I’ve been dreading this post and therefore ignoring my blog altogether. So I’m going to give the abbreviated version.
In the last two months, to celebrate G’s first “real” summer vacation, we traveled to:
Where we got to hang out with the Varacallis and Carters – a grand total of 8 kids ranging from 7 years to 10 weeks. The boys hated the heat but loved seeing friends and grandparents. Miri even got to meet Omi!
Fist bumps with Omi!
2) London. We stayed in the T5 sofitel overnight. We got connecting rooms and the boys partied like rock stars. We had to remove the land lines from their room since they proved a source of much fascination. After 12 hours in England we flew on to
We landed at Ben Gurion and spent our first night at the Intercontinental at the Azrieli center. There’s nothing quite like watching the traffic patterns from the 20th floor at 2am with a slap-happy three year old.
The next morning we drove for 3 hours to get to Nofeh Habashan, the kibbutz where Omer’s grandmother’s 90th birthday celebration was held. It was far to the north, past the Sea of Galilee, near the borders with Lebanon and Syria.
Nofeh Habashan turned out to be a magical place – there was a pool with a sun shade, inflatable slip’n’slide, a bouncy house, pool and air hockey tables, a million cousins and aunts and uncles, and food everywhere all the time. Pretty much the ideal vacation spot for the under-10 set and their parents (who just wanted to sit around and drink iced coffee).
We took a hike up a tributary of the Jordan River, to an old mill with a beautiful view over the surrounding plain.
Gideon spent hours in the pool with his cousins Stav and Amit.
Gideon also enjoyed the slip’n’slide with his cousins.
Four generations, ranging from 90 years to 12 weeks. There are six cousins in Omer’s generation, and 10 in our kids’ generation. It was pretty awesome.
4) England. Again with the overnight at the T5 Sofitel, and then a very short flight (“That’s IT?” said Gideon) to
Gideon’s class had studied France, and Gideon *really* wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower. Since we were flying through England, we figured why not?
France was beautiful and hot and muggy. We stayed in a fourth floor apartment that was a few hundred yards from the Eiffel Tower (we could see it from the kitchen window!). We did a lot of forced marches there, but we managed to see not only the eiffel tower, but also the Louvre (or at least the Mona Lisa), the Jardins du Luxembourg (awesome playground) and a whole bunch of cafes.
This is a happy baby on the grass in front of Hotel des Invalides.
L’arc de Triomphe. Rabbit ears courtesy of Gideon. Asher slept through this part of the trip.
Parisian sunset from our apartment.
6) England. Six hour layover spent eating ourselves into a food coma in the BA departure lounge.
7) Boston again. More grandparents, more awesome times.
We (re)discovered the Old Res in Lexington. Taba helped Asher dig and dump to his heart’s content.
And Asher got in some much needed cuddle time with grammie, despite the zombie attacks.
Omer and I snuck away with Miri for a weekend of house sitting in Plymouth, NH, a lovely little town we’d never visited before.
From Boston we took our 8th flight in 30 days, and arrived back in SF just in time to unpack and repack for our annual trip to
8) Camp Mather
There was a lot of lounging by the lake. And a lot of crying while traversing the campground to get to the dining hall. “Doing an Asher” (i.e. dropping to the ground and screaming) is a thing now, apparently – or so said one of the moms at the friday night party.
We attended the last week of Camp Mather this year, and it was bone dry in the campground. Everybody’s skin was cracking, and poor Miriam had to get saline dripped into her nose to keep her nasal passages free of dirt.
Apart from a couple trips to the local swimming hole in the Tuolomne River, we left camp only to visit Hetch Hetchy, the reservoir from which SF gets most of its water. It is absolutely beautiful – had the valley been left undammed, it would have rivaled Yosemite Valley as a tourist destination, I’m sure.
The day we left Mather a forest fire broke out nearby – dubbed the Rim Fire, it has burned through over 200,000 acres of forest in Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park. The burned area encompasses Mather (which thankfully was spared all but minor damage) and most of the south shore of Hetch Hetchy. If Mather opens next year I suspect much of the vegetation will be gone.
So, after five weeks and roughly 18,000 miles we’re back in SF. I have never been happier to return to our routine!