the Girls Do NYC-Monday

We weren’t flying out to return home until late Monday afternoon, so we had one more morning in NYC to enjoy.  We all decided to go explore Central Park for the morning.  While most of us got ready and packed up our bags, Elissa decided she wanted to walk through Rockefeller Plaza to the park, so she headed out early.  The rest of us traveled by subway and we decided to find a good breakfast shop near the park for coffee and food while we waited for Elissa to arrive.  Next we explored into the park for a while.  The weather was amazing that morning.  It wasn’t hot, maybe mid 70s.  Perfect day for Central Park adventures.  We walked to see the boathouse and the fountain and then towards the southern portion of the park to head out. I wanted to see The Plaza Hotel, so Dana and Leah walked with me to go do that.  We also got to walk all along 5th Avenue to catch the subway back to the hotel.  We grabbed some lunch in the hotel diner, then everyone loaded up in taxis to head to the airport.  The whole weekend was so much fun!!  Such a great time to spend with my best friends.  I’m so thankful for these ladies in my life.  We have almost 10 years of friendships between us all, and I love them dearly.  🙂

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NYC with St. Paul and the Broken Bones

After our city adventures during the day, it was time to head over to the Lincoln Center to enjoy Paul’s show.  Paul is engaged to our friend, Caroline.  I’ve talked about his band before (you can read more about it here: St. Paul and the Broken Bones).  They continue to do well, and part of the reason this trip was planned in the first place was to make a girls’ trip out of going to NYC to watch his show.  So Sunday evening, all the girls re-grouped to enjoy the show.  Thanks to Paul, we got to enjoy it from the awesome VIP tent.  He did great, as usual. He’s such an entertaining performer and we love going to support him!  And we are so happy for him and Caroline. They make a great team 🙂  It was an awesome way to spend our last evening in New York City.

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the Girls Do NYC- Sunday

Sunday morning started out with breakfast and coffee for the early risers…

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Then we all went in different directions again, and I embarked on another adventure to catch up with Leah and Dana who were exploring on bikes again through the city.  Our hotel was about 6 blocks south of Times Square and Bryant Park, so I headed that way to find them.  And in true New York fashion, it wasn’t a simple quick ride as I thought it would be when I set off on the bike.  First of all, Midtown (where out hotel was), is not nearly as bike friendly as the other parts of New York that we had explored the day before.  Bike lanes run right alongside busy New York Streets, but “Midtown” busy was much different than “lower Manhattan” busy.  I’m pretty sure I walked my bike more than I rode it.  And then about 3 blocks from our hotel, I found myself deep into total crowd chaos of some sort of Spanish heritage parade. Yeah.  Streets were blocked off, I was maneuvering around crowds and crowds of people (with bike, mind you) trying to cross streets before parade horses made their way towards me.  It was a frikkin’ nightmare.  So, about an hour later I finally reached Bryant Park, caught up with Leah and Dana, ditched the bike, and then the three of us explored Times Square.  Oh Times Square, you never cease to amaze me.  It’s certainly a sight to see.

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Sunday (23) Sunday (31) Sunday (28) Sunday (33) Sunday (37)  Sunday (39) Sunday (43) Sunday (51) Sunday (47) Sunday (55) Sunday (58)From Times Square we walked back by our hotel to change shoes (our feet were dying!), and then walked to Highline Park (another 12 or so blocks away).  Highline Park is a greenway that has been built over an old raised railroad track that used to run along the Hudson river.  They are still in the process of expanding it.  The city views were nice up there and it was nice to walk among green trees and flowers.  This southern girl needed that little dose of nature 😉

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Next up….Paul’s concert!

the Girls Do NYC- Night on the Town

Saturday night was our night of bachelorette celebrations!  After our long day of exploring the city, we came back to our hotel to clean up and get fancy for a night out.  We started off the evening with white wine while we got ready in the hotel. Then we hopped a subway towards Washington Square Park, where we then walked to Mario Batali’s Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria.

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The rest of the night was spent singing to our little hearts’ desires doing private karaoke.  Our friend Elissa taught English in Japan after college, and said this is how they do karaoke.  The concept of private karaoke sounded a little weird at first to me, but it was BYOB and all 9 of us had our own private room to sing whatever songs we liked.  It was awesome!  SO MUCH FUN 🙂  I love these girls so much!

