By Jane Richards
PRELUDE: Seth yawned and stretched as he was waking. Laying on his pillow with the bright sun peeking in the window he sleepily knew this was a special day, but hadn't wakened enough to really think about why. On the bunk above him he could hear his younger brother, Ramey, begin to stir.
The clank of skillets in the kitchen downstairs told Seth that Mom was starting breakfast. Soon the smell of vacon and eggs would drift upward.
After several minutes both boys climbed from their beds and began to dress as their Mom called, "Breakfast, boys" up the stairs.
The conversation at the breakfast table became much more animated as the special day began to be discussed. They were going on their special vacation today. This wasn't the usual camp trip or visit to Brandma and Grandpas' ranch. This would be a long trip out of the country. Seth, Ramey and their Mother were going to join their archaeologist Dad in Egypt! They had been busy for weeks preparing for this trip. Passports, visas, trips to their doctor for checkups and to the malls for new clothes suitable to the Egyptian climate had kept the occupied. Mom had made their plane reservations months ago. Their close friend would take them to the airport this morning.
With bags all packed in the neighbors' car and backpacks stuffed beside them in the back seat, the house was left locked and quiet as the group left for the air terminal.
"Ramey, move over. I'm sitting on my backpack," complained Seth in a muffled voice as he squirmed amongst the baggage.
"I am moved," protested his brother, "I'm already packed against the door!"
"Boys, settle down," cautioned their mother. "This is going to be a long trip and you might as well take things as they come."
After what seemed hours to the boys they boarded the plane and took off on the biggest adventure they would probably ever experience. But this they would discover much later.
The long flight from their home to New York City was exciting. Both jockeyed for a position at the plane window so they could see the patch-work of land passing beneath them. It was dark on their arrival at Kennedy Airport. Even with all the excitment, both boys were tired and sleepy.
"We're going to stay overnite here at a hotel,"their Mom told them. "Our flight leaves for Egypt early in the morning, so it will be much easier to stay close to the terminal."
"Mom, can we walk around and look?" asked Seth. "My legs need some exercise."
"We'll get settled in our hotel room first and then go for dinner. Don't worry, Seth, you'll be getting lots of exercise once we join you Dad," teased their Mother.
At dinner both boys decided they were too old for the 'Kiddie Menu'. "Come on Mom," begged Ramey, "We're twelve and thirteen, not little kids anymore."
"Yeah," put in Seth, "we're too old for hot dogs and peanut butter sandwiches!"
"All right, you can order whatever you like," grinned their Mother. "We'll make this the 'beginning of our trip' celebration. How does that sound?"
"OK!" they both chorused, and both ordered chicken fried steak with lots of mashed potatos and gravy.
Bedtime came shortly after dinner.
"Boy," yawned Seth, "I'm really sleepy. Guess I was more tired than I thought." Both boys were soon asleep.
The wakeup call on their phone awoke them early the next morning. Thay had just enough time for breakfast before hurrying to the checkin counter at the terminal and boarding a giant jet for their journey to Egypt.
As the plane took off the boys craned their necks to take their last look at New York City, and the island on which stood the Statue of Liberty, as the plane headed out over the Atlantic Ocean.
"How long untill we land again, Mom?" asked Ramey.
"Well, our first landing will be in England," answered their Mom.
"Are we going to stay overnight there, too?" questioned Seth.
"No, we make a connection with another plane soon after we land. That plane will fly us all the way to Cairo, Egypt where Dad will meet us.Now settle back and try to get some rest," she added, as she reached up over their heads and brought down two pillows for them. "We'll be getting something to eat before too very long."
"I sure hope it isn't peanut butter and jelly sandwiches," muttered Seth, as they settled back in their seats.
"Cairo," whispered Seth, as he nudged Ramey."Look at the lights below. We're going to land in a few minutes and Dad will be waiting!"
Seth was excited for alot of different reasons. First, of course, he would be seeing his Dad, but he would also be able to help at the archaeological site at which they would stay. He had been studying about ancient Egypt for sometime now, as Seth wanted to be an Egyptologist when he grew older, just like his Father.
Ramey had been dozing, but was now wide awake, as was their Mom. She was already getting things ready to carry off the plane when they landed.
Soon they were going through Egyptian customs and security. Out the gate they spied him waiting."I see him," yelped Ramey."There he is over there," he pointed, indicating a tall, dark haired man looking anxiously at the passengers coming from the gate.
"Here we are, Dad," waved Seth as the three hurried toward the distinguished looking gentleman now walking towards them with a big lopsided grin on his face. His wife called it his 'sideways grin'.
"Hi guys," he said as he hugged the boys and turned to his wife. "How was your trip, Beth?"
"The trip was great, Marc. The boys really enjoyed it and there wasn't one hitch in the whole trip."
"I'm really glad the trip went so well. Our hotel rooms are all taken care of. As soon as we gather the baggage we'll take a taxi there. I'll clue everyone in on what is going to be happening. This trip all of you will be able to accompany me to the site. Our camp will be in an oasis quite near the site," he grinned, "You boys will be able to help me, too. Think you'll be up to it?"
Seth nodded excitingly. This was something for which he had waited for years. It was why he had studied so hard about Egypt and archaeology.
The taxi ride was a new experience for the boys. As they areened around corners and through crowded streets toward their hotel Seth saw people wearing types of clothing from many different countries. Some were in white or multi-colored robes with strange head wear. At least it seemed strange to Seth, who had never been to another country. But, he had seen pictures while he was studying. Others in the crowded streets wore the same clothing that Seth wore. The smells were different, too. Food vendors were selling their various wares along some of the streets and many also had small cafes with sidewalk tables under awnings.
"Boy, it sure is different here," Ramey commented.
"We're gonna have lots of fun learning about all these new things, I bet," returned Seth.
Their Dad turned to them with a grin. "We'll be here for about three days. I thought you might like to go to the Cairo Musium for a visit. There are some wonderful ancient artifacts there for you guys to see. Beth, I've made arrangements for a guide to take you three to the museum tomorrow morning. I have more plans to see about, but I'll meet you for lunch."
At this moment they screeched to a halt in front of their hotel and the baggage was unloaded. Dad checked for messages at the front desk and then they proceeded to their rooms.
Even though the noisy din of the city continued into the night, the boys were sound asleep in minutes. Jet lag had hit them and the noise wasn't even heard.