Visiting Family in Lebanon

My father was the first one in his family to emigrate to the US from Lebanon, and most of his family still lives there, so since I was little I've spent many wonderful vacations there and even became a Lebanese citizen!

Our family lives in a wonderful little village in the north called Fih, which is about 45 miles north of Beirut, 10 minutes from the Mediterranean and about 1500 ft above sea level. The village is only about 1 mile long and 1 mile wide and has some of the warmest and kindest people in the world. The residents there are highly educated and unbelievably driven, with most of the students going on to earn their masters degree or doctorate and then going to work in various countries in the Gulf and becoming very successful.

There's something so special about the village, and about the country in general, and my vacations there are something I look forward to and cherish. When I go, I stay at my family's house where my grandparents and aunt live.  There are always people coming by the house, whether it's for a casual brunch or late night coffee on the veranda.

I have an incredible group of friends there and when I'm there during the summer (which is when I usually go), I spend my days at the beach.  The beach there, however, is unlike any beach I've ever been to.  We go to a resort on the water called Las Salenas where they have three levels of pools that reach down to an area where you can swim in the sea or rent a jet ski. It's a see and be seen place, and can be a place to relax and enjoy the scenery, or hang near one of the bars that plays upbeat music while you swim and waiters bring you not only drinks, but your own personal hookah as well!

After a day at the beach, I go back to the house, relax with family and visitors, have a delicious dinner since the food there is phenomenal and my grandmother and aunts could probably be professional chefs, then get ready for a night of fun. We are never at a loss for something to do on any given night. The nightclubs near the city are literally some of the best nightclubs I've ever been to in my entire life. Then there's the many outdoor restaurants where you can eat and drink until the late hours of the morning. And of course if we feel like staying local, we just make our
own parties in the village where everyone is always invited..   I've even seen my grandmother dancing and having fun on more than one occasion at one of our many little village get togethers.

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