Throughout my week in Israel, I kept a running tab of jokes to commemorate the lighthearted aspects that made this exploration all the more memorable.
After a day in Jerusalem (the Old City, the Western Wall, and a demo of rolling stones, but actually) we headed to the desert to spend a night in a Bedouin Tent. Before we went stargazing and drank tea while learning about the Bedouin culture, we did what everyone secretly was waiting for: a camel ride!
Though camels are much louder and stinkier than expected, watching the sun set on the desert while trotting along on a majestic creature was pretty much the stuff of movies. After learning all about the wonders of camel milk, the normal tendency of having weekday wives, and eating an excessive amount of sweet cookies with sweeter tea, we snuggled into sleeping bags and rested for our hike up Masada.
And, as promised from my last Israel installation, here goes the tale of the Dead Sea. Post hikes and expending more athletic energy than I probably have in the past two years combined, we traveled down to the lowest point on earth for a refreshing (albeit heavily warned that things might burn in unfavorable places) dip and test of human buoyancy. Upon ensuring my body was free of tiny cuts and vulnerable crevices that would sting with the salt - I took the plunge.
Though I had a great time in the water (a true pisces), mud-fight included, I don't think any photo taken could really sum up the sheer excitement that you do, in fact, float in this water, more than this photo of my sister. It's rare that something makes Ariel beam like this - I'm told the last time she sported this smile was at the Minions movie.
Though I joked that the Dead Sea is the lowest point in the world, but the highest point of my day, the trip did, in fact, continue on an upward trend. Aside from frolicking about the markets (saving that for the next, nom-themed post), we had the opportunity to explore the city of Jaffa - which was described as San Diego meets Barcelona.
Peep this wishing tree (or so I'm told by relying on translations from the Israeli soldiers on our trip)!
On our last day, we took a long walk on the beach (Birthright is all about meeting your soulmate, right??). This part really did remind me of home, and made me think that even though I'd only been in Israel for a week, it did feel like I was coming home to a place that wanted me here.
But I'll save the sappy stuff for later, and instead show you this picture of my friend Elizabeth and I donning "eyes all over" - yes, I had both eyes ironed on my jacket and painted onto my nails.
Other miscellaneous shenanigans include being very excited to find out that the lion is not only the WInthrop House icon, but also a prominent symbol all over Jerusalem, and indulging in the most delectable, mascarpone ice cream in Tel Aviv.
Until next time!