Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 11 - Israel 2010 - 8-29-10

What a day!

All morning I had told the kids we were going to see have to search for an "elephant." They asked questions if it was real, what it was  made out of, what color it was - if they were really going to see it. OY - maybe I should have kept my mouth shut!

This morning we drove to Rosh Hanikrah - it is a down that boaders Lebenon, all the way in the north of Israel, right on the coast. It has beautiful grotos and fantastic views!
We arrived at the top of the hill, in order to get down to the gratos we had to take the cable car down!

Not only did the bottom have amazing gratos - but amazing views!

We went into the gratos - it was so steamy we all felt drippy - not sweaty, right away!

It was VERY slippery!

We finally got outside to the "elephant!" I was so excited to see it. The kids on the other hand - read: Bob - was really dissapointed. The sign says it is the elephants foot -- to me it has always looked like the elephant's trunk! He said I wasn't a good feeling for me, but still think it looks like a trunk - what do you think?

From there we drove to Acco - an amazing city from the crusaides. The kids had really had it by this point - read: Belle had really had it. It was hot. It was sticky - and it was more walking. Bob, Bean and Puppy LOVED the self guided tour - even if the rest of us found it dry. I think anytime you get to hold a telephone that looks like it was a "car phone" from 1988 to your ear - it has too be cool, right?

Mom and I opted not to go through one of the tunnels and to hang back with Belle (Mom and I do NOT like tunnels!). So J went on with the kids.
It wasn't till they were out somewhere else in the maze of ruins that we reailized to find them we had to! Thank god by then, Belle had come around!

We had to make the day end nicely....

So we took the kids to their FIRST EVER real McDonalds experience. See, we keep kosher. We do eat out dairy that isn't, but not meat. So the children have had fish sandwiches....but never McNuggets or Burgers!


It was worth the 230.40 NIS to see the look on their faces' (and J's for that matter!) while they ate their Chicken McNuggets and Big Macs!

What a great way to end a day of literal and figurative ups and downs!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 10 - Israel 2010 - 8-28-10

Important side note: Today would have been my father in law's birthday z"l - of blessed memory 65th birthday. He was taken from us almost 8 years ago by Brain Cancer. Today my sister in law is going to/ran the 2010 Portland Brain Tumor Walk in his memory. How proud he would be of her and all she has done to raise awareness and money for both Leukemia & Lymphoma and Brain Cancer. We are all proud of her - she is truly inspiring. May his memory continue to be a blessing to all of us who knew and loved him, and to his granchildren - only two of whom got to meet him, but non truly got to know him.

Today was Shabbat - we had a lazy morning - but Puppy got ready in his Shabbat shorts, his black dress shoes (no socks), a button down shirt and the linnen jacket that he is supposed to wear for the wedding. He was a sight. So J took him and Bob and Bean who were all ready as well to shul, while Belle and I spent some quality time together.

We spent the afternoon playing buckeyballs, Rumikub and reading. Bubby, Mom, Aunt M and Mr. B came to hang out and play with us.

Mom stayed on for the afternoon and a while later J and A came. They are the lovely parents' of G - one of the Shlichim we had at our home for the summer. They brought great gifts for the kids, and we got to spend time getting to know them and hearing about G in ways we didn't get to see him over the summer.

It was a lovely quiet day! Tomorrow....we drive the coast!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 9 - Israel 2010 - 8-27-2010

We promised the kids a lazier day. - And boy did they get it!!

J and Bean went out shopping for Shabbat in the morning. The other kids veged in front of the Disney Channel. We have been allowing them to only watch tv in Hebrew. Well...Phineas and Pherb and some other favorites are in Hebrew. It is fantastic!!

FINALLY, at 2pm we left for the Hertzelyia Beach. Having been to Tel-Aviv and Netanya already - we needed to check out a third.

It was heavy surf - but a great sandbar!
We had to stay to a certain area as the surf was really rough. But there was a sandbar - which made it pretty cool.

Belle did great at jumping the waves!
As soon as the wave passed - it was below her waist!

Puppy was just happy to be in the water
Bob wasn't really happy about not being allowed out farther. He kept pushing the limits and saying it wasn't fun. He looked like he was having fun to me!!
Bob went farther out!
J even showed Bob how to jump into the water to ride the wave. And then J lost his prescription sunglasses in the Mediterranean Sea!

J is gone...and so are his sunglasses!
They spent the next long while looking for his glasses!
He even found a pair!! .....They just weren't his (he thought they were at first!)!

Thank god for Mom!! She spent time with the kids in the sand...something I absolutely HATE to do.

But the kids love it!!

At the end - J said goodbye to his glasses at sea. And we went home to make Shabbat dinner!

Cousin S and her boys Ld and U joined us - with Aunt M and Mr. B and Bubby. What a great way to bring in Shabbat!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 8 - Israel 2010 - 8-26-2010

Important side note: Today is Unc's 24th Birthday. I remember the day he was born - the day our world changed by the addition of the one we called "The Boy." Sweet kid, tough start - but he was my baby. All those nights he cried and cried - Mom and Dad had just had it since it was so often....and every night....I would sneak into his room (I was 11) take him out of his crib....and rock him to sleep. We bonded. I love that boy. Always have - always will be my matter how many of my own I have. Love you Unc - you are the best brother or uncle anyone could ask for!! (Don't worry; you aren't old - even if I was married at your age!)

Today we got up and drove to Bereishit - Genesis, to have a visit with Avram in his tent. When we first arrived we saw all of the camels! The kids just LOVED them - and love sitting and watching them...and taking pictures of them - (we have almost 100!) And taking pictures of their poop - god help me...promise, I'm not posting those!!

Bob took one for the blog - he said we don't post faces! ROFLMAO
After we were greeted by the camels, we were greeted by Eliezer, Avram's servant. He brought us into the top building and gave us a history of where Avram had traveled from - Ur - present day Iraq, to Haran - present day Turkey, to C'Naan - present day Israel.

We then loaded about half the group onto the camels for a walk down to Avram's tent. J and Bob, Puppy and Mom went on first.

Some traveled by camel - others of us walked down the nice wide path!

View from Avram's tent!
Once we got down to Avram's tent - we were greeted by "Avram" who served us water and dried fruits.

Belle even got to do a demonstration with Avram!
Then! It seemed as though Avram's nephew Lot took all the pita Avram was planning on serving us....SOOO he invited us to make our own with him.

Then Avram backed them for us!
After we ate our pita - it was time for the other half of the guests to camel ride back to the top of the hill. That left me, Bean and Belle.
Belle gets the front of the white beauty!
Bean and I had our turn - the camel behind loved to scratch its ear on Beans leg!
BUT...for some reason we didn't return the way we came down....remember that wide path? Nope - we took the short cut around the side of the mountain!!
OK - it doesn't look as deep from here - but I'm telling you!
View from my camel....looking straight down!
Where is that path!?!?
After our experience - we went to Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem for lunch and some shopping. We came away with a jackpot of kippot for all three boys! The girls and Bob got necklaces. And while we stretched them to their breaking point of a long day. They really did quite well. And were thrilled to return for a BBQ at the S's house!

Back to Ra'anana and a quieter day tomorrow!