Tel Aviv

I don’t know where to begin when trying to tell you how absolutely incredible this trip was last weekend.DSC_0183 

Should I begin with talking about the city?  Or the food?  Or my family?  Or meeting all of these long-lost distant relatives? Or should I tell you about the absolutely incredible wedding I went to?DSC_0231  So much to say!  But lucky for you, I’ll get to everything.  ðŸ˜‰

A few months ago, my parents got invited to a 2nd…or 3rd? cousins wedding in Tel Aviv.  We knew it would be on the beach and we knew it would be incredible, so they said “why not?”, bought tickets to London and then Israel, told me to see if I could get off work, and a short time later, I had a quick 3.5 day trip booked for myself!!  My school graciously let me off of work for a day, combined with my 3 day weekend, I knew I was in for an amazing trip!

I caught a red-eye out of Madrid on Wednesday night, tossed and turned in my seat, while trying to digest my plane-provided albondigas (meatballs), and landed in Tel Aviv at the ripe hour of 4:00 am on Thursday!  A missed train, then a caught train, a short taxi ride, and insane exhaustion later- I was at the Airbnb where my parents were sound asleep!!  We booked a small, but functional, Airbnb two blocks off of the beach (on Ben Yehuda street) and it was perfect.  Nothing incredible, but perfect for what we needed it for!  We said some quick hello’s and then goodnight’s and all went back to sleep for a dreamy 4-5 hours or so.  I woke up a few hours later to the smells and sounds of my mom unwrapping some traditional Israeli baked goods, a healthy hunk of cheese, and some perfectly sweet raspberry jam.DSC_0209  

She had gotten up, made coffee, gotten dressed, gone out, AND come back, without me hearing a peep.  I was completely knocked out, huh?

The first day was all about exploring Jaffa!!  We walked from our house, all the way along the BEAUTIFUL and breath-taking coast.DSC_0056  

I couldn’t stop staring at the shimmering, turquoise water!  We walked along for about an hour, stopping occasionally to take pictures or to play 🙂DSC_0017 DSC_0023 DSC_0046 DSC_0047 DSC_0034

We walked and talked and walked and talked, until we finally arrived at the base of Jaffa!DSC_0076  

Jaffa is the oldest part of Tel Aviv-Yafo.  If you want to read more, here is Dr. Wikipedia.

We were planning to do the walking tour, but the high heat and mid-day sun deterred us.  Instead, we walked around Jaffa for a bit, admiring the beautiful buildings and flowers!DSC_0082 DSC_0073

And then we set off in search of the famous flea market.DSC_0115

 I was getting to my cranky-hungry state, so we stopped to refuel with an insanely good falafel.DSC_0106 DSC_0103

My dad also wanted to try something from this bakery that was recommended.  Look how happy he is 😉DSC_0114

And then we continued walking through the winding streets, stopping to look at jewelry and the various things they are trying to convince you that you NEED in your life.DSC_0102 DSC_0101 DSC_0116 DSC_0130

We stopped for a refreshing orange-carrot juice and it was perfect.DSC_0121 DSC_0123

We walked around for a bit more, popped in and out of the market stalls, and then stopped on the water for some refreshments at Sea Food Bar.DSC_0169

Beautiful place if you’re ever in Tel Aviv!!DSC_0167

We ordered some deliciously fresh Israeli salads and beer to share…DSC_0154DSC_0150

RIGHT!!!!

The views were incredibleDSC_0141

Once we finished, the sun was starting to set so we made the long walk back along the boardwalk to shower and get ready for dinner with new friends and family.DSC_0198

None of us were all that hungry, so we got a few plates to share, as well as this fudgy, peanuty chocolate dessert!!DSC_0189 DSC_0190 DSC_0192

I was past the point of exhaustion, but full and happy from such a good time.  The next day, we were up and ready for some wedding time!