We’ve been in Israel eight days. Eight busy days. Eight we are not in Kansas anymore days!  There have been a couple challenges – not huge. There have been some adjustments as the three of us get into the groove of travelling together – normal. And there have been a lot of awesome wow moments.

The accommodations for our overnight in Tel Aviv got switched at the last minute due to a construction problem at our original booking and we were provided with an “upgrade” (I use that word loosely) from a studio apartment to a two bedroom. Our initial woo hoo faded into what the h*** as we checked out the new digs eyeing the black mold hugging the wall in the water heater room, took a whiff of the stagnant water sitting in the bottom of the washing machine (nasty), and discovered that “fully equipped kitchen” meant something different to us than it did to the owners! But, the beds were new and very comfortable!

We did not have time to visit Jaffa old city due to the time it took dealing with the apartment situation and our need to get on the road to Ra’anana to meet up with a friend’s daughter, Amanda. A disappointment, but still so much left to see!

Next stop – Haifa! But – along the way……

By the time we left Ra’anana it was getting late in the day, but our visit with Amanda was so good it was hard to pull away.  We made a brief stop in Caesarea at Aqueduct Beach, site of a section of an ancient Roman aqueduct. And then there was sunset – on the Mediterranean!! We missed seeing the historic port of Caesarea, but perhaps another time.

Thanks to Diane and her sidekick – GPS’s navigation –  we located our next home away from home, The Tamer Guest House. It took us a couple roundabouts and a few u-turns before we saw the sign for the place – small and barely visible in the dark, plus an abrupt right turn off a very busy highway.

Our room at the Tamer was quite quaint. Best of all it was clean (no mold)! Our hostess brought us breakfast (room service) in the morning which was very sweet – all home made.

Up and at ‘em! Repacked the car and off we went to do a little exploring. Managed to make it up Mount Carmel.  Stopped at a gas station in Beit Oren and encountered a slight language barrier.  I asked the attendant a question about the gas, she said they didn’t have gas.  Huh? We got petrol instead. :o)

We had plans to visit the Baha’i Gardens and spend a couple of hours in Acre, but Shabbat was coming up fast, the hour was getting late, and the host at our Tiberias location was calling asking for our ETA – a sign that he’d like us to get there before Shabbat started.  So we saw a bit of the gardens and then hit the road to Tiberias.

Two days in Tiberias. Time to explore Capernaum, dip my fingers into the Sea of Galilee, and visit the excavations of Magdala (think Mary Magdalena).

**Note** Lost this post, but now it’s found (amazing….grace)!  Late, but posting anyway.  Will work on more Israel/Italy posts now that the missing post has been located!

Livin’ the dream

The last two years have gone by quicker than quick! 2016. That’s when the travel plans were put into motion. Two friends with ants in their pants – travel ants – sitting down with a coffee enjoying some rare time together.  All it took was one short sentence, “I’ve always wanted to go to Israel”, and those ants started to dance! 2018. That was the year we chose to go.  Quicker than quick that year has arrived.

We have also become three.  Another friend who has had Israel on her places to visit now ¨dances¨ with us. Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tiberias, The Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, and Jerusalem – just a few of the places we’ve planned (& hope) to see in the Holy Land.  The excitement and adventure doesn´t stop there!  We will also be spending some time in Italy since we´re already over on this side of the world. Rome, Florence, Siena, Perugia, Assisi.  Living the dream.

Come along with us as we three gal pals gad about exploring ancient dwellings (if only their walls could speak), teasing our tastebuds with a variety of exotic foods, seeking out the holy places where Jesus walked, marveling at art & architecture that have survived centuries, and soaking in the essence of where we linger.

I promise photos next post.  Until then shalom & ciao!

time flies

Only one more day.  I’m looking forward to home.  I’m feeling sad my adventure in London is ending.  Mixed emotions, but can’t wait to give hugs and be hugged by those I love.

Spending the last day of this vacay in Cambridge.  Bus leaves at 9:30.  Eager to wander around the campuses (31 of ’em!!).  In 2009 Cambridge celebrated 800 years.  800 YEARS!  Imagine!  History! Architecture! Traditions!   I intend to soak it all up (if it rains – no pun intended).

