Thursday, August 6, 2009

Heading out on vacation - Day 1, Monday

After anticipating the great getaway of 2009, we finally were ready to head out on our vacation to Haifa and points north. I will try to fill you in on the highlights, but I will add more pictures later on - too tired to fix them all up after many days in the sun and no internet. (UPDATE: pictures are now on board!) I even have a mitpachat tan line across my forehead, not that too many people will ever see it, unless they come to my house and catch me in a not terrible hair day. If you are concerned that this story may not have a totally happy ending, fret not. The long story short is that we had a great time, it was very, very hot, and we look forward to the next trip - though first we will have to do even more laundry and get some sleep.

We got up not too early on Monday morning, as it would not do to start out tired on vacation, packed up snacks and sandwiches and filled the car with potato chips and Doritos. We headed north toward Haifa. On the way, we stopped at Hof Dor-Habonim. We had the directions but failed to notice that the beach was only accessible from Route 4, and not from the highway, Route 2, that we were on. This necessitated a u-turn and a little extra driving, but it was worth it. We made it to Hof Dor, where we picnicked and then walked the path along the beach there. Lots of seashells, sand, and LOTS of sun. It was a beautiful place to tiyul, although it would be even nicer in cooler weather. That seems to be a recurring theme of this vacation – it’s really, really, HOT! We are also not used to the humidity, so that is definitely a factor in the extreme sweatage we are experiencing.
And now, you no longer have to imagine pictures - here they are!
After the tiyul, and cooling off with some ice cream and ice pops, we got back in the car and headed to Haifa. We were supposed to stay at the Dan Panorama, but a few days ago, we received a phone call from the reservation center telling us that they were overbooked and that they wanted to upgrade us to the Dan Carmel. After a couple of calls to the travel agent we booked through to make sure it was okay (thank you, Chana Koren!), we happily accepted. So we headed directly to the Dan Carmel, trying to note any kosher food establishments along the way. We checked in, settled in, and headed for the pool. David, Dani, and Lola enjoyed the water, while the rest of us sat in the shade and enjoyed the relaxation. Then we headed to Mercaz Chorev, a mall in the city that closes on Shabbat, so its restaurants can be (and some actually are) kosher. We discovered a cafe (to remain nameless) with a cake display that Shana and Ayelet felt could be Cakewrecks worthy - they have high hopes of becoming wreckporters. Don't know if the whole piles of poo on a cake thing is played out, but the second one was just weird and unappetizing. Feel free to give your opinion!
We wound up at Burger Ranch, had a fun, if not overly healthy meal. Ariella only wanted schitzelonim (chicken nuggets), so we got her an overpriced helping of them. About three minutes later, after intense gobbling, she insisted that she was done and needed another serving, as that was all she wanted to eat. Nothing off the bargain menu for her! David and I debated what to get for her, if anything, when she suddenly came to the realization that she still had more in the container. "Oops, I did not see them! Hee, hee." Ahh, genius in training. She also spent much time climbing on the Spider-Man toy while the rest of us enjoyed our discount burgers. They were made more enjoyable by the BOGO coupon we got at Super-pharm, where we bought Fenestyl (like Benedryl) gel for Shana, who was having yet another allergic reation to sunscreen, only this time, it was to a brand that she had used successfully in the past. Oy. After dinner, it was back to the hotel, showering some more, and bed.

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