So as I went on and on about it ( ), most of you know I went to Israel for work/play July 27-Aug 5. What an experience! I had one of the most productive work weeks ever and I played equally hard. I was booked every lunch and every dinner and was out every night until 2 or 3AM, but always back at work the next day by 9AM. Worked Sun-Thurs then played Fri-Sat.
I got stuck overnight in New York (missed my connecting flight to Tel Aviv). But I took the train into Manhattan the next day and played tourist for 3 hours before my flight left for Israel.
Me at Penn Station...
Empire State building!
Flight to Tel Aviv was uneventful, but as we were a day late, we changed in the airport bathroom and went straight to work. Finally, 30 hours later I get checked into the hotel.
Here is the view of the Mediterranean Sea from my Deluxe Suite room. I had room 66 on the 6th floor... hmmmm.
At the hotel, a complimentary Israeli breakfast was available every morning. I tried lots of stuff too (IKR ARWEN??)
I went to Masada on Friday. If you don't know the story, google it. Very sababa (as they say in Hebrew)...
Me checking out Masada... LOOK OUT APPY! MINI SKIRT ALERT!
Then that afternoon... off to the Dead Sea.
When in Rome... Dead Sea mud is good for your skin!
Next day, Saturday, was Jerusalem.
This is the Church of the Holy Sepluchre
The Wailing Wall... A girl in our tour group was feeling sick. She thought perhaps food poisoning from the night before. When we got to the Wailing Wall she spent about 10 mins at the wall praying and leaning against it. Not 5 MINUTES LATER she was FINE. All her color was back and she was bouncing around... freaky man.
This is Tzurk beach, the beach my hotel was on
Me tidal pooling...
My last night in Israel on Tzurk beach
I would go back in a heart beat. Even after driving through the West Bank (gulp!)! And it looks like I will be going back 2 to 3 times a year from here on out.
I jelly, too. And not just for the trip. For the legs!!! Seriously, I am half jewish and always wanted to go. It looks awesome and so do you. Thanks for taking all the trouble to do such a great post. You are radiant - Israel is beautiful.
Thanks to all of you. I say GO TO ISRAEL. If you ever even thought you wanted to - you will LOVE it. The Israeli people are very loud and very short with you, almost rude. But once you understand that they are just very direct and they don't keep anything IN and once done they walk away and don't think another thing of it - then it really didn't bother me. I laughed a LOT.
You know, Ginny? I would love for you to come to Israel with me.
Work went great, Jo. I am going to split my time working for the doc group and for the marketing group. I will still report to my boss and he will make a determination over my priorities so I don't feel overwhelmed supporting two groups.
I gave a presentation to the doc group, one to the sales team, and I pitched a launch campaign to the marketing team that they weren't expecting but were thrilled with... so everything went REALLY REALLY well. I like everyone on both teams very much and have already made many friends.
The rest of the office is very loud and very busy. But everyone I met was incredibly genuine and smart. This is going to work out amazingly well. Thanks for asking, Jo
ETA: Of all people, Ginny, I would expect you to get the mud thing the most! It's like Lush in its natural state!
ETAA: Jiggy? notice the bag in the first picture? That's the Hello Kitty laptop bag you gave me!
This message has been edited by AnnyBoo on Aug 8, 2012 5:35 PM This message has been edited by AnnyBoo on Aug 8, 2012 5:30 PM This message has been edited by AnnyBoo on Aug 8, 2012 5:29 PM
Yes, Caps. Totally legit to call me on it. I was a freakin big baby about it and I.Was.Wrong. Freely admit. I did so many awesome things. I feel... hmmm... better. I think I was in a rut. I think maybe a bit depressed. This week in Israel really changed it up for me. In brief, anyway.
Anonny... The Dead Sea is CRAZY!! I was walking in and then I realized I wasn't touching the bottom but I was just.. just STANDING in the water! Not moving my arms or legs! Just like kinda you would think jello would hold you! It was WEIRD. I wanted to rinse out my braids from the mud so I got to a depth where I could kneel down so the water was like chest high so I could tip my head back... but I couldn't keep my knees down on the sand! It is such a weird sensation! THE PICTURE to take at the Dead Sea (I have gathered) is to just stretch out like you are in a lazy boy and read the paper. So many people were doing that.
Bider: what does this mean? "btw, did you hear any war?"
