Monday, February 6, 2012

Road trip

After a long month of wonderful rain, we were itching to get out in the open and stretch our legs...so we piled into the car.  Makes sense, right?  Growing up in Texas, it seems hard to call road trips in Israel by the same name.

Did you hear the one about the two farmers, from Texas and Israel?  The Texan farmer boasts that his ranch is so large that he can hop in his pick-up truck at dawn and drive all day until he reaches the other side.  Shaking his head, the Israeli farmer replies, "Oh, that's too bad...I used to have a car like that too."

Still, no matter how long or short the road trips are, there will always be a million questions of "when are we getting there?" within the first ten minutes.  Hunger pains begin striking shortly after, followed immediately by the urgent need for one of the kids to pee.

Snow has been falling on Mount Hermon and the kids were begging to see it.  It's a good thing we're in the north to begin with, as gas has jumped  in price again this month and now sits at $7.58/gallon.  We saw the white peaks in the distance and snow on the lower slopes as we approached.  After the short drive, then sitting in traffic for at least an hour, we finally reached the entrance.

Five cars ahead of us, the guard stopped the line.  We should have left earlier in the morning.  A neighbor told us later that you have to get there a couple of hours before the park opens (which it does at 8 am) and wait for a good spot in line.  I don't know if he's ever even been to the park, but around here everyone likes to give advice.
 

"Sorry," said the guard, "there are too many people inside now.  We'll let in the next batch in an hour...or maybe a little longer."

A park worker passed by shortly after when we were thinking of calling it a day.  He was handing out brochures to the agitated families and saying "just a few more minutes."  Of course, there's much more to learning Hebrew than just vocabulary and grammar.  I've lived in Israel long enough to know that line also means an hour or more.  Another guard confirmed that it really would be that long.

We finally turned around and started back down the mountain, passing the ruins of the enchanting Nimrod Fortress.  On the way up, we came through Kiryat Shmona and spotted a giant playground.  In an effort to save the day for the kids, we stopped there on the way back.

They had so much fun at the  playground that they nearly forgot about playing in the snow.  There is an exercise park adjoining the playground and two older men, in brown suits and hats, were working out.  They looked so cute.  My husband wanted to take the kids again this week, but Puriel got sick and I was next.  My inability to keep meals down granted me a day off at home and that's why I actually have time to sit on the couch, upload pictures, and write today.
 

Sometimes gifts come in unexpected packages, and sometimes life's plans go off track.  Hopefully we can just make the best of each day, focus on the good, and be thankful that we're still alive and kicking.

Have a great week!