Monday, May 25, 2015

Independence Day, May 25th

In 1946, Jordan achieved freedom from the British.  It was on this day that Transjordan became what it is know as today, The Hashemite Kingdom Jordan.  Today, there has been a wonderful airshow flying over Amman.  Ayla has been petrified of the loud sounds going over our heads.  It is a national holiday in Jordan and a nice day off work.

Long live the King of Jordan!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Copas Central

Copas is new hang out for Robert and I.  We have been here once and it was a lot of fun.  It sells tapas and other foods.  On a Thursday after school, many of our friends come here to take advantage of the 'Happy Hour' which is buy one drink, get the other free.  As the weather is getting warmer, this a is a great place to hang out and unwind after a hard week's work.

Shams El Balad

This morning, some good friends took Ayla and I to a nice restaurant downtown called, 'Shams El Balad' near first circle.  It is a wonderful place to catch the morning sun and enjoy a cafe with some excellent, organic food.  The manager told us that the food is made off site by local women who use only organic produce.

There is a nice, smoke-free downstairs, but an even better upstairs with a nice view of the Citadel and the Ummayad Palace.  

They do not sell bottled water which is a huge plus for the local environment.  They have free water for customers which is very good for Amman.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Levant Seafood

It looks like my blogger days are dwindling away!  It is amazing how much a baby can change your life.  Working full time and parenting full time takes all my time and very little is left to write in my blog.  I have also just started a part time masters so most of my writing time now needs to go into that.  However, I will share with you a recent find - Levant Seafood.  I wrote a post about Levant Restaurant a while ago.  Just across the road from there is their Seafood Restaurant and I must say, it is excellent!

We were treated by our school one night to this nice, fancy restaurant and we loved it.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Maria's Yoga Studio

I began a yoga practice in Taiwan in 2004.  I was thinking, "what am I going to do with my life?  I can't stay teaching ESL in Taiwan forever!  I know, I'll become a yoga teacher!"  I had never practiced yoga before in my life, but the naive 20 something year old that I was believed that I could be a yoga teacher, live in Thailand and be a hippy for the rest of my days.  Thankfully, I became a school teacher!  I quit yoga in 2004 after I had an accident, but in 2009, I resumed my practice only to get sick in 2011.  I couldn't follow any of the asana's because I was unable to breathe correctly.  I struggled and I quit yoga again.

In November 2014, I found Maria's Yoga Studio in Amman.  A group of my girlfriends have been going for a long time, but I had a hard time bringing myself to go.  My past love and pursuit of yoga was often followed by some personal struggle.  However, in Maria's studio and with Maria herself, I found a great resurgence of energy, inspiration and happiness.  The studio with its warm, positive, clean environment and Maria who is strong, caring, kind and giving have enabled me to become reacquainted with that young, naive 20 year old who dreamt of a wholesome, green and healthy existence.

Becoming Ayla's mother has made me even more determined to be happy and healthy!  I want to be the best role model I can possible be for my daughter.  I find that yoga is challenging me to transform myself into a better, more healthier person.  It gives me clarity of thought and with a daily practice, helps strengthen my self discipline.

Going to Maria's allows me to build space for me in my life.  A place where I can be alone with my thoughts.  I have been going 3 times a week and it is an oasis in my busy, hectic life.  Here, I stop, meditate and stretch.  I am so very grateful for this place, for reigniting a dormant Michelle and for allowing me to breathe.

Unfortunately, Maria will be leaving soon!  However, the front room to our house is big enough to create a space similar to Maria's.  We tried it the other day and it worked. I lit candles, lit incense and played some shanti music.  It was just fine.  Who knows, maybe this is the start of me creating my own yoga space.  One day, I may just fulfil that 20 year old dream of becoming a yoga teacher.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Levant is a classy restaurant and we love it!  Located behind Le Royal at 3rd circle, Levant is a must for when family come to visit.  It is one of the best restaurants we have ever eaten at in Amman.

The food is very good.  We spent all our money on appetizers because they are so yummy.

You start with a delicious soup.  This time, we had broccoli and it was divine!

The hummus, metabul and vine leaves are excellent!

The lamb chops are incredibly tender and tasty.

The service is exceptional!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Autumn in Amman

The leaves are changing colour in this ever changing city.  The weather is getting cooler and the sun is setting at an earlier time.  Winter is on her way.

This week has been a busy week for us.  Robert and I have taken on new roles at our school where we are both leaders of a subject area.   I lead math and Roberts leads science.  Part of this new job requires some training and professional development.  On Tuesday, I travelled to Istanbul for a conference on assessment.  I flew in on Tuesday, had the conference on Wednesday and flew back on Wednesday night.  I could have stayed for 5 more days and attended more conferences, but I wanted to be at home for Ayla.  Her babyhood is too short and every minute is precious.

The hotel I stayed at was right next door to the famous rainbow steps if Istanbul.  Here is a nice article about them:

It is also Autumn in Istanbul.  Istanbul is much greener than Amman and it appears to have more evergreens than deciduous trees, but I spotted a few close to the Blue Mosque.

I really enjoyed returning to Istanbul.  Robert and I had such a wonderful time there in Spring 2013.  I even returned the hotel we stayed at and said hello to the manager who helped us find some fantastic rugs.  I told him that we named our daughter 'Ayla' and he was impressed because it is a Turkish name.  If you look at our Turkey page towards the end,  you will see these two guys playing backgammon.

The Blue Mosque looked as impressive as ever.  I love Istanbul!

 During our Friday morning walk, we found this little art shop selling local art.  The owner of the art shop is called, Michael.  He and his mother are the artists, but he also collects pieces from other artists in the community.  We are interested in buying some of his paintings of Amman.

I am always attracted by bright colours and the painting  above caught my eye.

Here are his contact details.  He speaks great English.

I like this one of Amman.

We both like this one of Downtown Amman.