July 06, 2011

My Second Trip To Israel

Once again EW was summoned to be on the advisory board for HP and I joined him on his trip. HP has an awesome spouse program that lets the wives enjoy Israel while the men slave away at work :)

I went last year so I'm not going to post pics of the same trips I took back then cuz I don't want any repeats. I'm going to post mostly random pics this time around so if you want to see all the cool historic trips I took but won't post on this blog, click here.

Undeniably, the best part about this trip was the weather. It was 85 degrees and sunny every single day. Perfect perfect perfect. I remember melting in the 100 degree heat last year.

View from the Sheraton Tel Aviv where we stayed for 7 days. I prefer the Hilton by far but sadly it was all booked up. At least we got a room upgrade with our Starwood points!

I forget if this was the sunset or sunrise but it was magical either way. That little tiny boat in the far distance looks so peaceful and serene. In reality, there were probably a bunch of sweaty, Jewish men trying to fish on it.

My favorite shot of the whole trip! Such a handsome man I ended up with :) Why did I have to date so many uglies to get to him?

One of the days EW had to work, the HP spouse program took us to a Druze community in the mountains who invited us into their home and served us lunch Middle Eastern style.

I find it interesting that you cannot convert to their religion. You have to have a Druze mom and dad to be a Druze. The religion was open to converting for only 200 year than *bam* they closed the door shut.

Damn, I guess I missed the window.

Anyway, they were extremely hospitable and taught us all about their people in perfect English. We all gathered in their living room which had no TV or DVD player or any of America's evil. The room was barren except for a ring of seats against the walls.

And the food...Oh, the food. It was so so good. It reminded me of Russian food and made me slightly home sick. Every five people got their own tray and we ate with our hands!! EW constantly tells me to stop using my fingers to push food onto my fork so here was my chance to feel liberated!

We also revisited Jerusalem and Jesus's tomb. The doorway on the left is the entrance from the courtyard. As you can see, everyone is dressed modestly despite the heat.

Old doors to the entrance....

This shrine stands over the stone Jesus Christ's crucifix stood on. You can see the white stone on each side through the glass.

This is probably the most coveted spot to pray in the world. I bent down, put my hand in the hole to touch the stone where the crucifix stood, and said a prayer for my family and friends.

Across the main hall stands Jesus Christ's tomb. It's a very solemn and quiet room where everyone is thinking about the same thing.....his sacrifice.

Prayer candles...

Beautiful wooden doors that lead to who knows where. The atmosphere and decor reminded me so much of Harry Potter. I'm not trying to be disrespectful, I just don't know what else I can compare it to.

Back in the old city of Jerusalem. I have no clue why they had a Roman man standing and holding a sign. Or is he not Roman? Forgive me if I sound stupid. I never did well in history.

Super Jew!!!! That shirt is priceless. Hanging in the holiest city in the world and not afraid to be humorous. I also love "Don't worry be Jewish". :D

After touring Jersulem, everyone gathered together for a big dinner in some courtyard. We sat next to the guys that run ShutterFly, a company worth $500 million. They were awesome and invited EW and I out to their offices for a tour. I took some funny pics of them and assured them they will be up on ShutterFly the next morning :)

The tables were nicely decorated...

But the belly dancers that danced on the tables were even nicer!!

I kind of look sleepy in this pic but it's really just the champagne. Alcohol makes me go all squinty eyed for some reason.

The minute EW had a free day, we went to the Carmel Market. Open air markets are one of my favorite places in the world. When I lived in Ukraine, I would wander through the outdoor markets for hours and hours smelling all of the different fragrances permeating the air.

Just look at all of those fresh veggies!! Farmer's markets are like a luxury in America. That's so wrong. Also, can anyone tell me what those brown cherry tomatoes are? They aren't spoiled because the photos of them were also brown. They kind of look like they would taste chocolaty.

Candyyyy.....not in jars! God bless less strict health laws.

Yummy fish..a Russian favorite. It smelled fantastic believe it or not.

And olives galore!! Every type of olive you can imagine and olive oil to match.

This is a random pic but if I was ever forced to drive a moped, mine would totally look like this. Maybe less green and a little more pink.

I was upset that EW messed up our tickets back home and we had to go back a day late and miss the John Legend party at Mixx but out mistake turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to us!!

We ended up being in Israel on Tel Aviv's biggest night...White Night! The whole city comes alive on their annual White Night with hundreds of free, outdoor concerts and performances until 4am in the morning. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets to celebrate, drink and have fun.

Who cares about John Legend when you have White Night in one of my favorite places in the world???

The streets were filled with party goers, DJs played on rooftops of buildings and dancers danced in the windows. Madness.

Did anyone know there was a Max Brenner in Israel?? Apparently it's a huge brand?? Silly me thought that Max Brenner only had a local chocolate shop in Philly. Never knew he was originally from Israel.

I could've sworn this was a real man. I came up to him intending to ask for a picture but then realized he was made of stone. He looked real in the dark!

We ended up goin to three different bars/clubs on the busy Allenby Street. They were all like walking into a chimney. I almost suffocated twice but it was fun nonetheless.

The next day we had to kill time until our airport bus picked us up at 9pm so we headed over to Jaffa. It was Friday Sabbath so most of the shops were closed so we went into the first open restaurant we saw for lunch.

This place was un-frickin-believable!! Every item you order came with hummus, bread and 15 salads. Yes 15!!! Here are the 15 salads that came with my falafel balls.

After gorging on delicious food, we walked through the winding, stone streets of Jaffa.

EW told me not to take a picture with this dead tree cuz he said people in America already think Israel is one big dessert and I'm going to make that misconception worse. I took the pic anyway because I can find beauty in anything. Oh and PS...Tel Aviv is like Miami times ten. It's definitely no dessert! It's full of beaches, beautiful people, amazing nightclubs and luxury condos.

I swear to god this is the tree from Lion King!! When you picture Lion King...don't you picture trees like this!!!! I'm not crazy, go google Lion King trees and see for yourself. It looks like a cartoon tree.

Great view of Tel Aviv beaches from Jaffa.

Kittys are all over Jaffa! And they aren't scared of people so I got some great close up shots.

No, that's not an army of trees trying to eat me, that's actually one big tree that grew up all funny looking.

Well Ladies and Gentleman, that concludes my trip to Israel. Once again, click here if you want to see all the cool things I did but didn't post up because I don't want to repeat blogs.



MaviDeniz said...

Yay your back! i absolutely LOVE this post and all your beautiful pics. I miss israel a lot and hope to go back and visit one day. I think your pictures captured the country beautifully :)


Dutch Schrap said...

Great pictures and a great review!!

Amy Fashion Blog said...

Look like you had a great time.


Kevin McCoy said...

I bet you believe now.

Oren Landgarten said...

The carmel market Is amazing went in may just to look at all the shops and things they have and the archeture Is amazing

Miyan said...

wish i would have known you were here, would have loved to meet up! i live in northern israel, near haifa, but any excuse to make it down to tel aviv is great! sounds like you had an amazing time =)



Miyan said...

wish i would have known you were here, would have loved to meet up! i live in northern israel, near haifa, but any excuse to make it down to tel aviv is great! sounds like you had an amazing time =)



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