Posts Tagged With: Music

Romans and Roaming Camels

Jan 7 2009
Wake up was at 6:15am. It was awful! I went back to bed. I timed it close and ate my breakfast in the room. I only went downstairs for a glass of water. I dropped my bag off in the lobby and we all waited outside the hotel a while. We found out that something was wrong with our bus. We said bye to Hilla and took some pictures with her. I wish she could have stayed longer so I could have gotten to know her better. I went back to our room one more time to make sure we had everything and then I handed our key in.

We found out that we were going to be delayed in Tiberias for awhile because of the bus situation. Shabat had us walk back in to the hotel and use the 2nd floor bridge to cross over to the area by the water. We sat on the rocks as Shabat talked to use about the Sea of Galilee. After a while Anna took out her banjo and started playing and singing. When I was looking around I noticed a sign that said “Go in Peace” and next to it were our two armed guards. Nice contrast. I wasn’t really paying attention to the other members in our group, but all of a sudden I saw Sarit was bent over with her hands on her face. Then she started crying. Anna screamed for Lior, but he didn’t hear her. I screamed for him as well and he finally looked up. It turns out Sarit got hit in the face with a rock. Staci, Lior, Keren, and Guy took her to the hotel.

Not too long after that Shabat told us the bus was fixed and it was time to leave. Ali and I ran to the bus and threw our stuff in. We also reserved seats. We ran to the 2nd floor to use the restroom before our long ride. It took awhile to load the bus and other people had the same restroom idea. Plus others went to the “restaurant” in the hotel to get some eggs to snack on. I was upset we got up at the crack of dawn only to leave at 11:30am. I could have slept another 3 hours.

I enjoyed looking at Tiberias as we left. It made me wish that we could have had more of an opportunity to walk around.

We drove for a bit and then came to a pit stop. Shabat gave us no warning as to what we were about to see. The sign said Bet Shean National Park. Once we got through the gates I was amazed at what I was seeing. It was like stepping back in time and it reminded me of my trip to Athens. Needless to say I was on cloud 9! I noticed an awesome gift shop, but I had a feeling Shabat wouldn’t let us stop there.

As we followed Shabat all I saw were rows of columns. We finally turned a corner and entered into an intact amphitheater. It honestly took my breath away. It was 10 times better than the one I saw in Athens. How did I not know this place existed? Shabat had us sit in the theater and took out his map. He draped it across Anna’s head and body, which was hilarious. He explained that the Romans had left this place after they had taken over Judea. So it wasn’t Greek, but then again the Romans stole their architecture from the Greeks, so of course it looked extremely similar. Shabat gave us a history lesson and I had to jump in at a point. How could I resist not talking about the ancient civilizations? We then forced Julie to go down to the stage and test the acoustics. They worked!!!

Then we walked around the rest of the ruins, which was mainly bath houses and columns. Then Shabat said we had a couple of minutes to use the restrooms before getting back on the bus. My plan was to use the restroom and shop in the amount of time given. So I ran to the restrooms and was first. Then I went straight into the gift shop. It was so big and there was so much to see. I wound up buying a mini replica of the Dead Sea Scrolls, some pens, and some postcards. While I was paying Shabat walked in to rush us to the bus. We got back on our bus and continued our drive to the Bedouin area.

Then we started Bus 804 Karaoke. It was very entertaining. Dror and Roi sang a lot. Then it switched to funny jokes. Ricky told a great one and Lior did as well. I don’t remember the whole thing, but it had something to do with stepping on bunnies, being ugly, and being chained to someone. Shabat told a sexual joke, which surprised a lot of people. He even had this guy sitting on a toilet picture and you had to use your fingers to make him a butt. Then he talked to us about the Judea Desert and the Dead Sea Scrolls. I took a lot of desert shots as we drove.

We stopped for lunch at Beit Haarava, which is the lowest place in the world. It’s 394 meters below sea level. The two options for lunch didn’t look very good or very clean. They were fast foody. Jen didn’t want to buy anything, but Lior convinced her to buy a falafel. I ate my own food and took a bite of Jen’s when she didn’t want anymore. I had promised my NYC falafel guy that I would try some in Israel and compare. The Israeli guys in NYC have better. I liked watching the strange contrasts as we sat there. There were camels, our big tour bus, and a military vehicle.

