Posts Tagged With: Cake

Exploring Jerusalem

Jan 4 2009
One of the cell phone alarms went off at 6:15am. I let the other girls sleep until the 6:30am wake up call. We went to breakfast, which was yummy. I ate my bagel from last night and a lot of cake. I packed up croissants and cake for lunch. We then got on the bus for our ride into the heart of Jerusalem.

We stopped at the Haas Promenade where we listened to music, drank grape juice, ate challah, danced, took pictures, and listened to Shabat lecture. It was beautiful to see the Dome of the Rock in the distance. I was so glad to finally see it. The grape juice was really good and the challah was the best I have ever had. There was no bathroom so I was mindful of how much I ate and drank. I really enjoyed watching everyone dancing and the Israeli music was great. Shabat started to lecture us about the City of David. Staci stopped him to remind him that we had soldiers waiting for us. Shabat brushed her off and continued talking. There was a stray cat walking around that freaked Collin out. One thing I liked was that Leo called the cat over to him and was petting him. It was a strange contrast the gun and the petting of the cat. While we were at the promenade there was thick black smoke in the distance. It was scary and reminded us that they were in the middle of a war.

We then got back on the bus to head to the Old City. The Old City was interesting, but we went through it very fast. The buildings were amazing to look at. It really transports you back in time. We saw the room where the last supper took place. I honestly didn’t know it was located there. It was not how I imagined it. The room was empty, plain, and boring. If Shabat hadn’t told us that was the room I would not have been able to guess it. Shabat took us through a maze of side streets and then stopped us to tell us about the Kotel (Western Wall). Then we were able to take some pictures of the Kotel and the Dome of the Rock from a place adjacent to the wall.

We then went down to the Kotel. I was shocked that the men had so much more room than the women. There were barely any men there, but there were tons of women. There wasn’t any room to put our notes in the cracks of the wall. All the cracks were full. I touched the wall, but sadly did not feel a connection to it. A lot of the people took out their phones to call home and have their family members pray at the wall through the phone. I did the same thing and my mom answered the phone.

After we left the wall we all joined in a circle to talk about it, but a guard came over because we were all holding hands. Male and female students shouldn’t be touching. Most of us were disappointed by the wall. We then were given some time to eat lunch.

I chose to shop instead of eat lunch. I quickly shoved my breakfast leftovers in my mouth and started to wander in and out of the stores. In the 1st store I bought a Kippuh for my dad. I also bought bracelets for my mom and I. I also bought a charm for my grandma’s necklace. I went to another store where I bought some postcards and a pen. In the last store I got some more postcards and some keychains.

After we went shopping we went back to the bus to meet our soldiers. 4 of the soldiers were male and 3 were female. They were all in their uniforms. They were given role call #’s. The male soldiers are Roi, Idan, Guy, and Dror. The female soldiers are Karen, Sarit, and Hilla. All but Roi sat in the back of the bus. Roi told us that he teaches rookies and has about 3 months left in the army.

We then went to the military cemetery. The graves are different from what we are used to. They are all above ground and they are all the same. Shabat told us stories about some of the soldiers that had died. Roi told us about a soldier who jumped on a grenade to save everyone else. We also saw them starting to prepare the graves for the soldiers who had died in Gaza the night before. That was really emotional for me. Then we learned about some of the soldiers who were captured and mutilated. Shabat showed us pictures of other soldiers going through the sand looking for body parts to bury. That was so moving.

We got back on the bus and started our 2 hour drive to Tiberias. I fell asleep for a little bit. I woke up right before we got to a security check point. A man got on our bus with a gun at the check point, which was scary. I’m glad I woke up before he got on the bus.
Our hotel was Moriah Gardens and our room was 1206, which was another corner room. I was happy about that. I was also happy that we were on the 4th floor so we could walk if we wanted to. I was done with 16 flights of stairs or forever elevator rides. The room had a mini fridge, which I was thrilled about. I could finally have cold water and juice! The only problem was that there was one bed for 3 girls. I would need a bed. The door to our bathroom was broken, but the shower didn’t flood.

