Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Back MsTioga2

Back with MsTioga!
It is truly amazing how good it is to be back living inside MsTioga again. MsTioga is my home, and I love it here soooooo much!

MsTioga's engine starting battery was disconnected for our trip to Israel. When I went to reconnect the cable, the clamp end broke! So, my friend Pete Schuster drove me to an auto supply store where a replacement battery cable was purchased. After replacing the battery cable, MsTioga's engine started right up. Pete said, "The engine sounds good!"

Pete helped me back MsTioga out of Benyamin's yard where she was camped during our trip to Israel.
MsTioga's Mexico camp


8PM - Dying for sleep!
It is soooooo hard making this blog post. I can barely keep my eyes open! It is 4am Friday in Jerusalem, and 8pm here in Mexico. But I wanted to write to you about MsTioga before going to sleep!

2:30 AM - Awake now!
Everything works! Mr. Dometic our hardworking refrigerator has cooled down to 42°F. We went shopping for a few things; eggs, milk, OJ, fruit and vegetables.

Mr. Datastorm had his satellite specs changed during our trip. When Mr. Datastorm went up today, he found his satellite immediately. Then he downloaded his new satellite specs and is working great!

In my first post to you [above], I wrote about my friend Pete Schuster driving me to buy a replacement battery cable. After the cable was purchased, I was starving. So, Pete drove to his favorite hamburger place in Tequisquiapan and we spent a couple of hours there eating and chatting

MsTioga is camped near the large Bodega Auerrera store in Tequisquiapan. We are on a quiet street for sleeping. All is well!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Israel to Mexico

Israel to Mexico
Right now I am sitting in front of Mr. HP, my laptop computer. We are in the Holiday Inn in Mexico City. Only this morning at 3:30am, I said goodbye to Son Joseph and took a taxi to the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. All the way here in a little less than 24 hours. Double wow with sugar on it!

I love to travel by airplane......but!
The airlines really play it close with scheduling flights. The first leg of my flight was from Tel Aviv, Israel to Paris, France. There is only a 2 hour and 20 minute layover in Paris and I reached the boarding gate only 10 minutes before departure! That is mighty close!

However, a really good thing happened on the second leg of my trip from Paris to Washington DC. United Air Lines upgraded me to Business Class seating. Wow! This is soooooo neat! The Business Class customers get special food! Special service. The seats are huge, and recline almost to the horizontal for sleeping. I had a private TV screen for movies.

The third leg of my trip was from Washington DC to Mexico City. The flight went well even though Tropical Storm Alex made the flight a little bumpy. My flight arrived in Mexico City at 8:45pm. However, I was not able to exit the airport until after two hours later, a bit before 11pm!

The line thru immigration in Mexico City moved very slow and was extremely long. There must have been three hundred people in the immigration line and it took over one hour to get thru that line. Then there is the customs line, and that took about one half hour. It took me another half hour to locate the shuttle from the airport to the Holiday Inn.

Back with MsTioga tomorrow
Wow! I am sooooooo happy to be back in Mexico! Tomorrow morning a bus will take Little Mavicita, Mr. HP and myself back to Tequisquiapan where since May 18th, MsTioga has been waiting patiently for us to return!






YesterdayTomorrow

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv by the beach
This morning we are going by train from Haifa to Tel Aviv. Our hotel in the City of Tel Aviv is the Liber Tel Aviv Sea Shore Suites and is located across the road from the beach!

This is our last day in Israel. Tomorrow morning, Joe and I fly out of nearby Ben Gurion Airport heading for home.
View from our balcony




Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tropical storm Alex

Tropical storm Alex!
My airplane flight leaving Tel Aviv, Israel is scheduled for 6am, Wednesday, June 30th. Arrival in Mexico City is at 8:58pm the same day. You may have noticed recently that Tropical Storm Alex is off the eastern coast of Mexico.

Just about the time that my flight would be landing in Mexico City, Tropical Storm Alex is predicted to be roaring at about 96 to 110 miles per hour off the eastern Mexican coast! The storm may delay the leg of my flight from Washington, DC to Mexico City. It might be that the storm keeps me in the Washington, DC area for a day or more.



Saturday, June 26, 2010

Haifa

Going to Haifa
This morning we left the City of Tiberias heading for the Mediterranean coast and the City of Haifa. The roads of Israel are maintained in spectacular condition so the trip went very well.

When we arrived in Haifa, the traffic was pretty heavy. We found that our hotel is located in a very densely populated area. Driving here is a bit stressful. There was no street parking to be found near our hotel. Good thing our hotel has its own parking lot. However, we could not find the parking lot! The hotel gave us instructions for locating that lot, but we still could not find it!

The lot is located on a small street that was torn up because of a construction project. Buses and cars moved on this street at a snail pace. Driving around the block and returning to the hotel took about 20 minutes each trip. Finally, after three trips around the neighborhood, we located the tiny gate leading from the street into the lot.

Going out for lunch
Our plan for seeing Haifa included using our rental car to drive around the city. However, after the experience of not finding any place to park while traveling thru Haifa to the hotel, or at the hotel itself, we decided that driving around Haifa was out of the question.

By the time we got checked into our hotel room, I was starving for food. Lugging my bag up the stairs from the parking lot used up too much energy. Funny thing was that later we learned that an elevator went down to the parking area. We did not notice the tiny elevator door when we went past it with our luggage!

I found a steak restaurant by searching online. But the restaurant is located way up the hill. The City of Haifa is somewhat like San Francisco, California. Big hills around the bay. We could walk, take a bus or taxi. Walking up that hill was not a choice for me. Buses? We took a taxi.

