Last blog about Israel for a while, I promise!
I have memorized and forgotten a lot of things from my childhood; state capitals, lists of Presidents, oceans, countries, but I can’t ever remember having to learn the Seven Wonders of the World. Can you name them? I couldn’t. And did you know that in 2001 an initiative was started by the Swiss corporation New7Wonders Foundation to choose the New Seven Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments? I didn’t know that either. I now have BEEN to one of these New 7 Wonders! Petra, the ancient city in Jordan.
When we were first planning our trip, Petra was not on the list. And then some of my dear, but snarky friends said, “Oh, well you should just scrap the whole trip if you’re not going to make it to Petra!” Excuse me, plan your own vacation! Oh right, they did, and they went there and they loved it. We reconsidered. And now I can say, perhaps less snarkily, “ Go to Petra, you won’t be sorry! You’ll only be sorry to have missed it.”
This blog has 3 simple lessons:
- listen to your well traveled friends when it comes to planning a trip
- look for Wonders of the World in your daily life, they’re everywhere and you can make up your own list since corporations and foundations are making up their own lists
- you never know what’s around the corner, keep going
Our tour guide, Mahdi was very special. We had 2 days and a night with him. He lives in Amman, the capital of Jordan, and we became fast friends. He had spent 22 months living in New Jersey working for his uncle. His day off was Saturday and he would come into New York City each week to walk the parks, to see theatre, visit museums, and wander Times Square. He had a work visa, and he was saving money to bring his family to visit. When 9/11 happened, because Mahdi was an Arab Muslim, he was forced to leave the country. He is still waiting for the day he is able to leave his country. Me too. I would like to see my friend again and meet his children and show them my city and country with the same pride and knowledge Mahdi shared about Jordan.
So Petra is really a big ol’ gravesite in a long winding sandstone canyon. Breathtaking. Mind blowing. Awe inspiring. Super breezy in some points and sun scorchingly hot in most places. You are on foot, or a camel, a donkey, a horse, or an animal pulled buggy. We walked for what seemed days, but it wasn’t exhausting and then Mahdi asks our group to form a single line, scoot up against the canyon wall and turn around. Close our eyes, and one by one turn back around and keep walking. Talk about a great reveal! We had all seen the brochures and postcards but none of us were prepared for that sliver of light revealing the carved stone around the corner.
You honestly don’t have to travel anywhere to get a glance of Petra or any supposed world wonder. They truly are all around. Rainbows, donkeys, full moons, bubbles, music, babies, kisses, heartbeats, our senses, puppies. They’re all wonder-full to me! What’s on your list?
Oh, and chocolate chip cookies are completely on my 7 wonders of the World list!!
Kristen's Grandma's Chocolate Chip Cookies
With an electric mixer or in your kitchen aid stand mixer, cream until combined:
- 1/2 cup crisco
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- one cup light brown sugar
- one cup granulated sugar
Add one ingredient at a time:
- 2 slightly beaten eggs
- one teaspoon vanilla
- one teaspoon salt
- one teaspoon baking soda mixed into one teaspoon of hot water
- 2 cups All Purpose flour
- Once everything is incorporated, turn off mixer and fold in one bag of semi sweet chips.
- Spoon into individual heaps on a silpat or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Leave room in between for them to spread. The butter flattens them out a bit. Depending on the size of cookies, bake them at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Take them out of the oven earlier than you think, let them look a bit undone. They will collapse onto themselves outside of the oven and will be crispy tender and your new favorite chocolate chip cookies!