Monthly Archives: January 2014

Porcelain Box from Hollywood

My mom got me this pillbox when I was in middle school. It is actually the first one in my collection. At the time I wanted to be an actress so it was perfect. What little girl and inspiring actress doesn’t want a miniature Oscar. The pillbox doesn’t contain any little trinket inside, which is a shame. I would have loved a mini Oscar or clapboard inside. Out of my large collection of both travel and other random pillboxes this one is still my favorite.

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Categories: California, Los Angeles, Mish Mash, Porcelain Boxes, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Postcards from California

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Porcelain Box from Aruba III

I got this pillbox on one of my many trips to Aruba. The box is shaped like a sandal. I most likely bought it in one of the hotel gift shops or in Oranjestad. The box was $8. Unfortunately there wasn’t any little item inside. I like this pillbox because it is very different than my others. It is also much heavier than the others. I love the scene on the sandal it definitely transports me back to Aruba every time I look at it.

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Categories: Aruba, Caribbean, Mish Mash, Porcelain Boxes, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Two New Postcards from San Diego

My dad got back from a business trip in San Diego. Here are my two new postcards:

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Vegetarian Meals on Planes

If you don’t already know this about me, I am a vegetarian. I don’t eat meat including seafood, but I eat things made from animals (ie cheese). Growing up I used to love economy plane food. I know, I am weird, but I did. That was when the airlines weren’t cheap you know what’s and you actually got a meal. My meals from JFK to Aruba usually consisted of a salad, roll, a box of two chocolates, and an entree. The entree was either a chicken dish or a vegetarian dish like pasta. Every time I have flown first class I have hated the meal. I’m not into fancy food and for some reason there isn’t a vegetarian option. On one flight they actually brought me the economy meal so I could eat something. I also dislike ice cream, again I’m weird, and that’s the only dessert option on all the first class flights. Yeah I know first world problems, but when it’s a long flight, you don’t sleep, and pay tons of money you definitely want to eat. They used to post the menus in advance so I could decide whether or not to order a vegetarian meal. They stopped doing that.

That special vegetarian meal used to be decent, but my recent experiences have been absolutely nasty. This is because United no longer offer lacto-ovo vegetarian meals. These were meals that contained cheese and eggs. So I got food like pasta, quiche, cheese sandwiches, french toast, etc. now they offer Asian Vegetarian meals, which is almost the exact same description as their vegan meals. Those meals consisted of rice coated in nasty unidentifiable sauce and 4 pathetic veggies. This brings me to my dilemma. I have an economy plus and businessfirst flights ahead of me this year. Do I order vegetarian meals and be struck with garbage or hope that there is a decent vegetarian option on board or pick at a non vegetarian meal?

Here are some of my recent plane meal experiences:

El Al to Tel Aviv-They forgot my veggie meal. No vegetarian option. I ate bread.

El Al to Tel Aviv-Again no veggie meal but their was a vegetarian sandwich option.

Delta to Amsterdam-Veggie meal was pasta with nuts (I’m allergic). This was also the vegetarian meal option on board. Food was good though (I picked off the nuts).

KLM to Egypt-Veggie meal was unidentifiable. Didn’t eat it. Roll could have broken a wall. I had a chocolate. A to go waffle was served for breakfast.

Air France to NYC-Veggie meal was unidentifiable. Didn’t eat it. Ate the bread.

United to Newark-Veggie meal was gross. I didn’t eat it. I wound up eating my mom’s ham and cheese sandwich minus the ham.

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Porcelain Box from Seattle

I got this box in Seattle this past June and I honestly can’t remember which store I purchased it in. We were all over. I’m leaning towards the Space Needle. It was $7.75. The quality isn’t that good compared to the other ones I own. There was no trinket inside :-(. The box is of the Seattle skyline which is very picturesque.

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Categories: Gifts and Souvenirs, Mish Mash, Porcelain Boxes, Seattle, Seattle, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tel Aviv to JFK

Jan 12 2009

I boarded the plane and played musical chairs a couple of times. I finally wound up in the 2nd to last row of the plane on the left side. I was on an aisle so I was happy. I was sitting next to Deb and Ben was behind me. Ben helped me put my bag in the overhead compartment.

Shortly into the flight I realized I didn’t feel well. My throat was killing me and I went through all my stuff looking for cough drops, but I couldn’t find any. I asked everyone in the group, but no one had. I started to drink lots of water. We were then served our dinner, which luckily was vegetarian. It was a cheese sandwich. I devoured it. I started to run a fever and I felt very claustrophobic. More than anything I wanted the flight to be over. I attempted to watch TV and read, but I couldn’t concentrate.

Staci came over and confirmed that I was running a fever. I eventually fell asleep, which never ever happens on a plane for me. I awoke when we were about two hours away from NYC. I was still very sick. We were served breakfast. Chloe took all the grapes and shoved them into her mouth at one time, which was funny. I didn’t eat much.

