I recently spent almost 3 weeks in Israel. I got back about a week ago, and so on my “1 week anniversary” I wanted to put a blog post together which chronicled my trip
I posted updates to Facebook during my trip. And had a lot of fun with it! So for my own enjoyment, and hopefully for yours to, here they are collected in (almost) chronological order. Enjoy!
Dedicated to fantastic new friends in Israel that made my journey so fun, I wouldn’t have ventured out without you having my back! (even if you may have gotten us lost, or tips-ily walked us through some semi-dangerous parts in the middle of the night)
And dedicated to friends back home that continued to enjoy my Facebook posts and photos which inspired me to keep posting them …
And to my lovely beautiful wife Sheri who followed my adventures while also taking care of our two kids while I was away – she’s a super mom and super wife!
How I Found Myself In Israel
I went to Israel, specifically Jerusalem, for work-related reasons. I’ll admit it would not have been on my list to go to otherwise. However, once there it was definitely a fascinating city. With four religions calling a one mile square city their most sacred home (and contentiously so), it made for something I hadn’t experienced before.
And besides all the religious history related to Jerusalem, it is a polarizing city which goes from touristy to solemn, from novelty to historic, from hip and fun to passionate contention. Definitely fascinating! Quite an Adventure!
And per my New Year’s Resolutions: Adventure Is Out There!
Okay, okay ..I have to admit I was not in much of an adventurous mood when I got there, not in the mood to try and find my way around, and almost all the signs were in Hebrew.
That being said, I LOVE LINDY HOP
I went swing dancing during my first few days and met some awesome Lindy Hoppers. They were quite welcoming of me into their community and many of them helped me get around, coordinating to meet me at various train stops and even my hotel lobby.
Which also spurned my mood for adventure. Without them I would not have had nearly as much fun.
Thank you Jerusalem (and Tel Aviv) Lindy Hoppers for a memorable trip!
With that: here are the 50 facebook posts (give or take) chronicling my trip! Enjoy!
50 Facebook Posts
NOTE: These are all screenshots of the original facebook posts.
- I debated how to transfer my facebook posts to my blog and finally decided on screenshots to preserve look and feel. Didn’t include comments on most of them to keep this more readable.
- Each screenshot will link to the actual facebook post or photo. Photos are viewable by all. Posts you will have to log in (and possibly be my friend)
- So to omitted comment threads, etc., click on the link to the original facebook post
1. Going To Israel!
2. First Few Nights …
3. Damascus Gate and the Old City
Feeling guilty that I hadn’t done anything touristy my first few days, I found out my hotel was a 25 minute walk to the Old City and so I went for a nice little walk. Woohoo! First touristy photo!
5. Lindy Hopping and friends!
Monday night is the weekly dance night in Jerusalem. I had a ton of fun and met some great folks And of course promptly starting facebook friending (since this is what makes those friendships official)
6. Missing home…
Though I have to admit, about four days in now I really started missing home. I woke up every morning at 7am and pretty much my first thought was always of home.
7. The first (of many) photos of the Hotel Lounge
I was booked into an executive room at the hotel I was staying at. This gave me privileges to the Executive Lounge which was in a word..amazing! Open 7am to 10pm with snacks, treats, coffee, espresso, wine, desserts, and much much more.
Feeling guilty of not having much of anything interesting of significance to post for a few days while being in one of the most significant cities in the world, I posted a photo of my good friend: the Hotel Lounge.
8. Oh yes… did I say..Hotel Lounge?
9. Huzzah! The Hotel Lounge Again!
10. Touring the “Old City” in Jerusalem with my beautiful, funny, and smart Lindy Hopping Archaeologist Tour Guide, Ayelet
Though Ayelet did get us lost quite a bit … but I didn’t mind at all.
11. Meanwhile…back at home: O2SJ Noodle World Trip!
Talk about commitment, while the One2Swing Jitterbugs are still “on hiatus” and not practicing, the teamies+ still enthusiastically engage in the “eating after practice” activities even if there is no practice. That’s dedication!
12. Temple Mount in the Old City, Jerusalem (with Ayelet)
13. West Wall in the Old City, Jerusalem (with Ayelet)
14. The Origin of Crepes!
15. Taking a break for Armenian Coffee. Mmmmmmmmm
16. Walk Along the Via Dolorosa
17. My mistake..a fifth religion calling the Old City home …
18. Coming out at Jaffa Gate and near the Tower of David
19. Ending the day at … THE HOTEL LOUNGE!
“And after the day it’s the After Lounge-y, and after the Lounge-y it’s the Hotel Lobby…”
20. Meanwhile..back at home: An interlude from Martha back home..
21. Intermission…. The Old City
After a fun and educational day with Ayelet, I looked up a bit more about the Old City that we walked around.
