The grand finale to the big city copper's middle east vacation was a visit to Petra and the Dead Sea. This was actually considered part of the Holy Land just not the christian part of it.
Petra was a fascinating archeologic wonder. Several ancient buildings carved into the mountains were featured in one of the Indiana Jones movies. The tour guide played a recording of the IJ theme song as we approached the sight. (Cheesy dramatics, no matter where you go.)
The Dead Sea was a marvel to see. It is 200 meters below sea level and extremely salty. Nothing grows in the water. It felt caustic and any scratches or open skin suffered for it. The mud baths were smelly but supposedly have healing properties.
The pillar of salt of Lot's wife and her camel were fun to see. (Too bad the camel looked back too)
This is obviously a brief recap of an enormous adventure and I know I haven't done justice to a great trip but it was a whirlwind tour with not much time to really appreciate it all.
Returning to the USA was actually a relief. Some areas especially near the airport at Amman,Jordan were definitely highly secured. Armored vehicles with .50 caliber machineguns mounted sat at various intersections.
After a long 15 hour flight, it was good to get home.
Getting back to work will be a chore though, A copper can get used to a life of leisure and travel.