I landed in Israel bare-face,sleep deprived and excited. We managed to get through customs seamlessly. Agents, after closely inspected our passports, issued us temporary visas.Due to the tumultuous relationships Israel has with surrounding countries, immigration officials no longer stamp the passports of foreigners. Our bags came quickly and our private driver greeted us with a warm smile. I immediately snapped photos, hence the one above. The sun barely peaked through the clouds. The cool weather and humidity reminded me of days in West Palm Beach. We boarded the tour bus chattering and snapping away. I was immediately drawn to the greenery surrounding me and the hills I saw in the distance.
The ride to Tel Aviv, (“the city that never sleeps“) was about 25 minutes. When we arrived at Grand Beach Hotel, I was pleasantly surprised by the hotel’s proximity to the beach. Although I spent most of my life in a state with no REAL beaches, I still love the water from all the days I spent there while living in Florida. I saw people walking and biking. I swear the modern women pranced around in stilettos and the latest fashion while effortlessly pushing strollers.
After a shower and a brief orientation, we walked through narrow, cobbled stone streets to get to the restaurant.
The location was wedged in heart of Tel Aviv’s Yeminite Quarter. We arrived during the Purim holiday, which is similar to Halloween and Madri Gras so we occasionally encountered people dressed in costumes.I loved the bright colored homes and businesses. Yeminite Quarter gave off a quaint and artistic vibe.
Dinner at Maganda was phenomenal. We were served about 5 courses of shared plates and I enjoyed every last thing I ate. The meat was tender and the bread was fresh and soft. The variety of dipping sauces delighted my palate. The servers had prepared for our arrival and were attentive the entire night. The hummus there was the best I have ever had. I will never enjoy humus in the US the way I enjoyed it there. The hummus in Israel is extremely flavorful and smooth in texture. I skipped the wine and opted for water, tea and fresh squeezed juice. That freakin’ juice was on point. It tasted like a mix of lemon, ginger, honey and orange.
Our conversations grew loud and our laughter was even louder. I kept talking about how happy I was to even be there. We heard loud popping noises on the way back to the bus and our tour guide joked that we shouldn’t be afraid because we were not in Baltimore. He had spent some time there and apparently had encountered some unpleasant areas. I was hardly concerned. There is a hood everywhere and I aint neva had no worries.
Anyway, I planned on going out to people watch and party but my body quickly reminded me that I no longer have the stamina I had a few years ago. I was exhausted and fell into a deep sleep shortly after returning to the hotel.
Come back next week for deets on Day 2
Want to know why I went to Israel in the first place? Click here: https://callmekinky.wordpress.com/2014/03/29/my-journey-to-israel/