This is the first (of hopefully many) notes from my friend Allison, who is visiting friends and family back in Israel...
WOW! The picture is amazing. I miss you guys so much. Mark and I intened to call you last night to wish you all a Happy New Year. Unfortunately, we fell asleep. Being in Israel is amazing. Being with my friends and family is incredible. We have been busy but we are not pushing ourselves to travel. Being with people is my priority.
Wednesday after I arrived we came back to Nina's and took it easy for most of the day. In the early evening we went to see my niece Ronit and her family who live less than 3 minutes from Nina. It was a wonderful reunion. She has three adorable boys, Nir (10) Ran (8) and Guy (5). Her apartment is beautiful.
After that we went to Muss to see Michael and deliver the goodies. I am happy to report that although the stuff that I brought was warmly received, the beef jerky was the hit of the delivery. We stayed for a bout an hour and then came back to Nina's and crashed.
The hext day Mark and I went on our first tiyul (trip). We went to the ancient city of Caesaeria. Pretty amazing. We walked for a couple of hours, stopped in the artsists quarter, then had lunch in a small cafe by the sea. Then we drove further north to Zichron Yaakov. A city built into the side of a mountain by early 20th century settlers. It now houses artists studios and and shops. We found a coffe/wine house had some fabulous Reisling and Cafe Afuk (Afuk means backwards as the coffee is made with hot milk instead of water). We were there till after dark and then drove home (I am doing the driving!).
Friday brought Shabbat. We got up early (which we are doing every day) took showers and then went to the city center to buy some flowers to bring to Safta Feige's house last night and to Ruti today. Then Mark and I went to pick up Mike and his friend Jeremy to bring him back to Ninas. After we got back we had a light lunch of hummus and salad and then we went to the cemetary to see Michael's grandparents grave as well as the new grave of his Uncle Eli (Herzel's brother who died last year). It took us a while to find the graves. I can't put in words what kind of emotions were flowing. Mike and I both broke down. I'll share more with you about this when I return home. I haven't processed it all yet!
Last night was Shabbat at Feige's house in Savyon. Other than the nausea that began to rise in my throat as we passed our old apartment the evening was beyond words. People say that when a Jew comes to Israel she is coming home - for me having Shabbat with the Goldfarbs was coming home. We got home late, sat out on the merpeset (porch) and talked while the boys played sheshbesh (bacgammon) and chess. Then we fell asleep. Today we are going to Ashdod to spend the day with Herzel's sister Ruti and the rest of the Saig family. We are all very excited. Gotta go now, breakfast is calling-