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Friday, April 23, 2010

OMG! A "Journey"... to Israel!

The Hubby of the Sweepstakes Queen really did it this time- he made my dream of taking him home to Israel a reality! He just won us 2 tickets to Israel from American Associates of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev! I have spent years telling friends, and not in jest, that I'd only be able to take Dan back to Israel when I won a sweepstakes- and then HE won the sweepstakes! A dear friend in California- who once owned the Jerusalem pub where I tended bar while I was serving in the Israeli Army in the mid '80s- sent me an email link to a sweepstakes from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the amazing school in the Negev Desert in Israel. And since the Negev- with the marvelous Ein Gedi Spa and Herodion National Park Nature Preserve, Nature Preserve and Antiquities Park with Canaanite, Israelite, and Roman ruins-and the waterfalls I hiked thru with archaeologist friends and with my mom when she visited me while I was in the Army; Massada, with the 37 BCA ruins of King Herod's mountaintop fortress, which I first visited with my father in 1973 at dawn, and where IDF soldiers are sworn in; Qumran of Dead Sea Scrolls fame, the extraordinary Kibbutz Ein Gedi, that proves the desert can truly bloom, Arad, the pollen-free city (a haven for those with asthma) & home to the Arad Festival where I first did the Macarena in public (LOL), and (my Absolutely Favorite Place), the Dead Sea of mineral mud Ahava beauty-product fame that clears Psoriasis and heals IDF soldier's broken bones and all sorts of illnesses from Rheumatoid Arthritis to the Leishmonaisis wounds I got from the Jericho Rose Fly (as well as  my Psoriasis)- is basically my favorite place on earth, I simply Had to enter! And then, naturally, I sent it to a bunch of friends, and got Dan to enter, too! And last week he got the call- he'd won! To say I'm "over the moon" would be an understatement- I've basically been dancing around the room for days! This is Truly a dream come true- and the opportunity of a lifetime for Chef Dan & his Foodie Wife to have wonderful new adventures together in the land of my heart! The wineries of the Golan! Meurav Yerushalmi al ha aysh (Mixed Grill) in Jerusalem! Yummy meat-filled Syrian "Kubeh" dumplings in lemony chicken soup! Cigarim Morocaiim (Moroccan "cigar"-shaped meat filled pastries)! The fabulous Crusader-era market in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall! Cafe Hafouch ("upside-down coffee",
a.k.a. cappuchino) in a cafe on the Midrochov in Jerusalem! The wondrous medieval city of Safed! The fiords of Rosh Hanikra! Eating fish in Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee and in the gorgeous cafes of Old Jaffa! Playing golf in Caesarea! Snorkling in the Red Sea off Eilat! And hopefully visiting my old Kibbutz & seeing friends...

I was still in a state of shock when Dan handed me a lovely while box tied up with a green satin ribbon the other night... within which was a tiny box of Godiva chocolates & a gorgeous rosewood box... within which was... a DiamondNexus 7-stone "Emotions Journey" pendant!
Life is a "Journey", all right- and B"H it will be a marvelous journey for us to Israel!

The funny thing is that Dan and I were in Israel- and in almost the same place- ca. 1985, but didn't meet! (And if we had, we probably wouldn't be married now! LOL) But now, some 25 years later, I have the chance to do what I've wanted to do since we met in 2001: take the love of my life home to show him "my" Israel! As readers of this blog know, Dan took me home to Vietnam, (and Korea & Japan), on our honeymoon in 2008, and showed me his love- countries I promptly fell in love with, too! And now, thanks to Ben-Gurion University, I get to share my "before we met" life with him! Woot! Shiga'on! Here's to "Journeys"- and a belief that life will take you wonderful places- if you let it...


Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to go as well. Perhaps some day I can afford to go, just let the rest of us know when there is another sweepstakes....I mean, lightning can strike twice right? Oh, and Dan is so romantic with his little box of chocolates!

Elisse Jo Goldstein-Clark said...

Sweeps for a fabulous trip to Israel from Ahava cosmetics- and you can enter every day:

Also check out Oorah's Auction: (They do wonderful educational things!)