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the Girls Do NYC- Saturday

Since we had a large group, we already decided that we would be relaxed in our plans for the weekend and not try to do everything all together.  Making decisions among 9 women can be a little tricky.  Some wanted to do more museums, some wanted to eat at certain restaurants, others had friends in NYC they wanted to meet up with.  Our group Saturday morning consisted of those going for coffee, some to the Brooklyn Flea Market, and Elissa headed off to the museums (where Lauren, Liz, and Caroline joined her).

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Next we started walking towards the Brooklyn Bridge to walk across it, and along the way decided to rent bikes for the day and bike across instead. Great idea!  The city views from the Brooklyn Bridge are amazing!!  So glad I didn’t miss this!  While we biked and explored, the other girls went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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We all met back up at the hotel to get cleaned up and ready for our night out on the town celebrating one of our bachelorettes, Caroline!  More to come…

the Girls Do NYC- Friday

Last spring, my friend Caroline tossed out the idea of doing a girls weekend in NYC this fall.  Her boyfriend Paul was having a concert there that she was planning to attend and the weekend also fell right before the 1-year anniversary of the death of our dear friend Christina.  And then, Caroline and Paul got engaged, which was later followed by our friend Elissa’s engagement this summer.  So the trip seamlessly also turned into a bachelorette celebration. It was the perfect opportunity to get us all together again for a bit of a reunion in honor of these events.  Six of us still live in Birmingham, one is in Colorado, one in Nashville, and one in Indiana. And amazingly enough, all 9 of us were able to make it happen!

Most of the girls got to NYC Friday morning and had a full day of adventures.  Caroline and I flew in late Friday night due to work and school obligations.  I took my last final Tuesday before the trip (whoop whoop!), so I was very excited to be completely school-free for this trip with all my besties!

Although my Friday consisted of packing all morning and flying all afternoon/evening, here’s what the other girls enjoyed on their first day in NYC together.  (Pictures courtesy of the girls)

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Our Last Adventures in Israel-Day 7

Saturday, July 20, 2013

We woke up Saturday morning for our last day in Israel.  We toured Jerusalem ALL DAY LONG, and then boarded a plane Saturday evening for the long trek home.  So to say ‘our final day was exhausting’ might be the understatement of the year.  So get ready for a long post!

We left our hotel and walked several blocks until we reached the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem.  This is the entrance to the Muslim quarter.  I should have inserted this map several blogs ago for better demonstration, but here is a look at the Old City of Jerusalem and the location of all the gates within the city walls.

JerusalemGatesJuly20 (1)When we arrived at the Damascus gate our tour guide Andre stopped to talk to us for a while (not that this was any different, he stopped to talk to us A LOT throughout the trip cause he has a never-ending wealth of knowledge about all things Israel).  He pointed out things about this gate, much like several other gates to the city.  As you can see in the picture below there are tall skinny slivers in the walls of the gate.  This was were soldiers could stand and shoot arrows at attacking enemies, while being protected themselves.  Also, the structures that stick out from the walls have openings between giant corbels below in which boiling hot oils could be dumped onto attacking enemies at the gate.July20 (2) July20 (6)

Being a Saturday, the market was especially full of Muslims coming to buy goods.  Andre told us this was one of the areas of Jerusalem that we needed to keep our purses and bags close and walk with a purpose.  He said once we started walking through the market we needed to keep up and keep walking until he led us all the way through.  This was one of the places in Jerusalem where I felt like we were right in the middle of everyday common life in Jerusalem.  Of course Jerusalem is still very touristy, but this particular area felt the least touristy.  It is also one of the areas where Jews would not be caught dead walking through.  Actually, that’s exactly what they would be if they were found walking through the Muslim quarter…dead.  Jerusalem is an interesting city where Muslims, Jews, and Christians all live in very close proximity, but because they each have separated quarters, they rarely mingle.  I think Christians aren’t segregated as much, but Muslims and Jews do not dare intermingle.  It took us about 10-15 mins to walk completely through the market, and we saw beggars on the streets, market salesmen calling out trying to entice a sale, so many foreign languages being exchanged.  It was quite interesting to experience.  Andre lead the way, and Greg was the designated caboose making sure we all made it through and no one got separated.