We got back on our bus and continued our drive. We had to stop at a military/police checkpoint. We drove through lots of desert before we spotted a group of trees in the distance. The trees were where our Bedouin tents were. I was excited and nervous. We really were in the middle of nowhere.

We got our day packs off the bus and went into the giant tent we were directed towards. It was extremely hard to get into the tent. You had to lift this heavy carpet material off the ground and then scoot in under it. For tall people this was a problem especially with having a bag. I placed my stuff near one of the metal poles.

Then we were given an opportunity to shop at the little Bedouin store. A lot of the girls bought hand knit scarves. Ben bought a shirt/jacket/hoodie thing that officially made him look like Moses. I bought a bag for Gayla. We dropped off our purchases and then went to the camel area.

There weren’t enough camels for everyone. So a little less than half the group could ride into the desert on a camel. The rest would have to be on donkeys. I didn’t want to ride on a donkey so I walked along with a couple of others. I’m glad I didn’t choose a donkey because they were low to the ground so the feet of the people riding them hit a lot of rocks and donkey poop. We got halfway into the desert and it was time to switch. I walked over to the 1st camel and waited for a partner. Ricky joined me. I was in the front of the camel and Ricky was in the back. It was a lot of fun!! Who would have ever thought that I would be riding a camel through the desert as the sun was setting?! The camels had extreme personalities. They made this loud screaming kind of noise and one even tried to eat Jordi’s hair.

After the camels we went to a tent all the way in the back of the village. They made the vegetarians and the meat eaters divide up. I was of course in the veggie group. They gave us this huge elevated tray for our group. It contained rice, bread, water, and vegetable skewers. I stuck to bread, rice, and the water. I had some cookies that I brought for dessert and I gave some to Anna as well.

After that we went into the main tent to listen to some music. It was a lot of fun and very entertaining. It was called a drum circle and pretty much was one big exotic jam session.

After the drum circle we went back to our sleeping tent. The Israelis were in a group talking. They all had dark sunglasses on. We knew something was up. Then they yelled at us to stand in straight lines in rows. They taught us how to salute properly and how to respond to commands/orders. Anyone who laughed or messed up had to do push-up’s. They were showing us what it was like to be in the IDF.

Afterwards we went for a walk in the desert. We sat and laid back in the sand while looking up at the sky. We talked for a while. When we went back to the tents a couple of us hung out at the bonfire outside our tent. I stayed only for a little bit. I preferred to get some sleep.

I waited on a long line for the bathroom area to change and wash. Then I went to bed. There were only a couple of us that chose to go to bed “early.” I slept on the mat and blanket they gave us. I used my coat and scarf for a pillow. Surprisingly, I slept.

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

Dancing on the Nile

8/2/11

I went down to dinner, but then realized most people had changed for the party, so I went back to my room to change. I put on Lexi’s skirt and Sonja lent me a tank top aka singlet. I put my Egyptian skirt around my waist and over Lexi’s skirt. I was so pissed that I didn’t have my costume from my suitcase. I felt so plain. Sonja lent me a shawl to cover my shoulders. I didn’t anything at dinner. We went up to the pool area to hang out for a bit, but it was getting dark. We went down to the lounge for the party.

Some of the Trafalgar people were there. They danced with us for a bit, but the music they were playing was way too hip hop for them and us. We then went to take pictures in the lobby. The guys looked great in their galabiyas. Mike was wearing his rope from the room with his headdress. It was funny. Paul looked like dracula in his galabiya because it was black and sort of had a cape.

We danced for a while, but I hated the songs. So I grabbed my ipod and made a playlist. Then the party got started. I became ipod DJ for a while and so did Meg. We danced to some old school 90’s songs. Of course we also danced to Walk Like an Egyptian. Since this is the only party night on the tour because Egypt is conservative, several of the people in the group decided to drink a lot. The group started to thin out after 12 am. I left the lounge around 1am. I went back to my room, changed, and prepared my stuff for the next day. We had docked in Edfu so I took several photos of it from my room’s window. Bed time.

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Categories: Africa, Egypt, Travel, Trip with a Tour Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Making Music in Seattle

6/12/13

After Pike Place Market we headed to the Westlake Center to catch the monorail. You have to walk through the “mall” to get to the monorail on the third floor. We passed a Claire’s and I bought some items.

We purchased our tickets to the monorail and waited about 10 minutes for it to come. The monorail took about 10 minutes to get to the Seattle Center. The monorail was packed, which surprised me.

