Spring break in Israel. It was a long trek from Idaho to Israel. We arrived on a sunny morning in Tel Aviv. We headed straight to our seaside hotel and allowed for a shower and some sleep time, but with the caveat that the sleep could NOT continue past a certain hour. Then, we had to get active so that we could get on the local time zone as soon as possible. We toured Jaffa on the Mediterranean Sea. On day 2, we took the train to Jerusalem. The train ride was nice and scenic. We arrived at the final destination and no taxi would pick us up. The taxi stand was nothing more than a nice sign? Taxis were dropping people off at the local shopping center, but would not take us to town. We were getting hot, angry, and desperate. Finally, we got a taxi and he was a great trustworthy guy. We felt very grateful to get to our hotel. There is a real language barrier there. Luckily, English is an option, but understanding anything was a real issue. We arrived as they were preparing for Passover. As a person who spends a lot of hours in church per week, I had an understanding of Passover, but not really how it would look in Israel. I still don’t, but we know a bit about how it affected us. The hotel told us that everything had to be cleaned in the restaurant. That meant EVERY single surface!!! If we hadn’t been told that we wouldn’t have known or cared what was going on at other restaurants in town that were closed. Also, it meant that the quality and service of food in the hotel restaurant would be drastically reduced and NO bread. I understand the no leavened bread part, but the total lack of abundance of all other food?? It was unique. McDonald’s was closed for cleaning. We didn’t know if it would reopen. The next day, it did and the FOOD which was then Passover approved was inedible. We did enjoy some local grub that was really good and some that was really weird, but which we ate cause we were famished at the time. The weather was nice. It was not too hot, but even quite cold one morning after a storm. We had planned on going to the Dead Sea, but we decided we did NOT want to drive there so we chucked our car rental and stayed in the city on foot. We walked a lot. We were in close proximity to the Old City and we spent a lot of time there. We saw a lot of stuff, but we missed a lot too due to being on foot and opting to forego public transportation in the event that we didn’t understand where to go or how to return. There are a lot of souvenir shops and by a lot, I mean too many. The problem is that I didn’t see one high-quality place to buy something nice. I paid too much for a couple of t-shirts, but only bought them cause I really wanted to. Prices are negotiable and I don’t really want to deal with that so largely opted to keep my shekels. At the end of the week, our tired feet had barely added a dent to their old stone streets, but we had seen for the first time the center of the universe.
The Western Wall
Spices for sale
Walled city. One day we walked around the tower as far as we could. It required a fee.
Rare smile by the teen who would rather a “normal” spring break.
Armenian Quarter in the Old City
View of the Dome of the Rock from a residential spot.
Old City of Jaffa
Street of Jaffa
In my mind, when I think of spring break, I think of Florida and booze cruises. I went to a college where nobody really much did spring break in the nineties anyway. #univofutah Even back then, my friend went to Mexico on a college organized trip on spring break and she was pretty uncomfortable with the partying level. I was glad I didn’t have any cash to go with her, nor would I have wanted to endure that. #iamamormon These days, spring break is an important time to do something. We try really hard to not miss school and one week off of school means 9 days. You can do a lot of trekking in 9 days. I’m glad I’ve never been anywhere near a booze cruise, but now the idea of spring break has evolved and it’s a welcomed week off. Any plans???
I grew up skiing A LOT. I don’t ski as much as I should. It’s a fun sport, but I’m not going to lie, if you don’t already know how it is a money and time investment. We don’t go enough to justify owning our own gear with growing children and getting all the rental gear for a family about makes me go crazy. Besides the fact that you need: a coat, gloves, ski pants, warm socks, etc… If any of those items get lost on the way to the lift, your budget is ruined. (Unless you don’t care about buying additional gear on the spot for a premium.) With that said, it is fun. It is really fun. If you don’t know how and want to learn, there are really great ski schools at most resorts. Do it!!!
Brundage Ski Resort
Growing up, I always skied alone. Local friends didn’t ski. I made loads of friends with people going up the lift and sometimes we’d ski together, but I was really on my own. Anyway, this past weekend we went to Utah so cousins could ski together and celebrate my nephew’s 15th birthday. I had to chaperone and tag along so nobody got lost on the big mountain we hadn’t ever been to. Nobody wanted to ride up with me so it was super fun. 🙄 Once again, I was stuck as a single rider amongst strangers making small talk. They had fun though. ❤️❄️❤️
Deer Valley, Utah
I was just watching a youtube video I came across where the stars are going to cut back on their daily vlog. I feel like this is a world I do not comprehend. I mean these people grew up with reality tv and youtube. It is my children’s world. I do not get it. They make a lot of money showing up to their fans EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I’m not sure it’s worth it. I have seen very little reality tv. I grew up watching soap operas. I guess it’s the same thing. We used to be down in SOCAL on vacation in the eighties and we’d have to record (ha ha) the soap and watch it every night with my aunt. =Same thing, different day. Anyway, I am dealing with a lot of “constants” right now. I’m thinking about adding video content to my blog or doing something on gasp…. :0 Youtube. I hate to hear recordings of my voice, but it may just be the best medium we have for communication. I just heard that in Japan the most famous singer is now computer generated. HA HA.. So I guess I could get a computer-generated voice. It’s a new frontier.
Have you already gotten used to writing the correct year on your checks? The holiday was really long around here with school being out until this week and then a sick child the first 3 days back. I seriously would have enjoyed a couple of days off of school somewhere else instead of all at once. We didn’t do much, but I loved not traveling. We planned on going to Utah to ski, but the snow conditions are really poor so far this year out West. I’m really happy I didn’t invest in a ski pass this year, but we need snow in general. I did buy this pass as it worked for my 5th grader. https://www.skiutah.com/passes/passports One time use and it will more than pay for itself. Anyone with a 5th grader can buy it, not just a Utah resident. It also contains some good gear coupons, etc. There is still plenty of time to make it to the slopes without committing funds for the wrong conditions. I grew up on skis in Southern Utah at +9,000 feet and I really only want to ski in good conditions. For me, that means lots of snow and not too cold!
Our gorgeous white Christmas
It’s New Year’s Eve. I’m a big partier. I’ll be watching Stranger Things tonight. My teen begged and begged us to get Netflix. I don’t watch much on tv, but we’ve been catching up on it during the Christmas break. I’m kind of into it. We already had a big walk today and went to church. 2017 was an awesome year. We woke up in Utah for a snowy hike on the first day of the year. Hiking is something most everybody can do. I like to emphasize that it takes NO skill. Everybody seems to need to be the best at something and a mountain really doesn’t care how fast you go up it. The same with a walking trail. Every town on the planet has a place to walk. I’ve walked in some of the most urban places and some of the most remote. You can find enJOYment in walking. I also biked this year in Central Park for the first time. You can circle the whole park without breaking a sweat on a nice temperate May day. I enjoy a leisurely bike ride whenever possible and renting a bike on a trip is extra fun. I’m not going to be racing anybody. I’m out for the fresh air and a bit of physical fitness. I will definitely be finding some new and old hiking destinations in 2018. I hope you will too. Happy New Year!!!!
We had a white Christmas in Boise, Idaho.