Phew. What a week. At this very moment, no one is asking "What are we DOING today, Mommy?" so I can update you on what we HAVE done so far.
Our Vacation Thus Far
On Sunday we headed to Ashdod (yes, we know it's not usually synonomous with "vacation" but it can be when you rent a house with a pool.) For Yaakov, a close second to the pool was that the house came with stairs and a water cooler. Things sorely lacking in our day-to-day lives. He spent much of our two days there trekking up and down the stairs and getting himself drinks.
We gained some insights into our children. For example, Yaakov will watch anything that is on TV. Anything. National Geographic (my personal favorite; the kids were very excited to watch a show about hyenas, lions, and monkeys. Lion King come to life.), cooking shows, fashion shows, cartoons, shoot 'em up movies, music videos...if it's on, he's glued.
We also learned that if someone can (nearly) buy treif food in Israel, it's the Roses. We did a mini-food shopping on Sunday to get cereal, milk, fruit, ice cream, and granola bars. We walked into a supermarket. It had a vague, Trader Joe-y like feel. Very upscale and healthy. The thing that tipped us off that this may not be a kosher supermarket were the cucumbers. Each cucumber was laid out perfectly, in neat little rows and not one cucumber was out of place. Supersol this was not. Then we noticed the signs were all in Hebrew and Russian. Then we noticed that we didn't notice any teudot. Then Donny said, "You know, I think I remember someone telling me that this supermarket chain is where Israelis can buy pork." So off we went, in search of teudot and Fruity Pebbles. Both of which we found about a block away.
On Tuesday, waterlogged as we were, we set off back home, stopping in Maaleh Adumim to visit our Real Israeli friends of ours, the Sassoons. On Wednesday, we had a Hot Jerusalem Day. Kotel, Old City, Davidson Center (the Southern Wall excavations.) The kids walked through an ancient palace, up the ancient stairs to where the Temple used to be, into an ancient mikvah, and even sat on ancient toilets. The highlight, for sure. Another thing I learned? The movie, located in the air-conditioned building, is a great place to nurse a sweaty, hot baby. So the kids trooped around with Donny, while Nadav and I hung out at the movies and in the Umayyad Palace. (No Umayyads were present, far as I could tell.) Then we stopped at the shuk, went out for dinner, and came home. Upon arriving home, we sat on the couch because we lacked energy to move.
Thursday was the day the kids have been looking forward to for a year. Last August, I took them to see Up in the movie theater. We saw a preview for Toy Story 3, and I promised them we would take them to see it when it came out. Yaakov's been asking every day this summer when we could finally go and see it. Well, the day had finally arrived. We drove to the Ayalon Mall in Tel Aviv, one of the few theaters with an earlyish (5:15) showing of the movie in English. We figured we would get dinner a the mall first. We checked out the food court. KFC - not kosher. McDonald's - not kosher. Chinese place - not kosher. Cafe Cafe - not kosher. We were starting to panic. Tel Aviv shares some of America's less than stellar characteristics, in that it lacks an abundance of kosher food. Would we be forced to eat chips for dinner? (Not the worst dinner, but still.) Luckily, the Aroma Cafe had a teudah, so we ate dinner and headed upstairs for the movie.
Nadav behaved admirably. Nursed and fell asleep. The kid likes movies, what can I say? Ariella and Yaakov, however, were traumatized. The movie was kinda scary - interrogation chairs (albeit made out of Lego), mean toys, and an incinerator, to name a few dicey moments. We spent the entire car ride home discussing the intricacies of the movie with Ariella. Yaakov, Mr. Buzz Lightyear himself, kept wailing, "I TOLD you we shouldn't go see Toy Story 3!"
I tried explaining to them that if they watch it again, it won't be as scary because they'll know how it ends and that everyone is okay. (I mean, they watch the first Toy Story without a problem, and let me tell you, that Sid is one sadistic SOB.) They remained skeptical. So I guess we need to add to the price of the movie for a family of 5 (yes, we needed to buy a ticket for Nadav) the added cost of Toy Story-induced therapy for two children. Oh well. Donny and I enjoyed the movie, at least.
And let me say, Nadav is one lucky baby. It took Ariella 6 years to see her first movie in a theater. Nadav? 3 months. The kid's been swimming, to the beach, museum, Kotel, Cutie (jumping around place for kids), out to eat in numreous restaurants, grape-stomping, parks....too bad he'd rather just stay at home and look at his mobile.
Next week the adventure continues up north. Of course, we still have to find "something to do today, Mommy!"