Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Last 24 hours in Israel

So with 24 hours left in Israel, we were packing our bags and cleaning the house. But at about 1 p.m., I had had it. No more packing or cleaning for me. My kids had yet to swim in the Dead Sea and we were less than an hour away. "Put on your suits kids." So we left our bags half packed and off we went. We accidentally passed the first Dead Sea Beach, and thank goodness, because another kilometer up the road was Qumran. 

The Home of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

We watched a short film about the Dead Sea scrolls and the Essenes. 

Then we stepped out into the 100+ degree weather to walk around Qumram. Wow it was so hot. I was suprised the kids lasted as long as they did.

It's hard to describe the bare hot land. This picture helps visualize what its like. 

You can see the Dead Sea in the back right of the picture. 

So very hot kids.

The board walk took you through the old city of Qumran. The kids were obsessed with the Cisterns and "hot tubs," (the baths). I am not sure I knew what a cistern was at their age, but I am glad they do. 

Me, overlooking the canyon.

Here are the three kids in front of the cave where a shepherd boy threw a rock and heard pot break. It was the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls... An enormous religious and historical find in this century.

And after 30 minutes in the heat- Ice Cream. It melted so fast, no one had a chance to finish their cone before it melted. 

Then we made our way to the Dead Sea

It looks inviting. But it was salty. The girls came out crying- too salty. 

Sam floated around for a bit.

But the real fun was with the mud. The Dead Sea mud is supposed to be rich with minerals good for the skin. So everyone paints themselves with black mud. 

Including the whitest of them all- Jakers!

A little bum creese there!

 Els and Jayne getting painted.

Super boy! Sam getting painted by Ellie and JJ.

 Getting covered.

Almost done.

Jake reapplying.

And he is finished.

 Jayne covered in war paint.

Ellie, looking like a warrior.

Crazy girls.

 The kids painted themselves several times each. There were showers on the beach and after coating themselves sufficiently, they would wash off, and do it again. 

Who wouldn't be happy painting themselves in mud?

 Seth chillin' on the muddy shore.

Father's Day

So it was a bit tricky to have Father's Day, because we are used to having Father's Day on Sunday, but with Shabbot on Saturday, we had a kind-of-Father's Day at church, even though Father's Day was officially the next day. Seth's Father's Day present this year was being in Israel. That's what we gave him. (I know it's cheating.)  I made them take a Father's Day picture in front of the Jerusalem Center. Usually we take our Father's Day picture in the morning in bed, but this one is pretty cute and everyone  is out of their pamajas and with hair brushed. 

TO: The Dad of these kiddo. We love you and we are grateful for your love, guidance, and perseverance. Your the best. 

Car Races & Light Shows

We were told to not drive through Jerusalem for the weekend because many streets would be closed for  the Formula One Race. We didn't know what that meant- but we found out. Every year they make a race coarse through the streets of Jerusalem and race Ferrari's and Masarati's and stock cars through the streets. So we decided to go check it out. 

The race wasn't through the Old City, but you can see the Tower of David behind Sam in this picture.

Here you can see it a bit closer. We were just outside Jaffa gate, next to the Mamilla Mall. 

We finally found our friends the Stratfords who had been saving a place for us to stand together to watch the race. 

Jake, unafraid of being stepped on.

Sam and Ellie took the next couple shots of the cars. We were located in a great place because the cars had to slow for a sharp turn and then had a straight away to take off. 

And they were LOUD!

This was the kids' favorite.

Here is the clan of kids with the race track behind them.

We road the light rail so we didn't have to deal with closed streets and parking. It was pretty crazy because it was so crowded, but was quite the adventure. 

The boy, holding on to the momma.

So I tucked the kids in bed and left Seth and Paul (our friend) to work for 3 hours on return tickets to the US and it took of to the Jerusalem Lights. First lights where at Damascus Gate- it was may favorite. 
Doesn't that look amazing? 

My two friends, Candice and Kari, walked through the Old City to see the light display. Each quarter of the city had a color light line that lead you through that part of the city. There was light displays along the way. It took us about 3 hours to walk through the whole city. It was really fun and I loved being about to walk through it at night- something I had never done.

This was in the Jewish quarter and was really neat light display on the arch hallway.

Loved this art piece. 

The Archeology Park had music to their light show. 

Friends at Jaffa Gate. We enjoyed Candice as our tour guide. Its always great to suck knowledge from someone who had such depth of it. 

The last lights as we walk back to our car.