Jerusalem, Israel – The Long Way Home

by Funhog Family on April 19, 2014

Felafels - Yum!!!

The Old City - Way Back When

When setting up this trip we really did not understand what it meant to be in Israel during Passover. Our original plan was to spend the day at Mini Israel, which is a thirteen acre exhibit that includes all of Israel in miniature form. We found out it was closed for Passover. The entire country basically shuts down for the week of Passover. On our last day in Israel and the first day of Passover we were told all of the transportation services would stop running at 2p. Our flight home would not leave until 11:30p, so this meant we would have to leave for the airport with the last taxi service of the day and then spend ten hours in the airport (with almost all the stores closed) until our flight departed.

Once we understood our limitations for the day, we made our way into the old city of Jerusalem. Kendall and I both commented on how much more comfortable we both felt navigating the catacombs compared to our first day. We made one last visit to the western wall. Then we practiced our bartering skills with the street vendors. Once I understood the game, it actually became a pretty fun sport, and I could barter until the price was less than half the original amount. That shows you how much they mark things up! Also, during the bartering I would usually find out the actual cost for the vendor, so that we both walked away with a win-win. After finishing up our shopping, we went for one last felafel before leaving for the airport. While we have been in Israel we have fallen in love with their form of fast food – the felafel. Imagine a fresh pita stuffed with lettuce, tomato, onions, cabbage, pickles, and fried egg plant. They were delicious and I had to control Kendall’s intake, as she would eat three a day, if allowed.

The Waiting Game

Still Learning...Hebrew

At two we left for the airport and got there very quickly as the Jewish driver needed to rush home for Passover. We sat around the airport for seven hours before being allowed to check in for our flight. All the stores were closed too, except one food store that sold cold soggy sandwiches that were made prior to Passover. We made it on our flight with no problems. I was looking forward to a long night’s sleep, but it was not to be. Kendall gets motion sickness easily, so we have some arm bands for her that help a lot. I forgot to put them on her before our flight began. By the time she asked for them two hours into the flight it was too late. Kendall started throwing up and did so every five minutes for the next ten hours. I spent my time searching the plane for throw up bags and changing out the full ones as needed. It reminded me a lot of my marriage vows (for better or for worse). Being truly committed to your spouse and family, even when things are not going the way you would like. Kendall was fine on our next flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix, but we were both wiped because we did not get any sleep on the long way home.

Kendall’s take:
April 14th: Shalom (Good-bye) Israel
We woke up in time to have breakfast (we went down later than we ever have before) and then packed all of our stuff. We had to decide what to do with our time since we had to checkout before or at 12. If we checked out of the hotel later we would have to pay for another night even if we were not going to be there. Our plane did not leave till 11:00 at night, so I thought it would be best to try to sleep a little. We went down and checked out. The lady at the checkout counter seemed to know everything about us and reminded me very much of – if you’ve ever seen the movie “The Incredibles” there is a lady in it who loves to sew super suites and she is very talkative and intelligent – Well that is who this lady reminded me of. Well we left our luggage with her (we would have to come back for it afterwards because the shuttle to take us to the airport would come to the hotel at 2:40p to pick us up. Our plan had been to go to Mini-Israel – a park with miniatures of almost everything in Israel – and hang out there all day, but because it was the first day of Passover the Jews would only work half the day and Mini-Israel was owned by Jews so it was shut down. Even our shuttle bus driver was Jewish and he was the last one going that day so we had to take him or else we would not have chosen to spend 9 whole long hours in an airport before we flew. Then we went into the old city and did some shopping. We came back to our hotel for lunch. There is a felafel restaurant on the block next to the National – our hotel – and it is one of my most favorite restaurants in all Israel!!!! Then we sat down at our hotel and daddy read Bible while I wrote little notes to my family trying to pass the time because we were an hour early. Then we heard the funny lady talking excitedly on the phone in Hebrew. When she was done, she got up and told us, even though he was an hour early and had never ever been early before, that the shuttle bus was here. We jumped hurriedly in thankful we were here when it came and were whisked away to a dreary wait and finally a horrible flight home. Everything went well until two hours into the flight. I started throwing up. I threw up and threw up and threw up. I threw up every 5 to 10 minutes for 10 hours straight. It was just horrible! Daddy was very nice and no one got upset at me, but I used up almost everything throw up bag on the plane, could not sleep, and just was miserable. Finally, it was over. We flew 5 more hours and then were home where a loving mommy and family siblings welcomed us joyfully. So now, I just want to remember all the awesome parts of Israel and forget all the bad. To remember that awesome 10yr old daddy trip to the land of the Bible – called Israel.

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