I have been trying to get this posted for three days. Now that shoulder surgery is "almost" behind me, the trip abroad is done, it is time to get caught up on all fronts. This week has been spent with wedding things to get in order. My sense of bridal urgency has hit me. Agh!!!! Bride will be home next week so there are lots of details I want to get ironed out or at least ready to iron out before she gets home. I spent the better part of this week with a phone attached to me ear. Still lots to do but I also wanted to catch up with you faithful reader.I promised some photos of my trip. Get ready, pic heavy.
My shoulder prevented large heavy luggage, but there is always room for needlework. What do you do when you wake up earlier than needed on the day of departure? You cut out and pleat a bishop of course! More on that in the next few days.
These two sweeties were waiting for me at the airport. After a long flight, this is just what I needed. Princess couldn't stop giggling. Baby Hank, wasn't so sure. He kept me in his sights at all time, I guess to make sure I didn't make any sudden moves. He warmed up pretty quickly though.
Our first side trip was to the Basilica of the Annunciation.
My few feeble photos don't do it justice.
One of the things I loved about the Basilica, besides the obvious religious significance, was the images of the Madonna around the church and grounds. These images were all gifted by different countries from around the world. This is a close up of Japan's gift. I love the "embroidery" of her kimono done in mosaics.
We then visited Nazareth Village. It is a re-enactment site. We learned so much. Of course I also learned that I was meant to live with paved roads and indoor plumbing. Thank you God for recognizing my weaknesses. Wool homespun and sheep aren't my strong suites.
Princess did great as we drug her around the country, but sometimes a hitch on the Daddy train was necessary. Hank rode everywhere we went in what Sissy calls his "ride."
An aside from our day in Nazareth. The guide book suggested we stop into the Arab bakery, Mahroum, for a treat. Aren't we glad we did! After a confusing interaction with the clerk behind the counter; (our Arabic is pretty rusty, as in non existent) an English speaking young man to the rescue! After helping us place an order, he conveyed that he and his family had traveled many miles to visit this shop famous for the knafeh. He strongly suggested we try some. Now I am not a very "adventurous" diner, but man were we glad we heeded his suggestion. Yummy and best warm with or without a fork! Cheese, crunchy shredded phyllo dough and pistachios. Divine.
The next couple of days we hung out and played.
One thing that stood out for me was the collision of different cultures, languages, beliefs and perspectives. All seemingly coexisting. I am sure there are many more political/religious undercurrents that we did not see in our short time there; but at first glance none of that is obvious. When you look out over the Jerusalem skyline to see a shared view of mosques, churches and synagogues, you are struck by it. Amazing to this uneducated eye. FYI: I have NO position on the political issues facing Israel right now, so if you feel compelled to educate me, save it. Leave me with my rose-colored glasses for now.
One thing that does connect us all globally is the need to create. In the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, this loom was sitting outside a shop. I so wish the weaver had been sitting there but was glad I noticed this there anyway. He is weaving a prayer shawl. Beautiful threads on a beautiful loom.
A quick side trip to "see" the Dead Sea before heading back to my daughter's home on the coast was in order. This portion of the West Bank is very barren, sand and stone as far as they eye can see, interrupted by one lone camel waiting for a hire. I'm sure he is there for the tourist's benefit but I got a chuckle out of it anyway. Of course you would see a camel! And who would believe that we are 400 meters below sea level.
This ends the first week there. More next time. I hope you are finding time to thread a needle.