Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Autumn at Latitude 24.4 Degrees North

An early-October picnic just before sunset on our compound. Since the grounds are always watered, everything is green and the air has the delicious smell of water. Nothing else in Riyadh has that smell.

September in South Dakota always brings cool, crisp weather that I associate with school starting and summer ending. It's the perfect temperature for outdoor biking and walking, for long-sleeves and sweatshirts, and for cozying up in the covers. September in Riyadh was nothing like that - but luckily, now that it's November, it is finally beginning to feel like Fall! I never thought I'd miss the cold so much. People tell me that it will eventually get cold enough here to see your breath. My excitement at this revelation surprises them.

Mid-day is still plenty warm and sunny, great for short sleeves. But by sunset, the air becomes beautifully chilly and I can break out my long-sleeve SDSU shirt that has been waiting patiently in my closet for many months.

These photos are a mish-mash of images from the last several weeks.

Checking out that impressive palm trunk.

Since the pool is heated, we can still go swimming, but the air gets quite chilly unless we go at noon when the sun is directly on the water.

A handsome guy I found in the pool.

It's great weather for tennis though!

Sebby wants to play too. :)

Halloween was a bit different for us this year. We didn't do any trick-or-treating. However, Josh and I did manage to get tickets to the rather exclusive Halloween party at the American Embassy. This allowed us a glimpse into the decadent world of how people let loose while living in Riyadh. The feast was fantastic, from the salads and desserts to the steak, shrimp, and even roast pig. Add to this socializing, sampling the drink bar, and dancing, and we could see why embassy party invitations are such a well-guarded commodity. People were encouraged to dress up for it, but I was lacking in supplies, so all I managed was some face-painting. Here is my cheetah:

Some of the guests were completely decked out, such as a team of blue-striped Avatar creatures, and the costume contest winners: one guy dressed as Kingdom Tower and one as the Faisalia, the two most famous landmarks in Riyadh. I would have taken photos, but photography was prohibited.

Kids weren't allowed at the party, but Misha was dying to have his face painted anyway, so here he is as a monkey. Instead of trick-or-treating, he rode his scooter around the compound and showed off his costume.

Some various indoor shots:

Both kids love tomato soup.

We are always creating tents and forts.

I finally got around to making a superhero outfit Misha has been wanting for Growl. It turned out well!

Sebastian got into the grocery bags and started making a tower. Misha quickly joined in, and they worked together to make an impressive pillar!

There's that impish grin ...

Building a house around Sebby.

Ready for school!

Gotta love floor puzzles. Best part - it's toddler-proof! The pieces are too big and thick to lose or break.

Big brother attempts to carry the little brother.

Sebastian is intrigued by the puzzle.

Time for play-dough!

Lounging with mom.

Indoor soccer match!

Coloring peacefully...

... until mommy says no eating the colored pencils.

There's nothing better than a nice, new box of crayons!

The kids.

Snuggling up in much-loved footed pajamas.

Story time.

And bath time!


Bill said...

Nice picnic under the palm tree. And funny picture of Seb eating the tomato soup! Nice floor puzzle--lots of pretty birds on that one. Does Misha know the names of any of the birds? -mom

kate said...

Tammy I can't believe how talented you are. I love Growl's super hero costume!! It is cool. I love the pictures of the kids the best. Sebby looks so cute playing tennis. Great face painting. You should have won a prize for that. I would love to go the the embassy and have fun. Are you able to meet others to be friends with. Sebby is so adorable I just want to hug him over and over.