I thought how much Bella & I got to see on this holiday, but now that it’s coming to an end I realize how much we didn’t see.  Guess I have to come back.  Darn.  What a hardship.  :o)

We had our day at the beach on Wednesday/Thursday.  Bournemouth is a lovely town.  I had imagined it to be similar to Cannon Beach (artsy fartsy), but no.  Much bigger than CB with more stores.  The beach itself was nice although incredibly crowded. Made for great people watching!  Bella swam in the ocean and totally enjoyed herself.  The sun was hot (just like it should be at a beach) and we turned a nice shade of red.

The weather has  been quite warm, but with some thunder storms in the evening.  I do love a good thunder storm!

Made our 3rd visit to the Tower of London today.  We’re located so close to it (15 min. walk) and there’s so much to see that we decided to see it in stages.  Today it was The Bloody Tower.  A little grim.  The Rack – as in torture device, not Nordstrom’s Rack – is a nasty mechanism.  Must have been tough living back in ‘rack’ times ……stay on the good side of the king/queen,  don’t make eye contact, blend into the background, bow, scrape, take a lesson from Anne (#2 out of 6 wives).  I guess being queen saved her from the rack. The chopping block was just so much more merciful……as long as the ax was sharp!

Went to Harrods today.  I wasn’t keen on going, but my sisters said no trip to London is complete without visiting the place.  Well…….it’s definitely one of a kind.  Found a pair of shoes I liked, alas they were just a wee bit out of my price range (£785).  Only managed to fight the crowds long enough to see 2 floors.  That was it – had to get out.  I will admit that I was really impressed by the food court.  A caviar and oyster bar to sit, chow down and rest your weary feet.  I did not partake.

Guess it’s bed time if I want to get up and catch the bus in the morning!  Last day.  :o(     :o)

Oh the places we’ve gone!

I had every intention of writing when in Paris, however while I ended up in the City of Lights, my iPad stayed behind.  On the counter.  In the kitchen. Way to go me.

Thoroughly enjoying London.  The Tube is the best invention ever (mind the gap)! We are practically Tube experts! Although we’ve done miles and miles of walking the Tube has been our best friend  when our feet have rebelled.


been to the Tower of London – twice

taken a couple of turns around Piccadilly Circus (which, with the crowds, really can be called a circus)

seen Wicked – in a word, fabulous

strolled by “the balcony” – the one attached to Buckingham Palace. no sign of QE2

mingled with Kings and Queens (a courtier or two) of the past at Hampton Court Palace

eaten fish & chips

wandered around Hyde Park

been bedazzled by the Crown Jewels

checked out Kensington Palace – a favourite place.

explored the British Museum – gazed at the Rosetta Stone (couldn’t read a thing)

Much more planned to see & do. Wednesday will be an overnight at the ocean. Heading to Bournemouth. Looking forward to the tang of The London Eye Tower Bridge over the Thames Ben, Big Ben Buckingham Palace Green trees in Green Park A tourist you may know Tower of London White Tower On guard at the Tower

Funny guy.  It was a sweltering day.  As I stood beside the fellow I said (really stupid me), "Are you hot?"  He said, "Yes.  And I'm warm too!"  Thus the reason why I am in a full blown laugh.

Funny guy. It was a sweltering day. As I stood beside the fellow I said (really stupid me), “Are you hot?” He said, “Yes. And I’m warm too!” Thus the reason why I am in a full blown laugh.

When she just wants to take a spin around the block.

When she just wants to take a spin around the block.

Dress to impress!!

Dress to impress!!

A tower at the Tower Changing of the guard at the Tower Another the Tower image The Gerkinsea air.

Our trip to Paris was……..interesting.  Likely not rushing back. Apparently Parisians don’t feel it necessary to clean up after their dogs.  Eeeeeeew.