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Once we exited the area of the market, we found ourselves on the Via Dolorosa, which literally means “Way of Suffering” or “Way of Sorrow,” and is a street through the Old City in which Jesus (likely) walked as he carried his cross to his crucifixion.  Talk about literally walking in Jesus’ footsteps.  It was an incredible feeling.July20 (11)

Next we kept walking our way through the city heading towards the Small Wailing Wall.  Now let me see if I can explain this clearly (I had to do some google research to make sure I got my facts straight).  The Holy of Holies was the room within the Temple where the Arc of the Covenant was held and only the most high priest could enter.  He would enter once a year to make a blood offering.  On the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, the veil that was torn was this veil which separated the Holy of Holies from the the Holy Place in the Tabernacle of the Temple, which symbolized Christ had come as the ultimate sacrifice and He was the way to God the Father.  Ok, stay with me, I’m getting to the importance of the Small Wailing Wall.  The Holy of Holies is no longer standing.  It was destroyed when the Second Temple was destroyed.  But it’s location is presumed to be located underneath where the Dome of the Rock now stands (on the Temple Mount).  The Dome of the Rock belongs to Muslims.  So neither Jews or Christians can go inside the walls of Temple Mount.  Instead, Jews come to the Western Wall (the portion of the ancient walls surrounding the grounds where the Jewish Temple once stood).  It is one of the most sacred spots to the Jewish religion.  Part of the Western Wall is located within the Jewish quarter.  But if you’ll look back to the Old City map I posted above, you’ll see that over half of it runs through the Muslim quarter.  And since the Jewish Temple was located in the northern portion of the Temple Mount, there is actually a portion of the Western Wall that is geographically closer in location to the former Temple than the portion in the Jewish quarter.  THIS IS THE SMALL WAILING WALL 🙂  See, I told you I’d get there!  But if you’ll remember, Jews wouldn’t dare enter the Muslim quarter.  However, there are armed guards who stand at the entrance to this little alley where the Small Wall is located and they are allowed to enter to come pray at the wall.  They come and write their prayers to God on pieces of paper and leave them in the rock crevices of the wall.July20 (23) July20 (22) July20 (20) July20 (22-1) July20 (19) July20 (21)

Next we continued walking through Jerusalem to the Jewish Quarter to the main Western Wall, also called the Wailing Wall.

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There are a few important things we needed to know about approaching the Wailing Wall.  Hats are never to be worn in the courtyard of the wall.  Men and women have separate portions of the wall they are allowed to approach.  Also, it is very disrespectful to turn your back to the wall.  So when leaving from the wall, you walk backwards for a few feet and then you may turn and walk away.  Granted, as Christians, this wall is not significant as it is with the Jewish religion, but out of reverence, everyone is expected to abide by these rules.  So they guys went to the left side of courtyard to access the wall, and me and the ladies went to the right side.  It is always pretty crowded at the wall, so we didn’t go all the way to it, but stood several feet back and observed.  Oh, and you aren’t allow to take photos within the courtyard area.  So the photos we have were taken from another viewpoint within the Jewish quarter.

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We kept walking through the city, making our way through the Armenian quarter and the Christian quarter.  We went to a place that historians say could be the room where the last supper may have occurred.  Below this room we saw a tomb where St. Peter is (possibly) buried.July20 (35) July20 (43) July20 (45) July20 (47) July20 (46)July20 (49) July20 (50) July20 (51) July20 (53) July20 (54) July20 (56)

These are the remains of the city walls of Jerusalem walls during the First Temple period (1000-586 BC), but the city was expanded during the Second Temple period so these remains now lie within the city.

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We also did some souvenir shopping in the market.  Anything made from olive tree wood is one of Israel’s main materials for souvenirs.  We bought a manger scene made completely from olive wood, some Christmas tree ornaments, and a few other figurine trinkets for family members.  Greg also got a Bible with an olive wood cover.  I also bought some earrings made from sea glass that craftsmen find on Israel’s beach shores and then make jewelry with them.

