Israel 2014 Day 12: Home and Gifts
For our last day of the trip, we got up early and just had a small breakfast before making the trip to TLV airport. We dropped off the car, and got to the airport with lots of time. The airport is quite huge and we had a great time there -- there is a pretty epic duty free area with crazy stuff like fridges and TVs and so on. Funny.
|Back to the airport!|
|Definitely the first massive mezuzah I've seen at an airport|
|Hebrew DreamWorks and Blue Sky movies|
|Ratatouille and Wall-E!|
|Tasty Aroma meal before the long flight!|
I bought some Pop Rocks chocolate which was epic and would be fun to take home to my colleagues, as well as some Max Brenner chocolates for the airplane ride. After a nice Aroma breakfast, we headed to the plane for the long trip back to SFO, via Toronto. The trip to Toronto was good -- I didn't actually watch any movies on such a long trip!! It was a nice opportunity to catch up on some things: reading all of my buddy Matt's Scotland travel journal, answering tons of emails, organizing my to-do list, and also finishing the notes for this journal. After many hours of doing that stuff, I still had 3 hrs left of the flight, and decided to get a little sleep. What an awesome trip.
|Traveling via Toronto, as you can see|
After getting back and unpacking, here's a few of the interesting things I received, bought or got for others as gifts.
|"Yu-tan" letters, tea|
|Salad chopper, tea, and yarmulkes from Tzfat|
|Zaatar, shabbos napkins, and a hamsa|
|Israeli pop-rocks chocolate!|
|Special dreidels, plus 3 Mezuzahs and 1 scroll|
|Artwork I bought in Tzfat|
|Magen David surf necklace|
|Salad dressing pourer|
|...complete with a recipe|
|This is AMAZING|
|Awesome placemats and coasters!|
|And... time to prepare my own labne/zaatar combo at home :)|
I am also grateful that I felt safe the entire time. To be very honest, this was a big concern of mine, visiting for the first time. It was not without reason -- the very tragic story of the three boys kidnapped happened just as we arrived, and very soon after we returned home to San Francisco, the terrible news that the bodies of the three boys were found; and violence broke out which has lasted for months. It is such a sad occurrence; for a place so beautiful and with so many incredible natural experiences, that there is so much hate and anger in the world for its existence.
I met some wonderful people there and felt so welcome and encouraged by their community spirit and good nature. I saw Hasidim dancing and singing in the street to encourage happiness and joyfulness. I ate an odd McDonald's Hamburger and saw Hebrew writing written in "Chinese-style" for a Chinese restaurant. I floated in the Dead Sea and walked the ancient mystical streets of Tzfat. It was an incredible experience, and I am so happy not only to experience it for the first time, but for that experience to have been led by an epic girl whom I admire and appreciate more than she knows. :)
Where to next? Well, wherever it is, I'm sure it will be epic. :)