Farewell to Israel

It had been a long, full trip to Israel which was finally coming to an end.

I managed to pack a lot into my final day in Israel, which actually stretched on for nearly two days.

I woke up at the Dan Hotel Tel Aviv and lingered over my final Israeli breakfast. I was going to miss the fruit, salmon, cheese, and of course, the halvah and cheesecake.

I could resist taking a final photo of the beach before heading off to the Carmel Market.

I had loved this market on my first day in Tel Aviv and wanted to go back to pick up some items before I left.

The halvah was at the top of my list, but I also picked up some of the Middle Eastern spice combinations I knew would be delicious over rice.

Soon after I returned to the hotel my cousin Marge joined me. She had brought my mother to Tel Aviv as we were both flying home very early the next morning.

Mom decided to stay and get organized for the trip while Marge and I headed to Nini Hachi, a top sushi restaurant in Tel Aviv which my cousin and her architectural firm Sitton Plus Tannous had designed.

She was anxious to show me it and introduce me to her bosses, and I was thrilled to have kosher sushi, which I could eat since the fish had never been near shellfish  (You can read more about my sushi experience on Yahoo!).

We had a long lunch of Asian food, including fantastic vegetarian sushi, a beef bowl, and an unforgettable salad with salmon, and a bit of sake at Nini Hachi.

I really enjoyed hearing about the perfect partnership of Jacob Tannous and Sharon Sitton – an Arab and an Israeli.

After lunch I headed back to the Dan Hotel Tel Aviv to pack, rest, and get ready for dinner. Mom was coming along for our farewell dinner to Messa Restaurant.

The restaurant was elegant and the food was amazing. Through no fault of the restaurant, though, they didn’t have my allergy menu and my mom was hit with a very hefty bill.

The trip home was pretty awful. We had a 1:00 am flight from Tel Aviv to Istanbul and were dropped at the wrong terminal. I had to maneuver four suitcases and a wheelchair to the right one.

The layover in Istanbul was four hours in the middle of the night that turned into six hours. I do have to compliment Turkish Air on excellent service and food on the planes. 

Mom and I separated at JFK in New York, where she took a flight home to Florida and I continued on two more flights to my home.

Despite all the problems, in the end, I had no regrets about going on this trip. I got to see my cousins and visit a lot about a country I hadn’t seen in nearly 40 years.

The trip certainly could have been better had it been coordinated more carefully between all of the parties involved – especially the flights and the tour guide.

I am still grateful to Israel Tourism and Tel-Aviv Non-Stop for giving me a chance to learn so much more about Israel.


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