We finally landed and I called my mom. I informed her that I was very sick. I then waited on a line for customs, which took forever. I must have been on the line for over an hour. I got my bag and said goodbye to whoever was still in baggage claim. Then I found my mom and I was so happy to see her. She had the water bottle I requested. I chugged it. I missed NY water so badly! I used the bathroom and we took a cab back to the city. I rested during the whole cab ride.

I came home and shared some of my Israeli food with my mom. I told her I was going to take a nap on the sofa while she ran out for medicine. I was knocked out when she came back. She woke me up to take medicine and then I slept for over 24 hours.

Categories: Asia, Israel, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jerusalem to Tel Aviv

Jan 11 2009

Our last morning in Israel! We had breakfast, loaded the bus, and checked out. It was a pain in the butt to get the luggage down to the lobby, but we all managed. I think we were all glad to be done with Shalom Jerusalem’s horrible tiny elevators.

We drove to an environmental place in Jerusalem to listen to a PowerPoint. It wasn’t working and we were all dead tired and not in the mood. Eventually the lady just gave up with the computer and spoke to us. I don’t think anyone was listening.

We boarded the bus and were off to Tel Aviv. Our first stop was Rabin Square, named for the assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, which included a visit to the Rabin Memorial. Shabat spoke to us for a bit.

Then we went to Independence Hall, site of David Ben Gurion’s proclamation of the State of Israel in May 1948. We listened to a film and a guide talked to us. When we were standing outside the museum for a bit we were shooed a way because it was dangerous. We walked back to the bus and headed to the Carmel Market.

At the Carmel Market we were given free time to explore and get lunch. I skipped most of the market and explored the side streets. In the first store I went to I picked up some Tel Aviv postcards. I got a Jaffa one for Ms. Jaffe. After that I found some Sephardic bakeries where of course I bought my lunch. I met up with Deb and we browsed a bunch of stores. We bought some stuff to take home. In particular, I got more pop rock chocolate. Then we met up with Nora and Maddy in this park. They had made some new friends so we all chatted for a while. I left them after a bit to buy more Sephardic food to bring back to the states for my mom. I found Ali in the ice cream place where we used the restroom.

Our next stop was old Jaffa. We had time to explore the flea market. Shabat gave the group a challenge, which was to find the most unique/unusual item at the flea market and buy it. I decided not to participate as did most people. I went with Ali, Lior, and Jen exploring. I bought a necklace for my grandma and a shirt for my dad. After that we got bored and kept walking. Suddenly, the neighborhood started to get really shady. We decided to turn around. As we were walking back I saw a guy behind us move closer to us and signal to a guy across the street. I watched both of them get closer, just as I was about to get Lior’s attention the two guys saw Lior. In particular, his gun. Suddenly, they both stopped and turned around. Oy that was close. After that incident we still had more time in Old Jaffa. So a bunch of us sat by the clock tower bored out of our minds. Little did we know that our trip mates were at the beach watching the sun go down.

Eventually we all met up and Shabat warned us it would be a while until the next bathroom. Ali and I went to a coffee shop and paid to use the restroom. Some of the other girls did the same thing. Shabat had us walk through some winding back streets to this area that had all the zodiac symbols. There was even a bridge with the symbols. The bridge was called the Wishing Bridge. We were supposed to touch our zodiac symbol and make a wish while looking out at the Mediterranean Sea. By the way, my wish came true.

After that we got back on the bus. The people who bought stuff for the contest showed off what they got. Then Shabat showed us what he got. It was this blue insect thing on a stick. He won. Then he told us one of his infamous jokes.

Then we drove to a farm to eat dinner. We were all a little worried and confused by this piece of information. We ate in an indoor tent. The food was actually very good. My table went around and said what we’ll remember about each other. Our table consisted of Jen, Lindsey, Ali, Kevin, Alan, and myself.

After that we drove to a school. We created a yarn web by taking turns throwing a ball of yarn and saying what we liked about each other. Sarah Dickey picked me and said how sweet I was. I picked Ali. Then we cut our individual strands so we could wear them as bracelets. Staci and Anna handed out our group pictures and t-shirts. A bunch of us used the bathroom which was super gross and sketchy.

Back on the bus we packed up our cell phones so we could give them back. Some how we got on the fact that we sucked at the bus countdown. So we started to challenge ourselves by counting down in 30 seconds then 15 seconds then 13 seconds. We also did our countdown backwards. We had a lot of fun!

We watched Tel Aviv slip away as we drove to the airport. Shabat started to give away things on the bus, such as our signs and our map. I wanted the map, but Zac got it. When we got to the airport Shabat left us. We all thanked him and he gave us his card. Anna went and joined another trip. Shabat will meet another tour tomorrow. I don’t know how he isn’t exhausted. We all were beyond exhausted and 75% of our group had colds.

We got on a super long line to check our bags and get our tickets. I was little bummed that I didn’t get an aisle seat. We went through security and had time to kill before our flight. I walked around looking for a place to spend my leftover coins. I bought a bottle of water and a huge thing of Baklava for my mom. We hung out in the waiting area for a bit. Everyone was comparing seat numbers to figure out who was sitting next to whom. I was getting very tired. It was almost midnight so it had been a long day. Not to mention a long 11 days. We finally got the signal to board and we were ready.

