booking there you are actually booking direct with the cruise line through our website.Doing so is usually possible, but some times, because of special promotional offers, it will require you to call us. If you do book online with our agency – please be assured that you are entitled to the very same hand holding and personal attention after you book that EVERYONE else gets! In fact expect your phone to ring! It will be either Rob or Lynn calling to congratulate you for booking your next Vacation Adventure!!
Needless to say, all of this will keep us busy working day and night. But that’s nothing new. It is a deep part of the meaning of “Travel Like an Architect™”. Architects and many other business owners (travel agents included) really NEED their scheduled time off! We don’t just work night and day when we are getting ready to go on vacation, it is an ongoing thing. But we appreciate our freedom so wouldn’t trade it for the world. Actually we don’t have to trade it for the world. The world fits right in between our projects. Watch and see by following our Egypt trip hashtag #TLAAEgypt17 That’s a big part of the reason that we love cruising. All we have to do is get ourselves to the ship, and the cruise company makes all the arrangements beyond that. Cruising is Safe, Convenient and Affordable – yes, even for an Architect! This will be our very first Egyptian Cruise! We are traveling with a group of Travel Agents and we promise to learn everything we need to know, to send you there or even return to Egypt escorting a Group!
Here are some quotes from Social media that really portray what’s going on in our minds:
Lynn Lundstrom Belles – I am so excited and in a state of disbelief all at once! I know this is going to be a trip of a lifetime in so many ways. One morning in the hot tub I said to Rob I would like to go to Egypt someday, and by that afternoon this opportunity had revealed itself!! I cannot imagine what’s in store for us through this group of travel agents and our amazing guide Ayman Elshafie – what will be, will be, and I can’t wait!
We are traveling with Egyptomania Luxury Tours and Ayman Elshafie, an Independent Egyptologist & Lecturer , with a PhD in Archeology from Kaplan University, Davenport, Iowa! We look forward to all he will teach us about Egypt’s past, present and future! We are life time learners who really appreciate a deep educational experience coupled with relaxation and adventure! Ayman has promised to exceed our expectations!
Rob Belles with Estelle Legeai Wilkinson and Lynn Lundstrom Belles. EXACTY 4 weeks from now, Lynn and I will be arriving in Cairo Egypt to learn about the people, food, culture, architecture, and more. We will spend a few days in Cairo before boarding a luxury ship that sails up the Nile to Aswan. At the end of an exhausting week we will visit a resort on the Red Sea for some R&R before returning to Rockford. Follow us on Social Media. PM us if you are interested in going to Egypt (thanks to Egyptomania Luxury Tours we will know ALL ABOUT it, and can help you).
Estelle is also a Travel Agent, and she arranged this “FAM”. FAM is short for “Familiarization” a special kind of educational experience intended to familiarize agents with a travel product. We really appreciate all of her hard work making plans with Ayman, collecting our money and forwarding it to Egypt. This is no small task and we are most grateful!
Lynn Lundstrom Belles – In elementary school I made a wax and sand 3 dimensional map of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Red Sea! Geography was ALWAYS my favorite subject! I LOVE to be the map reader on road trips… and look out the window when I fly! But I Never dreamed I would one day explore Egypt! I absolutely can’t wait!! Rob Belles and Estelle Legeai Wilkinson! Since we are also in the travel business – we will share every bit of it with you, in hopes of tempting you to call one of us to book an amazing trip for yourself! Follow us by searching #TLAAEgypt17 We leave Sept. 7th!
Check out the video to see what we are so excited about! I LOVE the camel face in the middle!
FAM Trip September 8th to September 17th FINAL ITINERARY Friday Sep 8 Arrive Cairo, Transfer from airport to your 5 star hotel, enjoy a relaxingevening there.
Saturday Sep 9 – 1:00 PM welcome lunch meeting to discuss all about the trip in a 5 star local restaurant! All food and drinks covered by your host. Then visit one of Egypt`s most famous Egyptian cotton stores to get some clothes to fit with your trip needs. Shop Egypt’s amazing quality and very good prices. Do not bring lots of clothes from home, make your luggage light! In the evening attend sound & light show at the pyramids of Giza!!!!!!!
