This night was our big splurge of the trip.
We suckered into a total tourist trap, and it was well worth it.
The company we hired was called "Arabian Nights."
Range Rovers picked us up at the house to take us out into the desert.
It was strange to watch the scenery turn from modern city, into desert sand.
The rovers stopped at a gas station before we turned off onto the desert trail.
This was a last ditch effort for them to make money off us on some cheesy souvenirs.
Sam and his Dad:
And the public restroom was out of toilet paper.
We loaded back up, and in a few minutes were were in the Arabian desert.
They run these tours each night.
There are several different companies who run them.
All the caravans of rovers meet at the beginning of the trail.
There were hundreds of rovers.
What is "dune bashing" you ask?
It is when the rovers line up, and take off at top speed across the desert hills.
Sometimes you feel like you are going to rear end the rover in front of you.
The kids were cackling.
Sam was loving life.
I was white-knuckled and praying to die.
I felt like we might roll a any moment...
We passed a camel farm.
Finally, when I could barely take any more of the Arabian desert antics, the sun started to set.
Sunset on a rolling red sand desert?
Sam shoved Brendan into the sand and subsequently obliterated his camera.
Now you know why occasionally I feel compelled to tell people that I have six children, not just five.
Good times, good times.
Then we loaded up into the rovers again.
The sun was down.
Nothin' left to see.
I was worried about rolling over dunes again.
I was so done with that.
The drivers slowed down, cause it was pitch black.
Then there was a Christmas miracle.
We dropped down a hill, and lo and behold, there was a Bedouin camp!
A real! live! Bedouin camp! (wink, wink)
The first thing the kids wanted to do was ride camels.
Keep in mind, the sun was gone.
Therefore the photos are super-dee-duper craptastic.
Heck yes, I did.
It was awesome.
It was like straddling an over-sized barrel that swings side to side.
My mother in law took a photo of Sam and I.
For your viewing pleasure, I scanned it.
A really weird angle of my chest. Makes me look, well, chesty. Totally not true.
We got Henna tattoos.
The mostly specialized in swirly vines and flowers.
A skull and crossbones.
He gave her his hat to look at, as an example.
I think she did a fine job...
You can click on it to get a better perspective.
And lucky Sam.
Henna tattoos last three weeks!
There was a stage set up in the middle of camp.
The stage was low to the ground, with even lower tables surrounding it.
Underneath the tables were colorful carpet covered pillows to sit on.
I could get used to that.
It was actually pretty comfortable.
We had two performers.
The first guy was from Egypt and was a Whirling Dervish.
He danced for about 30 minutes.
SPINNING the whole time.
I am really not sure how he didn't puke on his own shoes.
I was getting re-queasy watching him spin.
His skirt lit up about halfway through the performance.
I think it was a skirt?
Is that offensive?
Meanwhile, they were cooking our dinner over open grills. It smelled delicious.
My boys were front and center.
Why can't I do that?
Oh riiiight. Cause I have a spare tire for a waist.
We had traditional shishkabobs of minted lamb.
Spicy fish, chicken, and mystery meat.
All really good meat.
Arabic potato salad. (Weird.)
Various other salads. (Like a church potluck!)
Some fry bread. (Way good, dipped in fresh hummus.)
Rice pudding swimming with what appeared to be golden raisins.
Raisins are the fruit of the devil.
I opted out.
They did have some dried dates.
That'll do for me.
Then, the ghostly apparitions in the next photo are my boys, getting ready to take four wheelers out in the desert.
Sam thought he was a falcon whisperer.
I am not sure what they were discussing, but it looked pretty intense.
He always thinks he can communicate with birds.
I have only one "bird" I can communicate with.
I usually save it for my Utah road construction rage days.
We played dress-up with some authentic Bedouin garb. (wink, wink)
Here are my cute in-laws: