June 11, 2010

My Last Four Days Spent on Israeli Ground.

I can't believe I'm already on my way home from Israel. It's unfathomable how quickly 21 days go by. I'm actually so excited to be coming home. To be honest, this is probably the first vacation I've been on where I'm actually excited to come home. Normally, I get pretty depressed during the last few days, (even on my 4-day vacation in Calgary! Haha) I am ridiculous. I only feel this way because this trip was less of a vacation and more of a life-changing/informative/educational/Biblical experience! I'm not complaining or anything, really, it was just different from any other trip I've been on before. I'm also excited to give out all of the gifts I bought for people! Seriously, I bought sooo many gifts that I even had to buy an extra suitcase! And last but not least...I miss my family and friends.

So our last four days of vacationing and relaxing with family friends has come to an end. On Sunday the Wee family and I said goodbye to everyone on the tour, it wasn't sad at all since I'll be seeing alot of them at church in Abbotsford this next Sunday! (Yay!!) All in all, there were alot of hugs and kisses between the 51 of us. After the airport we got a car and drove through Tel Aviv to a chinese restaurant where they have some family friends. This was an interesting lunch for me, since Charmaine and I could only speak English, so we couldn't understand anything that was going on. I'm glad forks and knives are an option though, since I'm not so smooth with the chopsticks.

[Traffic on the way to the airport. Ohh boy]

[Sayin' goodbye to our big purple bus]

We then visited more family friends, involving more food...and then we headed to another family friend's place where we stayed the night. They were the nicest Jewish couple in the world. They're also fascinating cooks. The Mrs' owns a chocolate store, so she baked the most amazing chocolate cake I've ever tasted. Like, wow. That night Charmaine and I watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, AGAIN. Seriously, best movie ever.
[Wonderful people]

[Moushe's house]


[The best dessert on this planet]

The next day we all headed out to the Sea of Galilee where we went boating! It was my first time ever going boating, which is pretty sad since I'm a born and raised country girl. But it was the coolest experience ever, and amazingly relaxing. We parked the boat out in the middle of the sea (it's actually a tiny body of water, you can see land all around you still), and then just swam in the cool water. After swimming I sat in the very tip of the boat where you can just lay and tan. Honestly, if I had my IPod of country tunes with me, that would have been pure bliss. The waves suddenly started to pick up, so we brought the boat back onto the shore and then hauled out the jetskis. Seriously, jetskiing on the Sea of Galilee. Who does that?! That's definitely something you don't do or hear of, everyday. That evening we met up with some more family friends and enjoyed a three course meal with wine. It was so amazing. I've definitely let myself go when it comes to food... I hate to admit that.. haha.

[Lovin' the tractor!]

[All set for the waters]

[Swimming in the Sea of Galilee!]

[Guy was a natural wakesurfer, that's for sure]

[Bring on the jetski's!]

The next day us women visited a little herb shop and then went to a little local mall. This is where I bought some more Bamba (remember those puffy peanut butter snacks?), 3 pairs of earrings, and my new carry-on suitcase! (I figure this was a good investment since it'll come in handy on my trek to Germany this fall)
That evening we went to a Wine Exhibition. It was so cool! It was in this little outdoor park, and when you first enter through the gates they hand you a wine glass and then you can go to as many booths as you want and try as many wines as you want. My favorite was this delicious sparkling red wine. It's funny because before this Israel trip I never liked red wine, but now I love it. Whoops! Anyway, at this exhibition there were also booths with chocolate, bread, cheese, olives, and dips. I bought this amazing garlic dip that you dip your bread in.
[Adorable children]

[Gettin' our food on. Haha]

[At the Herb shop. It smelt absolutely glorious!]

[Rosebuds, anyone?]

[The wine exhibition!]

[At the chocolate shop. Do I stand out at all?]

Our last day in Israel was smooth and relaxing, which was just what we needed. I tried Chrysthanthemum tea for the first time; it was AMAZING. So I brought three teabags home with me. Hee hee.

[Mediterranean sunset]


[We went to see the Wee's old house from when they lived in Israel a few years ago]

My Israeli airport experience was not a fun one; it was a gong show. Security there absolutely did not believe that I was traveling with the Wee family, they thought that we were all just pretending or something. But really, I can see where they're coming from, since the Wee's are asian, and I am far from it; I am tall, blonde, and white. Haha. So they pulled me aside and started drilling me with questions. There were probably a good 20 or 25 they had me answer, it was pretty nuts. Then with my check-in luggage, they opened it and inspected EVERYTHING with this rod thingy with a piece of white cloth on the end, which they put under some kind of a black light after going through all my things. They opened my two jars of garlic dip too! Gahhhh. Do I look like some kind of drug lord? That luggage part took about half an hour. They then made me put all my stuff back in my bag myself, and zip everything up myself. (How is this fair?) Then as I lugged my bag to the counter to check it in, I had three security guards surrounding me the whole way there, just to make sure I wasn't going to do anything crazy. THREE. Everytime we'd walk through some security check point, the Wee family could just walk right by, but I had to get pulled into a closed off room and get inspected some more, and get my carry-on bag checked more than enough times again. Everywhere I'd look I could see security guards watching me like hawks. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was being treated like some kind of criminal. I was so aggravated, like, I couldn't wait to get on my flight and go back to good-ol'-be-treated-like-a-normal-person Canada. I swore to myself that I would kiss the ground as soon as I landed on Canadian soil. (I broke that promise...) But yeah, I can't be too angry about this Israeli airport experience since I know what the guards were all thinking "a young, Canadian, blonde girl appears to be traveling by herself and is especially vulnerable to accepting strange gifts from handsome Israeli men. SHE IS A THREAT."
After we entered into the terminal area safe and sound, we hung out in the business lounge (FREE FOOD AND WIRELESS!). What was pretty cool was that in this lounge, as I was walking by this group of guys, they started talking about Confusion Corner in Winnipeg and (in my head) I was like "what the hey!! That's so awesome!" What are the chances?

So after going crazy at the Duty Free store, we boarded the plane of my fastest flight ever. Seriously, it was over 11 hours but it felt like 2 hours. I took major advantaged of my personal TV screen, watching The Time Traveler's Wife, 3 episodes of Modern Family, The Hangover, Dear John (of course), and Valentine's Day. I listened to my favorite country artists like Gloriana, George Strait, and Miranda Lambert on repeat, did alot of creative journal writing, and played over 2 rounds of Solitaire on my IPod, losing EACH of them. What is wrong with me?

[James Franco? Thank you, Gucci!]

[What else do you do on an 11 hour flight?]

[Sneezing? Look at my nails!! Haha so disgustingly awesome!]

[Mmmm...that's what I call gourmet]

[Fluffy fluffy white clouds]

1 comment:

  1. Sooooo cool!!!!! I wouldn't have been able to resist buying all kinds of cool stuff! Herbs, wine, chocolate, YUM!!! I could just imagine the smell of that herb shop! So you got to fly first class?!?! Saaawwweeeeet!!!
    All that food looks and sounds amazing too. That is the first thing that goes out the window when I travel - any sort of food restriction that I have placed on myself!! haha! Which usually ends up in me gaining 10 pounds on the cruise ship! haha! On a side note, I have lost 7 pounds since I weighed myself at the folks house! hurray!!!!!

    I do love James Franco myself. I was just telling Ron that the other night when Spider Man III was on TV! :)