Day 1 clarification: we started our BBQ around 9:30, not midnight
Despite loud, obnoxious music until around 4:00 in the morning, the night passed peacefully enough. We were all so tired, we slept through all the noise. I will never understand Israelis who blast music from their cars when they go camping!
In the morning, my tent felt a bit too stifling, so I moved a mizron shetach (camping mat) and my sleeping bag into the area between the two sections of the large tent, where the shade from the awning kept the air cool, and continued sleeping. People were already stirring all around us, but my crew slept on, oblivious to the activity around them. We all woke at our own pace.
Our morning passed without much ado. My two younger kids ate leftover BBQ food for breakfast. Only when camping can someone eat a hotdog or hamburger for breakfast! I made do with a couple of slices of apple, which my friend had left over.
Then the kids went to wade in the Kinneret.
Though we had emphasized finding a beach with a lifeguard, the lifeguarded area was a short way away, and the lifeguard wouldn't even be there until 8:30. I let my kids go wading together. Both are strong swimmers, and neither intended to swim out into the middle of the lake. After a while, I joined them.
By the time my eldest woke up, it was time for lunch. We had yummy brown bread and pastrama (Turkey Cold Cuts), which I had brought with us. By "we," I mean "my kids." I just sat and kept them company, and drank a lot of water.
After lunch, we all went back into the water.
At one point, my son wandered off on his own. We could see him, hunched over, wading by the reeds. After a while, he called out "I caught a fish!" He rejoined us, holding his hands just below the surface of the water. Sure enough, cupped in his hands, was a fish, about the size of a finger. I touched it. It felt wierd, and cold. My youngest daughter also wanted to hold the fish. She laughed as it tickled her hands with its fins. She passed the fish back to my son, who released it moments later.
My eldest found the idea of touching a fish repulsive.
Periodically, a dead fish would float by. We all agreed that was gross. At one point, several dead fish floated by; I found that rather off-putting. I had enough; I left my kids to continue romping in the water without me.
About an hour later, they had enough as well.
We all showered off, but remained in our swimsuits.
At around 2:30 in the afternoon, we tried to rest. The heat was overbearing.
By 3:00 in the afternoon, the heat and humidity was unbearable. We wet ourselves in the shower, so the warm breeze could cool us off -- God's own air-conditioning. When we dried off, we wet ourselves again. Rinse, cool off, dry out, rinse again. Repeat as needed. We did this for several hours.
At around 5:00, the air started to cool down, ever so slightly. From 5:00 to 7:00, the was also a very strong breeze. Our large tent knocked over, and I tore it a bit on the seem when I tried to set it upright.
We all were just waiting to go to supper at The Pagoda, where there would be air-conditioning! We had a reservation for 8:00.
Our friends from Sde Eliyahu decided to join us for dinner. They picked us up on the way, so I would not have to drive. At The Pagoda, the AC area was not that cool, but it was crowded and noisy. The host suggested we might be more comfortable in an area outside that was more secluded and cooled by dessert coolers. We checked it out and all agreed to eat there. My youngest, who is the most heat sensistive, like her father, sat directly in front of the two large fans/coolers.
The food was so delicious... and I could not eat it. For weeks, I anticipated savoring their wonderful soup and eggrolls. We ordered three different types of soups and I had a bit of each. That was it. I was done. I had one small fried wonton, and could barely manage that. I could not even take a bite of an eggroll. I watched as my family and friends enjoyed their meals. I tasted a few pieces of crispy duck, but could not eat any more than that. I did manage to eat a few bites of fried banana for dessert, but it was hardly satisfying. At least my kids enjoyed the meal! I did feel pleasure and satisfaction watching them relish their meal so much. That would have to be enough.
When we returned to our campsite, it was still hot.
My son informed his sister that he intended to sleep in his hammok that night. I had hoped to sleep in the hammok, but I did not want to insist on it I decided to sleep in his tent, but then my youngest daughter asked if she could sleep in his tent; I deferred to her. My eldest wanted to convince her siblings to let me sleep where I would be most comfortable, but I assured her that I would be fine and did not mind letting the kids sleep where they preferred.
In the end, my eldest and I slept side by side, under the awning between the large tents. We spoke for a few minutes, before drifting off to sleep.
It was hot.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Get in The Mood for Chanukah!
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