Time to Meet the Group (October 23, 2019)

We woke up offering prayers of gratitude to the nameless Greek goddess of sleep because we slept long and hard and woke refreshed. We then cobbled together a light breakfast from the remains of our 24/7 grocery run from two night ago.

Our main task for the day was to relocate to the InterContinental David, a modern high-rise hotel at the southern end of the beach. It was less than a half mile from our apartment, but we didn’t think we could manage the luggage, so Alan and I took the luggage in a cab while Dan and Sandy walked. The walkers arrived just as we were halfway through the check-in process. We gladly accepted the receptionist’s offer of complimentary coffee and cake in the lush lobby lounge as an informal apology for our rooms not being ready. Full disclosure: it never dawned on us the rooms would be ready, so we felt like we really made out. We chose a table by the window overlooking the Mediterranean and the infinity pool and decided this treat would suffice as lunch.

Dan and Sandy had walked through the HalCarmel Market (where we ate last night) on their way to the hotel and suggested we go back and give it a good look. So, from lunch we headed there and had a great time wandering from stall to stall. It was jam packed with people shopping, sampling, and exploring. There were lots of the juice stands that Tel Aviv is known for. Several combinations were on offer, but pomegranate seemed to be the flavor of the day. Candy was plentiful as well as Turkish delight, baklava, fresh produce, bread, olives, fish, and spices. Sandy, Alan, Dan and I succumbed to the temptation of the fresh-from-the-fryer donuts and the pomegranate juice. The market had non-food items as well: clothes, housewares, cleaning supplies, jewelry, charms, and so forth. An enjoyable thing about the market, aside from how colorful is was, was how clean and organized it was and the vendors left the shoppers completely alone. There was no pressure to buy.

As a fun contrast to the atmosphere of the market, Sandy guided us to an upscale shopping area, Neve Tzedek. There were a lot of unique stores selling fun art, handicrafts, books, clothing, and upscale home decor. The shop keepers, like all the Israelis we have interacted with so far, were friendly and stood ready to chat or answer questions. One guy caught Dan trying to back out the door and called him on it by saying, “Come back in, I am not finished with my story.” (Dan came back in as instructed.) I asked a friendly fellow about the Jewish tradition of hanging mezuzahs in doorways. He was only too happy to oblige me with a detailed explanation. Like the good tourists that we are, we chose souvenirs at the various shops.

Our enjoyable low-key day ended with a 6:45 welcome cocktail reception hosted by our Gate1 tour manager, Gabi (Gob-y). We met the other 20 travelers, enjoyed wine and delicious food served in tapa-sized portions, and got a quick briefing on specifics for tomorrow. From the fried, tired looks on the faces of some of our fellow travelers, we were thrilled we had arrived in country two days early.

… Guess What? …

Tel Aviv is home to the third most per capita sushi consumption in the world, trailing only New York City and Tokyo.

The New York Times has dubbed Tel Aviv the ‘Mediterranean Capital of Cool.’

Tel Aviv enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year.

Founded in April 1909, Tel Aviv was the first modern Hebrew city.

There are 13 official beaches in Tel Aviv, all with free changing rooms and toilets, lifeguards, and a rescue station.


2 thoughts on “Time to Meet the Group (October 23, 2019)

  1. Great fun facts mom!! By the way I have started the book series you sent me and I love it so far!!!

    Matt Mongeon, PMP, Technical Project Manager II
    Engineering Management Office
    PMP,ITIL Foundation, RCV, OSA, SOA, PPO
    5159 Federal Blvd., San Diego, CA 92105
    • 619.266.5675 (ex. 55675) |( 619.822.4661 | • matt.mongeon@cox.com


  2. Another good day! What a relief to be able to start the tour well-rested. Great photos and commentary. Thank you!



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