Monday, December 27, 2010

It was a dark and stormy morning...

By Josh Oppenheimer

After successfully checking-in our luggage and sweeping through security, we chilled out outside gate A7 anxiously waiting to see whether our flight would be delayed, or worse, cancelled due to the impeding snow storm. Some caught up on sleep, while others played cards and read their Cosmo. Fortunately, our flight would be the last to leave
New York and we quickly jetted over to Toronto. With a short lay over, giving some enough time to get their first legal beverage (as your son or daughter has probably been bragging, drinking age in Canada is 18), we got settled in for our trip across the pond and half way across the world. Most found the 11 hour flight manageable, with the immense selection of movies to choose from and the chance to catch a few hours of sleep here and there. At noon Tel Aviv time, we land, breezed past customs, got our luggage, played a name game, and headed to our bus where we met with our Tour Educator Raz, Medic Meytan, and Driver Eli. Then, it was off to the races. Raz must have sensed our grogginess, so we stopped at a strip mall where most of us tried our first, authentic Israeli falafel and coffee. With our bellies full and caffeine flowing through our veins, we headed to our first stop: the ancient Roman aqueducts on the Mediterranean by Caesarea. After another ice breaker (we were pushed to learn everybody’s name by Wednesday), we had the chance to take pictures on the beach with an Israeli cowboy on a horse silhouetted against the setting sun, a stunning welcome to the Holy Land. It was then back on the bus for an hour ride to our hotel in Tiberias. We kept ourselves occupied by playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire on Andrew’s iPhone – so much for separating ourselves from technology and connecting with our roots.

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