July 07, 2005

Home Again Home Again

Well, besides my daughters engagement....here's a quick rundown on the 9 days tour.

1. Dan Panaroma...what a spread for breakfast every morning!!! Enough food for three meals. The first night of the tour my brother's kids remained on USA time, and were awake at about 3 or so, so guess who was in the room beside them and was also awake? Poor bro and sil. I felt so bad for them. They had absolutely no sleep that night. None of us did really. My brother and his family, my sister and her family all took a 6am walk and went to the park. My father, who was also up, was looking at the window and saw us walking away from the motel and decided we looked familiar! HEY it's the KIDS!! He told my mom. (no one was sleeping well that night.)

2. My cousin's daughter had her Bat Mitzvah at the Plaza near the Kotel (western wall) Since it was a Conservative style Bat Mitzvah we couldn't have it at the wall...mixed males/females is a no-no at the Kotel itself. It was a lovely ceremony. She had a second ceremony done at Masada the following week. This was new to me, but apparently it is part of the Bat Mitzvah tour, and even though we weren't on a Bat Mitzvah tour it was done anyway. I've never heard of it before... so don't ask me why it was done that way. Just don't know.

Then we took in the dead sea. Well, other's did. We don't go mixed swimming. I stayed in the pool area and soaked in the sulfer bath for a few minutes though. Now I look 20. Really. YES I DO!!!

3. Friday afternoon we had a quick ceremony for my parents for their 50th. It was at their dinnner that night that my daughter was engaged.

Mostly we hung about that day. But for Shalosh Seudot, the third meal of the day, we went to an old friend of the family for lunch. That was a very nice treat!!!

4. Favorite part of the tour: an archeological dig. We had a terrific guide; he spoke both English and Hebrew as if he were a native; he had American parents but was born in Israel. It really is unusual even in such a situation for that to occur. Most children, at least that I've had contact with, who are raised by English speakers in Israel, speak one or the other with greater ease. This guy was the tops. He kept us moving and laughing. The brave of those among us (and that include me! toured an unexcavated cave. We had to crawl a bit and there were one place with only a tiny opening and another with a hole in the ground that you dropped through, guided by the hands of the guide, but it really wasn't all that risky or scary. Lots of fun though! The other's toured and excavated cave that was a former olive oil factory.

5. The Tunnel tour. Do go on the tunnel tour. I've been three or four times now and I could go ten times more. There is always something new.

6. I could have stayed a week in Safad. Okay, a month. Okay, a year. The rooms were gorgeous and the view from Rimon-Ruth was breathtaking. Unfortunately we only had a few hours in the evening and next morning, my shopping cut short by my daughters who were exhausted and my son who became ill. We did get to see someone throw a pot, from start to finish. (Not the baking and decorating part) which my kids thought was cool, and the woman teaching whoever it was to learn to throw a pot for the first time (lucky him to have three gawkers) thought it cool that my kids thought it cool.

7. Tel Aviv was next, really only for a goodbye dinner and for some a walk on the beach. But. oh that hotel!!! It was the Sheraton and we got a room with a toilet/sink and a bath in a separate room! Yes, I'm immature enough to find that utterly wonderful.

We also met a long lost cousin. He is my father's mother's brother's son. He is also well known in his field, especially since he is the only one doing it! He does the subtitles for movies! and makes the marquees and such. It is fascinating work really, as not only must he know how to trransalate such phrases as "beats me!" and not make it sound like a line about physical abuse, but he must also talk to professionals in a lot of different fields to understand the argot of that particular profession. Anyway, my dad didn't even know this guy existed until this year! Talk about lost!

My daughter and her fiancee left early in the morning; at something like 3 am. We talked for hours, then they packed and took power naps, woke us up to say goodbye. We slept till 5am then we headed off first to the Airport saying goodbye to everyone and then, luggage in tow to Latrun where my sons basic training in tanks came to an end. We were there from about 8 am till 1pm. The boys ran in after a 17 kilometer hike all sweaty and tired to our cheers and then there was this ceremony in the amphitheater. Is my nose sunburned? A long bus ride to the central bus station where we had a quick lunch, and then a second bus home.

8. I took the leftover soap/shampoo/lotion from our room. Yes, I'm that cheesy. but they were only going to throw out the little bottles so why not?

9. I finished two horror stories and have started a third. That means I'm 1/3+ the way through the stash of books my daughter brought me from the USA.

10. All around, a lot of fun was had by all.


Posted by Rachel Ann at July 7, 2005 02:17 PM | TrackBack

Aw, that sounds fabulous RA! I'm so happy for you and the family!

As for #8, no worries -- they expect you to do that.

I have cousins in Safed! Like you with your newly found cousin, I didn't even know about them until I announced to my mother I was going to Israel. She was like, "Oh, you should look up my cousin." I was like, what cousin? :) It was great meeting them, and I just heard about yet another grandchild being born.

Thanks for the report!

Posted by: esther at July 8, 2005 12:42 AM
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