Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Beautiful Nature

I love when friends and family come to visit us here. Not only because it's always great to see people whom we don't get to see often, but when we have visitors we tend to do fun things and take advantage of all this country has to offer. Like yesterday, for example. My brother-in-law and my 7 year old nephew are here so yesterday Big and I joined them for a really great day!
First, Big and I drove down to Jerusalem to pick them up and then we all drove down to the Dead Sea. Big has been there before and on the way down he told his cousin all about how cool it is to float in the salty water. It was ridiculously hot and of course there was not an ounce of shade anywhere on the beach. And, while floating in the salty water of the Dead Sea is definitely cool, the novelty wears off after about 5 minutes and then it is just itchy. So we hung out there for a short while and then went across the highway to Ein Gedi, which is literally an oasis in the middle of the desert.
Our first order of business was getting some lunch which turned out to be ice cream. As my mother is known for saying "an ice cream sandwich can be lunch...it is a SANDWICH!" After we ate our nutritious lunch, we started our hike. I was a bit nervous about Big making it thorough the whole thing and I had visions of having to carry him and both of us falling off a mountain. I asked at the entrance whether the shortest hike was suitable for a 5 year old and was told that it was super easy and that it was only a 10 minute walk to the first waterfall, so if he didn't want to keep going after that we could just walk back.
My worries proved unfounded and we did the entire hike. It wasn't very long or very difficult (other than the steep parts on the way back down where I wished I wasn't wearing flip-flops!) but it was a lot of fun. It was probably close to 100 degrees so it was amazing and refreshing to stop and cool off at the 4 or 5 waterfalls that are along the trail. I vaguely remember doing this hike when I was in Israel on a summer tour in high school and again when I was here for the year after high school. So weird to be doing it again with my kid!!


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