It was going to be a very pressured, not very fun, day. We were going to finish getting ready for school.
Then I received an invitation to join a select group of bloggers at Former Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's press conference about his education initiative.... in Likud Headquarters, in Beit Jabotinsky, in Tel Aviv!
It seemed like a great opportunity, but I really did not want to drive out to Tel Aviv. Besides everything else, the trip would eat up half of my day. Then it occurred to me that I could drive to Tel Aviv for the press conference, and, afterwards, take my kids to the beach!
A has been asking to go to the beach all summer! In an instant, I changed the focus of our last day of summer vacation from boring, stressful, school preparations to fun, exciting, family time!
Thanks to A Mother in Israel, I learned that there is a museum on the first floor of Beit Jabotinsky. We both brought our kids to the museum, where they spent the morning learning about Jabotinsky and the Etzel, while we were on the top floor at the press conference.
An hour later, my kids and I were on our way to Herzliyah, to the beach. Y proved to be an excellent navigator and we found a wonderful public beach, "Hof HaSharon."
(Moshe drove to Tel Aviv with us, and attended the press conference, but caught a ride back to Jerusalem with Carl, from Israel Matzav. The beach, on a hot summer day in August, is not for Moshe. He'd rather work in his air-conditioned office!)
We found a great parking space, adjacent to the beach entrance (There was plenty of free parking). Just as we arrived on the beach, another family vacated their spot under one of the pagodas, so we found a place in the shade to place our blanket! (really a sheet, but nevermind) Cool!
We had a wonderful afternoon! First we changed into bathing suits. Then we ate a picnic lunch on our blanket. Then we applied generous amounts of sunscreen, and headed into the surf.
We rode the waves for a while. The kids were excited by the dynamic ocean, but they did not like the salty taste of the water, or the burning sensation when water got in their eyes or throats.
I could have stayed out in the waves for hours, but my kids had enough. So, we waded back to shore, rinsed off, had a snack, then broke out the "matkot." (I felt so Israeli!) I brought two sets, so we all could play. MD and Y played with each other, and I played with A. None of us played very well, but we had fun, and laughed a lot!
Then we took a break, in the shade, had another snack, and returned to the water. When the kids were ready, (before I was, of course), we headed back to shore. There we collected shells and interesting stones. Many of the stones had naturally formed holes, that seemed perfect for making necklaces.
I could have spent hours combing the beaches for those beautiful stones and shells, but Y wanted to play another round of matkot. She literally dragged me away from the water, and we played, and laughed. After about half an hour, we sat down on some benches, and watched while MD and A played in the sand.
Too soon, we realized that it was time to go. After all, tomorrow is a school day.
We packed up our things, showered, changed, and headed for home. Of course, we got stuck in rush hour traffic, but we had good music and good company, and the ride home was fun too.
When we got to Jerusalem, we met Moshe and my sister for dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. It was the perfect ending to a near perfect day.
I had not planned on leaving my house today. But, thanks to Bibi's education initiative, our last day of summer vacation was one of the highlights of our summer!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,