Feeds:
Posts
Comments

I would be remiss if I didn’t have some Eiffel Tower pix, of course – and more shots of Paris light on buildings.

On a side note I have to say, my two kids were just amazing about walking 28,000 plus steps a day and trying on all sorts of new and exotic foods while we walked.  They are so much fun to travel with… already can’t wait to do it again!  IMG_2533IMG_2545IMG_2553IMG_2554IMG_2572IMG_2573IMG_2574IMG_2575IMG_2576IMG_2577IMG_2579

More scenes from Paris..

Somehow miraculously the rain that week stopped for us so we could walk and explore.  We got to spend some time around the Grand Palais and the Louvre.  Even in colder weather, the grounds of the Grand Palais were inspiring.  The Louvre was – as always – really crowded, but fun to mill around.   And we found king cakes (galette des rois) in shops everywhere to start off the new year right.  The kids were truly delighted to discover a Perrier fountain in the middle of a public square where we could continuously fill our water bottles with Perrier.  I’m not even lying!

IMG_2503

IMG_2504

ahhh more gorgeous light!

IMG_2505IMG_2507IMG_2509IMG_2511IMG_2516IMG_2518IMG_2521IMG_2523IMG_2528IMG_2530

Here it is the end of the month and I still have photos of our trip from 2019 to share!  While we had more than a ‘stop over’ in Paris (we stayed a couple nights) it didn’t feel like enough time to see it all.  But taking in the gorgeous painter’s ‘light’ that everyone told me about, and the super romantic architecture everywhere… I can see why my husband wanted me to see this city so bad.  The kids loved it too.  Our first night was about settling into our cute Airbnb and then walking around the 10th arrondissement. We got there in the afternoon but the sun seemed to set in Paris at about 4 and then didn’t rise again until 9 a.m!  Zoe seized the opportunity to wear her favorite sparkly beret as soon as she could, and was happy to learn that macarons are gluten free!

IMG_2470IMG_2471IMG_2472IMG_2473IMG_2475IMG_2478IMG_2481IMG_2486IMG_2491IMG_2495

Jordan and Petra

Wow .. I must admit, this part of our trip just blew my mind.  It reminded me of when I’ve traveled to less touristed rural areas of India (which I love!)  And frankly if we had more time,  we could’ve hiked around and found so much more.  But it’s a lot of terrain to cover.  It was amazing to learn that Bedouin communities still live in these caves – and the erosion of the stone around here is so beautiful; revealing so many differing colors of minerals.  At first it seemed crowded with tourists but then after hiking around for hours, I had moved beyond the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ feeling and this mystical place took on a whole new meaning of its own.

490C8342-78A4-4DF1-B694-82CE0D1BA196

glorious Treasury at Petra!

DSC_7968

People do still live here in the caves

DSC_8134

camels galore!

DSC_8199

DSC_8251

Jordanian flag waving proudly by this monumental site

IMG_2380

IMG_2388

cousin Tali examines the foot of an ancient and worn statue

IMG_2390

DSC_8138

cousin Jake gets bit while getting a selfie near a camel ; )

IMG_2395

Zoe keeps her distance

IMG_2401

IMG_2407

carrying his drum sticks, even into a cave in Jordan!

IMG_2412

look at all that patterns in that stone –

IMG_2421

IMG_2433

and in the end, a stop for rose water treats and lunch in a restaurant nearby

I don’t even know what to say because it’s almost more rewarding just to enjoy the sprawling desert scenes/photos … which at times reminded us of canyons in the States (only different in that they were so ripe with archeological finds that are so much older.)  Makhtesh is not quite a ‘crater’ but filled with wildlife like these sweet and unafraid ibex who approached us in the park.  The makhtesh is named after a beloved Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon – who perished in the space mission Columbia.  Solomon’s Pillars and the Mushroom Rock are grand and otherworldly themselves.. it was yet another beautiful day of hiking at least 20 thousand steps over rocks and sand!

IMG_2335IMG_2338

IMG_2339

‘camel rock’ really looks like a camel !

IMG_2348

friendly critters are usually out at dusk and sunrise

IMG_2351IMG_2357IMG_2358IMG_2362

IMG_2363

Solomon’s Pillars… so majestic!

IMG_2364IMG_2365

IMG_2366

these cuties; always ready to pose

IMG_2368IMG_2369IMG_2372

IMG_2373

the famed ‘mushroom rock’

Some of the most exciting leg of our trip happened in these places… especially according to the kids! Needless to say – floating in the Dead Sea is the biggest hit for kids.  We loved the healing mud and other-worldly float on water that is made of up at least 1/3rd salt and minerals.  We also learned how one would farm in the desert, and tasted the world’s greatest tomatoes and berries.  And Mount Masada – amazing!  The kids’ heads were stuffed with stories of King Herod, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony to name just a few .. and it’s amazing to me how much ancient proof of existence lies everywhere.  The smartest cistern and public water system exists here as well..