The Old City is 1-mile square and considered one of the most holy and spiritual places on the planet. More than a few religions call this their most sacred place, and contentiously so. It is considered to be the most sieged city in history.
It is divided into “Quarters” and there’s an interesting feel as you walk from one quadrant to the next. I ended up walking there a few more times on my own: I often entered through Damascas Gate (the Muslim quarter) and work my way around and exit at Jaffa Gate (the Christian quarter). Fascinating experience.
22. “The Dead Sea”: the movie
Booked a full day bus tour to see the Dead Sea and Masada. I had no idea what either of those were, but I just kept hearing things about “I have to go float in the Dead Sea”. So here you are …
23. “The Dead Sea”: the photo
24. “The Dead Sea”: I’m a mudder..
25. Visiting Masada and an original (not rebuilt) Byzantine Church
26. Inside a Byzantine Church at Masada
27. And back to my friend, the Hotel Lounge, for relaxing end-of-day treats
28. Meanwhile..back at home: Babysitter Tao and her Shenanigans
Babysitter (and Third Saturday Swing door person) Tao babysits the kids while Sheri teaches at LindyGroove. We love babysitter Tao!
29. Meanwhile..back at home: a conversation between Allen and Kayla
You might need to know Allen to appreciate the humor of this. But knowing Sheri’s sense of humor works too.
30. From the Hotel Lounge…BOKER TOV JERUSALEM!!!
(said in my best “GOOD MORNING VIETNAM” impression”)
31. From the Hotel Lounge… EREV TOV JERUSALEM!!
32. Meanwhile..back at home: an outing to Descanso Gardens
and they bump into Raluca!
33. Pizza with Noa and Tsela before a night of Lindy Hop
So Tsela and Noa took me dancing to Tel Aviv on Thursday night. We decided to get dinner first and Tsela says: “So what do you want for dinner?”. My reply: “Ha ha Pizza” – thinking that’s just like answering “Ha ha… McDonalds” and being so very non-adventurous in trying out local cuisine.
I was joking.
They were serious.
We ended up eating pizza (which I LOVE).
The humorous part: turns out Tsela and Noa eat pizza EVERY THURSDAY before dancing.
Great minds think alike huh?
34. Coffee and treats before a night of Lindy Hop
35. Correction: Coffee and JUMP SESSION before a night of Lindy Hop
Interestingly, the Jerusalem folks have paired the term “Jump Session” with a learning/practice session of lifts and aerials.
It started at a Saturday night house party with me teaching some lifts and culminated in many adventurous follows (and a lead) wanting to try.
This is a pic of me and Tsela doing a hip roll. LOVE THIS PIC!
36. The Pentultimate Supper In The Hotel Lounge
(Yes, a reference to the Monty Python skit)
37. The Last Dinner (goodbye Hotel Lounge!)
38. A last night dancing!
A monthly Wednesday night dance at a pub. And the barkeep was not stingy on the gin in the gin and tonics.
39. On the way home to see my kids!!… or am I?
40. Feeling heartbroken, but maybe I’ll survive..
Short version: flight was cancelled and I was “stranded” for two days. And quite heartbroken after having my heart set on seeing my kids, especially my daughter. Fortunately, friends in Israel, friends at home, and Kayla cheered me up
Here’s the ensuing facebook status and comment thread which says things best (which is why it’s included) (including at the end some humorous back-and-forths with favorite Auntie Shelly).
41. Thank you Tel Aviv Lindy Hop!
42. Thank you Jerusalem Lindy Hop!
And so a post made two days prior is again relevant.. what a great time!
43. A funny thing happened on the way home …
But hey we can squeeze in a few more jokes…
44. I’m Street, Baby..
45: Meanwhile..back at home: Ballet, tutus, and brother takes after sister.
46. On my way home (finally) !
47. Meanwhile… Out Of The Mouths Of Babes
50. And oh yes..finally home!
Hope you enjoyed!
And thank you again to my new friends in Israel for making my travel experience so fun, and my friends back home who continued to enjoy checking in on my facebook to see my trip updates .. what an amazing trip and hope it can happen again soon! (this time with Sheri by my side, and even maybe the kids!!)