My Israel Adventures In 50 Facebook Posts

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…

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


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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

Enjoy!

1. Going To Israel!

Off to Israel for two weeks.  I plan on keeping-is-real

2. First Few Nights …

the Hotel Lounge became a good friend.  Okay red wine, help me with that jet lag

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!

First touristy pic! Damascas Gate at the Old City in Jerusalem

4. Falafel!

Falafel in Jerusalem!

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)

Meeting the Jerusalem Lindy Hop community... I love Lindy Hop!

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.

starting to get real homesick

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.

So…

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.

The First (of many) Hotel Lounge photos

8. Oh yes… did I say..Hotel Lounge?

let's take a second Hotel Lounge photo. Why not?

9. Huzzah! The Hotel Lounge Again!

more from the Hotel Lounge

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.

Walking around the Old City with my beautiful, smart, and funny Lindy Hopping Archaeologist tour guide Ayelet

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!

Meanwhile back at home..O2SJ Noodle World trip

12. Temple Mount in the Old City, Jerusalem (with Ayelet)

Visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City with Ayelet

13. West Wall in the Old City, Jerusalem (with Ayelet)

the very sacred West Wall in the Old City

14. The Origin of Crepes!

The origin of Crepes happened in Jerusalem

15. Taking a break for Armenian Coffee. Mmmmmmmmm

(miswrote “Armenian” as “Arabic” in the post …haha)
Oh my goodness such great coffee in Jerusalem

16. Walk Along the Via Dolorosa

Partial walk along the Via Dolorsa - by request for Martha back home

17. My mistake..a fifth religion calling the Old City home …

Oh yeah..Seahawks Baby

18. Coming out at Jaffa Gate and near the Tower of David

The Tower of David, Jaffa Gate, at Jerusalem's Old City

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…”

What a day, Hotel Lounge, what a day.

20. Meanwhile..back at home: An interlude from Martha back home..

After seeing this pun i really wanted to walk into a coffee shop that had all male baristas and suggest the new name He Brews for them

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.

Old City Jerusalem

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 …

Combine one of the most famous tourist spots with my irrational panicky behavior in and around water and you get … The Dead Sea Video and its ensuing comment thread.
Floating in the Dead Sea, filmed, and laughed at, by best friend for half-a-day Zaskya from Munich

23. “The Dead Sea”: the photo

A photo of the Dead Sea beachline, salt crusted rocks, and my best friend for half-a-day Zaskya from Munich who comes into play later

24. “The Dead Sea”: I’m a mudder..

Of course I can’t leave without a rejuvenating application of dead sea mud. And its entertaining comment thread
Covered in Dead Sea mud. I'm a mudder ... an inside joke only a few will get

25. Visiting Masada and an original (not rebuilt) Byzantine Church

Visiting Masada, where the Jewish fled when the Romans sieged Jerusalem.  Very interesting and now I think I need to see the mini-series with Peter O'Toole

26. Inside a Byzantine Church at Masada

Inside a Byzantine Church at Masada

27. And back to my friend, the Hotel Lounge, for relaxing end-of-day treats

Hotel Lounge, you are like a welcoming friend to end the day

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!

A conversation between babysitter Tao and Kayla

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.

Curious Kayla and Uncle Allen..and the Sheri Laugh

30. From the Hotel Lounge…BOKER TOV JERUSALEM!!!

(said in my best “GOOD MORNING VIETNAM” impression”)

Boker Tov Jerusalem from the Hotel Lounge

31. From the Hotel Lounge… EREV TOV JERUSALEM!!

(said in my best “GOOD MORNING VIETNAM” impression”)
Erev Tov Jerusalem from the Hotel Lounge

32. Meanwhile..back at home: an outing to Descanso Gardens

It’s Springtime! Babysitter Tao and the family take a field trip to Descanso Gardens!
the kids and wife and babysitter go 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!

Tsela and me demonstrating a hip roll, one of my favorite pics

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 :D

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..

Ben Yehuda street in Jerusalem

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

a quick intermission to have a conversation with a little gal while in line at customs

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!!)

Todah Rabah!!

Family And Life, Fun Stuff, I Love Lindy Hop!

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