I’ve heard friends say all of these things this past year, and knew at once they were talking about Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. However, had I heard these same words from someone 40 years ago, I would have scratched my head in wonder at what in the world they were talking about.
Archeologists claim people have been living there for 10,000 years. Historians claim the first modern settlements date from the mid-19th century. But, in truth, it’s only been in the last few decades that Cabo San Lucas has exploded into the consciousness of savvy world travelers. And what an impact it’s had! Today Cabo ranks as one of the top five tourist destinations in Mexico, and with good reason. With one of the most beautiful shorelines in the world, sunshine year round and a list a mile long of exciting things to do while there, Cabo has earned its reputation as one of “the” places to go in Mexico—or anywhere in the world, for that matter.
Everything in Cabo, “Where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean,” begins with water. Swimming? Check. Sun bathing? Check. Sailing? Check. Kayaking? Check. Whale watching? Snorkeling? Mini-submarine tours? Deep sea fishing for marlin? Check, check, check and check.
There are countless fun things to do as well for the landlubbers amongst you: Fine dining?—enough choices to make you dizzy…the seafood’s especially tempting. Shopping?—unique jewelry, fine fashions, handicrafts and more…Cabo’s got them all. Sightseeing?—desert splendors, geological wonders, historic sites…your only problem will be which ones to choose! Nightlife? Jazz clubs here, cantinas there, nightclubs everywhere…you may never want to sleep.
A popular option for traveling to Cabo is by cruise ship. You have a chance to sample the best that Cabo has to offer with the assistance of an experienced on-board team of travel professionals. They can help you plan your time in Cabo on shore or at sea or both. You’ll still have a tough time choosing just how to spend your time (and money), but they’ll help make the process a tad bit easier.
It just so happens that the Aramco ExPats Travel Club is sponsoring a one-week adventure on the Ruby Princess in October. For more information, click the buttons below.
Located right on a beautiful shoreline, the most popular activities in Cabo involve water. You can enjoy the Cabo Bay by renting a kayak or sailboat.
Cabo is known as the marlin capital of the world and if you enjoy fishing, you will have a great time throwing your line out in Cabo. There are many charter companies like Juanita’s Sportfishing or Pisces that can arrange a fishing charter for you.
Snorkeling and scuba diving is another popular activity in the Cabo area. Known as “The Aquarium of the World,” Cabo has one of the largest reefs in the world where you can see a variety of underwater flora and fauna. Cabo Expeditions and their fleet of Zodiacs offer some really exciting snorkeling.
There are many championship golf courses that surround the Cabo area. You will find these courses are challenging courses that also have very beautiful landscape.
It’s been more than sixty-four years since I first went to the ‘field ‘ in 1950 for five years (also spent another year before that in the New York Office at 505 Park Avenue). Most of that time in Arabia I was a photographer in the Public Relations Department, documenting the oil operations as well as the lifestyles of the Americans workers and families in Ras Tanura, Abqaiq, Dhahran and lots of other places.
During those several years, I married a lovely girl, Wanda Marshall, on Bahrein Island, and nearly two years later, on January 21, 1955, she gave birth to a lovely girl, named Cassandra Lea.
Then, a few months later, I resigned ,from Aramco, returned to America and spent two years at a daily newspaper before entering the public relations field as a consultant, building a client base that included British, Russian, and to the Middle East.
By an incredible, extraordinary coincidence, in 1979 I was invited to return to Arabia by a client of mine who had just won a contract to construct a highway through the Rub Al-Khali, a vast desert known as the Empty Quarter. Sadly, while I was back in Arabia, Aramco and / or the Saudi Government changed or delayed plans for the highway, but put the construction company to working on a variety of other projects.
In 2000, the first year that Saudi Arabia permitted former Aramcons to return to the Kingdom as tourists, my wife Wanda and our daughter Cassandra returned to Arabia and spent from April 18 – May 2 there, overwhelmed by the changes that had taken place since 1955.
At that time, my wife was asked to provide a selection of photographs of mine for an exhibit in Dhahran. It was quite well-received and planted the idea in my head that a book of some sort might be a very real possibility in the near future.
Today, in my eighty-eighth year, I am in reasonably good health and good spirits, although I did suffer a mild stroke a couple of years ago, was without speech for most of a day (no pain, just speechless!), and now live with my second daughter, Alyssa, in Vergennes, Vermont.
Saudi Arabia: The Great Adventure is available for sale through Aramco ExPats. We have slashed the price!
“There is a history in all men’s lives.” – William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, Act III, Scene 1
Every once in a while, a story comes along that is undeniably true, yet so preposterous, so difficult to believe, so fantastical, no sane reader would accept it as plausible were an author to produce a work of fiction with the same story line.
Every once in a while, a story emerges from out of nowhere that commands the attention of millions of readers, despite the fact few if any of them are familiar with the book’s subject.
Every once in a while, a sports story explodes on the scene that captures the imaginations of people who would otherwise never willingly pick up a sports book to read.
Every once in a while – but only very rarely – a story appears like Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, a book that accomplishes all three feats, scoring a literary trifecta.
Brown’s opus recounts the improbable tale of how nine young men from the University of Washington in Seattle, most of them products of hardscrabble, working-class, small town upbringings, overcame all-but-impossible odds to capture the men’s eight-oared gold medal in rowing at the Games of the XI Olympiad in Berlin in 1936 with Adolf Hitler and his top Nazi henchmen watching from a balcony overlooking the finish line. The tale is centered around the struggles and eventual triumph of one of the Washington oarsmen, Joe Rantz. The fact that Rantz was able to rise above a painfully difficult childhood and fractured family life to become an Olympic champion is a heart-breaking, enthralling, ultimately exhilarating tale in itself. Brown vividly brings to life the characters of Rantz and his teammates—the boys in the boat—as well as those of a colorful assortment of other memorable personalities, each of whom plays their part in this unforgettable saga.