We walked across the street from the Seattle Center to the Space Needle. There was a small line. The admission price was a bit pricey ($19 a person), but it was something we wanted to do. After getting our tickets we waited on another line. Then we got our picture taken against a green screen. We were given a ticket to download the picture. We waited on another line for an elevator. A video of our elevator ride is below:

We got lucky because it was a beautiful clear day. The view was amazing! We took tons of pictures. We watched the monorail for a bit. We also tried to find our hotel. We found a table inside and looked at the view for a while. Then we used the machines and scanned our picture ticket to pick our green screen image.

https://i0.wp.com/photos.spaceneedle.com/Current/2013/06/12/1426092-3757275-821-H.jpg

We waited on line to take the elevator down. Video is below:

We stopped at the gift shop so I could get a press a penny, but it wasn’t the normal 51 cents. We left and headed right next door to EMP.

I had bought my tickets online and was able to save a couple of dollars. The guy scanned my phone and we were all set. They had the Game of Thrones throne which we took a picture on. We went to the Fantasyland area first. They had costumes and props from Snow White and the Huntsman, Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, The Wizard of Oz, The Princess Bride, etc. I was beyond excited to see the costumes and props from the Princess Bride since it is one of my favorite movies. I love Inigo Montoya. They had his costume and sword. There was also a dragon that if you pulled his tail he woke up. However, it wasn’t working so they closed it.

Snow White and the Huntsman

Percy Jackson

Wizard of Oz

Princess Bride

Chronicles of Narnia

Princess Bride

Harry Potter-Sirius Black

Princess Bride

Chronicles of Narnia

Then we headed to the horror film area. We saw props from Frankenstein, Blair Witch Project, the Shining, Thriller and many more.

Frankenstein

Blair Witch Project

Blair Witch Project

The Shining

The Mummy’s Curse

Thriller

After that we headed to the science fiction area. We saw stuff from Star Wars, Star Trek, MIB, Matrix, etc. You could even go in front of a green screen and put yourself on Mars.

Star Trek

Yoda

Star Wars

Superman

MIB

Me on Mars

Then we headed to the rooms on Jimi Hendrix. They had some of his clothes and guitars. There was also a room filled with guitars from the 1800’s on. It was interesting to see the evolution of the guitar. I knew my coworker Bob would love it. We found out that there was going to be an exhibit on women in music, but it wasn’t ready yet. I would have liked to have seen Gaga’s meat dress. See pictures at the bottom of the post.

We then headed to the third floor where you could play some instruments and record music. I messed around on a guitar for a bit. Next we headed to the gift shop. I wanted to buy some postcards but they didn’t have any. Instead I purchased a blue guitar mint case for Bob. I got a press a penny. We used the ladies room and headed to find our bus.

We got so lost! Google maps was surprisingly not very helpful. It didn’t help that the bus stop markers just say bus and don’t indicate the number or direction. Someone had to tell us. We got on a crowded smelly bus that made our NYC cross down buses feel fast. We were going to be late to our dinner reservation!!! We called Spinasse and explained.

We finally got off the bus and walked for what seemed like forever until we found the restaurant. They weren’t busy and were nice about us being late. They gave us a table by the bar. We ordered their famous Tajarin al burro e salvia aka fine hand cut egg pasta with butter and sage. We ordered a full portion ($22). They brought us crostini with anchovies and cream cheese. I didn’t eat it, but my mom tried it and didn’t like it. Our pasta came right away and it was clear that it wasn’t enough food for two people to share. However, it was so good! I could see why it is featured on a million food shows. The pasta is made by hand in the restaurant and you clearly tell. I could have had multiple bowls of it. We paid (almost $30 after tax and tip for a small bowl of pasta) and searched for the bus. Again we got lost, but eventually found it. Turns out we really didn’t need the bus. It was like 10 blocks from our hotel. The maps made it seem far away.

We went to the Regency Club for a second dinner. The selection was awful. 😦 I had some cheese and bread. I pulled out my prioshky from earlier and ate that with a bowl of whipped cream. I also ate like 4 cookies. I did enjoy reading about the Louvre in this book that they had.

After dinner we were bored so we wandered the neighborhood. We went to Ross where I got a pair of shoes and several pharmacies. We also went to Escala where Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey lives in the book.

My mom at Escala

Escala Lobby

Nirvana Section

MTV Moon Man

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

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