Flew United Airlines, Wed. Mar. 16 from Milwaukee to Newark and then on to Ben Gurion. Arrived at 9am Thursday, March 17. Spent day relaxing at Mike and Ruth’s in Mevaseret Zion. Mike made a nice chicken shnitzel lunch.
Friday, March 18 – Ruth and Gefen raced in the Jerusalem Marathon. Ruth ran the 25k and Gefen the 5k! Granma Norma and Saba Ellie came over and we all had a nice Shabbat dinner. Ben recited the Kiddush.
Saturday, March 19 – We were (incl. Ruth, Mike & kids) invited to Elan and O’Delia Wasserman’s apt. in Nes Ziona for a delicious meat BBQ luncheon with Marcie, Etay and Karen and family. Afterwards Norb and Judy stayed overnite at Marcie’s home in Rishon LeZion.
Sunday, March 20 – Spent day with Marcie. Planned on going to the Rabin Museum in Tel Aviv. On main Tel Aviv highway Marcie’s car overheated resulting in 2 hours waiting for a tow truck. Pleasant conversations with Marcie passed the time. The tow driver hauled her car and we took a cab (wonderful, patient driver) back to Rishon. Ate lunch at Aroma Cafe and bused back to Jerusalem. Mike met us at bus station. Went to Ben’s basketball game in the evening. Ben’s team was swamped, but we loved watching a budding basketball star in Ben!
Monday, March 21- Toured Machane Yehuda in the Old City with Sybil Kaplan, whom Judy knew from Hadassah. Mike met us and we had lunch at Murdoch’s, a wonderful Morrocan bistro (fabulous eggplant). In evening went to dinner at Cafe Hillel with family and Norma and Ellie as we had our mutual wedding anniversary date (not in years).
Tuesday, March 22 – Spent day with Norma and Ellie. Drove to the Port of Tel Aviv and walked around the boardwalk, took in the interesting sites, enjoyed the sun & sea and had nice lunch together.
Wednesday, March 23 – Went with Mike and kids to the Kotel (Western Wall). I deposited some $30 tzedaka money I collected from Temple Menorah minyonaires for upkeep/maintenance of the Kotel. We haggled in the Arab shuk and had a huge, delicious Mizrachi (traditional Israeli) style lunch at Steakeo in Talpiot with all the small salad plates and loads of pita.
Thursday, March 24 – We celebrated Ruth’s birthday with a wonderful luncheon at Kohinoor Indian restaurant in Jerusalem off Ben Yehuda St. We walked around Ben Yehuda Street with all the amazing shops, etc. At nite Mike, Ben and Norb went to Purim/Megillah reading service at a nearby small shul. The kids, incl. Mike & Ruth were all decked out in crazy/wonderful costumes & makeup for the joyful celebration of Purim [much more colorful than we’ve ever seen in Milwaukee!).
Friday, March 25 – Walked downhill to Mevaseret Mall & beyond to view the greatest Purim parade we’ve ever seen! Must’ve had hundreds of kids & adults participating in costume. Even shook hands with the Mevaseret mayor as he walked by. Had surprise 70th birthday party for Ellie in afternoon. Papa Norb pitched & caught baseball (tennis ball) with Ela. Discovered she’s a terrific hitter with great potential! Gefen went out with friends and had an accident running and had to come home. Ben celebrated until wee hours with friends.
Saturday, March 26 – Dined at Elvis Restaurant (Abu Ghosh) with Norb, Judy, Norma, Ellie, Ruth and Mike with friends Matthew and Liz and family. In evening Ben, Norb and Judy went with Kenny Sacks, who spoke with a college tour group in Jerusalem. Group was from UW-Madison!
Sunday, March 27 – Had tea and cake at King David Hotel in Jerusalem with Sheldon Ritz. Wonderful touring the Israel Museum. Met Mike and had lunch (gratis per AnyDate) with Eric Esses at Sima’s. Rest of day spent with family. It must be mentioned that we so enjoyed the overjoyed excitement that Kylie, the family ShitZu dog displayed with us & the female black/white, overly friendly cat, Catalina, who couldn’t get enough petting from us! Airport bus picked us at around 7pm. Mike went with us as he had to go to US on business… very fortunate for us! He also upgraded us to Economy Plus! Flight left at 11:15 PM to Newark and then on to Milwaukee. Arrived home via ride from bro Rod, at 9am, Monday! WHAT A WONDERFUL TRIP… special thanks to MIKE, RUTH, BEN, GEFEN & ELA!