So this summer we went to israel for a couple weeks for our last part of summer vacation. Israel is where I was born and where 85% of my family lives. We try to visit Israel once a year not only because travel reasons, but because we want to be able to visit my family.
The first week we were in israel, we stayed up north at my aunts house. She lives in a Kibbutz called Hefziba. This is definitely different then my norm because I love city life and shopping (who doesn’t lol) and this kibbutz is the opposite. Was hard, but this helped us do more outdoor type of touring. We first took to kids to Haifa where they have a children’s science museum (MadaTech Haifa). The girls absolutely loved it. They had plenty rooms with different science experiments and videos. We spent a good 3-4 hours there before heading out for dinner and back home.
The next day we went to Tiberias. Wow was it hot!! It was in the 100’s. I thought Miami was bad, but this took it to a whole new level! There we had a delicious lunch and took a private boat we drove on the Kineret with the kids. The boat was old and slow, but kids were loving it as we let them drive it. After that ride, of course we had to get ice cream! Who doesn’t get ice cream in israel!!! That same night we went to Tzfat where we ate dinner and visited friends who recently moved there from Miami.
Following that, we went to Mayanot Harod (springs). This was literally the highlight of the entire trip for the girls!! The deepest the springs were was a foot and my youngest who doesn’t yet know how to swim just loved it! They played in it for hours!! And they found this gooey stuff at the bottom (fungus lol), but they didn’t believe me and thought it was so cool and were just playing with it! As long as they had fun! After that we went to GanGaroo which is a Australian Zoo that has kangaroos. Let me just say, best Zoo ever! Yes it was small (everything in israel is smaller compared to the States). But the reason for it being the best was because there was a large gated area with Kangaroos, but you are allowed to go in and play with the kangaroos and feed them etc! They girls were in heaven and did not want to leave! My youngest was even hugging one and saying she’s loves him! My girls also learnt that Koalas don’t live off of trees. They said they always stay on trees, no matter if giving birth, eating etc. And they eat Eucalyptus tree leaves which are poisonous but they have a bacteria in their body that kills the poison (I guess same for the kangaroos as they ate the same thing).
We then headed to Rosh Hanikra Grottoes. That place I did when I was in seminary at the age of 19 (talking 11 years ago!). It was more of an hour adventure, but was so nice seeing the caves and water/ocean. The kids even enjoyed. Only downside, it was really hot. I literally could not breathe LOL. After that, we decided to head back to Haifa where we took the girls to a jumping place (trampolines) called iJump and then dinner.
After we left up north, we headed to Jerusalem which is my favorite place! Jerusalem is a happening city. Always things going on, tons of restaurants to chose from, shopping (LOL!), tons of ice cream shops for my kids, but the main highlight is the Western Wall. We did that one day and thankfully we did it towards the evening because during the day it is scorching hot!! It such a beautiful place to go to and many cultures go there as it is a sacred place. I love going there and the fact I go around once a year, makes it more special because I am not there often. Those who live in Jerusalem (or Israel even) visit very often. People go there to pray, ask G-d for help, health, etc (whatever their heart desires). I love the feeling you get going there. This place is a must visit if you go to Israel. I don’t think there is one person who visited Israel and didn’t go to the Western Wall.
While in Jerusalem, we also when to Hebron. That is where Ma’arat Hamachpela is (where our forefathers and mothers are buried). Every time we go there, I am so nervous because you drive through the Arab cities in bullet proof buses. Not only that! This time our bus was breaking down on the way! Thankfully we made it to the Jewish City and switched buses to continue heading there.
Towards the end of our trip, we basically did more family oriented things (as 80% of my family lives there) and last minute shopping for items we need that are way more expensive in the States.
I cannot wait for the next time we go to Israel. Just need to teach the girls to get along more and not fight every second of the trip (LOL – but no really)!