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Our last stop for the day might have been one of the most interesting.  We went to the Garden Tomb.  Now, the thing about this tomb is that we don’t know for sure if it is the exact spot for the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, but it is the best representation of what the tomb would have looked like.  And there are actually a lot of features about this area that make it a possible candidate for the location of the crucifixion and burial.  The hillside in this area has the appearance of a skull, which is what “Golgotha” means, Skull Hill.  And it’s location, in Jesus’ time, would have been an area of the city where several roads were joined and crossed, which means those who were ordered to be crucified would have been prominently on display for many people to see.  Also, this particular tomb is clearly located within a garden.  In John 19:41 it is written, “Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So there they laid Jesus…”  And the term “garden” used here in Hebrew means something more like a “farm.”  It would have been an area of agriculture, not just an area of flowers much like the term “garden” we think of.  And as you see, historians discovered a grape press here which confirms that this area was a rich man’s garden (possibly belonging to Joseph of Arimathea).  So there are a lot of features linking this spot to Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.  But there are also a lot of scholars who actually believe the location of Golgotha and Jesus’ tomb is in a spot in the Christian quarter where the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is now built.  Either way, it was a very humbling experience to see and walk into this tomb knowing it could very well be the very tomb where Jesus Christ was laid.  I can’t even explain the feelings that welled up inside just being in that place.  And after viewing the tomb, our group gathered for prayer and communion.  It was such a great way to wrap up an AMAZING trip.ChurchofHolySeplechreJuly20 (65) July20 (69) July20 (68) July20 (71) July20 (72) July20 (75) July20 (86) July20 (78) July20 (79) July20 (80) July20 (81) July20 (82) July20 (87b)

As we made our final walk back to the hotel to collect our things for our long travels home, we made one last stop at the Jerusalem Prayer Center.  This building is like a community center for Christians in the area.  It is a place they can come to fellowship, worship, and pray.  And it has a great story behind it.  You know the hymn It is Well With My Soul?  It was written by a man named Horatio Spafford. (You can read the full story here: the story behind the hymn ) Long story short, he and his wife were faithful Christian people who enjoyed helping those in need.  But they were not spared of their own hardships.  Not only did they lose their son to scarlet fever, they lost the lives of their 4 daughters, who drowned in a ship wreck in 1873, their mother one of the few survivors.  As Horatio traveled by ship to Europe to bring home his wife who had survived the ship wreck, he came to the spot over which his daughters had drown in the Atlantic Ocean.  It was on this trip that he wrote the words of the hymn, It is Well With My Soul.  What does this have to do with Israel and the Prayer Center?  Well, several years later, after Horatio and his wife had started another family again, they decided to travel to Israel and settled in Jerusalem.  Here they served the poor and needy, showing them the love of Christ.  The Prayer Center in Jerusalem is the former home of Horatio and his wife.  When we entered the Prayer Center, we were told about the accounts of the Spafford family, and then we all sang the  beautiful hymn.  Granted this hymn has always had a special place in my heart, since it was sung at my Grandaddy’s funeral.  But singing it that day, in the home of the man who wrote the song, and after experiencing all the glorious things we had experienced in Israel over the last 10 days, I couldn’t stop the tears that began streaming down my face.  I just felt so overwhelmed by God’s faithful and loving spirit, and I sang that song like I’ve never sang before.  With wholehearted joy and humbled gratitude.

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So after a looooong day of walking all over Jerusalem, we ate our final meal in Israel then walked back to our hotel to gather all our luggage and load up on a bus to head to the airport.  We had about 16 hours of travel ahead of us.  We left Israel Saturday evening, and arrived in America Sunday morning, but with 2 layovers before getting home to Birmingham, we were totally whooped by the time we got home!!  Thankfully we had our family welcoming us home and eager to come visit us at our house and hear all our stories.  Considering 4pm Alabama time felt like 2am for us, we needed their visit to keep us from falling asleep!  I’m sure we crashed at about 8pm that night.