IMG_2305

IMG_2280

Zoe watches people walk up, from the comfort of the tram

IMG_2282

atop Masada and the blue Dead Sea in the background

IMG_2283

IMG_2285

IMG_2292

the gang’s all here!

IMG_2294IMG_2296

Screen Shot 2020-01-10 at 5.21.43 PMScreen Shot 2020-01-10 at 5.22.00 PM

IMG_2308

a dip and mud bath in the Dead Sea..

 

Screen Shot 2020-01-10 at 5.22.15 PM

so much hard layering of salt

IMG_2316

best tasting berries ever…

IMG_2317

the trick is to grow them OVER the sand

IMG_2319IMG_2320IMG_2321

IMG_2325

I now have new ideas on how to tame our tomato growth!

By night we did a quick run to the Christian Quarter to see the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Christian Quarter.   The site was packed .. and it was hard to move around .. but this mix of Greek Orthodox and Armenian church architecture was fascinating.  By dark we made our way back to the Wailing Wall and got a glimpse over the city while walking back to our hotel…

IMG_2225IMG_2228IMG_2229IMG_2235IMG_2238IMG_2242IMG_2243IMG_2244IMG_2246IMG_2247IMG_2249

 

While we had some cold, drizzly weather to start –  the clouds did eventually part and we had some delightful sunshine while starting our tour of Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter.  What a fascinating city of history and culture.  By the time we got to the wailing wall with grandma and grandpa (the folks who catalyzed this trip in the first place) the sun and blue sky made an appearance for us.  It was so moving to be at the wall as several generations of Jewish family… grandparents, parents and kids.   When we walked around on our own – we found winding little streets where neighbors repurposed their recyclables and made charming art on their front gates and homes.  And the kids loved trying on the food at the Old City muslim market before Shabbat – we learned that Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol of righteousness (because it is said to have 613 seeds, which corresponds with the 613 mitzvot, or commandments, of the Torah.)  No wonder there’s pom juice and seeds everywhere!  IMG_2154IMG_2157IMG_2164IMG_2165

IMG_2171

more cats snoozing in market stalls…

IMG_2173IMG_2176

IMG_2180

moving moments at the Western Wall with grandma

attachments

Ezra and grandpa leave a note..

IMG_2184

IMG_2210

feasting on pomegranate seeds

IMG_2214IMG_2217IMG_2219

Tel Aviv and Jaffa

This crazy, fun, warm city built out of desert – filled with frenetic markets and halva, dried fruits, pickles and nuts, and the oldest history and most beautiful Ottoman era culture and architecture.  We had our first taste of shawarma here and .. did I mention the halva?  It’s everywhere, and that made me very very happy …

IMG_1998

IMG_2001

market full of yummy olives and options

IMG_2002

halva or halvah or halwa – any way you slice it, I love it!

DSC_6267

DSC_6335

apparently Ben-Gurion use to like to do handstands on the beach, as does Zoe!

DSC_6373

DSC_6393

before and after photo showing that Jaffa truly stands on desert

DSC_6463DSC_6499

DSC_6501

I love these outdoor boxes that keep the menorah glowing for all to see

DSC_6504

DSC_6519

more halva!

DSC_6523

spice towers at the market

DSC_6524

these folks don’t mess around with their love of pomegranates

IMG_2017IMG_2022

IMG_2025

a cat snoozes at a Yemenite jeweler’s studio

IMG_2031IMG_2050IMG_2845IMG_2850IMG_2862

 

Traveling into 2020!

Wow… it was an epic “year end of travel”:   4 countries in 2 weeks from Dec 21 to Jan 4!  We have lots of pix to share… starting with beautiful Lisbon which is where we had a quick 6 hour layover before traveling on to Israel.  Stay tuned for more pix!

 

Lovely Lisbon full of textures, patterns and colors.  We hope to return again some day, and have more time.  The only thing Zoe didn’t like were all the canned anchovies and sardines – The Portuguese love canning up their seafood ; )

90C3B861-3E64-461C-B01E-D716C377B418DSC_6100DSC_6135DSC_6173

DSC_6199

who doesn’t love pink streets?!

DSC_6209DSC_6213IMG_1928IMG_1936IMG_1938IMG_1939IMG_1945IMG_1948IMG_1953IMG_1957IMG_1959