One cool story...
My boss and I were at the mall after work on Thurs to get sunscreen, hats, and shit for the next day (going to Masada/dead sea). It was tough to get a taxi from the Mall on their Friday night, so we walked up a block and a half to the main intersection. Still no luck. Our office is like 7 blocks from where we were and he suggests we walk up there as it is getting dark. I say, "no. We are going to have an adventure! Follow me!" and I head over to this gas station/garage that is right on the corner.
So we get there and I see 5 20-something Israeli boys hanging out - some working, some just hanging out. I walk straight up and I say, "hi! Please help me! I need a taxi!" One spoke pretty good English, the rest of them were between broken English and NEED TRANSLATION. The more versed one asked me where I wanted to go and called a taxi for me. So we wait. I sit down on the garage floor with all the boys and smoke cigs and we just traded stories. They loved stories about California and America and told me what they do for fun and how they "LOVE VEGAS' and "LOVE LA". It was SO CUTE.
My boss is hanging in the back and on his phone.
So when the taxi pulls up, they say "STAY" to me. They walk over and negotiate a fare. I knew what it should cost because I had taken taxis from approximately there (my work was nearby) to my hotel everyday. I hear a lot of yelling (typical Israeli talk) and then they gesture me over. The fare was EXACTLY what it should have been! I fist bump and explode the boys goodbye.
Get in the cab and my boss is STUNNED. He says "that could have gone really bad" and I say "but it went GREAT!" and he says "I have known you for 4 years, but I guess I didn't know you at all."
Boom! SO FUN! Every obstacle presents an opportunity if you just open the door. That is how I treated Israel
I caught the news here and there. Tel Aviv is very European in appearance (except when you are on the West Bank... and that's uhmm. yah).
But the news. So maybe they don't report everything? My sister did suggest that. But I will tell you that the news I watched (nightly local news) there were far less domestic incidents, missing children, break-ins, and police incidents than I hear on the nightly news in San Diego as well as Phoenix.
The kiddos at the Garage/Gas station told me you just DO NOT break laws. Punishment is swift and severe. They go to the casinos in Bulgaria for fun.
ETA: Tam? Have I said how awesome, amazing, and great it is that you are back? Because, if I haven't, it is so awesome, amazing, and great that you are back.
This message has been edited by AnnyBoo on Aug 8, 2012 11:43 PM
You look terrific, and the scenery looks amazing. I too am jealous - I'd really like to go there and see those things. It'd be nice to see as close as you just did what all the fuss has been about for the last few thousand years, you know?
I don't get the "mutton dressed as lamb" reaction in the slightest from your mini-skirt picture. You completely pull that off in my view. And you can believe I'm definitely eager to call "Mutton!" when I see it. Not you, not there, not in that.
The mud thing looks fun. Was it weird to do with a co-worker? I'd do it too, but I could see feeling a little like I was wishing the Mermaid was there and not Fred from Accounting.
Great pictures and great stories! Welcome home and so glad you're back!
I think she meant that the reason Anny brought it up in the first place was in reference to Appy's contention "no minis over 35." This is just a little misunderstanding. You two can kiss and make up now.
I just got a save-the-date in my email for the Sales Conference 2013 that is in January... in Israel!!
Yes, Squid, it was a little weird doing the Dead Sea/Mud Bath thing with a "coworker" and I was definitely wishing Bobby was there. Bigger thing? That wasn't just a coworker... that's my BOSS. When it got to the time to be just in my bikini, I admit I hesitated mightily.
But then, I thought "when might I ever get to do this again?" so eff that and I went with it.
It is! I was talking to my youngest kiddo last night on the phone and he told me about the escalator and I told him that Ginny had posted it that very day so I had seen it. I most definitely will check it out for myself next time I am there.
Glad you had a good time. The closest I've been to the middle east is are the scant middle eastern restaurants that I can find. Love the cuisine. I imagine being in the presence of that much history would be awe-inspiring.
Ginny is correct about the clean hands. Also - mud and cameras aren't a good match.
ETA: I remember some bikini thing with Squid and Ronnie back when I first joined up here, but I don't know the deal. Plus - I would say that whatever it is, spiritual mud bath in Dead Sea doesn't count.
This message has been edited by AnnyBoo on Aug 13, 2012 10:06 PM