In recent weeks, I was fortunate to attend two programs related to the book. The first featured author Dan Brown (not that Dan Brown, the one who wrote The DaVinci Code; the other Dan Brown, the one who publishes using his full name, Daniel James Brown). The second featured Judy Rantz Willman, Joe Rantz’s daughter. Both events drew standing room-only crowds, and both speakers were loudly applauded after they finished. In Judy Willman’s case, many in the audience, myself being one of them, were busily wiping away tears from their eyes halfway through her talk. Her presentation included personal anecdotes from her father’s life not found in the book and was at once intimate, theatrical and compelling. Both Dan and Judy were outstanding, doing justice and more to a tome they refer to in their correspondence in shorthand by the acronym TBITB.
In pages teeming with sui generis figures, two individuals tower above the rest: Joe Rantz, the oarsman, and George Pocock, the builder of the Husky Clipper, the needle-like cedar racing shell in which the Washington crew powered to victory on the waters of the Langer See in Grünau, a suburb of Berlin. As a craftsman and coach whose company’s maxim was, “Building boats to build men,” Pocock was one of the seminal figures in the history of the sport of rowing, not only in America but world-wide. Brown begins every chapter with a quote from him.
George Pocock’s most famous quote of all describes the sport of rowing in this way:
“It’s a great art, is rowing. It’s the finest art there is. It’s a symphony of motion and when you’re rowing well, why it’s nearing perfection. And when you near perfection, you’re touching the divine. It touches the you of you’s, which is your soul.”
Pocock was an imposing, impressive, inspiring figure, fond of quoting Shakespeare and the classics from memory although he never completed high school in his native England. Tellingly, he began his as-yet-unpublished memoir with the quote from Henry IV that opens this article. Pocock’s presence and influence color and inform the entire TBITB story. At the darkest of moments when Joe Rantz was in danger of losing all hope, Pocock sensed the young man’s troubles, invited him upstairs to his shop and gave him personal guidance and encouragement that kept him in the game.
As winners of a bidding war, the Weinstein Company (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables, The Artist, The Iron Lady, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, The Butler, etc., etc., etc.) bought the movie rights to TBITB and commissioned a script. Neither Dan Brown nor Judy Willman, however, have an inkling as to if or when a movie will be filmed and released. Some speculate the Weinsteins plan to have a movie version ready in time for the next Summer Olympic Games, to be held in Brazil in 2016.
Whether or not a movie is made of TBITB, the book remains compelling reading. It has held the #1 spot on the New York Times best-seller list for long stretches since its June 2013 publication and has already sold well over a million copies. It has been translated into Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese, Korean and French. A German edition is slated to appear in April, and translations into Spanish, Turkish, Italian, Chinese and other languages are planned. Work is also underway on an abridged middle school-age version for release this coming fall.
Several Darlington students, faculty and an alumna will be featured as a part of the second annual Rome Community HeART Project next month.
Senior Rizwaan Dharsey, sophomore Tate Morgan, freshman Maddie Sabourin, seventh-grader Anne Scott Smith, fifth-grader Kathleen Perkins, faculty members Jennifer Moore and Kathy O’Mara, and alumna Margaret Hjort (’11) were chosen to cover large cement hearts in the medium of their choice in celebration of National Heart Month in February. The artists will use their work in an effort to convey a message of heart health awareness in the community.
“We are so excited about our group of artists this year,” said Megan Gates Watters (’97), HeART Project chairperson. “We have talented high school students, enthusiastic groups from community organizations, and seasoned professional artists. It’s going to be fun to see what heart health means to them.”
As a collaboration between the Rome Area Council for the Arts (RACA) and Redmond Regional Medical Center, the Rome Community HeART Project will showcase a total of 15 cement hearts throughout the Downtown Rome area.
“We are thrilled to have some of the talented members of the Darlington Community highlighted as a part of this month-long outdoor exhibition,” said Kim Tunnell, Darlington’s director of fine arts. “How appropriate to combine heart health and the arts, two very important things that contribute to our quality of life.”
The HeART project began last year with a total of 10 artists and 10 hearts, and continues to receive praise, piquing the interest of local citizens and visitors.
“We love to find ways to incorporate art into all facets of life,” said Emily Hjort, RACA president. “This project allows RACA an opportunity to promote an important cause and add some intrigue to our public art downtown.”
The community is encouraged to visit, take pictures, and enjoy each heart throughout the month of February. This year citizens can watch the hearts’ progress on Instagram by accessing the Rome Area Council for the Arts @RomeArts.
For more information about Darlington School, Click Here.
Six Darlington School Soccer Academy players sign to play at next level
Attending Thursday’s signings were assistant coach Steph Bradshaw (from left), Cat Jorgensen, Darlington Soccer Academy director Chad Liddle, Tim McGlynn, Noah Teplitzky, Michelle Cole, Riz Dharsey, Alex Zegarra, director of operations Kevin Ray and assistant director Jamey Newsome.
Senior, Alexandra Zegarra, from Darlington School has signed a letter of intent to play college soccer for the University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama.
Alex was born in Texas and raised in Saudi Arabia before coming to Darlington School in Rome, Georgia.
Senior, Rizwaan Dharsey, an attacking midfielder from Darlington School has signed his National Letter of Intent with Northern Kentucky University. Well done Riz on becoming a Norse!
Rizwaan Dharsey: Attacking Midfielder #10
Darlington School Soccer Academy enrolls highly motivated student-athletes from around the world who share a common goal – to obtain an excellent college-preparatory education and elite soccer training within a single, competitive program.