|My mom (second from the right) with our dear girlfriends, and tour guide at Masada|
Last week my husband's cousins from Israel came to visit. They had shown us such a wonderful time when we were out there, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing them again. This brought back memories of my first trip to Israel with my mom in 1984.
It all began when one of my mom's oldest friends and her husband asked her to join them on a tour of Israel. My mom invited me, and then another close friend decided to share a room with us. I loved her friend dearly, but sometimes they would just get too rowdy late at night when I was trying to sleep. Neither of them knew how to whisper, and I remember curling up with my pillow in the hallway one night until my mom dragged me back in. Yes, I was clearly not the fun one in the group.
Mornings were like boot camp with the three of us sharing one bathroom. My mom woke up two hours before we did to get a head start. She put on her makeup and teased her hair for an hour and a half before it was my turn. I had to take a quick shower while my mom got dressed. Next our friend moved at the speed of light. She was showered and completely ready in about seven minutes flat. Everything was precisely planned out so that there wasn't even a hint of humidity in the air while my mom ignited herself with hairspray. Between the hairspray and cigarette smoke, it was refreshing to go on a tour bus through the smoldering hot desert.
We traveled to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the resort city of Eilat. A highlight was when an eighty year old woman in our group grabbed my arm, and we climbed Masada together. I started screaming for back up when my mom came up behind me. She was sporting an off the shoulder mountain climbing number when she said through clenched teeth, "Shut up Julie. You're embarrassing yourself."
My reward was sitting in the death seat on the bus ride back to the hotel. We all took turns up front next to the fan, and everyone who sat there caught a terrible cold. Everyone that is, except my mom.
In Tel Aviv, I took a day off to go to the beach. There I met a tall, skinny young man who was quite chatty. At first I thought he was being friendly until he turned into a bit of a stalker. After he followed me to my hotel across the street, I politely sat with him by the pool. Then he asked me for a glass of water. I told him to get one at the bar, but he thought it would taste better in my room. I asked him if he thought all Americans were easy, and he said yes. Needless to say, I finally ditched him, and double bolted my door.
Another hotel had a beautiful jewelry store. The owner's son was very cute and flirty, so my mom kept nudging me to flirt back. The next day he called to ask me out. He was very busy, and could only meet at midnight. After I didn't accept his invitation, my mom was disappointed. She couldn't believe that I turned down a nice Jewish boy who was the son of a jeweler. What could possibly happen with a stranger in a foreign country at midnight when odds were good we could get a discount on jewelry cleaner?
Most Israelis are very secular and not religious at all. My first trip to Israel was a real eye opener. However, my hubby is an Israeli and practices the High Holy days. He also prays daily.ReplyDelete
Hugs and chocolate,
Sounds like it was an interesting trip full of memories. Most women wouldn't accept an invitation to go out at midnight either, then again times have changed and maybe I'm off.ReplyDelete
That last line made me laugh!ReplyDelete
You were smart to turn those guys down.
Gosh girl.....you could publish a book about that trip.ReplyDelete
Luckily, inhaling all those hairspray fumes in close quarters didn't affect your judgement. If they had, it's quite possible you would have been bedazzled by all that jewelry. Whew! Close call. :))ReplyDelete
I always look forward to reading your stories. This one is no exception. Excellent!ReplyDelete
Shelly - You're right that most Israelis are not religious. Did you meet your husband in Israel? My husband moved here when he was only seven. He was brought up in a religious family, and his mother continues to be religious. All of his other relatives in Israel are also religious. They are also wonderful compassionate people. I never discussed religion with the men on my first trip.ReplyDelete
Miranda - Midnight dates are now known as booty calls!
Alex - I was lucky too. The guy at the beach wasn't easy to get away from. Thanks Alex!
Delores - Maybe if I wrote more about my mom and her friends. Remember that I was the boring one in the group. Thanks Delores!
Luanne - It was a "close call," but the guy at the beach was a lot creepier. I'm sure that I will suffer the effects from PTHCD (Post Traumatic Hairspray and Cigarette Smoke Disorder) at one point or another!
Carol - Thank you so much! I read this story to my mom last night before I published it, and she remembered some of the funny details that I had forgotten about. For example, I thought that I was a good sport about helping the elderly woman climb Masada!
