Breakfast was awesome.
Unfortunately, I could not eat much.
But the rest of the family enjoyed: shakshouka, potato latkes (pancakes), baked zucchini, hard boiled eggs, tuna salad, fresh cheese spreads, Bulgarian cheese, sliced cheeses, fresh vegetables, homemade olives, hot chocolate, lemonade, and more….
We planned on buying lunch later, but, just in case, I took a couple of extra hard boiled eggs and some triangle cheese (that was packaged in squares, like butter).
After breakfast, we packed our bags. It took longer than expected to get going, but we finally got on our way.
We spent the entire first day at the Underwater Observatory.
Grabbing those basics turned out to be a really smart move – the restaurant did not have a Teudat Kashrut (Kosher Certification). Probably the only reason for that was that they were open on Shabbat, but the bottom line is we would not purchase cooked food there. I did not need to eat anything, but the rest of my family did.
We sat down at a table and ate the food, along with pretzels, cookies, and all sorts of other snack foods I had brought. Then we bought the kids, and Moshe, ice cream (packaged, with a hechsher). It was not very satisfying.
Suddenly, I noticed that they had a salad bar (it had been hidden by the crowd). We still had some packaged salad dressing from our breakfast at Yotvata. So, we got a large plate, filled with vegetables, and everyone (but me) shared that. It did the trick. My family was well-fed and ready to go.
We took things slowly. We all were still pretty tired, and I was downright exhausted!
We did everything but the underwater boat ride, for which we did not have tickets anyway, because we had not realized that we had to purchase them in advance (in addition to the entrance ticket)
We left as the place was closing and looked forward to resting (maybe even napping) in our room.
We had plans to bar-b-q with our friends (two other families), who were also vacationing in Eilat.
We had not yet heard from them, so we figured we had plenty of time. But, as soon as we arrived at the youth hostel, they called to say they were ready to go. Since they planned to b-b-q in the desert, we wanted to follow them out there (to Solomon’s Cavern). So, after a quick pit-stop, we were on our way, again.
It was so much fun!
I ate more than I had in days: two beef hotdogs (I had half a bun, then decided to skip the bread) and a hamburger. I haven’t been hungry since then! (It’s been three days, and I am still full.)
At one point, we noticed a light flashing on the opposite mountain. Turns out, my son had gone climbing… in the dark! *sigh* Never a dull moment.
Of course, we all completely crashed when we got back “home.” It was so worth it!
Good company, good food, and nature – what could be better?
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
a Soloveitchik visits Har Habayit
1 hour ago