Tel Aviv, Then Cali

Our layover in Tel Aviv is about seven hours, so we decide to enter into the city for a walk and some dinner before continuing on to Los Angeles.  We find a great spot called the Social Club where we split several appetizers and enjoy a couple cocktails.  Upon returning to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, we again get asked the usual questions including the purpose of our visit to Israel, if we have family living in Israel, what synagogue we belong to, if we speak Hebrew, and all the questions about our bags being in our possession since we packed them.

The quick fifteen-hour flight home involves a little more stretching than I had hoped.  I sit on the aisle next to two very friendly Jewish grandparents.  Before we even took off, I see pictures of all their grandchildren and learned what everyone was up to and where they were all living.  The one trait many grandparents share that concerns me is their relatively small bladders, and this fear was realized as I get up over at least a dozen times to let them reach the bathroom.  But alas, I am able to get some sleep on the plane and the fifteen hours don’t last as long as they could have.

I am now sad that the trip has come to an end, but I am also happy that I had this chance to spend time with my dad while exploring a new part of the world.

Jordan Border Crossing, Part II

We enter back into Israel between Aqaba and Eilat, right on this corner of the Red Sea that brings together Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.  Our car is not allowed to cross and thus we do it by foot.  After several passport checks, a couple more security scans, and a lot of questioning, we are allowed to reenter Israel and make our way to Eilat beach front resort.

Along with being a busy port, Eilat happens to be a very popular resort town on the Gulf of Aqaba.  With its attractions, giant IMAX pyramid, and enormous hotels, the only thing the city lacks to make it Israel’s Vegas is gambling.  The view from our hotel room is incredible as we look over several countries just by looking across the Gulf.

While in Eilat, my Dad and I have a fun dinner at Eddie’s Hideaway, and then continue on to check out some of the night life at Paddy’s and later at the Three Monkeys.  Eilat is a city that attracts lots of tourists, but mainly Israeli tourists; thus, although there was a tourist vibe as we walked around the city, the tourist vibe did not detract at all from the Israeli vibe.  The following day, we visit the Aquarium, one of the better-known attractions, before having one last snack and heading to the airport to take us to Tel Aviv and eventually back to Los Angeles.