First, Happy birthday Dad! You are amazing!
A giant photo dump with occasional comments is about all I can manage at this point. Needless to say, it was an amazing trip. We went with our synagogue and our rabbi, and the point was to see Biblical Israel the Israel of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Shilo where the Tabernacle stood and Hannah prayed for a baby. I don't have any pics of Shilo, but praying there was one of the more powerful moments for me.
My husband and I have been before, together and separately, and each time it does feel like we are coming home. Especially now that we have more and more friends who are living there (no pictures to protect their internet-privacy:).
Oh, what? You realized that the first photo with the "biblical Israel" title is actually from Masada, and *not* in fact part fo the bible? Yup, that just shows you how brain-fried I still am, but, it is a lovely view of the Masada mountaintop fortress, the Judean desert, and the Dead Sea beyond. I took almost no photos that day, since it was a bajillion-schmillion degrees, then we were in the Dead Sea, where it's so salty/minerally you float (so no cameras!) and then we managed to get to Ein Gedi, a lovely spring but I was just wandering around in my swimsuit, UV shirt and Keens at that point and longing for a temperature less than the sweltering 109 we had just come from!
The Binyamin winery-
The Jordan river where Yehoshua brought the Israelites into the land of Israel after 40 years of wandering. Or thereabouts. Also purported to be something super important for my Christian friends, but I will for sure, screw it up and offend someone if I try to explain what it is:)
Also, that shack on the other side, is Jordan. So close my cell phone got a text message with "Welcome to Jordan"!
Us on a mountain, Tel Azeka, looking over the valley of Ella, where David and Goliath actually fought. Totally awesome.
We finally get a peak of the Mediterranean and can dip our feet in in Askelon, where we see ancient Roman ruins, and a Philistine city.
The tram ride up Masada,
Us at the top. And yes, I do realize that we have a million pictures of the two of us. And I'm wearing the same hat in most because my other hat (which looked ridiculous) got lost on the first day. My hubby says that because we were in Israel, that we were closer to God, so he had a hand in losing that awful hat:)
Us at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Also, this is me in my tichel, or head scarf, which I was trying out for fun, and was super cool in a I-felt-not-as-hot way, not in a trendy way:)
I will also point out that we have photos from previous trips that look almost identical of the two of us in the same spot, but in our two previous visits I was 5 months pregnant, so i was SO, SO happy to not be pregnant on this trip.
Since I wasn't pregnant, we got to do totally awesome stuff. ATV riding in the Judean desert, and the Hezekiah water tunnels at the City of David in Jerusalem. Imagine yourself in a 2000 year old water tunnel, about 26 inches wide, between 4 and 8 feet high, and about a mile long. Oh, and with water up to your mid-thigh. It was amazing, and scary, and crazy, and I was so happy to be behind relatively fast walkers or I might have totally lost my mind:)
Overlooking the Jezreal Valley, on Mt. Carmel, the sight of Elijah's showdown with the prophets of Ba'al.
Har Meggido, which is Armageddon, where the actual Armageddon is supposed to take place. Plus very picturesquw with eh date palms grown from archeologists who spit their date pits onto the dig:) You can actually see 31 different layers of cities/cultures/civilizations here, it's like a giant archaeological layer cake.
Ancient grain silo.
Tel Dan. Which was another archaeological site. By this day I was about to lose it if we saw one more Tel, but at least the walk to the scorching sun-drenched Tel, was a water walk with rivers and trees.
And finally Caesarea, a Herodian sea port from Roman times, which is just as beautiful as we remembered it being, except that this time there was no time to shop and by Roman glass jewelry Sad for me, happy for my husband, who detests shopping. Conveniently we did all our shopping in one coke-and-shwarma fueled evening in Jerusalem, so we were all set in the gifts department:)
We hope to bring out two big kids back in a few years time, they just need to be able to survive the airplane flight first! So I'm taking recommendations on things to do with kids for the next time!