Categories: Asia, Food, History, Israel, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shabbat in Jerusalem

Jan 10 2009

Wake up was later today because of shabbat. I chose to wake up earlier than everyone else because I wanted to attend the optional services at a synagogue down the road. I felt it was important to go to shabbat services in Jerusalem. The Pardo sisters and a couple of the guys went. We had a super fast breakfast and then walked to the synagogue. The Pardos and I sat upstairs in the women’s section. We were completely lost, which I knew I would be since I am lost during American services. The cool thing is that during services you are supposed to face Jerusalem, but since we were in Jerusalem we had to face the Kotel. When they called up members from certain special Jewish families there were actually people from those families in the congregation. That’s something you don’t see everyday.

I had originally wanted to do yoga after services, but I was tired and too lazy to change out of my long skirt. The yoga was a bit different this time and was more of an ab workout. So I’m glad that I decided not to change and just watched.

After that, we ate lunch and packed. The packing proved to be difficult because of the new stuff I had gotten and because my space bag no longer seemed to be working. Then I watched Sara braid Jacob’s hair. Next up were the Bat and Bar Mitzvah ceremonies. We were all very tired and out of it, but we tried to be as supportive as possible. The people that got Bar/Bat Mitzvahed from our bus were Joanna, Travis, and Margaret.

Next we went up to the roof for the Havdallah ceremony. We had a lot of fun. We sang, danced, and the guys lifted the Bar/Bat Mitzvah people on chairs. It was a great final bonding moment as a group.

We drove back into the heart of Jerusalem and had dinner. Ricky, Ali, Lindsey, Zac, and I ate together. Both Sarahs, Marc, Maddy, and Nora got the table right next to us. Our table had an interesting conversation about relationships.

We then walked to a lecture about unity without uniformity. Ruthie was there, so I was very happy to see her. It felt like just yesterday I saw her in the airport. I can’t believe our trip is almost over. After the lecture they brought out a band and there was a lot of dancing. I took a picture with Lior. After a while we were all tired and wanted to go back to the hotel. When we finally got back to the hotel, we all finished packing and then crashed.

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Saddness, Shopping, and Laughter in Jerusalem

Jan 9 2009
Another early morning wake up call. Again, I was the first one to get ready. We had to dress conservatively today because we were headed to Yad Vashem. It was extremely cloudy out and was misting a bit. We stopped in front of the museum to take a group photo. We were just one of many tour groups there.

We got our tour guide who guided us through the museum. We had to listen to him on headsets. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the museum. I didn’t think the tour guide was very good and I didn’t feel the museum was comprehensive. Nor did I find it very moving. We got to see a room full of records from survivors, which was a bit interesting. The museum was very gray and dark. It opened out to a beautiful view of Jerusalem. To show the hope and renewal after the destruction. Morgan was in a wheelchair because of her Masada incident and her poor brother had to carry her up the stairs. For me the most moving thing was of a statue towards the exit of the museum complex. It was of a teacher who was given the option to be saved or die with his students. He chose to die with his students.

After that we went to the shuk. Ricky was my shopping buddy. First we hit the amazing bakeries and candy stores on the street outside of the shuk. Then he haggled for me in Hebrew so I could get a t-shirt. After that we got zatar from a spice merchant. We walked around the shuk for a while and looked at all the yummy food. The we wandered down a side street and found a Sephardic bakery that was cheap. We loaded up like nobody’s business. The food was amazing!
We headed back to Mehane Yehuda St., which was the meeting spot. We looked at what everyone bought. A lot of people were jealous when they saw the good looking items Ricky and I picked up. We met Shabat’s son. He was so shy. We had to leave because shabbat was about to start.
We got back to our hotel in time to hear the shabbat alarm.


We then did the candle lighting and had services. It was our 2nd shabbat Friday in Jerusalem. Let the shabbat elevator fun begin! We had dinner, which was yummy. I decided to get more adventurous with my food choices and was pleasantly surprised with everything I ate.

After that we went back to Jen, Lindsey, and Jordi’s room and hung out. Sarah, Sara, and both Jens were there in addition to Ricky, Ben, Marc, Jacob, Julie, Lindsey, Lior, Jordi, Emily, Rachel, Michelle, and myself. Jen flat-ironed Ben’s hair, while Ricky prank phone called Alan. It was hilarious! We were laughing so hard! Then we went up to Alan’s floor to continue the prank by knocking on his door. But when the elevator opened on his floor he was standing there. We let the elevator door shut and fell on each other laughing.

After that we went downstairs to hear what Hebrew names the soon to be Bar/Bat Mitzvahed people picked out for themselves. We then headed back to our rooms only for a fuse to go out. The hallways turned into a party. A couple of us eventually called it a night after an hour or so because we had to wake up for services in the morning.

Categories: Asia, Food, History, Israel, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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