Posted by: heatherlehrman | October 20, 2011

Ashley comes to Israel!!

I was supposed to fly into Israel (from my Eurotrip) one hour before Ashley did. Things don’t always go as planned. I got stuck in Athens, Greece for a day and so Ash had to stay in a hotel for 2 nights.

When I finally got back to Israel Ash came right over to my dorm. It was so good to see her!!!! The first thing we did was food shopping (obviously). I felt so bad because Ashley did nothing but sleep the past two days but I had to take a nap because I was still exhausted from Europe. Luckily my roommate was still on her Eurotrip so Ashley was able to sleep in her bed. The first night she was here we cooked a delicious (as delicious as a hot plate can get you) meal (chicken, rice, veggies and caught up on our TV shows.

Then it was Yom Kippur in which Israel shut down.  Actually, Israel shuts down for all of the chag (holidays – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Sim haTorah….) Luckily, we had a very easy fast – the night before Yom Kippur we went to sleep at 3AM and woke up at 3PM so we only really had to fast for a few hours since the fast ended so early. We walked to the beach, Tel Baruch – it is about a 30 minute walk from my dorm. It was the coolest walk ever because no one drives on Yom Kippur so all of the families and children are out biking and running around in the middle of the roads. Some of the roads are very busy too! It was very cool to see. I put pictures up on Facebook.

That night we went to my good friend Noa’s house for dinner. She is a Sephardic Jew and her family is amazing and her mom cooks delicious Moroccan food. YUM. In Israel, the “break fast” isn’t as big of a deal as it is in America, or at least in my house. It is just a normal meal. I did miss my bagel with cream cheese and lox though! After Noa’s, Ashley and I skyped the family and my mom sat there eating that bagel and lox – it was such a tease!! LOVE ya mom!!

We spent a day walking around Shuk haCarmel and we also went into Jerusalem one day to go to see Rachel’s Tomb (from the Torah), which is a very holy spot in Bethlehem.  When you go to her tomb you can pray for anything at all. For yourself, for your family, for wealth, health, success, etc. It has HIGH security since it is not in the best area. After that we headed over to Yad Vashem (Holocaust museum) and then we met up with Ashley’s friend for dinner in Jerusalem.

Another day Ashley was with me we went to Haifa to stay with my friend, Or. We ate a lovely dinner on the beach and Or took us to see the Bahai Shrine and Gardens at night! It was a beautiful view – we saw it from the top. You could see everything all lit up. There was a huge ship getting ready to set sail and it was all lit up. We got some ice cream and then hung out at her house. Fun facts about Or’s house: her evil cat sleeps in the sink and her bedroom is a bomb shelter. The next day Ashley and I went to Sachne. Gan HaShlosha is a place in Sachne where there are these gorgeous natural pools of water with waterfalls and caves in the middle of nowhere, Israel (in the North). It took us forever to get there and forever to get back because we had to rely on buses and we had to wait and wait and wait for them to come. The trip was awesome though. Something cool about Gan HaShlosha is that the water stays the same temperature throughout the whole year so even in January when it is typically cold in Israel, it is the same as what it would be in August! There are fish in the water too- it was so weird because when you find a rock to stand on you feel the fish at your feet. We were so squirmy! There were also snails all over the sides of the pools- very cool. I kept playing with them.

On the first night of Sukkot, Ash and I went back to Noa’s house for dinner. YUM again! Fun fact: Noa’s ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIE is Mrs. Doubtfire – just like mine! I couldn’t believe it.

Later that night Monster Inc. came on TV. It was so funny to see the Hebrew transliterations on the bottom of the screen.

Ash and I traveled to Jerusalem for Sukkot on Shabbat. We took a local bus to the bus station to then catch another bus to Jerusalem. On the local bus I saw a man kill a fly in one swap on his arm. I was shocked. I couldn’t stop talking about it. When we got to Jerusalem we had to meet up with Ashley’s USY kids to give them things from home. We walked from one end of Jaffa Street to the other to the old city. We were rushing because I didn’t know what time the hostel would shut down for Shabbat and we were lucky we did because when we got there we only had 3 minutes to change and be out until after dinner! Our plan was to walk to the Kotel and then take a cab from the old city to a really nice area where Michelle’s friend Aliza lives for dinner. Ashley and I got Aliza a bottle of wine and of course the Kotel security wouldn’t let us take it in so I stashed it into a tree and was hoping it would be there when we left the Kotel. It was! Aliza’s was great- her kids are adorable and dinner was delicious. We ate in their amazing sukkah. It was a wonderful night! I can’t wait to go back with Michelle when she comes in November!!

We took a cab back to the old city and walked back to the hostel. The next morning we went to the Kotel and then went to a family’s house for a Shabbat meal. The family was originally from LA actually. Their father lives in Jerusalem and the oldest daughter has a family and they live in Israel as well. Then there are 3 other kids who are from LA and were visiting their father. They live in a very fancy upscale apartment in the old city. There was also so much delicious food. What was so cool about their apartment was that from the outside, it looked like a small hole in the wall, and all of the sudden you walked through a door into a huge, absolutely gorgeous home!

After lunch Ash and I headed back to the hostel and took a lovely Shabbat nap and by the time we woke up Shabbat was pretty much over.  Then we went to the men’s hostel for the third meal of Shabbat. The rabbi talked about how Sukkot is a time of appreciation. We should appreciate the people that are in our lives and the homes we live in. He reminded us of how during Sukkot we eat outside in the cold and that we have warm houses and to be thankful of that. After the third meal, we walked around Ben Yahuda Street for about 4 hours going in and out of shops. When we got to Ben Yahuda Street it was really dead and empty and by the time we left it was PACKED. It is a very busy street especially on Saturday nights. We also met up with some of Ashley’s friends who are in Israel too, which was nice. There was a lot of music and dancing because of Sukkot- it is a happy time in Israel, especially Jerusalem.

On Sunday we got up and walked to the Shuk and went in and out of stores and then headed back to Tel Aviv. That night we went out for Thai food. We tried delicious Asain beer. MMM

On Monday we went into Yaffo. We went to the flee market and got lots of lovely gifts for the family. We walked around the market for a long time and walked to the beach, which was beautiful!

On Tuesday we walked to the beach near my dorm and we sat there for a while and ate a snack at the restaurant on the beach. We also caught the sunset. Unfortunately we had to walk back early so Ashley could pack because she was leaving that night. After she packed we had time so we met Noa at the mall and we got dinner and dessert with her.

Sadly, there was a lot of time where Ash and I had nothing to do because Israel was shut down for the holidays but I am so glad that she came – I needed some family around me! And if you know Ashley well, you know she can sleep all day! We traveled around as much as we could, hung out with some family friends, ate a lot of yummy food and did a lot of walking around! It was a great trip. I miss her already. ASH COME BACKKKK!!!!!!

Now I can look forward to my mom and Michelle coming in November 🙂

PS. My camera broke while Ashley was here so I will post pictures as soon as I can- we took on her camera that she left me and I am waiting for the chord in the mail! Check facebook in a few days for all of the pics

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Responses

  1. I’m so grateful that you finally got a dose of family!! I cannot wait to get there – I need to see you so badly and give you the biggest hug ever!! I miss you so much!! I love you!

    PS – Sorry I teased you on Yom Kippur!!


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