Posts Tagged With: Tel Aviv

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

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 Year-New Country

Jan 1 2009
The trip started off with killing time before the airport. We were able to find my group because of the sign Jacob was holding high in the air. I introduced myself to Anna and Stacy, our group leaders, and got a bag of candy from them. I eventually walked over to Lindsey and I met her step sister Jen. I think we will all get along.

Once we got through El Al interrogation we had to say goodbye to our parents. It was sad. A little later I said goodbye to Lindsey and Jen’s parents who hugged me. I thought that was super sweet. Security went surprisingly smooth. Lindsey, Jen, and I dropped our stuff off at B31, which was our gate. We got food to eat for dinner and for the plane. It cost $10. Then we started to play Uno, but Anna stopped us to play a name game, which was fun.

We boarded and I found out that I was in the last row. Everyone but Jordi and I played musical chairs. Daryl put my bag in the overhead for me. Later in the flight Zac and Ricky took Sarah and Jacob’s seats in our section.I read two mags, 60 pgs of my book, looked through the airline mags, talked, watched Nights in Rodanthe, and watched a really bad Israeli dancing show. The food was awful!!! My vegetarian meal wasn’t ordered for me. I ate a roll and a brownie from the El Al food. I ate the bagel and cookie I bought in the airport. The stewardess felt really bad and was really sweet. What I thought was strange was that El Al just takes off without any warning.

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

Postcards from Israel

Here are my postcards from Israel. This should be all of them. If I find more I will add them to the set on flickr. To view the set click here. To view the slideshow on flickr click here.

Categories: Asia, Israel, Postcards | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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