9:36 pm
Netanya


We are all safe and sound in our hotel on the coast of the Mediterranean, in the town of Netanya.  I did walk over and made sure the ocean was there – but I decided against a walk down to it tonight.  I like sleep right now.


It was a relaxing day today.  The Kortlang’s made it to the Gloria about 1 am or so.  I hadn’t a clue.  But we touched base in the morning.  The dining room was CROWDED so I opted to eat breakfast a little later.  Shock.  By 8:15 it had cleared out a bit and so I had a quick bite to eat.


Then the three of us did “the loop.”  That’s my new name for it.  Down to the Western Wall via the Armenian and Jewish Quarters.  Then along the plaza and back up through the Christian and sort of Muslim Quarters.  It’s a bit of hike, but it is a lovely taste of the Old City.


Then they went to nap. I repacked and stuff.  Went to lunch about 1 pm (my stomach was not ready for the hummus lunches – so I opted more American…a burger.  Yes, I know that wasn’t the best.  But….  I had called my new doctor here in Israel and she said all the blood work was fine and I was given a clean bill of health.  I am feeling better and better.
Then I waited around until 4 pm and headed down to the lobby.  I met my new room replacement – he was coming in as I was leaving.  Uh….I am neat, but it still needs to be cleaned!  They messed up at the desk (the guy was not happy that the other guy did that).  They gave out rooms that hadn’t yet been cleaned.  Oops.  It was a lovely room – and worthy waiting for, I must say.


So we trekked out of the Jaffa Gate and down and about and across the street – to our appointed waiting area.  We had a 4:45 appointment.  And we were plenty early – almost 25 minutes early.  By 5:15 the bus and Benny arrived.  There had been an accident somewhere and traffic was a mess. A  real mess.  So we were behind schedule to get to the airport for the pickup.


Traffic out of Jerusalem was heavy, but our driver (Fouad) was amazing.  These NET drivers are the best.  It was nice to head west while the sun was still up – so we got some sights of Jerusalem and suburbs.  But….we had a deadline – we had to get to the airport before our other tour folk got done with all their entry procedures.


It was nip and tuck for a while.  But we made it (mostly).  Brett and Nanette had zoomed through and were waiting.  But the rest were a little behind – but we did make it before they did.  Whew.


Everyone seems to have survived the flights no worse for wear.  They are tired (or course) and jet lag is a bear.
The traffic to the hotel was awful.  It seemed to take forever.  But this is Thursday night (think Friday night traffic in LA).  A lot of folks get Friday and Saturday off.  Or at least half a day on Friday.  So that could be what was going on.


But anyway, we made it to the hotel (it is lovely – all suites so that this nice).  We had dinner – a delicious buffet.  Some were going to dip the toe into the ocean.  I came back to my own suite to type.  Then sleep.


The journey begins in earnest in the morning.  We are all quite excited.  Can’t wait to learn and enjoy the land.  Benny is going to do a great job.


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