What could possibly go wrong in a foreign country meeting a man you don't know at midnight???? Bwahahaha. This story had me laughing all the way through. Your mom is a firecracker.ReplyDelete
Good to know you're not easy. Thank you for the clarification on that;)
"Shut up Julie. You're embarrassing yourself." Bwaahahaha. Thanks for reminding me, Mom!!! Love it.ReplyDelete
Robin - She is a real "firecracker!" No, I am definitely not the easiest person to live with. I wonder where I got it from?! Thanks Robin!ReplyDelete
Sara - I wish that I could remember more great moments from our trip. If only I kept a journal back then. Thank you Sara!
Sounds like that was quite a trip.ReplyDelete
What a very fun post! Loved it. What a story too. Your mom sounds like a character. And boy-- I just don't get why you rejected the midnight encounter! ;) Sounds like you kept a good head on your shoulder (and reaped a nice husband in the process).ReplyDelete
What a great trip you must have had. Your mom is very young looking, but then so are you. ha ha - loved your story of the guy who wanted to "pick you up." That was a fun post to read - thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Susanne - It was an adventure that we appreciate even more now.ReplyDelete
Julie - We met about two years later. The funny thing was that we only lived about five minutes away from each other. Thanks Julie!
Mary - That picture was taken on our trip in 1984. My mom did look great then, and still does. Thanks so much Mary!
hahaha julie! loved your description of the bathroom schedule in the am, topped off with the comment about your mom's hairspray and cigarette smoke. and the comment about you embarrassing yourself ha me literally LOL alone in my kitchen. always have been and still are a crack up!!! XOReplyDelete
I'd love to go to Israel someday. I don't think I'd want to share a room with anyone except my wife. And I'm pretty sure she wouldn't let me go on any dates with any Israeli girls.ReplyDelete
Tossing It Out
Israel is still on my bucket list. I really hope to get there some day. Loved the last line. Thanks for the laugh.ReplyDelete
Unknown - Here you said all of these nice things, and I can't even properly thank you. Could you at least tell me your initials, or give me a clue from our past?ReplyDelete
Lee - I agree that you would definitely have more fun with your wife, and you wouldn't have to stay up until midnight to see her! Very funny Lee!
Rhonda - I know that you and your family will really enjoy all of the historical and biblical sights in Israel. Let me know if you decide to go there, and maybe I could give you some travel advice for a change! Thanks Rhonda!
Makes me wonder if that was your last trip to Israel? Glad you didn't go on any booty calls...er...dates. Your mom does sound like a fun-loving lady, though.ReplyDelete
Shannon at The Warrior Muse
A great, interesting trip you had, lovely picture.ReplyDelete
You should have arranged to meet that young man in your hotel room but fail to mention you had 10 burly guys waiting to greet him there. His face would have been a picture. As for the midnight meeting, that's funny. What was he going to do, give you a ring? ha ha ha. Some people have got a lot of balls if you ask me.ReplyDelete
It must be fun now going over all your old memories and laughing at some of the things that happened to you. What fun. And congratulations for being married so long. It's almost unheard of nowadays.
Shannon - My mom still is a "fun-loving" gal! I have been back to Israel to visit my husband's family, and we've had much better experiences. Yet the trip with my mom will always be special to me.ReplyDelete
Thank you very much Yvonne!
Rum-Punch Drunk - It would've been great if I did have "10 burly guys" to surprise him with! Something tells me that he also thought I was an "easy American," and believe me I didn't look the part. Twenty six years have gone by so fast! Thank you RPD!
Good story, Julie. Yes, American women have quite the reputation, as do Israeli men! That's a very special picture. You and your mom look great. I was in Israeli just a few years after that (87).ReplyDelete
Hahaha, that was fun, what could go wrong, indeed? And a discount on jewelry cleaner should never be disregarded. Nice tale, Julie. Good you turned them down.ReplyDelete
And here it is the long absent dragon to politely ask you to drop by the cave and pick up a VIP invitation there for you. I give you my word of honor that my intentions are honorable and I won't think you easy if you do accept to be there for the celebration on the appointed date. :D I leave you very respectable dragon hugs.