It was truly a trip of a lifetime.  I would love to go back one day.  The impact it had on our personal relationship with God and with each other is invaluable.  Thank you to everyone who helped make it possible!  We couldn’t have done it without you 🙂

Exploring More Jerusalem- Day 6

Friday, July 19, 2013

For our final days in Israel, we woke up and got to work in the kitchen at the camp just like we’d done all week.  We prepared breakfast for all the campers, and then helped Carma and Tammy do a final clean-up and shut down of the kitchen for the week.  We packed all our bags, said our goodbyes to all the great people we worked with that week (which was rough!), loaded up in the bus and headed for Jerusalem where we’d spend our last night and tour our final day.July19 (43) July19 (50)It was after lunchtime before we headed to Jerusalem, which was a good 2 hour drive, but none of us had eaten since  breakfast (lunch was just served for the campers).  You could tell all of us on the bus were fading, VERY hungry, and just generally not in fantastic moods.  So luckily, our tour guide got the sense that we needed to stop for food, and I can promise you a McDonald’s cheeseburger was a taste of heaven in that moment.  😉  So I now have eaten a McDonald’s cheese burger in 3 different countries- USA, Japan and Israel.  But I don’t plan to eat there again for a VERY LONG TIME 😛

Once we were revived with food, we were in much better spirits and ready for an afternoon of touring.  Upon arriving in Jerusalem, we headed straight for the garden of Gethsemani, where Jesus went to pray the night he was arrested by Roman soldiers, thus leading up to his crucifixion.  According to Matthew 26: 39, “Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'”  Here, the disciples were with him keeping watch, but kept falling asleep, and here in the garden is where Judas led the soldiers to Jesus, who then arrested him.  This garden sits along the mountainside of a valley, called the Mount of Olives.  The whole mountainside is covered in olive trees (much less now than in Jesus’ time, but a lot nonetheless).  There now stands a church (that Catholics, I believe) built over the rock that scholars believe could have been the one on which Jesus knelt and prayed.

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Right across from the garden of Gethsemani is the Eastern wall of the Temple Mount.  Here is where the Golden Gate is located.  It is the oldest of the current standing gates of Jerusalem’s Old City, but even so, they were not standing during Jesus’ time.  These walls were built during the Second Jewish Temple era on top of the remains of the original wall.  According to a vision the Lord sent to the prophet Ezekiel, when Jesus makes his return, He will enter through these eastern gates (Ezekiel 44).  However, later in history, a ruler had these gates sealed shut (supposedly to “prevent” the Messiah’s return).  Good job, right?  If our God can walk on water, raise from the dead, and bring on the plagues and wrath of the end times, I don’t think a gate sealed by man is going to stop Him 😉

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Just below the hillside from the Eastern wall are more olive trees and various cemeteries that stretch through the valley and along the hillside of the Mount of Olives.  There are actually 3 designated cemeteries on this hillside.  One belongs to Christians, one belongs to Muslims and one for Jews.  See the little monument structure in the very center of the picture below, with the funnel-shaped top to it?  We learned that it is a burial crypt/monument of a former king dating back to before Jesus’ time, meaning Jesus would have seen that very same monument!  HOW CRAZY IS THAT!?  It’s stuff like that that made Israel so fascinating!July19 (79) July19 (42) July19 (81) July19 (127) July19 (130)

Next we hopped back into the tour bus and wound our way up the mountainside to the top of the Mount of Olives.  Here we could look down into the valley and see all of Jerusalem and the old City of David.  It was a spectacular view.  The roads in Jerusalem were very crowded on this particular weekend because the Muslim observance of Ramadan was just beginning.  Ramadan is the most sacred time of the year for Muslim culture.  So Muslims from all over the country were streaming into Jerusalem and filling the mosques for prayer and reciting of the Quran.  It was an amazing site to see.   And during the month of Ramadan, they don’t eat from sunrise to sunset.  They only eat and drink at night when the sun goes down.  They spent daylight hours fasting and in prayer.July19 (84) July19 (86) July19 (89) July19 (101) July19 (90) July19 (96) July19 (98) July19 (108) July19 (111) July19 (113)

Just as we bring flowers to grave sites, these people bring rocks to lay on the graves.  And I believe Andre (our tour guide) told us you either have to be very rich or very important (or probably both!) to be buried in these cemeteries.  These are not grave sites of commoners.July19 (93) July19 (109) July19 (114) July19 (117)

That pretty much wrapped up that afternoon in Jerusalem.  We headed to our last hotel of the trip, and this one was really nice!  After sleeping a week at the camp on super cheap uncomfortable mattresses (twin-sized ones, even) and using shared community bathrooms, this hotel felt like the Ritz 😉  We had dinner together with our group in a beautiful dining room on the top floor of the hotel.  The next day would be packed with more sight-seeing in Jerusalem followed by 13+ hours of plane travels.  We savored our last good night’s sleep we’d get for a while…July19 (120) July20 July19 (139) July19 (124)

