and Visiting with Great Friends
There is nothing better than good friends - dear friends who travel across the globe to come visit. I have been blessed with such friends and dedicate this blog to them. As I've mentioned in past posts I now live in Israel, having left Canada nearly 2 years ago. It's been a huge adjustment and making new friends has been tricky. Maybe I'm picky? Probably, but good friends are hard to find so you must cherish the ones that you have. I have known Brenda, Todd and their daughter for nearly 10 years - our children went to nursery school together. We have maintained a strong bond over the years and despite the fact that I have moved away, our bond continues.
This couldn't be any more evident than now... they traveled from White Rock, BC, Canada all the way to Ra'anana, Israel to come see us. And what a joy it has been. Before arriving, I assisted my friends in renting a cheap car through a local agency. They wanted a 7-passenger vehicle so that we could travel from place to place together. My vehicle only seats 5 people and hence we wouldn't be able to get around all together. We have visited many great places:
1. Caesarea - Located in the central-northern part of Israel, between Tel Aviv and Haifa, Caesarea was built by Herod the Great as a port city. It is now home to many Israelis who are lucky enough to live along the Mediterranean Coast. My friends and I spent the day wandering ancient ruins, eating at a delicious beach-side restaurant and playing in the luscious sand dunes.
2. The Children's Museum in Holon - Holon is situated just beside Tel Aviv and is home to the amazing Children's Museum. We were lucky to find a parking spot for our cheap car rental near the entrance to the exhibit we were visiting - "Dialogue in the Dark". This is probably one of the most impressive museum displays I have ever frequented. We were taken on an hour and a half tour completely (and I mean 100% completely) in the dark, led by a blind gentleman who has been working at the museum for 10 years. The exhibit takes you through 6 rooms where you are able to explore using your other 4 senses. We visited a 'fruit and vegetable market', rode on a 'speed boat', went to the 'symphony' and bought treats at the cafeteria. I re-iterate, this was all done in the dark. Pitch black. The children (and Brenda and I) had a fantastic time.
3. Hertzliya - Brenda and Todd were able to save a bit of cash by taking advantage of car rental coupons so that we could spend some time in the not-so-cheap area of Hertzilya. Located near Tel Aviv, this beach town/city is home to many luxury apartments and homes. We ate at an amazing Israeli restaurant and then headed straight to the beach where the children were able to swim and play in the sand. To summarize, I have to thank my dear sweet friends for making the trek to the holy land to come and visit. It means the world!