Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ani po! (English translation: I'm here!)

Well, two flawless flights on British Airways later (I feel this was owed to me after my AWFUL experience with Continental Airlines last time around), I am ending my first day in Tel Aviv. First, I must say, that flying to Israel via London is a great way to go. It is much easier (at least for me) to break the long flight in half, rather than the one long flight from the USA. And Heathrow airport has some amazing shopping. Anyway.

I landed in Tel Aviv at 4:30am this morning, and was pleased to see my two massive (and overweight) pieces of luggage were the first to come down to baggage claim. I took this as a good omen. I exited into the greetings area to find Oren and his friend Lior who he had convinced to come and pick me up at the airport at 4:30 in the morning, as Oren is currently without a car for a few days. Lior is a very good friend. He even helped Oren carry my extremely heavy bags up 3 flights of stairs to our apartment at 5am. Truly appreciated, as I think I would have been little help with my 70-something pound suitcases.

After some early morning hummus and pita (that I had been craving since I was here a month ago), I fell asleep around 7am and didn't wake up until 3pm. Once I figured out where I was, I did a little bit of unpacking, and then decided to leave it until tomorrow and we decided to walk to one of our favorite restaurants- Giraffe. It was already cooling off outside by the time we left around 4:30, which meant it was probably around 80 degrees. It was a nice 10 minute walk to dinner, where we proceeded to order our favorites- fried calamari with an amazing lime dipping sauce, two types of sushi rolls, and pork and shrimp fried rice (go ahead, insert your "very kosher" statement here). It was delicious and I could eat it all again right now. After that, we walked another 15 minutes to Arcaffe (if you recall, we spent a lot of time there on my last visit while we were in Jerusalem) and had some hafooch (a latte) and some dessert. From there, we walked another 15 minutes to the boardwalk and along the sea and proceeded to walk for probably another 30 minutes around the city. It felt great after the long flight, and it is nice to get a lay of the land here. And it was so beautiful outside near the sea.

Once home, we proceeded to eat our leftovers from dinner (yes, I had dinner, and the leftovers, and could still eat it again right now), and have been catching up on emails and lounging. It is just wonderful. Tomorrow we plan to run by the market, maybe the beach, possibly a bike ride... whatever we feel like :-) It's great, because Oren has these 10 days off due to Sukkot, so we are basically on vacation until after the holiday. Love it.

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