Finally we have an internet connection at home. The company gave me a call on Thursday after I got home from work and came by to get everything set up. I swear that my wife has spent every minute that the kids have been asleep catching up on email and talking to people via Skype. It's also been good for the kids to keep up with their Japanese by having video conversations with family and friends in Japan.
Other good news that we found out on Thursday is that I'll have a full week off in late September. The end of Ramadan is known as Eid and this year it happens to fall during the week in such a way as to give us a whole week off. I'm not exactly sure of who determines this or why they don't know until two weeks before the holiday, but most people seem surprised that we have as long as we do. Now faced with a full nine-day break, I feel a bit of pressure to go somewhere. Here we are in a part of the world that we haven't been in with fairly cheap travel options and a good chunk of free time.
A few places I was thinking about were Jordan, Egypt, and Manchester (We have friends who live near there and if we were going, it sure wasn't going to be any later in the year when it's colder). After asking around, I also found the options of Cyprus and Turkey worth consideration. I looked into the different options and found out that Jordan and Egypt are still too hot, Manchester wasn't good for our friends there, and Turkey would be a drag with young kids. I was fairly settled on Cyprus until I heard that a friend and his family are planning on going camping in Oman. My friend is a member of a group called ENHG or Emirites Natural History Group. From what I saw, they have a lot of different outings that looks like the sort of thing I'll enjoy taking my wife and the kids on. With this trip to Oman, it sounds like there will be a lot of families around, too. Tentatively, we have a trip to a water park on the way back from Oman planned, too.
As for Egypt, Cyprus or Jordan, it looks like we might have another week off for the Eid in late November.