At dinner I found out our room was the only room not to have an extra bed, cot, or sleeper sofa. The dinner was disgusting!!!!! The rice was cold, the potatoes were spicy, the bread was hard as a rock, there was no dessert, and the carrots were nasty. I went back to the room and ate some of the cereal I packed. The tap water wasn’t bad. It tasted less salty than the bottled water and the tap water in Jerusalem.

We broke off into two groups to have a discussion about faith. All the soldiers aren’t religious except for Hilla. Guy’s comment about the Israeli Army protecting any Jew anywhere really struck me. The soldiers seemed upset that American Jews don’t give them more help. They were also very shocked to hear our stories about what it is like to be a Jew in America. They’ve never been in the minority. Then we played some games in the basement of the hotel.
Then Ricky, Kevin, Alan, and I continued the faith discussion in my room. It was nice to have an intellectual conversation. Then we went to hang out in Jacob’s room. Julie, Lindsey, Jordi, Jen, and Jacob were already in there. Marc, Leo, Rachel, Roi, and Josh floated in and out. We watched football, listened to music, and gossiped. Then Deb came and told us that she had an extra bed. I wanted it! I gathered the whole crew and we went to Deb’s room at the other end of the hall. Alan orchestrated the movement of the mattress, frame, and bedding down the hall. All the guys and I had the frame. A couple people had the mattress and someone else had the bedding. It was a team effort and it was a lot of fun. I wound up going to bed around 2am. However, most of our tour mates were drunk and passed out much later.

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

Going to War

Jan 3 2009
I woke up at 6am and couldn’t fall back asleep. The girls’ alarms went off at 9am and 9:15am for breakfast, which they decided not to attend. I got out of bed and got dressed. I went to breakfast where I ate a lot of chocolate croissants and cake. I then watched everyone while they did yoga. The roof had beautiful views. Yoga looked like a lot of fun. I then went back to my room, but it was locked because the girls were still sleeping.

I went to 1612 to hangout with Jordi, Lindsey, and Jen. We talked for a while and I discovered that one of the memory cards I bought didn’t work. That was a waste of $20. We then went to lunch where I had rice, potatoes, carrots, and cake. I also took chicken and eggs for Ricky in my purse. It was kind of funny.

Lindsey, Jen, Jordy, Emily, Sarah, Chloe, and I got on the shabbat elevator. A guard from another group got on. We got stuck on 17 and the guard was scared. We were teasing him that for being a military guy with a giant gun he was a chicken. He wound up getting off the elevator. Then we had a guy from bus 803 join us. We chatted with him for a while. Then some Israeli girls got on the elevator and started flirting with the 803 guy in Hebrew. However, he doesn’t speak a word of Hebrew. They took his hat. As we stopped on every floor we got more and more annoyed. We wound up being late to the meeting.

At the meeting Shabat went over the rules for the Migash, our schedule, and we got our role call #’s. I’m #8. We went out for a short walk near the hotel. We got to the top of this street that had an amazing view. Then Shabat had us stand in a circle and throw our right shoe in the middle of our circle. Then we each had to pick a shoe and listen to a story from that person. I picked Sara and Collin picked me. The stories were all interesting. Then we walked back. I spoke to my mom when I got back to the room.

Then we drove to a street in Jerusalem for dinner. Everyone got falafel which looked and smelled amazing. I went to the market and spent 50 shekels on chocolate bars, a water, and mints. Leo suggested a chocolate bar so I added it to the bunch. Alan bought postcards, but I didn’t see an open store to get some. I decided to buy a bagel from Holy Bagel because they had just opened so the bagels were right out of the oven. I also bought one for tomorrow’s breakfast. Jen also got one.