The food was good. We bought a platter of different kinds of meats, beef and chicken.

Bahai shrine and gardens
After eating it was late in the afternoon, about 4:30pm. We are close to the the huge Bahai gardens, a very famous place in Haifa. We decided to walk over there and walk down the hill thru the gardens. However, the guards at the garden entrance told that walking all the way thru to the the bottom of the gardens is not permitted! We could only look at the first two upper level gardens.

After the Bahai garden, Joseph wanted to explore Haifa by walking. That kind of walk is not in the cards for me. So, I took the bus back down the hill and returned to the hotel.
Looking down at the Bahai gardens







Friday, June 25, 2010

Kfar Giladi

Visiting Kfar Giladi
An email arrived from Uncle Seymour telling of our relatives who live at the kibbutz, Kfar Giladi. We drove right past Kfar Giladi during our trip north yesterday! Until the email arrived from Seymour, we did not know about our relatives who live there!

So, we decided to head north again today and try to locate our relatives at Kfar Giladi. On the way north, we followed the River Jordan to see what this stream looks like above the Sea of Galilee. We came to a place where there is a drop in the river which formed a rocky fall.
Rocky fall on the River Jordan


By mid-afternoon we arrived at the kibbutz, Kfar Giladi. This kibbutz may have originated as a collective community, mostly based on agriculture. Now however, Kfar Giladi is diverse industrial kibbutz [link].

We drove into Kfar Giladi and asked the first person we saw for help. Seymour gave us the name, "Mulka", which is the first name of a member of our family. Mulka was not a close relative. He is the uncle of my aunt Rochelle. Would you believe that this person actually knew who Mulka was? We followed this lady to the nearby home of our relatives and were greeted at the door by Hagar, who is the daughter of Mulka.

We spent a wonderful afternoon chatting with Hagar, her husband Ahron, their daughter Adee, and son-in-law Remi.
Hagar, George, Joseph, Ahron, Remi, Adee
Children Tom, Leah




Thursday, June 24, 2010

Exploring northern Israel

Exploring northern Israel
This evening begins the sabbath. As you may know, Israel is shut down during sabbath. So, we decided to rent a car from Avis so that we could do stuff. It turned out that the cost to rent a car for only two days or four days, was the same. We will return our Avis rental car in Haifa next Tuesday.
Our Avis rental beast

Exploring Tiberias
We drove around the City of Tiberias for a bit, then parked and went down the boardwalk next to the Sea of Galilee [Yam Kinneret in Hebrew]. We came to an ice cream stand that made milk shakes! I love milk shakes.
Joe and George with drinks at the seashore

Driving to the Israel/Lebanon border!
It is amazing how small is the Country of Israel. We drove north from the Sea of Galilee and the City of Tiberias. Our little rental car took us thru the Cities of Zefat, Rosh Pinna, Hazor Hagelit. In less than an hour we passed thru Kiryat Shmona.

Up on a hill overlooking the Town of Metula, we parked and looked down at the Country of Lebanaon. We are both struck that such a prosperous community as Metula thrives so close to the border of Lebanon!

There is a sign posted just behind where we are parked warning us that mines are planted there. This sign a reminder of how dangerous this place has been.
Joe looks at Lebanon






Galilee Golan tour

Touring Galilee and Golan Heights
A very nice lady at the front desk of our hotel helped us find a tour guide for today. This tour guide is going to take us all around the Galilee and also to the Golan Heights. Both Joe and I are very excited about this tour. Also, we are very lucky to be helped by the lady at the front desk. Without her, we would not have been able to find this guide.

Before hiring the private tour guide, we tried to book a tour bus. However, no tour by bus is a available. The private tour guide should be much better for us as this guide will be much more flexible in where we go.

Avis Car Rental
Tomorrow is Friday, the day before the sabbath. And the following day is sabbath. Just like in Jerusalem, everything is closed down Friday afternoon and all Saturday. So, the front desk lady arranged for us to rent a car from Avis for these two days.

We hope to buy a guide book today that will help us for tomorrow and Saturday when we will be driving around on our own.

Yitzhak Peri - Tour Guide
In the pic below you see Yitzhak "Ezu" Peri and Son Joseph. Ezu picked us up at our Astoria Hotel and we drove north following the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee [Hebrew: Yam Kinneret].
Ezu and Joseph


Tour route


We came to the Kibbutz Ginosar and the Yigal Allon Museum where is displayed the "Sea of Galilee Boat" [link]. Below is a pic of the rescued and restored boat that lay in the mud of the Galilee for over 1,900 years.


The Town of Kefar Nahum [Capernaum] is the home of the Church of Heptapegon where Jesus fed the five thousand. Unfortunately because Joseph and I were wearing short pants, we were not allowed to enter!


Outside church at Capernaum


One of the sites that I really wanted to see is the famous, River Jordan. When Ezo drove his car over the Jordan Bridge above the Sea of Galilee, both Joseph and I were excited to stop and go back to see the river!
Looking downstream at the River Jordan


After leaving the River Jordan, we drove up into the Golan Heights heading for Bental Mountain, site of a huge tank battle during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. From the heights of Bental Mountain, we could look down into the Country of Syria, with its undeveloped and barren land [link].
Beyond the green of Israel is Syria


At the Israeli war bunker - Mt. Bental


After leaving Mt. Bental, we retraced our route traveling south. We came to the River Jordan again where the stream leaves the Sea of Galilee. No water flows here at this time. However, just south of the Allenby Bridge is the place where Jesus was baptized by John.

Many Christians were here to be baptized in these same waters. These people were all dressed in white clothing, worn specially for their baptism.
Baptism site of Jesus