Monday, September 10, 2007

Playing tourist with the parents...

So yes, it's true. We've survived another visit from the parents. We survived the inevitable, disgusting heat that summer in Israel brings, and for the most part, we did our best to stay away from the blistering sun. We played tourist and tour guide, and somehow, despite the fact that they've been to visit us nearly every year for the past 16 years (have I really been living here for 16 years? Wow...), we still manage to take them places they've never been, and often, never even heard of before. The Sanhedrin burial caves at Beit Shearim, which I mentioned in a previous post, is one such place. The Little One delighted in running around the caves, descending steep stairs and climbing in and out of the various cave openings. Note the Husband in the shot below, entering one such cave as though it were Platform 9 and ¾ at King's Cross Station in London.


Forced into a state of semi-vacation mode, we found ourselves dining in a variety of restaurants around the north and center of the country. Fish and seafood was often the order of the day, and dining beachside on the Mediterranean was a regular occurrence. This picture was taken from our table at Manta Ray, where Savta Dotty and I switched plates about midway through the main course.

At "Ha'kdera Shel Noga", located on Moshav Beit Shearim, the spring chicken was a big hit.

While in Jerusalem (following a trip to the Sorek Stalactite/Stalagmite Caves outside of Beit Shemesh), we sat for a late lunch at a restaurant downtown, just off of Hillel Street. Sadly, the name of both the restaurant and the street it's on escape me (Help me, Jerusalemites! The side street has Blockbuster and Aroma on either corner of Hillel...), but I'm certain that we will make it a point to go back there whenever we find ourselves requiring sustenance in the capital. You know how it is. You enter a restaurant and peruse the menu. Sometimes, you can't find anything that strikes your fancy, while other times, there are so many mouthwatering choices that you just can't decide what you'd prefer. In this case, it was definitely the latter. I ordered the sweet potato ravioli while Mom and Dad both chose the eggplant and goat cheese ravioli. You have no idea... So, so good...

Lunch in Jerusalem was followed by a ride on the Jerusalem Time Elevator, which was followed by a walk to the Old City, skirting the Muslim and Armenian Quarters and a stroll through the Jewish Quarter(where we were startled to discover that the Hurva Arch is no longer standing, and has been turned into a construction site of sorts), ending on the stairs overlooking the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock, a site that never fails to take my breath away.


We spent one day up in Acco, wandering around the Old City and taking in the sites that Husband and I had somehow missed on all of our previous trips. I've always liked Acco, despite the fact that I find quite a few of the restaurants there to be a bit overrated, with the unpredictable service often found in establishments where the staff have an overdeveloped (and in many cases, undeserved) sense of importance. The antiquities are impressive, though, and the architecture is striking. Beware of shop owners who may take issue with your attire, especially if you happen to be a woman in a tank top and shorts.


And of course, all of this running around was simply the backdrop for the main event – allowing a certain little boy spend time with his grandparents. During our trip to the US in April, it was amazing to watch the Little One come to the realization that he would be unable to get by solely in Hebrew and slowly but surely switched to English in order to make himself understood. Following our return, he continued to use English, but as time passed, he eventually reverted back to Hebrew. In the company of his grandparents, he once again found himself in a situation that required him to speak English, and while he stumbled occasionally, his ability to switch back and forth upon request was great fun to observe, especially as he switched between accents as well.

On the morning of my parents' departure, the Little One and I were sitting together on the couch. I told him that I was sad because his grandparents had left. I was once again reminded of how much I love my son when he responded by patting my head and saying, "Don't worry, Mommy. I'll stay with you. I'll take care of you." When the Husband returned from the airport he was told, "Mommy's a little sad. She needs a hug and a kiss." And these are the moments that get me through the day, helping me to preserve my sanity as we watch "Toy Story" yet again (giving the phrase "to infinity and beyond" a whole new meaning), and I am told that I'm no longer his friend because I've cut off the cookie supply. Aaah, the joys of motherhood...

The photos below were taken at the ancient port in Caesarea.


(Some of the above photos were taken by me, while others - the better ones - are courtesy of my mother.)

4 comments:

Simon said...

The Jerusalem street is Rabbi Akiva. I don't know the specific restaurant -- there are a few there, and they may all have changed hands since I last ate at any of them.

nrg said...

ooh.... your mom is good with that camera!! Any chance of getting a few framed prints in the future?? :-)

Sarah said...

Posts like this make me want to visit Israel, which had never been on the top of my list! I just finished Theroux' "Pillars of Hercules" in which he circumnavigates the Mediterranean; one of his favorite parts of Israel was the food. I'd love to hear more about local food on your blog!

tafka PP said...

You had lunch at Focaccia, I think. I'll be with you next time!