Afterwards, we went to Ammunition Hill. We saw an old tank, pics, and a movie. I was so tired that I didn’t really pay much attention. Then we walked around a bunker. I happened to stand near Staci and Anna when Shabat called them over to tell them that Israel had invaded Gaza. That freaked me out! Anna and Staci said, “Thank G-d we are in a bunker!” We then went out to explore a tunnel and I had to turn on my flashlight because it was so dark out. I called my mom to inform her about what was going on.

When I got back to the hotel I packed my bag and we all watched the news. Then we put MTV on and then Pirates of the Caribbean. We wound up going to bed at 1am.

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

Shalom Jerusalem

Jan 2 2009
Our landing was pretty rough and security took forever. Josh got my bag for me and Collin put it on the bus. We met our guard/medic (Leo/Lior), our tour guide (Shabat), and our bus driver (Moishe). We drove to Jerusalem. We were in a rush because of Shabbat.

The scenery we passed looked like Greece. There were signs welcoming us, which was very cool. We saw the new bridge and a lot of Hebrew graffiti.

We got to our hotel, Shalom Jerusalem, and I found out my roommates were Rachel and Sarah from Lehigh. Jordi was with Lindsey and Jen. Our room is 1624. The elevator took forever! We changed and went to shabbat dinner. I sat with all the Lehigh kids plus Noah, Ben, Travis, and Daryl. The wine was awful. I ate rice, potatoes, and carrots. The bread was stale. The pumpkin pie was way too spicy and the chocolate mousse was awful. However, the vanilla cake was great.

We then had a meeting about the size of Israel, our schedule, the rules, etc. Then we played a name game where we went around in a circle saying our name, an adjective that starts with the letter of our name, and an action. We had to remember everyone’s. I picked Jolly Jackie.

Then Shabat gave us a book, schedule, emergency card, and a scarf. I really liked the scarf. I picked black with blue lettering.

The room is ehh. It’s a fair size with a nice view. The bathroom is a nice size. However, the hair dryer barely works and the shower floods. Also, the toilet takes forever to fill. The sheets are very dirty. O well.

Sarah and I took the beds and Rachel took the cot. We went to bed at midnight.

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

New Brunswick and Princeton

8/18/13

Today’s my day’s birthday. My mom and I woke up and checked out of the Heldrich. My dad picked us up and drove us to go food shopping in Princeton.

We love to shop in New Jersey because you can buy a month’s worth of groceries for the price of a week’s grocery in the city. We headed to Walmart. I couldn’t get over how cheap the items were. I got a nice bag for $5. We bought some food and then headed to Wegman’s to do our real shopping. The breads looked amazing today. I sampled some free hummus. My mom also had free animal crackers and tomatoes. We did a full shopping that should last us a month. Wegman’s has a wonderful selection and the prices are great. They have a huge bakery, deli, seafood, hot food, sub station, pizza area, coffee bar, salad bar, sushi section, organic section, international section, etc. The place is massive. They also have a liqueur area. They card everyone in your party though.

After Walgreen’s my mom and I ran to Target. I picked up chocolate because I was starving. We then ran to Michael’s. I love Michael’s especially around Halloween. I had to restrain myself from buying everything. I got a ton of mini gifts for friends for ridiculously cheap. We then got in the car and headed back to New Brunswick.

We checked into the Hyatt. We got our favorite room which has a large living room and a fridge. My mom and I ran out and bought a cheesecake sampler from Fresh Grocer. We got candles from the hotel. I ran and got matches from Rite Aid. We met up with my grandparents for dinner. We ate at Old Man Rafferty’s again. I got my grilled cheese, garlic bread, and a giant chocolate toffee cookie. It was bigger than my head. My dad got his usual veggie burger and fries. He ate my chips. My mom got a grilled chicken sandwich with fries. I ate some of her fries. My grandma got chicken salad in a pita with chips. My grandpa ate her chips. My grandpa got a BBQ chicken sandwich with a baked potato. The food was great but I was still hungry. The waiter was beyond slow. The woman I got my cookie from in the bakery asked me 5 times what I wanted while she pointed to it. She even threw out the first one I wanted. She didn’t speak much English. Very strange.

