When I woke up at the crack of dawn on Thursday, I was not pleased. Not only was I exhausted, but I was greeted by a beautiful, peaceful blanket of snow. All of Jerusalem. The serene quiet that comes with a snow storm teased me, saying "you won't get to Turkey." I stuck out my tongue, got dressed in layers, and crunched my way to Rafi's to meet the 6:45AM sherut / shared taxi. Crunchy snow! And it was still falling! It was really beautiful, and probably the only reason I was able to maintain a semblance of happiness with my 6AM wakeup for a 1:45PM flight.
Before I wised up about the rain boots...
Rafi and I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. 45 minutes, 20 frozen toes, a few snow-art attempts, a hideout in the slightly-above-freezing stairwell, and a bulldozer-turned-snowplow spotting later, the sherut came, and Rafi and I were OFF to Ben Gurion! As a bonus, we got a tour of all-snowy Jerusalem. It was really breathtaking. AND my toes finally unfroze by the time we got to the airport -- about 2 hours early for check-in.
And then, in Turkey, on the coast of the Mediterranean...my feet win!
The separation barrier and snow. We took Road 443, and the separation wall/barrier runs along the side of parts of the highway to the airport.
We finally checked in, went to the terminal to enjoy kosher McDonald's (something I am opposed to in real life, but support in the few kosher outposts in Israel), and then eventually to board our plane. As a Turkey-unrelated sidenote, I find it interesting that while I really dislike fast food (Not you, Subway. I love you!), find it wrong, and fattening, and gross, I REALLY loved going to McDonald's. Maybe it's the I-Don't-Eat-That-Stuff holier-than-thou mindset you get in college / high school when keeping kosher amongst those who do not. Maybe it's the horrible additives that McD's puts into their food, making me crave it. But I ate McDonald's at TLV like I was dining at my favorite New York Italian restaurant (bonus points if you guess correctly in the comments). I guess I can make allowances for a McDonald's that sells Israeli salad and McKebab.
Tel Aviv airport means one thing to kosher kids -- McDonald's.
I'm going to pretend that kashrut (or, in this label's case, Hebrew writing) makes McDonald's less disgusting. Yay, kashrut!
Super Size Me! I'm hooked!
The flight to Turkey was fine, as was the customs experience (here's $20 so you can give me a sticker), and the trip to the resort. Once at the resort, Rafi and I took to eating tons, walking around the hotel and on the other shore of the Mediterranean, and trying to figure out Turkish. We were, at best, wildly unsuccessful. I spent some time in the Turkish bath (amazing), and both of us spent time in the pool (not bad). On Saturday night, we went to a multi-lingual comedy show that was so terrible, words can't even describe it -- in German, Russian, English, OR Turkish. Let's just say any improv night at any given summer camp where we've worked displayed a finer grasp on comedy and creativity. It did really make the whole trip seem like a cruise, though.
As Rafi pointed out, that's Israel in the distance. Can't see Her? That's ok, you can trust me.
Requisite "Look, we went on vacation!" picture.
The best part of the trip? Apart from the visas and the Turkish bath, it was Ultra All Inclusive. Wine? Sure! Cakes? Of course! Italian dinner with 12 courses (give or take)? But of course! Rafi and I enjoyed that -- and the unlimited, FREE minibar.
Another "We went on vacation and we're so cute!" picture.
Ultra All Inclusive means that the minibar is FREE!
The trip back was uneventful (although we did stop in the outside-the-terminal McDonalds for an interesting lunch), and I've been doing schoolwork ever since. Let's hear it for a trip to the lovely land of Antalya, Turkey, where the weather rarely dips below 15 degrees Celsius (where rarely = when I am there).
We went back to McD's, Rafi got a McKebab, and it was AWESOME. Whyever don't they market it in the states?
Maybe the best thing about Turkey. In Turkish, "Stop" is "Dur."
PS -- Turkish delight is pretty repulsive. It's like passover jelly candy, but covered with powdered sugar, instead of granluated.