I think we have worn out the troops today.  We did start a bit late due to the 1:30 am arrival last night (well, I guess that makes it this morning).  The hotel (Ramada Suites, Netanya) is a delight.  I was on the 13th floor with an expansive view of the Mediterranean.  It was – wow!!!  Jeff had a two bedroom room suite, I just a one bedroom.  But I had the view.  They had left us some dinner in the fridge, that was yummy. Yogurt, olives, yummy cheese, two plate full of goodies.

I had some work to do and some online updates to make, then a shower and off to bed.  It was after 2 I’m sure.  I left the window of my room open and listened to the Mediterranean lap up against the shore all night (I wasn’t awake long).  But with the windows open, I took the risk of rising early when the sun came up.  I did.  But it was totally worth it.

I reorganized some in my suitcase and got ready for the day.  Went down to breakfast, which was delicious.  Had a fresh omelet, with all the other Israel goodies I’ve come to love in the morning.  For an Israel trip it was quite the leisurely morning.

We boarded the bus and headed out right at 9 am.  Off to start this trek through Israel.

My only trouble is that I don’t have any cell phone coverage.  No service is all my phone says (I am currently waiting online to chat with International Spring….I was #30 in line, I’ve moved up to  #10.  But it is time to go to dinner….what shall I do?  I will hang on a while.

Anyway, it was a beautiful morning.  Not too hot, and for sure not too chilly.  It was wonderful.  Skies were bright blue and the ocean gleamed.  It was a special day.  Our bus is a little crowded, and as we discovered later in the day – it only had AC in the front, so it got quite uncomfortable as the day wore on.  It is out to the shop for repair right now.  We’d prefer a bigger bus tho.  Oh well.

First stop was Caesarea Maritima. (I’ve moved up to #7 in the Sprint queue).  The ocean was just amazing.  They’ve moved the movie from the harbor to just outside the theater, so we started there.  I was going to skip it this year, but was tricked into watching it because of the new location.  But it was good.  Again.  (I’ve blazed up to #6 with Sprint).  We saw the theater and the palace of Herod the Great….then the hippodrome and a house or bath house (they aren’t sure) just up and behind the hippodrome.  The marble columns were amazing.
Then to the harbor and crusader ruins and back to the bus, yes, the warm one. (#5 now – and dinner is in 1 minute…I’ll be in trouble).  Off next to the Roman aqueduct.  We started late, so we just took a peak from the bus.  Before I knew it we were off to Mt. Carmel.

When we got to the top, the views had clearly completely and we were amazed.  Well, I’d seen it on very, very hazy days….so I was amazed.  We stood on the top of Mt. Carmel and saw the Mediterranean to the west, and we could actually see the hills of Gilead to the East, in modern Jordan.  It was spectacular.  We just soaked in the vista for a while, then got back to some instruction from Andre.  Oh wow….I am now #1 in the queue.

8:40 pm.

Just back from dinner and ready for bed.  I did get through to Sprint and the phone was “fixed” in about 15 seconds.  I needed to switch something on and something off.  I probably should try and remember what that was, but alas, I am struggling to remember what I had for dinner an hour ago, so I’m not sure I’ll remember on my next visit.  So I can get/send texts and voice calls now.  Since I gave out my number for emergencies – that’s a good thing.

Dinner was delicious and folks really seemed to enjoy it.  They had quite the variety.  Salads – with a whole salmon to dig into on the salad table.  Plus all the meat selections and desserts.  Not a ton of desserts – but ice cream and enough to satisfy my modify eating plan.  I did eat too much tho.

On the way back from dinner I stopped at the front desk to alert them to Erik’s arrival tonight.  At the desk he thought that Erik would be here about 2.  Wow, that sounds familiar.  He appreciated the heads up tho.  The staff seems very responsive and nice here.  When I got back to my room, the phone rang and it was the guy from the front desk.  He said that I should go down to the dining room and fill up a plate of food for Erik and leave it in the room.  I thought that was very nice of them to think of that.

I went down and tried to carefully select items that might be tasty after sitting in a fridge for 5-6 hours.  But something is better than nothing if you are hungry.  I am still impressed that they thought to do that for him.  Way to go, Ron Beach Hotel!

So I am back in the room again.  I did walk along the water front after dinner for a very, very short time.  There was a boat out on the water disturbing the peace with blaring music, so much for some moments of reflective thought.
My teeth are brushed and I’ve repeated tomorrow morning’s schedule to just about everyone five times at least.  So they should be ready to go at 8 am.  I just hope that I am.  Since I am actually falling asleep right now….I will probably be up nice and early.  Let’s hope so.

Today was a great day.  The first day always is.  But tomorrow is The Galilee.  Can’t wait.

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Myrl hicks says... (Reply)
"Praying for all of you! Hope you enjoy many blessing and gather many memories." (5/2/14)
Doug & Nikki says... (Reply)
"Thanks for the wonderful narrative. Nikki and I feel like we are there with you! Praying for continued safe journey and a fun and educational trip for all." (5/2/14)