We passed some historical plaques on our way back to the hotel. We went back to the room and they ate the cheesecake. They also got free chocolate dipped fruit from the hotel. We kicked back and watched the Red Sox/Yankee game.

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Categories: Family Vacation, Food, History, New Brunswick, Princeton, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Boston for my Birthday

April 28 2013

Today is my birthday! So I decided I wanted to stay local and do a bunch of historical sites. I picked many of the sites on the Freedom Trail.

Our first stop was an army store where we bought my dad a Boston shirt. Then we took pictures outside the Old South Meeting House. We passed the location of the old Borders that has a soft spot in my heart because they revived my friend Kathleen and I years ago when we were beyond cold, tired, and hungry. We passed the 7-11 we frequented during my Boston trip with my college. We went into Potbelly Sandwiches looking for the chocolate brownie cookie a friend recommended to me, but they didn’t have it.

We continued on to the Old State House. I’ve always wanted to go inside. We caught a tour of the museum. The tour was informative and it was interesting to hear about the many uses of the building. We then caught the Boston Massacre tour. I learned a couple new things on the tour. I gave all the right answers to the tour guide’s questions so I couldn’t help but be proud of my memory. 🙂 My mom and I went into the gift shop. I bought some postcards. I really wanted to a join or die snake shirt, but didn’t feel like spending $16.

We left and then went to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. I went looking for the restaurant my college friends and I ate at. However, it was no longer there. I wanted to go to get the name. We walked through the food area. My mom and I got some free samples. The Greek food looked so good but it was expensive. I really wanted some Mac n cheese from the mac n cheese vendor. There was an entire store for One Direction, which I thought was hilarious. So many of the girls were walking around with life size one direction cut outs. I took a picture in the center of the market to commemorate the stranger that came up to Kathleen and I and said beam me up Scotty. We stopped at the gift shop, but I didn’t buy anything. We left the gift shop and caught the bus to Bunker Hill.

I was really excited to finally do the Bunker Hill Monument (even though it’s really Breed’s Hill). I’ve done the real Bunker Hill before. We got off the bus and walked through a cute quiet neighborhood. The monument looks exactly like the Washington Monument. Unfortunately, the bottom is graffitied. We decided not to walk up. We crossed the street and went to the museum. The museum is two floors and the better part is on the 2nd floor. They have artifacts from the Battle of Bunker Hill and from the Boston Massacre. There’s a button in the back that tells you about the Battle of Bunker Hill. We used the restroom in the basement, bought a postcard, and left.

We decided we were going to walk to Paul Revere’s House. We were going to make sure that on our way we passed the Old North Church. As we crossed the bridge you could see the church sticking out. If the modern buildings weren’t around you easily could have seen lanterns hanging in the church on that famous night. On our way to the sites we passed a bakery that’s open 24/7 everything looked absolutely amazing, but we didn’t have a fridge in our hotel. So we bought cookies. I got chocolate rugelach and it was incredible. We walked down the street to the church. There was a gift shop across the street that was cheap so we got some things in there. We took pictures of the outside of the church. I didn’t pay to go in because I’ve done it before. We went to the official gift shop where I got a pillbox to add to my collection.

We took what was supposed to be a connecting alleyway to Paul Revere’s House. It wasn’t direct. We passed a printer’s press shop. I took a free postcard from there. We finally found Revere’s house. We paid and went right in since there’s no official tour. You only see 4 rooms: the kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms. You have to read the signs to feel like you are on a tour. It was just ok, but my mom liked it. The admission price was super cheap so it was worth seeing.