The highlight was visiting the Louvre.  Another dream fulfilled.  I checked out everyone’s favourite lady – Mona.  I swore I wasn’t going to, but ended up in the room where she lives after trying to get unlost.  I think she smirked at me.  It was rather amusing to check out the piles of people jostling for a place to take a photo, seeing those at the back of the pack raise their phone above their heads and hoping they’re snapping a picture of the lady.

My camera says I’ve taken 1797 photos since I arrived.  I suspect once I have a good review of them  I will discover that I can delete at least 1/3 of those if not more.  I’ve downloaded some from the beginning of our trip and will try to post them here.

Hmmmm – it appears as if I had my cursor somewhere I didn’t want it to be.  I could probably fix this, but it’s late and I’m too tired.  Hope you can enjoy in spite of my error.  Live and learn.


Arrived after an uneventful flight – thank you God! Had a window seat onboard – I almost stuck my head out through the window trying to see the icebergs and ice floes as we drew closer to Greenland. It was beautiful to see. Flying over the tip of Greenland I looked down to see huge mountains covered by a thick icing of snow with glaciers tucked into craters. We were flying at 39,000 feet, but they seemed closer than I would have imagined! So grateful to have experienced that view! We live in a magnificently designed world created by an immensely talented God!!

I keep pinching myself – mentally (otherwise it would hurt) to make sure I haven’t gone through the back of the wardrobe into an alternate universe. Hey – it’s possible – everywhere you turn here there’s a lion. Maybe not Aslan and maybe they’re all stone and statue like, but still……….

It’s not a bad little (& I do mean little) ‘flat’ that I rented, but it is stifling – no AC/no fan. Windows are wide open so finally getting a good breeze. Beds are awful. I think Fred Flintstone had a softer one. On the other hand – I’m in LONDON!!

We have one neighbour – his name is Arthur. I’d like to say he’s an old man, but after this morning I’m wondering what that would make me!! Arthur likes to listen to music and play his TV REALLY LOUD!! From around 6am to 10/11pm. Again this morning the music blared into our rented apartment – classical – symphonies with great cymbals crashing and marches and then…..unexpectedly (& here’s where I’m a little leery of calling him an old man) good ol’ Joan Baez singing Love Is Just A Four Letter Word plus all the other songs on that album/CD. As early as it was I found myself humming along – dang Joan and her catchy tunes!!

So – arrived in London at 6:30 in the morning on June 30. Today is July 3. We’ve managed to walk – I’m sure – at least 422 1/2 miles. Pretty sure that’s not an exaggeration – just ask my feet, my legs, my back – although they’ll probably just groan at you. We’re about a 10 minute walk to Tower Hill tube station, and we’ve been using the tube (best invention ever), but I believe we put the mileage on just trying to get our bearings/back-tracking and such (who needs a map). We’ve ‘done’ the hop on/off bus without hopping off until we went the full route and then we hopped off and onto the water taxi (incl in the price of the bus tour) to head back to Westminster. Had a couple of really great guides along the trip. Amusing and informative – I think that takes a lot of talent to do both. Really!

I’ve taken a couple hundred pictures so far and will post them once I figure that part of this blogging experience out. I promise only to post a small fraction of that number unless I hear that you want to see the London Eye/Westminster/Big Ben/Buckingham Palace from every angle. With or without the sun glinting off the objects……..just say the word.

We had a stay at home today – Bella wasn’t feeling up to snuff. She’s perfectly fine now, but I think she ended up a little dehydrated. Must have been so in awe of her surroundings she forgot to drink – water.

Tomorrow it’s off to the Tower of London, check out the crown jewels among other things. YEA – I’m excited!

To everything there is a season…

I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for some time.  Every time I thought about it the little voice inside my head would break into a fit of laughter and my fragile confidence would evaporate – poof!  But to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven (according to Solomon, an OT blogger after my own heart), so I’ve silenced that negative interior mocker once and for all! From now on I’m the little train that could…………I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…….. I’m stepping out and into my purpose – tis the season.

I’m not sure which direction (if there is a direction) my musings will take, but as I stand at the fork in the road I rather like the one less travelled.

Up for the adventure? Let’s go.