Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jerusalem Trip - Landing

So on Day 1 I landed in Tel Aviv.  I found my bags alright and had to pick up two because they made me check my carry on for the flight from London.  I pulled out my camera bag and just had my back pack and that worked out well.  My luggage was a little dirty but in good shape.  Jerusalem's airport has boring bathroom signs but I took a picture of them because of the one I took in London.

I then had to go through passport control and it was like passing a school test and my standby answer was "Umm, Jerusalem?".  The other thing to keep in mind is that the other half of this conversation was very grumpy and interrogative and we all know how well I do with those situations :)
Where are you going?  
Ummm, Jerusalem.  
My sister lives there?  
What's your sister's name?  
Melissa Oliver.  
Where does she live?  
Umm, Jerusalem?  
How long has she lived here?  
2 1/2 years.  
Is she an Israeli citizen?  
No, she is an American citizen.  
Then why has she lived here so long?  H
er husband works for the state department and this is where they are stationed.  
Where will you be traveling exactly?  
Umm, Jerusalem?  

So then I land and I didn't have to do Customs because I wasn't declaring anything.  I didn't have anything worth declaring or that had to be declared.  Anyway, so then I got to see my kiddos again.  I love seeing my kiddos.  They were across the courtyard from me and ran into the DO NOT ENTER zone to say hello.  Cambree looks like a young women now and Jorden is only a few short months away from looking like a teenager.  Taylor still is a goofball but has gotten quieter and Kaelen is still Kaelen.  Jaikob has gotten sweeter if that was even possible.  I got a thousand kisses yesterday when we had to hold hands.  Kaelen tried to open mouth kiss me yesterday and I told him I don't kiss fish!

We left the airport and traveled to home and we passed switchbacks made of stone and Jerusalem truly is a city on the hill.  Everything here is tan and is made out of Jerusalem stone.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  It is interesting to see such beautiful buildings next to ones in desperate need of repair!  But we made it to her house and then it was time for breakfast.  This poor family had to be out the door by 4:45 to come and get me.  They must really love me!!!  Breakfast was a fun game of who could steal Aunt Ohleo's apples.  My apples were handled by all of the kids, except for Taylor, as they hid them and ate them.  And then Melissa would cut more and my bowl would magically be filled again, only to be stolen or hidden or touched again.  It was a pretty fun game and we were all laughing and being silly.  Then we got ready and went to start our hike for the day.  


The "Hot Car"!!  How awesome is that?

Public Recycling

That knob is how trash bins are lifted into trash trucks.  It was fascinating to watch!

I found this family in more than one location!!

I was lucky enough to miss the storm that hit Flagstaff but I must have boasted too loudly because I got the storm that hit Jerusalem.  It was a COLD rain and I mean like COLD rain.  I was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans and was starting to get cold.  Some of the kiddos weren't even that dressed and eventually I gave up my sweatshirt to poor Taylor.  Him and I must have a thing where that is how it works because I gave up my sweatshirt, the same sweatshirt actually, to him in D.C. and in New Hampshire.  Anyway, so we started hiking and I was some how in the lead but had no idea where we were going.  I tend to be American in trying to cross the street and wait for a break in cars.  Here, you just cross the street and pray the cars stop.  They do a good job of not running red lights here because the other side of traffic gets a yellow light telling them to get ready to go and if you don't stop at your light then they will hit you.  I love that some of the cross walks are different.  You cross part of the street at a time because there is a median that you stop at until you can finish crossing.  Anyway, at this light the first green guy was fat and had been etched to be much bigger and the light right next to it the guy had been etched to be built.  He wasn't regular size and it just made me giggle!  We also had a flashing yellow light that had a smiley face in it.  I thought of "It's your breakfast and it is happy to see you!"  But this stop light was happy to see me!  Anyway, we wandered and wandered and wandered and wandered and then made it to a overlook of the old city.  I took lots of photos and got some great ones of the kids as well.  It was fun to watch them goof off and run and jump and play as we took photos.  We played at a park and I learned some history of the city and where things were.  I saw the Jerusalem center, the Dome of the Rock, the City of David and other things but I saw them from across the valley.  I also saw where they think Lehi hiked out of Jerusalem with his family and WOW!!!  Later we would see a rainbow arch over the Dome of the Rock.  Melissa hadn't ever seen a rainbow here and it should have made for an amazing photo.  I can't wait to check out the photos from yesterday!  Jorden thinks it was because I was here that the rainbow appeared.  

Public drinking fountains.

Then we went and hiked to see the aqueduct that runs from Bethlehem to Jerusalem.  It is underground but someone built a mosaic of it.  It was pretty cool to see how far that water travels.  Then it was time to go to Pistachios.  This was a cafe type place that serves pizza, sandwiches, salad, pasta, and ice cream.  I ordered the avocado sandwich and it was FABULOUS!!!  It had avocado, hard boiled egg, lettuce, and tomato and I just loved it!  The little boys ate there while our sandwiches were being made and the rest of us walked home to eat ours.  On the way home it started to pour and then it got really cold.  At this point I gave Taylor my sweatshirt because we were all soaked.  I took a picture when I got home and I didn't realize how bad my hair was because it shouldn't be a very flattering photo.  Anyway, then it was lunch time and Kaelen kept trying to get his hands on my drink.  Melis kept telling him no but it didn't keep him distracted for very long and he ate like 20 green olives and wouldn't have eaten more but they were all gone.  What a strange 4 year old!  I forgot that when we got home that we all had to change clothes because we were all frozen and dripping.  The pants that I was wearing had a hole in them, well I discovered it when I landed but had forgotten and so I was fine to change out of those clothes.  I changed and then Melis and I went back out to go find scarves and other treasures.  I had to borrow another sweatshirt because mine was still wet.  

The two of us wandered the streets in the rain but with an umbrella this time.  It was fun to spend time with her again.  I have missed that part of her living here.  It is one thing to chat on the phone but another to chat as we wander and shop!  We talked about all sorts of topics and all sorts of girly things.  I loved shopping for scarves and fell in love with all of the ones we bought.  They are so pretty and now I don't want to give any away.  Melissa paid for them yesterday because I hadn't switched to shekels yet and the Consulate wasn't open.  It costs about $20 for the 8 scarves I bought.  There is a really beautiful chocolate brown one and several others that are two toned.  I am in heaven!!  Melissa and I got "lost" on our way home and chatted in the driveway for a long time.  I really enjoyed chatting.  I did fairly well staying away and alert through out the day but when the kiddos sat me down to watch "Earth", I was passed out before the movie ever really started.  I then slept in Jorden's room and slept really well.  I woke up once and then was out again very soon.  It was a good first day.  

Today we head to the Old City again and will probably forgo going to the City of David because it will be SO cold.  We will go back later this week to catch that part.