After that we headed back to the bakery we were at before. I got more rugelach but the woman gave me pieces without much chocolate and were very small. The bag wound up ripping outside of the bakery and they all fell all the floor. The bakery was nice enough to replace them free of charge. We walked down Hanover St. And saw all the famous bakeries with their lines out the door. We walked back to Quincy Market and I bought one oft bosses a pen. We continued on and walked to the Omni Parker Hotel.

The Omni Parker is beautiful and immediately transports you to another time. We went to Parker’s bar. We took a lovely table for two that faced Old City Hall. We ordered the plain pizza and shared it. It was enough for the two of us. It was pricey, but hey it was my birthday and it was good. However, the main reason we came here was for the famous Boston Cream Pie. It was small, but beautiful. It tasted great! The bathroom was huge!!!! 20 stalls. The floor with the bathroom felt haunted. Overall, it was a beautiful yummy historic birthday dinner.

I convince my mom to go with me to Make Way for Ducklings. I loved it when I was a little girl and wanted a picture there on my birthday. Someone had made hats for the ducks. They were so cute!!! We picked up some whoopie pies from 7-11 and went back to our hotel. I don’t want to leave!!!

Categories: Boston, Family Vacation, Food, History, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lexington and Concord

April 27 2013

We woke up early so we could catch a train to Alewife Station. From Alewife Station we would have to catch a bus to Lexington. The bus is only once an hour so we didn’t want to miss it. We arrived at Alewife Station and had 40 minutes to wait. My mom got a muffin at Dunkin Donuts in the station and I used the ladies room, which was surprisingly super clean. Our bus finally arrived and we had the pleasure of traveling with a very drunk annoying man.

About 20 mins later we were let off at the Lexington Visitors Center. We purchased our Liberty Ride tickets. Then we immediately took off for the 11am Hancock Clarke House Tour. We walked for a bit and didn’t see it. So we turned back and went to the visitors center. Turns out we were on the right block, but had to walk past about 11 houses to find it.

We arrived late for the tour and my mom convinced the guy to let us on the tour. We watched a short film about the battles of Lexington and Concord. Our tour guide was in a costume and showed us the two levels of the house. She told us about the house and the activities that took place on the night when the regulars (the British) were coming. The tour was informative and I enjoyed it. My allergies were really bad and the tour guide and I felt like someone was sitting on our chest.

We raced to the Buckman Tavern to catch the 12pm tour. Our tour guide was in costume again. We were only shown the first floor of the tavern, which was about four rooms. Again we learned about the tavern in general, the owners, and the night’s activities. One of my favorite things were the window coverings. Each window covering showed you the view from that room in the 1700’s. We then went into the gift shop where I bought postcards.

We walked around Lexington to kill time. Everything in the town was boring and expensive. We went to the visitors center to pick up the Liberty Ride trolley. The trolley wound up being late.

We boarded the 1pm trolley and sat on the right side (the better side). All the important sites were pointed out to us. We saw where Paul Revere was captured, Louisa May Alcott’s house, Emerson’s house, etc. We pulled over at the Old North Bridge. We learned about the battle that took place. We were able to take pictures with the monuments and the bridge. It was surreal to be on the bridge. I had seen pictures and read about this bridge countless times.

We boarded the trolley again. I raised my hand to indicate that I wanted the trolley to stop at the Concord Museum. I wanted to see Revere’s lantern and then I was going to cross the street and do the Orchard House. However, they didn’t see my hand and drove right by the stop. They were supposed to stop even if I didn’t raise my hand. I WAS SO PISSED!!! They drove us back to the visitors center. I wanted to stay on and go back and do the Concord Museum. However, the trolley people were really mean and said we would be stranded there if we got off there. I wanted to get off at the Orchard House stop and cross the street to The Concord Museum. The bus would then pick up at the museum stop in 30 mins. They couldn’t understand that and pretty much insisted me didn’t do that. So much for their hop on hop off concept. I was livid!!! We spent a lot of money and didn’t get what we paid for. I stormed off down the street to wait for our bus to Alewife Station.

