John and Jeanne

Old man rhythm is in my shoes No use 't sittin' and singin' the blues So be my guest, you got nothin' to lose Won't you let me take you on a sea cruise? If you're a baby boomer like so many of us Aramco annuitants are, you no doubt remember the above lines from the 1959 rock-'n'-roll classic, Frankie Ford's "Sea Cruise." It's a cinch John and Jeanne Suggs do. Every expat who ever worked for Aramco has an interesting story to tell about how he or she ended up living and working in Saudi Arabia, and the Suggs are no exception. John arrived in the Kingdom in 1975 as an employee of Trans World Airlines assigned to work with Saudia Airlines at the Dhahran airport. What was supposed to be a short-term overseas gig soon morphed into a 14-year adventure. John and wife Jeanne made friends with people already working for Aramco and learned from them about the ambitious construction camp program that was underway. One thing led to another led to another as so often happens in life, and they were invited to discuss the possibility of joining the Aramco team. A trip to Houston sealed the deal, and in 1977 they joined Aramco. For the next 11 years John served as a supervisor in Contractor Community Services while Jeanne oversaw Recreational Library operations in all Aramco communities. In their residence at Banyan Court in the Dhahran Compound they raised their two sons, James and Jeff.

The Sugg Family

Today John and Jeanne live in Franklin, Tennessee, a fast-growing suburb of Nashville that still maintains a small town atmosphere, replete with a town square, a lively main street and a collection of beautiful antebellum homes. Son James now lives in Philadelphia with his wife Sarah, who is expecting to deliver John and Jeanne their first grandchild, a boy, in April. Younger son Jeff meanwhile lives with his wife Cindy in Brooklyn, New York. Both sons attended Aramco schools until the family returned to the U.S. in 1988. James and Jeff have wonderful memories of their teachers and classmates in Dhahran. For John and Jeanne, their best memories are of the lasting friendships they made living and working with such a culturally diverse, yet close-knit community made up of fascinating characters from around the world. When asked what they would say to someone who is contemplating working in Saudi Arabia, they answered: "Life should be measured in moments, not minutes. The work challenges, the experiences, the friends you make and the travel opportunities of living and working in Saudi can make for wonderful memories." John and Jeanne attended the 2014 annuitants reunion in Asheville, North Carolina and found it a "unique and awesome" opportunity to reconnect with old friends and share new experiences with them. Two years ago, they joined Cruise Planners, a representative of American Express Travel offering a higher level of service to travelers the world over. Today they're hard at work helping organize an ocean-going reunion for Aramcons later this year in the form of a week-long cruise on the Mexican Riviera on board the luxurious Ruby Princess, a member of the Princess Cruises fleet of cruise ships. "If you've never cruised before or haven't cruised for a while," John writes, "you'll be amazed at the activities and amenities on board cruise ships these days. Just some of these you can enjoy aboard the Ruby Princess: culinary demonstrations, bingo, wine tasting, a casino, swimming pools, and yoga and spa services. There'll be presentations where you'll learn about the top cultural sites of the ports you'll be visiting, and lots of live entertainment choices. Or, you can always find yourself a special cozy nook where you can catch up on your reading. No cruise line knows Mexico like Princess Cruises. Mexico is where it all began for Princess. It was there that they offered their first cruise vacation in 1965." Look for more articles about the Mexican Riviera, including features on Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, in future newsletters. There is an Early Booking Bonus if you book your cruise before February 26. For more information, you can reach the Suggs via email at or by phone at +1.615.465.6099. On the web, visit John and Jeanne's Cruise Planners. Join the Aramco ExPats Travel Club and us for the October 25, 2015 cruise to the Mexican Riviera.

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