05 May 2008

Unleavened Fun, Part 2

It's time for me to get back to my roots. It is finals time, but hey, I have to write about the trip of two of my most avid readers - Rafi's parents!

Pesach week passed in a blur of meals with fabulous friends of Rafi's parents. In between the friends, however, we took two more trips. The first, to the Dead Sea, and the second, to a village and a mall.
After one of the many dinners. This was one of the hottest days of the year so far.

It seemed that maybe going to the Dead Sea on a day when it was going to be consistently over 100 degrees F was a bad idea. But the car was air-conditioned, I brought 3 (yes, THREE) different kinds of sunblock, and, as it turns out, the entire resort, minus the actual Dead Sea, was under some sort of shade. Even in the Sea, there were little hut-roofs, close to the shore. We got to the hotel, and I took to the serious business of meeting extended family. Those visiting for Pesach (hence the sweet digs), those studying for a year (or two) at post-high school yeshivot, and those who are residents in Israel for decades. After some shaded ocean-side conversations, we moved to the pool deck, partaking in the ultra-all-inclusive snacks, such as popsicles, soda, and cotton candy -- all kosher for passover!

As we sat, talked, and enjoyed the fresh-squeezed carrot juice and constant supply of seltzer and shnitzel (yes, shnitzel), there was entertainment. Pool slides for the kids, activities like water aerobics, and a very talented singer. This guy could do it all -- accent free -- and he did! There were classics, like oldies, and then, teenybopper fare, like Backstreet Boys, interspersed with Jewish tunes, like the song about the Rivers of Babylon (we sang it at camp, and I'm pretty sure Rafi's parents sang it when they were in the Havurah)This performer was incredible, and since Rafi's mom and Rafi and everyone else told me to write about, here you go*. I hope this guy gets good work, post-Pesach-hotel. Eight days a year does not a full-time job make.

*I would've done it anyway, but I bet you knew that.

That's right. K for P COTTON CANDY. Fresh! Did you know it doesn't have to be pink or blue or yellow to taste like heaven?

The cousins enjoy the yummies.

Friday morning, there were no special plans, but Rafi called and said that they were going to Ein Karem and then maybe Mevasseret, a suburb of Jerusalem. I asked to tag along, as my experience with Ein Karem up until this point had been my visits to the hospital to see a friend. Ein Karem was beautiful, and we some a grotto that has some significance (which, if you check back in a few days, I hope Rafi's dad will comment to remind us all what we saw...). The water was really cold, which was amazing because the day was steaming hot. We didn't go swimming in it, but you could feel the cold radiating onto your hands when you held them above the little basin.
Elie tests the water.

Rafi and his mom, Joanne.

Rafi and his me, Sara Beth.

After that, we took a trip to Mevasseret, apparently to go to the food court. I was conflicted, once again, about getting McDonald's, but hey, I did it for the greater good of Diaspora Jewry. That's right, K for P MickeyD's. It was great, and they'd run out of "buns," so I basically had chicken on some salad. I had it with fries, and the K for P ketchup was like normal, American ketchup. It was really incredible. Usually, Israeli ketchup is horrid, and so is American K for P ketchup. This stuff was like Heinz, top shelf, except it was K for P and from some weird company I'd never heard of before, and never will again.

Menu of Kosher for Passover Meals.

The chicken, minus the roll, fries and those fabulous little ketchup packet!

Shabbat was wonderful, and with all of the good K for P food I was eating, I wasn't even itching for that post-Passover meal of bread and other such leavening. (I caught on my bread-consumption once I was back at school on Sunday, eating all of the little triangular pizzas that I saw.) Rafi's parents left after Shabbat and Passover ended, but not before we had dinner at a restaurant we were convinced contained a very important government person. We were wrong. The bevy of security guards were there for a rich guy. I'm sorry, a VERY rich guy. Complete with his own very rich lady friend, in a fancy red dress. I think I was wearing sweatpants, and she's decked out for formal dinner.

Also, during dinner, I realized that across the street at the King Solomon Hotel, there was a large group in the dining room. After gazing across the street, quite blatantly during a lovely dinner, I figured it out! I showed Rafi and his mom the group across the street, and asked them if they knew what was going on. I was totally right...and they both got it, too. They were celebrating the 8th night of passover! I'm not looking forward to 2-day chaggim when I get back, but for the time being, I was able to sit and giggle that I was being all Israeli, finishing up passover on day 7 and getting back to bread ASAP.

Thanks to Rafi's parents for everything when they were here!

1 comment:

Aleksander Shabtai said...

So here's the deal on the well from: Wikipedia Ein Kerem:

Mary's Spring

The village fresh-water spring is the traditional location where Mary and Elizabeth [mother of John the Baptist] met. The spring waters are considered holy by the Christian pilgrims who visit the site and fill bottles with its waters. The spring water is now contaminated by the run off water from the near by Hadassah hospital.