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Archive for the ‘Food Adventures’ Category

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!

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ahhh more gorgeous light!

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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

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more cats snoozing in market stalls…

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moving moments at the Western Wall with grandma

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Ezra and grandpa leave a note..

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feasting on pomegranate seeds

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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 …

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market full of yummy olives and options

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

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

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before and after photo showing that Jaffa truly stands on desert

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

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more halva!

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spice towers at the market

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

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a cat snoozes at a Yemenite jeweler’s studio

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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 ; )

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who doesn’t love pink streets?!

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Zoe’s sweet little school had a “bake off” to end all bake offs. Judges included our District Council Member Danny Dromm and others who are running for local office – as well as MC’d by students’ parents and even including some talented dads in a band!  The sweets really ranged from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Holiday treats.  And there were about 32 different desserts to test!  I don’t know how the judges fit it all in..

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Being on Arthur Ave is like taking a step back in time to when I lived in a predominantly Italian American neighborhood.   Shops stuffed with cannoli shells – ready to be filled with fresh cream.   Bakeries making fresh bread around the clock, cold cuts and marinated artichokes.   We ate in a restaurant that had old wood paneling on the walls and painted scenes of Venice, and men donning pinky rings while eating a four course meal at noon.  The smells and sights always take me back… and not surprisingly, all this Christmas decor was pulled out days before Thanksgiving – no holding back.  There is a little peek into the Spanish speaking population there… in the cigar making stand and the  ‘ferreteria’ (Spanish for hardware store):

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I love this tradition we have of having our own party in the alley for Halloween.  Residents came up with their own ‘station’ to have in back of their home or in their garage.  We made a photo booth of sorts (selfie station) and there was a cookie decorating zone, a ‘chocolate (fountain) bar’, potions-making station, apple bobbing area .. and of course we had to finish the fun all up with a ‘make a mommy into a mummy’ out of toilet paper contest.

 

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