Family Travels Part I – Old Favorites

During Sukkot, Adam’s father came for another visit. This time he was with us for two weeks, and while it still felt like it went by quickly, it definitely felt less whirlwind than his last visit. We really got to spend time with him and show him our everyday life. He went to the grocery store with us, went with us to the doctor for Adina, helped us with household chores, and of course played with his granddaughter. While he was here, Adina started smiling more and being more alert which was really nice for him to see.

As with any visit, it is also fun to travel. We revisited Tel Aviv to see Adam’s cousin and her kids. Sadly it had almost been a year by the time we got to see her again! We went back to the boardwalk area near her yoga studio and had lunch at the same Cafe Cafe, although this time we ate in the sukkah at the restaurant. It was a pretty breezy day so the waves were amazing. It was so nice to be along the water. I forgot how calming the sound of the ocean can be. And of course, it was great to catch up with family. Bill hadn’t seen Nancy in a long time, so we are glad we were able to arrange a get together.

We also revisited the Biblical Zoo, which was fun. We went later in the evening so some of the animals were more active than they were when we saw them with my brother and his family. It was Adina’s first zoo trip, but like many other excursions, she slept through most of it. Our favorite exhibit on this trip to the zoo was the lemurs. The lemur exhibit is very open; the lemurs can move about wherever they want. During this visit, there were a few sitting on the fence along the path, and there was one actually sitting on the path itself! It was so cool to be so close to them!

Since the zoo is big and we only had a few hours before they closed, we didn’t try to see everything. Instead we revisited favorites, such as the penguins, the squirrel monkeys and the tiger, which was actually awake! We saw some new things too! We went to the tropical bird aviary, which also had turtles. The last section we went to was the Biblical section. Adam explored this area with his father while I fed Adina. As I caught up with them, I got an up close look at one of the giraffes that had come right up to the walkway. When I finally caught up with them, we had to make our way back because the zoo was closing. I was so proud of myself for understanding the announcement!

The last place we revisited with Adam’s dad was the Kotel. During his last visit, Bill had mentioned going to the Western Wall, but we never made it there because he got sick toward the end of the trip and didn’t have the energy to get there. This visit, we were able to go at night, which is our favorite time. It is very peaceful at night because there are often less people, and the wall beautiful when it is all lit up.

Before we went to the Kotel, we took Bill out for a birthday dinner. Adam and his dad share a birthday, and since it was the week after he was with us, we wanted to celebrate with him before he left. We wanted to get him a gift, but there wasn’t anything in particular that he wanted. So we took him to our favorite place: Burgers Bar. It may not be fancy, but it is tasty! Bill got a burger with beef and lamb and said that it was one of the best burgers he had ever had! It was so nice to see him enjoy it! After the meal, we walked toward the Old City. It isn’t really a long walk, but it did tire me out a bit. I guess I’m not in as good shape as I used to be. We made our way through the Old City to the Wall. As we made our way through the Armenia and Jewish quarters, Adam’s dad pointed out places he remembered being when he visited fifteen years ago. When we got to the Wall, we separated. Adina went with Adam and Bill. Not surprisingly, she had fallen asleep in the Bjorn on our way to the Kotel. The women’s section was much more open than it had been previously since they concluded some of the construction in that area. Surprisingly, I wasn’t able to step up to the wall itself. Considering it was around 9 pm, there were actually a lot of women there. It was still a meaningful visit, however. It was the first time I had been there since Adina was born. Even though I thank Hashem everyday for her, it gave me another opportunity to say thank you. She is such an amazing blessing in our lives!

After we had time at the Wall, we made our way back home. It was a pleasant walk, although we were all pretty tired by the time we got home. Everyone except Adina! She woke up when we got home and wanted to eat. Oh, the life of a baby!

Until next time…
Allison

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