Monday, October 16, 2006

Sukkos fun

I'm back at work after an exciting week of holiday fun. We did something almost every day and as holidays go, this one was exhausting.
The Israeli branch of my family came up for the first days (yes, days - they stayed for some of chol hamoed too). My brother-in-law had a baby the week before, so they were convalescing with his wife's family. So, including us we had 14 (+2 on the way) in the Sukka it was a nice party. The kids all wanted to sleep in the sukka, but I didn't want to turn off the lights early because that would disrupt the traditional sukka scrabble game, so I built another sukka on the mirpeset upstairs for sleeping.
We started our tiyuling on Friday morning with a jaunt down nachal keziv. We made it all the way to the springs and we were the only ones there, so it was nice and enjoyable. The kids wanted to go into the cave, but we forgot to bring a flashlight.
The first day of chol hamoed, we went all the way to the Lebanese border in Metulla, to the Good Fence. We weren't sure why it was called that, but when we drove right up to it a young soldier with a large rifle pointed at us signalled us to turn around. We then did the nachal Iyun hike. Nachal Iyun has 4 waterfalls, but they were all dry because it is the end of the season, though I heard the Hizbani is full of water and this was dry because the Lebanese are diverting our water, which is odd because last I heard they were diverting the water of the Hizbani.
After that intense hour and a half nature walk, we decided to go to the Ein Zeitim JNF park where the kids played for a couple hours. That night we had our shul's simchat beit hashoeva with the famous invei hagefen band playing. From what I heard it was much better then Mosh ben ari who was playing that night at the agam. My brother and sister-in-law went to that one. Mosh, by the way, is spelled mem vav shin in hebrew. I once met a guy named maish and his name was spelled mem aleph yud shin. (These are all nicknames for moshe. It's just funny seeing them spelled as nicknames in Hebrew).
The next day we spent at the agam, where there was a huge "happening." Happening is a Hebrew word that means event. So the kids got to see a lousy magic show, which they enjoyed, and jump on jumping toys. My oldest also got to do Omega (a zip line). Then the kids made kites and tried to fly them. Subliminal and Hetzel played at the agam that night and my sister went. Some people thought it was "veHaTzal (and the shadow)" and not hetzel, but in any case my sister reported that there was no shadow or hetzel anywhere to be seen. Tuesday morning we made our pilgrimage to Jerusalem. We spent 3 hours in the old city doing absolutely nothing and the kids weren't bored for a second. There was just so much happening every 3 steps you take. We also got to hang out with my cousin who is learning in seminary in Jerusalem for the year, and that was fun. That night we went to a huge concert in Bet Shemesh and heard Pay Daled, Shlomo Katz and Chaim David before we decided the kids had had !
enough. We also got to see my new neice and her parents and an old high school friend who made aliyah to ramat bet shemesh recently. Unfortunately, I didn't see Rafi G's message until we got back home so we didn't hook up. (we were the one's on the boys side of the mechitza, right next to the mechitza, about 20 feet from the end.) We slept at my brother's place in Modiin.
Wednesday we went to Neot Kedumim, where we had heard there was an exhibition of all the sukkas mentioned in the mishna. We hadn't heard that before the exhibition there was a two hour biblical nature walk. I really enjoyed the biblical nature walk, though we didn't bring enough water or food for the wife and kids. What made the nature walk biblical is that when the Jews returned to Israel they didn't find a lot of the vegetation that was listed in the torah and prophets. In this park they planted all the plants and trees listed in the Torah and put up signs with the sources. They have a couple of other historical mishnaic/talmudic exhibits, for example they have a little lake in the middle of the park and on the shore they have a water screw that brings water from the lake to the mikva and the argument about whether that is kosher for a mikva or not is noted on a sign there. They also had an esrog orchard and the signs said do not pick the etrogim. Other signs said, "A stol!
en etrog is no good."

We then headed for home, though the kids still hadn't eaten anything all day. I decided to stop on the beachfront in Netanya to get them a bite to eat. For some reason they all wanted to eat pasta, but they didn't have a kids menu so I asked the waitress about the size of the portions. The waitress was quite large and when she said that a single portion generally fills her up, I was satisfied that if I bought 2 portions for 3 kids that would be enough. Apparantly my children eat more then the waitress because they were not filled up by the meal and I had to order them a pizza to go as well. They also forgot to bring my sandwich. I recommend NOT going to SALSA PIZZA AND PASTA in Netanya, it is a bad place.
Thursday we went to the Achziv beach, which has a nice inlet for the kids to play in.
Friday, we relaxed at home.

Simchas Torah was very nice, we ate dinner with 10 other families. Our kids were very tired and cranky, but it was nice company. The singing and dancing was very nice. In Israel, the 2 minhagim of chul for Simchas Torah, to drink and do shtick, haven't caught on yet.

Now we're back to regular life.

1 comment:

heidi said...

maybe one portion fills her up as a snack. Did you specify this was going to be an actual meal?