Monday, March 11, 2013

in Israel

We're in Israel!!!  The land promised to the Patriarchs, conquered by Joshua and divided among the twelve tribes.  Traversed by Elijah, ruled by King David and inhabited by its Messiah during his entire earthly life.  The land of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and now...three of the Hintons!

It's a long, incredible story of how we got here.  Unfortunately we had to shell out money for 24 hours of wireless Internet, so I want to get through as many updates as I can.  Fingers crossed our next hotel will provide it for free, but we won't know until we get there.

Short version?

Danny and I have known for a while we'd love to travel to Israel...someday.  Someday meaning when the girls are grown, college and weddings are paid for and we're living happily in the realm of retirement.  So we put it on the bucket list.

For some reason, through a series of events only God could have foreseen and orchestrated, He plucked our Israel dream out of our very distant future and stuck it here, in our right now.

While the pre-travel arrangements have been seamless, I can't say they've been easy.  The week before we left I had a handful of melt downs and wondered if Dan would have to medicate me to get me on the plane.  The morning we were set to depart, one glance at the girls' toothbrushes set the waterworks flowing.

All I can say is, thank goodness for Super Nana.  And the prayers of many friends.

Reese was a hoot at the airport.  She was bouncing around, high on Nana's arrival.  It made it easier to fight back the tears until we rounded the corner, out of sight and headed for security.

Friday night we flew out of JFK.  (We took two flights to get there.)  For our international leg, we flew on the biggest airplane I have ever seen.  In hindsight I wish I had taken a picture of it to show Reese.  It had two stories and I was dying to know who/what was upstairs  The rest of us riffraff had to stay downstairs.  Kind of like the Downton Abbey of flying.

The flight wasn't bad.  They turned off all the lights so everyone could sleep.  I was under strict orders from my nurse practitioner to get up and walk every hour.  I felt a little high maintenance, but I wasn't about to get all the way over here and risk ruining the trip with health complications I could have avoided.  There were tons of movies and TV shows to keep us occupied and I watched a few in between cat naps.  Dan helped me keep track of my walking schedule.  They served us breakfast about an hour before we landed.  By that time it was afternoon in Tel Aviv.
 (This was the live map we could watch on our little seat back screen.)

After a small hiccup in customs, we met up with the rest of our group, boarded our big touring bus and headed north.  Our first hotel was on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.  We arrived at sunset and took in the view before eating dinner and collapsing into bed. 

We slept like babies.  The next morning I took a few more pictures from our hotel room.

After breakfast we boarded the bus and headed north along the Mediterranean coast.  It was time for our first full day of touring!

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