Believe it or not, today we had a lazy day. We are all pretty wiped out after our huge week, so we just let everyone sleep in and most of us stuck around Netanya all day. Mike had to leave for Amsterdam this afternoon, but the most difficult leg of his journey was getting him to Ben Gurion. Our original plan was for Sima to drive him but the traffic between Netayna and Ben Gurion is so bad Sima did not want to spend 2 hours in the car getting him there and getting back, so we investigated other modes of transportation. Actually, we just called Moshe and asked him what to do. Moshe suggested that Mike take the train, he said it was very easy, but as nothing is truly easy in Israel Mike and Sima decided to do a pilot trip to the train station. So this morning the kids stayed behind glued to screens, and Mike and Sima easily made it to the train station and bought Mike's ticket for later that afternoon. We could see the sign for "Supersol Big" close to the train station, so we also decided to hit the grocery store. Even with the GPS directing us, the store seemed much closer than it was and after arriving there, finding the entrance to the parking lot was more challenging than it should have been. We figured out the change needed to rent a cart, saw 2 cars smash into each other in the parking lot, and then embarked on our shopping adventure. 45 minutes later, our cart filled with hummus, cold cuts, berrekas, pastry and lots and lots of yogurts we rushed back to the apartment so Mike could pack and eat lunch, and go back to the train station.
After Mike left, the girls went swimming and the boys walked down to the kikar looking to buy a paddle ball set for the beach. Then the kids vegged some more til Sima forced then to walk around town. We walked for several hours, ostensibly looking for colored pencils and those paddles. Eventually we found both, met up with Elianna Smith (from 3 years ago!) and had a dinner of shwarma or pizza sitting outside on another beautiful night. It was wonderful to see Elianna, she is working at an insurance company, about to move into her own apartment, and seems very happy. And it was like no time had passed -- the kids (and Sima) were so happy to catch up with her!
We all walked back to the apartment together, and then Sima walked Elianna back to the kikar so she could catch the bus, and exchanged girls picking up Shany! We are always so happy to see Shany! Shany is spending the night here tonight and traveling with us to mitzpe ramon tomorrow morning. Mike has safely arrived in Amsterdam and we will surely miss him -- such a shame he had to leave but he does have to work for living... It was nice to have a quiet day with friends, and now we should be rested for our big adventures tomorrow!