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Just returned: 2 Weeks in Egypt w/Egypt Highlights; Trip Report, in short, AMAZING!

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With mucho thanks to all who helped me plan this great adventure, I would like to begin my preliminary trip report, jetlag be darned! For this first post, I will put overall impressions and tips, but will delve deeper on subsequent posts for those interested.
First all all, after much controvery on this board, Egypt Highlights did a fantastic job of "being there" every step of the way, from the minute our KLM flight landed (2 hours late, BTW) Magdy was at the airport waiting to shepherd us though customs and wisk us to our favorite hotel, the Sheraton Royal Gardens in Giza.
We had brought my husbands mobile phone (T-Mobile) and were able to communicate by texting a lot, every day Magdy sent us a text message to find out how things were and give us a pick up time for the next day . The in country provider for T Mobile is Vodafone and the only place it didn't work was smack dab in the middle of the Sahara Desert.
Tips: When you get to a bank machine be sure to get a LOT of money, because you can't count on ATM's being there for you, nor can you count on banks having ATM's, usually they only exchange money. Remember a LOT of Egyptian money isn't all that much (for most Europeans or US cit.) 2,000 EP is about $350 US. more or less.
If you are sensitive to air quality bring plenty of aspirin the smog in Cairo makes Los Angeles look like the Rocky Mountains.
Learn a little Arabic and you will amaze and astound EVERYONE. Before we left I got Pimsleurs Egyptian Arabic quick and easy CD's and only got through the first 3 CD's but it was enough to blow everyone away. Also Egyptian Arabic is way different from other Arabic so be specific.
No matter how much sunscreen you think you need, bring more.
When purchasing things in a market, be sure you don't end up paying the visitors price.. either that, just shrug and don't let it bother you.. often times if we went to a market and say, water was priced at 3 EP when we got to the register they would charge us 5 EP.. ok so it's an extra 60 cents.. to some people this is unacceptable.. it's up to you, most times if you politely asked, they would change the price back to the one on the bottle.
If visiting any oasis or desert... there is NO place to get money period. Once you are outside of Cairo or in places close to the Nile. BE sure to get cash in town before you leave.
Also, good idea to bring a really comprehensive guide book with you to suppliment the information given to you by guides at the sites. We lucked out in Cairo as our guide Samir was AMAZING we could ask him anything and he was always able to respond no matter what. Outside of Cairo, the guide, Mustapha was pretty good when he stuck to his usual info routine, but if we had questions out side of that he usually couldn't respond. Also guides are simple not allowed in some places (inside Abu Simbel for example) a comprehensive book will come in handy. We had National Geographic's Traveler Explore Egypt and found it very informative.

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