So long Chicago winter! I’m going where it’s 89-degrees and sunny every day.

On Friday night, my family and I will board the first of two planes for nineteen and a half hours of travel to Cairo, Egypt. I cannot wait.

It’s the biggest trip my family has ever taken, and the biggest international trip my wife and I have taken together since our honeymoon to Argentina fourteen years ago (today also happens to be our anniversary).

Oh my God, this is a big deal. 

While my sister Susanna and her family live in Cairo, so there’s a friendly reception awaiting us, there were still many hurdles for us to overcome on the way to booking the trip. Our finances had to be in order, I had to find a good time when my son wouldn’t miss too much school (Thanksgiving week!) and I had to convince both my son and wife that it would be safe. Teresa was concerned about political violence and that there wouldn’t be much to do besides look at tombs. Nicolas was concerned there’d be mummies everywhere. 

After some thought, I put together a PowerPoint presentation that seemed to allay everyone’s fears. Then, I attacked the schedule like the former U.S. Cabinet advance person I used to be. I’ve built a schedule that follows White House format with the kind of detail that would make the Secret Service happy.

I’ve been preparing for this trip like mad. I’ve read an in-depth history of the ancient Egyptians. I’ve taken an on-line Arabic class (that one didn’t take too well). I’ve been Whatsapp-ing guides and quizzing my sister long-distance for travel tips.

Three days in Cairo, three days in Luxor. We’re taking an overnight train between the two. We’ll ride a boat on the Nile in Luxor, stay in the fancy Luxor Hilton, sail on the Nile on a Dahabiya, go inside the Great Pyramid, visit King Tut’s tomb, ride the Cairo subway, shop in a souk, listen to prayers in a Cairo mosque, and see the Hanging Church in Coptic Cairo. 

And we’ll also have Thanksgiving dinner with my sister and her family.

It’s going to be an amazing trip and I want to share as much as I can with you.

So, starting Sunday, this newsletter is going to get supercharged. I’m going to send an email every two days with observations, pictures and video for the duration of my trip. I’m also going to post frequent pictures to my Instagram. Please comment and send me notes, questions, etc.

I’m hoping this trip will open some mental doors for me, and maybe for you too. It’s gonna be great.