We have been enjoying the extended visit from SabaSarah. The kiddies look forward every day to their playtime with their new best friends.
Saba did not want to be made fun of on the blog, so I will not tell you about how SabaSarah have been continuing their daily show, "The Old Folks Tour Israel." It goes something like this: Wake up late, spend a good chunk of time moseying around the apartment, debating what to do today. Decide that whatever they did yesterday was too tiring, and they should take it easy today. Visit Ofer's Falafel (SabaSarah are now true believers in Ofer's.) Come back, nap. (The napability of SabaSarah rivals even Dadz.) Wake up, spend hours and hours doing puzzles with Yaakov and workbook activities with Ariella. Dinner. Discuss various aches. Oy, it's been a long day. Can't believe it's already 9:30! Time for bed!
On Thursday night, Donny and I put SabaSarah to work. They were in charge of the kiddies while Donny and I went out to celebrate. (Either my birthday or our anniversary; we haven't decided which yet.) We went out to an excellent restaurant in Jerusalem - Gabriel - where we had one of the best steaks ever, and Donny ordered a "mishke kef" for me. It was orange. I enjoyed.
On Friday we had an Israeli chavaya that, embarrassingly, we have not yet experienced: The Beach. No one had gan/kaytanah, so we headed out around 10 in the morning, to the beach in Rishon L'Tzion. It was pretty empty, and there were dozens of beach chairs and umbrellas set up. We found ourselves a nice cushy spot, with a bench, a big table, and umbrella. We started unloading - toys, hats, taking off shoes, etc. Within about ten seconds, a waitress descended upon us with menus. Apparently, we were most welcome to sit at this particular spot - provided we ordered 30 NIS worth of food. (Again, no one here accepts Poofahs. Yet.) We declined, reloaded our stuff, and headed over to one of the "free" umbrellas and beach chairs. Began re-unloading. We had been there maybe a minute, when Umbrella Man descended on us. Use of the umbrella, it seemed, was 10 NIS. Well, we forked it over, since the other option was to fry. The kids and I started digging for shells - there were LOTS of shells for the taking. Donny was sitting on the chair, reading, when suddenly Umbrella Man was back. Only this time, he was Chair Man. Use of the chair, it seemed, was 15 NIS. Per chair. At this point Donny decided reading on the mat on the sand was just as good. We were wondering if we would have to pay for the sand space we took up, or for the shells the kids were collecting with frenetic energy. Luckily, we got those for free! Awesome! The whole paying thing was all very stealth - there were no signs anywhere indicating that we were required to pay for any of these amenities. You just find out by accident. Look for beachumbrellabyaccident, my latest book on vacationing in the Holy Land. We all had a really great time, and everyone went into the water and got their feet wet. Ariella insisted that we are, in fact, moving backwards when the waves rush in. Since I kind of think that also, it was hard to disagree. SabaSarah joined us a little bit later for some more fun in the sun.
Two bathroom trips and fifty million shells later, we decided to have a snack. I pulled out some cherries. Yaakov had a hard time understanding that if he touched his shells in between each cherry, he would end up with sand on his hand, and consequently, in his mouth. Trying to wash the grains of sand off a 3 year old's hand is like, well, trying to wash the grains of sand off a 3 year old's hand, so I told him it was okay to just eat the sand. Now, I wasn't advocating grabbing fistfuls of the stuff and chowing down; however, SabaSarah were quite amused and taken aback by the "Eat sand" edict, and so I'm dedicating the next chapter in "Leave Me Alone So I Can Read the Paper," called "Just Eat The Sand" to SabaSarah.
People, a huge aliyahbyaccident milestone has been reached! Now, I know some astute Loyal Readers are thinking, "Wasn't it just July 17? Doesn't that mark one year from when Gila was rejected from the youth director position at the Young Israel of Plainview and she and Donny decided to take the plunge and make aliyahbyaccident, and then began the 6 weeks of doing the last-minute paperwork, planning for the lift, doing lots and lots and lots of shopping, and having LISA run around Israel, to the ends of the earth (Buchman Darom), trying to find a suitable apartment?" If you were indeed thinking that, you are correct!
But we have reached another Milestone - THIRTY Loyal Readers. Now, aliyahbyaccident, like me, has left its twenties behind. Our two latest LR's are Israel, of the famous Weisser family, who also made aliyah last summer, and whose blog you can follow here; and CAB, of the famous Taxi family. Lame joke, but CAB, please identify yourself so you can be properly welcomed! And a welcome to Loyal Reader in Abstentia, Rena "Leezy's friend" Ray. We hope Blogger will one day cooperate with you and allow your Loyal Readership to appear on the blog!
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