Shalom from Israel! It’s been an amazing trip so far filled with family reunions, amazing meals and tons of adventures. It’s so important for me to show the kids everything I love about this beautiful country and find ways for them to connect to the people and places that make Israel our second home. As Noam and I come back to revisit our childhood houses and old neighborhoods, we see things through a different perspective with our three kids by our side. I remember growing up and loving the different kinds of scenery Israel has to offer – from my backyard, to late-night trips to the Negev with friends and weekend vacations in balmy Eilat. Nothing is better than getting to share this feeling with my little ones, and seeing how excited they get brings me back to my own childhood wonder.
The beautiful weather inspired us to take a trip to the Dead Sea, so we packed up and went out to kibbutz Ein Gedi at the beginning of the week to avoid the crowds of people that visit this Israeli hot spot on the weekends. On the way there we had to stop for a short Camel riding lol... Za'atar (meaning one the most common herbs in Israel) was our Camel. Ori And I were the first ones and then Noam and Yuli. I have to admit; We loved it! Such a fun experience....
I took Ori to the Dead Sea when he was 1 ½ years old, and remember being terrified that he would touch his eyes with the extremely salty water on his hands. Thankfully, everything went smoothly and we had such a good time exploring the area together.
As I held baby Romi and the boys climbed the terrain, we looked over the vista and onto the sea. It’s a breathtaking view and one of my favorite spots in Israel.
We stayed in Ein Gedi, a kibbutz on the western shore of the Dead Sea. It’s located on the edge of the Judean desert and the surrounding area is a natural haven filled with amazing hiking trails, animals and greenery. The small zoo on site has a variety of indigenous creatures that the boys were so excited to look at like huge turtles, camels, wild goats and lizards – much more engaging than the squirrels we occasionally see on our walks in NYC! Tons of hyraxes (small, rabbit-like animals) live in this area. They are almost as common as the street cats in Tel Aviv! The best part of the zoo was how close we got to the animals and the happiness on the kids’ faces was priceless.
In addition to the Dead Sea and the zoo, we also went on a well-known hike called Nahal David. It’s known for its endpoint which is a beautiful waterfall – a true oasis in the middle of the desert. The whole hike normally takes around an hour, but with the kids we stopped multiple times along the way. There are tons of water streams and small shallow lakes and we all had so much fun splashing around. It was a perfect day with the whole family and each one of us enjoyed the adventure differently. The boys loved exploring the nature around them, Romi experienced completely new sights from the view in her Bjorn (And half of the time she slept too lol) and Noam and I fell in love with our homeland in new ways.
Vacation is such a perfect time to recharge and reconnect. There’s no greater setting to do these things than the peaceful Dead Sea desert. I’m pretty sure the whole family would agree!