We landed in Tel Aviv right on schedule. Susie and I planned our flights to come in around the time of our parents. Mom (Savta Yael) and Dad (Saba Paul) landed after us. Gabriel hid behind a column and surprised Dad. Mom came a moment later (she had do go through the Israeli passport line). Shortly after them, came Susie’s Mom (aka Grandmom Leora) and Fred. Fred, who is 85, had been having difficulty with his leg. So, he came with a cane. We were all thrilled to see each other. After collecting bags, we split up for going to the hotel. My folks with Pearl took a taxi and Susie, Gabriel, Fred, Leora, and me went to rent a car.
Our car rental experience, with Avis, was lackluster. I had reserved a larger sized minivan. However, when they pulled up with a car, they gave us a four door sedan. Obviously we couldn’t travel with six people and luggage in such a vehicle. They then gave us a minivan with no luggage and a missing middle row seat. After more discussions, they came back with a nine seater huge van/ truck. We took it, but driving in Tel Aviv with it was very difficult. We arrived at the hotel (Adiv) late in the evening. Ronnie and his fiance, Lara, were already checked in and had spent the day at the beech. Check-in was quick and we all went out for dinner.
We spent the next day at the beech. Gabriel and I swam out to the rock barrier separating the open ocean and the swimming lagoon. It was a lot of fun. One great comment Gabriel made was ‘Salt water tastes good with parsley, but not when your swimming’. Susie went for a walk and collected shells and Pearl made a sand castle. Gabriel later joined to create a moat and a bridge. It was not too hot, the water was a comfortable temperature, and the atmosphere was relaxed. For dinner we walked to Jaffa and had a great feast with different appetizers (meze), Shawarma, Falafel, and Schnitzel.
As a kid, I don’t recal visiting the beeches in Tel Aviv. I remember visiting friends there, but not hanging out experiencing it. We didn’t get to see any museums or much of the city, but being at the beech and letting folks recover from jetlag was well worthwhile. Not to mention, the Israeli breakfast at the Hotel Adiv was great.