We waited at Panera. I was seething. I always make plans and we always accomplish them. Usually we not only accomplish them but we do more than what was planned. I really should not have listened to the tour people and just should have stayed on and did my own thing. GRRRR. 45 minutes later our bus showed up and we then took the train to Maggiano’s.

We arrived at Maggiano’s and they were packed!!! We were over 1.5 hrs early for our reservation. We were early because we didn’t do the Orchard House and Concord Museum. They promised they would seat us earlier despite the 1.5 hr wait they were telling people without a reservation. We were so hungry! The last I ate was a handful if saltines at like 8am. It was now 5pm. They seated us an hour later. They happened to seat us in the same booth we had the last time we were there. We immediate ordered fried zucchini and a flat bread. The zucchini was really good (like always) and the flatbread was delicious. I started to feel nauseous so we decided to take the dessert sampler to go.

We got back to the hotel and put on CSI. We had two apple cobblers, Creme brûlée, chocolate cake, cheesecake, and tiramisu. The cobblers were out of this world. I shared the chocolate cake and cheesecake with my mom they were really good when smushed together. My mom ate the tiramisu and most of the brûlée. It was our first time trying it and we both enjoyed it. What a great way to end a so so day.

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Categories: Family Vacation, Food, History, Lexington and Concord, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baltimore-Charm City Cakes

I have been wanting to visit Charm City Cakes for the longest time now. I knew you could only go inside if you had an appointment with them about a cake. I once thought I would get my 21st birthday cake from them, but decided it was just too expensive. I do however own a Charm City Cakes shirt that I bought during their first season and have a thank you note from Mary Alice. I also have seen the whole crew at the NYC Food and Wine Festival. My mom actually met them by accident. Anyways…back to Baltimore. So I knew if I went I wouldn’t see anything but the outside. However, as a fan I knew they delivered most of their cakes on Saturdays. I figured if I went on a Saturday I might see them. I also planned on going across the street to the Dizz where they hang out.

We boarded a bus that left us across the street from Charm City Cakes. We took pictures outside and then peered into their windows. I pressed my camera against the window and was able to get some inside shots. There were other tourists. They took a couple pics and got back in their cars. My mom and I went across the street to the Dizz and waited for the next bus (which was over an hour later).

We took seats that faced Charm City. While we waited we saw a car pull up and two of the female cake decorators came out! I was so excited. They went inside. Then they came back out and pulled a van up to the entrance. They were going to bring out a cake! So I went outside so I could get a better view. Sure enough they went back in and come back out carrying a cake. They loaded it into the van and they were off. We used the restroom at the Dizz and waited for the bus outside. And waited and waited and waited.

Categories: Baltimore, Family Vacation, Food, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baltimore

I’ve been to Baltimore many times. I decided to go back in 2011 for a refresher. I really wanted to go to Charm City Cakes and Blue Moon Cafe. If you go to Blue Moon Cafe, stick with the Captain Crunch French Toast. My mom ordered a cinnamon bun and our friend ordered pancakes. The pancakes were thrown out and the bun was picked at. My french toast was really good though. I did a couple of history museums, but I still want to go back and view the Egyptian Exhibit at the Walters Art Museum. I highly recommend Maryland Historical Society Museum. They have performances that are quite entertaining and educational. The Baltimore Civil War Museum was very quick and not what I was expecting. The Flag House and Museum was great. I just missed the group tour, but they gave me a private one. We took Amtrak to get here, which was a piece of cake and we used public transportation to get around. The best meal was at Cheesecake Factory. I got fried mac n cheese balls (see picture below), mac n cheese, and oreo cheesecake. YUM!  To view my trip plan please click here. To read my Charm City Cakes post click here.

Click to view the Diners Drive-Ins and Dives info on:

Blue Moon Cafe

Brick Oven Pizza

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Categories: Baltimore, Family Vacation, Food, History, Travel, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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