Before I even read the caption, I thought that looked like Masada. What a place. I remember spotting what looked like the outline of the Roman camp and the spot where they bult the ramp. Breathtaking. Then we went floating in the Dead Sea like a couple bars of Ivory Soap.ReplyDelete
Robyn - I'm sure that you had a better time than we did. Though looking back, it was fun complaining about the early morning tours and crowded accommodations together. Thank you Robyn!ReplyDelete
Al - Of course I will gladly accept your lovely invitation Al, as long as it doesn't begin at midnight! Thanks for thinking of me, and I'm especially looking forward to the "dragon hugs!"
Al - You were very brave. I only stuck a toe in the Dead Sea, and was ready to skedaddle. Masada was "breathtaking" and my elderly companion miraculously made it to the top.
Masada was a truly sobering experience. Don't they still have a cable car to bring you up? They made us wear hats out of respect. Sadly, all I was ale to get was a "Masada" ballcap. Kinda tacky, but I believe I was respectful (yeah, even me). Luckily, they had showers where we floated in the Dead Sea. Because, ohhhh.....yuck!Delete
Al - Yes, they still have cable cars. I'm sure that you were very respectful. The Dead Sea is also supposed to have healing powers, so it's good that you dove right in.Delete
I loved your story, and your mom's cute red hair doesn't look all that teased to me) I think you made wise choices with who you dated and who you didn't. For some strange reason, I thought Masada was in Africa somewhere. (I always was bad with geography.) Your trip sounded marvelous. So glad you told us about it. :-)ReplyDelete
In the mid-1990s, I taught at Israel College and made many Israeli friends. A few of them later moved to New Hampshire and we remain close to this day. They have given me several fantastic photos of Masada, where I have never been, but would love to see. It's on my Bucket List. In any event, I'm certain I would have a better time. I'm quite sure those guys would not hit on me.ReplyDelete
Lexa - I would never lie about hair teasing! She'll be thrilled when I pass your compliment onto her! Thanks Lexa!ReplyDelete
JJ - It must've been quite an interesting experience teaching in Israel, and I would love to hear more about it. Since then I have met many wonderful Israeli men. I just had a few strange experiences during my first visit. Glad that your friends like you for your wit and charm!
It sounds like a fun trip to remember. I imagine thinking about it makes it more fun every year.ReplyDelete
Yes, finally I've arrived. Wow, you certainly have brought back some memories from a memorable trip. I've no doubt that your mother has a continued fun time. Just like you do. Your husband is a lucky man. Although, I now discover that not all American women are easy. Right then, it's back to Canadian women for me. Oops, did I just type that...
Thanks for this, Julie.
Yvonne - I think that we appreciate the trip even more now. Thanks Yvonne!ReplyDelete
Gary - Now all of the British women are going to be sad. Don't spread yourself too thin Gary! Thank you kind sir!
Sounds like fun times. I liked the role reversal of you not being able to get to sleep because of your mum and her friend jabbering. :) You were the sensible one of the group, not boring!ReplyDelete
Your mom igniting herself with hairspray made me laugh out loud. I can just imagine the whole scene. And I agree with Nick, it's funny to think of you as the one who just wanted to sleep while your mom and her friend were making noise. I would have been right there with you LOL.ReplyDelete
Great picture too. I just love your mom!
I LOVE that picture... and your story. Your mother sounds like a real force to be reckoned with, and I mean that in the best possible way. Keep writing these kinds of memories down, so you don't forget them. It'll be a real blessing for your grandchildren and great grandchildren to be able to read them some day.ReplyDelete
Nick - I was just tired from the early morning tours. Thanks for making me feel better Nick!ReplyDelete
Julie - I wish that I had been more appreciative at the time. I saw my mom today, and she was thrilled to hear your comment! Thank you so much Julie!
Susan - I do write these stories for my kids. I know what you mean, as I've already started to forget important details. My mom will love that you called her "a real force to be reckoned with!" Thanks for the kind words, and for not making fun of my mullet!
I wouldn't DREAM of ever making fun of anyone's haircut. You wouldn't believe some of the cuts I've had over the years...Delete
Susan - Sounds like the making of a great blog post! I would love to see all of your hairdos!Delete
Hi Julie - sorry taken me ages to get here .. what a fun post to read - oh gosh .. I'd be under the pillow too - especially with cigarette smoke around, let alone hair spray!! Your husband found his jewel though ...ReplyDelete
Great fun .. cheers Hilary
Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)ReplyDelete
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