Saturday, June 06, 2009

Jelly Beans at Ain Sokhna

As soon as we got to the condo and got halfway settled in, meaning we lathered ourselves with sunscreen and hastily made some peanut butter and jam sandwiches, we rushed off to the beach to spend the remainder of our Tuesday afternoon.

Things had changed a lot since we had last been to Ain Sokhna 6 weeks ago. The tide was out farther than we were willing to walk, for one thing, and we didn’t see a single jelly fish this time. Since the tide was out so far and the water had been sitting in the hot, hot (hot, hot, hot, hot, hot—I don’t know if I got enough “hots” in there) sun for several hours it was just about the perfect temperature for me. I’m a major wimp when it comes to cold water.

Andrew and I got right in and started relaxing.

(You might notice little black spots on our pictures of today; our camera has glaucoma—it’s untreatable (we tried having it professionally cleaned and they said it was impossible) so we’re in the market for a new point-and-shoot. Again. *Sigh.*)

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Rachel spent most of her time refusing to get in the water. Her two biggest complaints were that the water was “yucky” and that there were “jelly beans” and jelly beans are scary.

Now, I personally feel the “yucky” was a cover-up for her fear because she is not a child who typically minds getting messy. In fact she really seems to enjoy getting right-down dirty in the muck and mire. She was covered in sand the whole time we were on vacation. Covered. In fact, that’s probably why she didn’t get as burned as badly as Andrew or I did…because she was plastered in mud the whole time.


We talked about jelly beans the whole day trying to convince her that there were no jelly beans fish in the water at all. Every time we tried to get her to walk in the water, she’d cry out that it was scary and there were mean jelly beans around, etc., etc., etc.

It’s kind of weird because the only time she’s ever seen a jelly fish was the last time we were at Ain Sokhna and she never got stung or anything. And there seriously were no jelly fish this time.

Still, she spent most of her time either freaking out in the water or building “tastles” and mosques in the sand. She’s been building mosques forever; they’re one of her favorite things to build. The castle thing is new and she gets rather offended if we compliment her mosque/castle and call it by the wrong term. Apparently we should be able to tell when a pile of sand is a castle and when it is a mosque. Silly us.

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Just because there weren’t any jelly fish around doesn’t mean we didn’t come across any wildlife. The beach was covered in little crabs, which Rachel called spiders until she learned what they were really called. Then she started calling them “tuwabs.”

She doesn’t like spiders. Or crabs. So being on dry land was almost equally perplexing as being in the yucky jelly bean infested water, but not quite.

We also found a sand dollar, which Rachel promptly dubbed as “money” and started using it as a shovel. I tried explaining to her that it was a living creature and that she should probably use her shovel as a shovel instead of abusing the poor sand dollar. She just scoffed and looked at me incredulously. She didn’t seem to think that the little round disc she held in her hand could possibly be alive.


We also found the skeleton of a…something. I have no idea what it was, but it used to be rather spiny. It’s the white thing on the right.


When we were all exhausted from playing in the sun and water, we headed back to the empty beach so Rachel and I could have a nap and Andrew could get some reading done. The beach was so empty—there were probably only 3 or 4 other groups of people sharing the beach with us so it was nice and quiet and very relaxing. And the shade felt so good!


It ended up that I was the only one of us to fall asleep, not that that’s surprising or anything. Rachel pretended to sleep for a few minutes but ended up building more castles and mosques and eating snacks while Andrew read and I slept.

When I woke up we watched the tide roll in while we played some more and then we headed back to the condo to make dinner. We ate a whole package of spaghetti between the 3 of us; we must have been starving!



  1. Looks like you had a marvelous time--the water looks perfect to me!

  2. The Middle East has never looked so good. Jelly Beans, Glaucoma and all!