Israel – First Night, Tel Aviv

So, we’re here! The plane ride was long but mostly uneventful. There was a bit of turbulence the first 30-40 minutes, the shimmy, shimmy, shimmy kind, but it wasn’t bad enough to be scary. Not to me at least. I was on the aisle, which made it hard to sleep, but I managed to get some in. I had an interesting experience upon landing and I’ll post that in video form in a bit.

This was basically a free night, so after we met up with the Boston folks, we headed to the hotel. The bus seats seemed absolutely palatial compared to being on on the plane. If that’s the kind of bus we’re having for the trip, it’ll be a nice ride.

Our hotel turned out to be right on the beach. I even have a few from my room. The rooms are fine. Not luxurious, but probably nicer than I would have bothered with. No free wi-fi though. At least you can buy time at about $5/hour.

After getting cleaned up, Gwen, Mitch, Patrick and I headed out for food. We found a place by the hotel right on the beach. We all shared a tasty hummus. This one was a little heavier on tahini than we usually get in the U.S. It also had plenty of garlic and lemon. I think I detected a bit of sumac as well. It came in a huge bowl and we completely demolished it. I had the Arabic salad as well. Finely chopped lettuce, tomato, cucumber, parsley and basil with lemon juice and olive oil. Refreshing after the airplane food. I also had a Weihenstephan beer. It was somewhere between a pilsner and a wheat beer. Very nice and quite potent.

After eating, we headed down to the beach to dip our toes in the water. Gwen and I both exclaimed how warm it was and either Patrick or Mitch complained that it was cold. Compared to the Pacific off of Northern California, it was like bathwater.

Tomorrow we head to Jerusalem. Here’s to hoping the internets are free there. Uploading is pretty slow on this connection, so I hope my video makes it up before I run out of time.