Sunday Sep 10 Early morning wake up call, after breakfast, visit Egypt’s most famous site “ Giza “ pyramids, Sphinx, Valley temple. Having more than 5 different stops in the area with a detailed lecture by your expert Egyptologist guide. Optional activities such as a camel ride at the area where pyramids can be seen from different angles that are not accessible by bus. Go inside the pyramid or visit the solar boat museum. After almost 3 hour visit at the pyramids , a short break before Lunch for shopping stops for those who are interested in having some authentic handmade Egyptian souvenirs. Then lunch in a 5 star local restaurant covered by your host. (drinks are not included) Then drive to The Egyptian museum to explore King Tut`s exhibition and some other masterpieces from the pharaohs time. This will be almost a 2 to 3 hour tour accompanied by your Egyptologist. There will be an opportunity to visit the Royal mummies room for an extra ticket.
Monday Sep 11 check out early morning after breakfast and fly to Luxor then embark on the luxurious Nile cruise on full board basis, drinks are extra. Then visit Luxor East bank with your Egyptologist Expert starting with the World`s biggest cult center “Karank temples”. After that proceed to Luxor temple and back to your cruise ship. Free evening can be spent on board with the ship activities and shows or optional tour of Luxor city in horse carriage, combined with Karnak temples sound and light show.
Tuesday Sep 12 4:00 AM hot air balloon ride watching sunrise above valley of the kings and other monuments on Luxor West bank then back to your cruise ship for breakfast. After breakfast visit Luxor west bank and the legendary valley of the kings then the funerary temple of Queen Hatshepsut in addition to a visiting to the world`s heaviest statues of Memnon. Then back to the cruise and start the spectacular sailing towards Edfu temple.
Overnight in Edfu.
Wednesday Sep 13 Visiting Edfu temple of Horus for approximately 2 hours then get back to the ship and start sailing again towards Kom Ombo temple where another 2 hours will be spent. Continue sailing towards Aswan.
Overnight in Aswan – “free evening “or enjoy the cruise show program
Thursday Sep 14 Start Aswan visits by visiting Philae Island and temple of Isis by motor boat, since it is an island in the middle of the river. After that visit the unfinished obelisk weighing 1200 tons. At the end we will visit the Aswan high dam
Overnight in Aswan – Free night to explore the beautiful market of spices in Aswan or enjoy the cruise show program
Friday Sep 15 – Disembark the ship and fly back to Cairo. Free day or any optional afternoon tour Islamic and Coptic Cairo or Saqqara and Dahshur pyramid.
Overnight in Cairo
Saturday Sep 16 – The group will be leaving at 6:00 AM to see Alexandria, before going to the Airport to fly home. Rob and Lynn will depart from the group and take a shorter tour option by Egyptomania before flying to Hurghada in the early evening. They will spend two nights at the Hurgharda Marriot Beach Resort resting up from the whirlwind tour. Lynn remembers being on a snorkel tour with a Canadian couple in the Caribbean many years ago who said “If you ever have an opportunity to snorkel in the Red Sea, don’t pass it up!” Needless to say
Sunday Sep 17 – ALL DAY SNORKEL TOUR including Lunch on September 17th
Monday Sep 18 – Relax at the Red Sea before flying back to Cairo. Check in to hotel near the Airport, enjoy our last dinner and get a good night’s sleep.
Tuesday Sep 19 – Fly back to Chicago…….
This is no short order for getting familiar with Egypt!
We are committed to taking in as much as possible in the week and a half that we are there, because we know that you will feel more confident in making your plans if you know that we have actually done it! Egypt isn’t something you would want to book with someone who hasn’t been there. Comment below if you think you might be as passionate about this experience as we are! Better yet – join our list by subscribing over to the right of this post (you might have to scroll back up at this point). We want to make sure you get all of our Egypt posts, stay in contact with you, in case you want to be part of a Future Egypt Escorted Trip!