This is Mike only - sitting at Ben Gurion, staring at Duty Free and Chabad (the McDonalds was before security). Traveling alone is a lot easier than with 4 kids in tow.
Today first - it is Sami's birthday! And, to celebrate, she came to Netanya with her kids with the sole reason being to take me and Noah to visit Hela and Mundek, very (very) close friends of the family. Hela and my grandfather were friends from Poland and Mundek carried my father across one of the borders in Europe after the war. Mundek looks good; Hela is looking old and frail and her memory is failing. We had a nice visit with them. Of course, they served us fruit and pastries and cold water and soda. We told them what we were doing and we heard a bit about them. It was nice having that connection.
Before Sami came, Sima and I went to the Bank. Guess what? We were only kept waiting 35 or 40 minutes for our 9 a.m. appointment. Then, it took forever, but we actually got our money. Sami met us there. We had a little cake for her back at the apartment. While we were visiting, her kids, Sima, Donna and our 3 youngers went to the beach. Sami and kids left, and we went to the beach. We all got burned. Can't wait for this flight with a burnt stomach. We walked to a section of the beach with wave breaks, so it was extemely calm. We had to walk awhile and we saw several jelly fish (no big deal) and one dead real fish (big deal for Eitan!). We only say one woman topless (big deal for Noah and Naomi, but for very different reasons) but since she saw us coming her little dog made for a very creative bikini top. The kids played in the sand, floated, jumped, swam a bit and had a great time. But, I think they are done with the beach for a day or 2 as Eitan had to sleep with wet towels on his back last night (he wore his shirt in the sea today). Oh yeah, he lost another tooth!
Then we showered, changed and I packed and went out for Moroccan food at the old Pizza Hut. They did an amazing job in the interior and it was good food. We also so a bride and groom taking picture by the waterfall, etc. Then I got in the taxi and left. I will miss the little buggers and even Sima and Donna.
Yesterday .... so long ago, let's see if I can remember. Oh yeah, I spent 7 hours driving around looking at shoe stores: Givataiim, Ramat Gan, Petach Tikva, Givat Shmuel, Petach Tikvah. Lots of shoes. There is a brand of shoes in Israel called Caligula! Who woulda guessed. While I was having fun, Sima and the kids went grocery shopping and to the beach. When I returned to the apartment the kids were kinda pooped, so just Sima and I went to Zichron Ya'akov; one of the first cities settled by settlers from Aliyah Aleph in the 1880's. The main street has lots of quaint shops, artists, restaurants, etc. We bought the kids some books, Donna a watch to take into the sea and had dinner at a restaurant owned by the Tishbi winery. Getting gas on the way out was a story in and of itself that is best left untold.
I forgot to mention that we saw Mo and Larry Hartstein at the first IBL game - Mo emailed me a pic of Larry and Ken Holtzman.
Going to board soon. Hopefully Sima will continue the blog on her own.