Monday, May 7, 2018

Belated Lag B'omer up North

Sunday May 6 / 21 Iyar
We headed up to the Northern most part of Israel with Tami from Nof Tours. She has been fantastic, from planning all of our expeditions to executing them. She is very pleasant and professional, as well as extremely easy to get along with. I very nothing from mentioning her in my blog. I just love to pass on a terrific find.
Poor Sheindy has been suffering from allergies while we were here. Our decent down from Yerushalayim was very hard on her; causing her a lot of ear pain. It Baruch Hashem went away when we leveled out.
Even though I promised not to drag Sheindy around to a bunch of graves, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to visit the Rambam's in Teveria.
We were passing right by it. We stopped to eat lunch and I snuck in a few kapitalach of tehillim.
Next we headed towards Tzafas. Sheindy had decided to skip banana boating, so we decided to visit the bunkers on Mount Bental.

We headed off to the most delicious trip, the De Karina Factory tour.
If you are a chocoholic, you will think you are in heaven! You get to see how gourmet chocolate and truffles are made. Then  ... You get to TASTE gourmet chocolates. Finally, you get to design your own special chocolates. We made 3 truffles, 2 small chocolate pieces, and your own chocolate bar. There was a nice variety of things to mix in, as well as milk, white, and dark chocolate.
From the chocolate factory we went to a sort of water park called Aqua Kef. 

If you ever watched Wipe Out, you will have a general idea of what this is. The only difference is the entire obstacle course is on water. This particular place is kind enough to offer separate hours for the frum community in the late afternoon. We went for ladies hours. I went with Zahava and Sheindy once around the course. It took me about 45 mins, and I was completely wiped out! I called it quits while the girls continued on. They loved climbing the huge wall and jumping into the Kinneret. Sheindy really really loved it, saying it was one of the best parts of the trip.
Next, since it was getting late and we wanted to get there before dark, we headed to Piki'in.

The actual cave that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai was in is located there. The side of the mountain is covered with carob trees. Sheindy got a carob pod from off the ground. The whole thing is really cool.
We then headed to Meron to visit the kever of the Rashbi. The place was still hopping from Lag B'omer, with parts of it closed off and tons of people everywhere. It was really nice, since no one was pushing. A lady asked me for tzedakah on the way out and rewarded me with a lovely dvar Torah about money in the times of Moshiach. I for sure got the better end of the deal.
It was late and we were hungry and tired. We headed to our "hotel" in Tzafas. Let me just say this, of you are looking for a good experience, do NOT book on priceline. For some crazy reason, they make you enter all this information on children, then don't include them in the actual booking. So you end up paying more. Priceline is now Bookings and it's impossible to reach them if you are out of the US. Finally, I think they have bogus reviews. The "hotel" I booked would barely qualify as a B and B. The reviews and ratings were great, but this place was a complete dive. The clincher was the disgusting mold on the shower curtain. A quick text to a great travel agent we know and Voila! A booking in a real hotel.
So we zip off to grab a bite to eat and check in when we came to a complete halt. Apparently, there was a car accident ahead.
Two busses were blocking the way in front on a one way street. Being the great person that I am, I attempted to direct traffic. It's hard to be efficient when you can't speak Hebrew and no one speaks English. At that point, another guy got the whole row of cars to back out, and we had the pleasure of driving the wrong way around a one way street. I've gotta about, that was a little hair raising.
We picked up dinner from this adorable Cafe, Mendy's. Not related to the one in Crown Heights, I think. We found our new accommodations to be excellent. We were so pleased with the new hotel. After our dinner at 10 something, we finally fell into bed. It was a long but exciting, fun filled day.


Miriam Brown said...

I've been on trips with Tami from Nof Tours as well. She is amazing, knowledgeable and very organized. She planned an individual itinerary just for us, and everything worked out great.

I highly recommend her

InMemoryOf Yossi said...

Yes, I totally agree. Not only did she personalize our itinerary, she was super flexible. She just went with our lead, doing whatever it was we wanted to do.
She really made our time here special.