Jerusalem- Day 5

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I better finish journaling about our trip to Israel (almost 6 months ago!) before I forget all the details.  The last 2 days of our trip we spent some time in Jerusalem.  We took a day trip on Thursday, July 18th.  Half of our group had taken an afternoon trip the day before, and Greg and I were in the 2nd group for our afternoon trip.July18(103) July18(104)July18 (110)Our bus driver dropped us off at the city gates and we walked for the next 4 hours touring the city of Jerusalem.  And immediately upon reaching the city gate, we witnessed a Jewish Bar Mitzvah celebration.  It was so great!July18 (109)We started walking through the city as John (our tour guide for he day) told us everything he knows about the city.  John and his wife Tammi have been living in Israel for the last 20+ years.  Tammi was one of the cooks we worked with in the kitchen all week.  There are so many pictures I want to share. So I may just let the pictures do most of the talking.  I’ll explain the important stuff (and what I remember!).

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July18 (52) July18 (55) July18(Paul) (62) July18 (61) July18 (65)Men who would go to the temple for prayer would go to these ritual baths for cleansing and purifying.  One side was for those descending into the bath and the other for those ascending who had been purified.July18 (68) July18(Paul) (44) July18 (75) July18 (74)July18 (82)These are the temple steps.  The temple has been taken over and rebuilt twice over the past centuries.  It doesn’t even belong to Christians or Jews anymore (if I remember correctly).  I don’t want to get this wrong, but I think only Muslims can enter the Temple now.  They took over and built the Dome of the Rock, which stand now in the middle of the Temple.July18 (77) July18(Paul) (69) July18(Paul) (87) July18(Paul) (91) July18(Paul) (92) July18(Paul) (72)July18 (107)

Next we made our way to Hezekiah’s tunnel.  King Hezekiah ruled over the City of David, and as it is mentioned in 2 Kings 20, one of the great things he did was build a tunnel so that water could be channeled into the city in preparations for impending attach from the Assyrians.  It is a rock tunnel dug out by soldiers, and even today there is a constant flow of water throughout the tunnel.  In most places it is ankle to knee deep, but at the opening of the tunnel the water pools and came up to my shorts hemline.  And it is COOOLD water!

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That wraps up our first day exploring Jerusalem.  We went back to the Baptist Village to sleep for the last night at the camp.  We spent our final night in Israel back in Jerusalem.  More on that next…

Maccabiah Games- Day 5-6

Thursday, July 18-Friday, July 19, 2013

I think I mentioned already that while we were in Israel, the Maccabiah games were going on.  These are the Jewish Olympics.  Jewish athletes from all around the world come together to compete in the games.  It basically functions just like the world Olympics, with opening and closing ceremonies, but on a smaller scale.  Well, the Baptist Village where we stayed during the week and worked the kids camp, was also the site for the baseball games for the Maccabiah games.  USA, Canada and Israel were the 3 competing teams this year.  The games started on Thursday, but before then the fields had to be prepped.  Luckily we had Matthew and Keith with us on the trip, and Keith is a statewide recognized baseball referee for Alabama, and Matthew has grown up playing baseball his whole life.  So they had the field prepping on lock-down.  Greg helped hang all the tarps which provided shade for the spectators.  And all the guys chipped in doing whatever else Callie told them to do 😉  By Thursday morning, everything was set and ready for the first game!

Canada vs. USA.  We did great 😉  Go team USA!  We got to watch the game for just a bit but then had to hurry back to the kitchen to start working on the next meal preparation.  And actually on Friday, they had an official kickoff for the games where they sang both the national anthems for USA and Israel (since they were playing that morning).July17 (54) July18 (9) July18 (12) July18 (14) July18 (16) July18 (18) July18 (20) July18 (21) July18 (22) July18 (34) July18 (36)July19 (1) July19 (2)July19 (25)July19 (13)July19 (29)

Oh, and check out those little parakeets!  They just live in the wild in Israel, and there were so many that lived in the trees at the Baptist Village.  So cute!