Our shabbat dinner last night at the Messers was wonderful. They have a beautiful home in the German Colony, just a 5 minute walk from our apartment. We ate Shabbat dinner outside on the gorgeous patio, surrounding by flowers, and the weather was perfect. I understand why that spot is one Sara and Hyim's favorite. Despite the fact that only half the Messer family is in town (Barbara and her two daughter's), there were quite a few guest, a bit of an eclectic group. The conversation was interesting and the food was delicious, the boys and I stayed til past midnight. The girls never left. Naomi hit it off with Naomi (age 11), and Ilana hung out with Danielle (age 9 I think), and they both wound of spending the night. Sara, you did well with this match!
In the morning, the boys and I went to the Pinsker shul and then I walked over the get the girls. But they didn't leave. I would up bringing them bathing suits and they went with the Messers to the King David Hotel pool. The boys and I had lunch in the apartment after visiting with Efrat's family at the kiddush. Her grandfather lives in the building and they were celebrating his 90th birthday. We met her brothers, sister-in-law, nephew, aunts, uncles, the whole shebang. After reading and playing games for a few hours we went to pick up the girls at the pool.
The King David is beautiful, as I mentioned a few days ago, and the pool area is amazing. Right smack in the middle of the city, it is huge and lush and green. There are chairs in the pool to lounge, a restaurant, and a huge grassy area with a small playground. As we walked into the pool area we walked right into Stanley Raskas! He looks great, it was nice to catch up, here is here with his wife visiting a couple of his kids. And of course, it turned out that Barbara knows Stanley as well. It is such a small world... So we chatted and bit and then said our goodbyes. The girls had a great time, Naomi and Naomi found a lot of common ground, and we so appreciated the Messer's hospitality.
So then we went from one pool to the next. We took a short stroll over to the Dan Panorama to hang out and swim with the Perlmans, and were with them at the hotel, or at our apartment, until it was almost the end of Shabbat. We all walked over to the kotel for maariv and havdalah. We were wondering how havdalah would work, how all the necessary item would get here. Well, there was b'samim (mint) stuck in bunches in the mechitza and in the back fence, and women peered over the mechitza/fence to be able to see/hear men doing havdalah. No idea where the candles and wine came from. I thought there might be more singing, dancing, festivities but there just were not. We then walked home among falling apart kids, hoping to get them together enough to go over to a Babette's waffles near Ben Yehuda at the recommendation of Sara. And we did it! We made it to the Ben Yehuda area which was bustling with families and lots and lots of teens and young adults. it was defintely a younger crowd. The waffle place is a tiny tiny store, packed with people. The waffles are huge and can be ordered with a variety of toppings including standard fare like chocolate, butterscotch, whipped cream, but also the more unexpected like sour cream or halva. Have I said that I am going to miss eating out? The waffles were delicious but the kids were pooped. So we said our sad goodbyes to the Perlman's and trudged back to the apartment, by now it was well after midnight, but we did make the most of our last night in Jerusalem.