Thursday, January 1, 2015

Israel: Getting There

We are blessed this Christmas and New Year's to have the chance of a lifetime to visit the Holy Land, Israel. I must first explain that the blogposts from Israel will go on...and on...and on! This blog is primarily a memory book for my children, so I want to include the many sights of our trip. For us, this was not as big of an expense as it would be from America. The flight to Israel was about $300 and only 1 hour to Istanbul, then 2 hours to Tel Aviv. Same time zone!!! So we planned for it, saved up, and decided now was the time.

This land is steeped in so much of our Biblical history, we really wanted to take our kids to see it. For me, it is the trip of a lifetime, as I have never been. CC was in Jerusalem for a couple of days 20 years ago, back in our dating years. We also realized that Big Ben may not remember too much of it, but we wanted to go while we still have Firstborn, all the way down to our youngest, under our roof. So, this was the year.

We opened our gifts Christmas Eve morn, then finished up packing and shutting down the house. We left for the airport at 3PM.

When we landed in Istanbul, this little Turkish guy spotted Big Ben and came right up to him. He kept saying (in Turkish), "Big Brother, look at this. Big Brother, come with me." Adorable!!!

We had an hour delay in Istanbul waiting for our flight. Firstborn was sweet to entertain her little brother and sister on the last flight, though it was getting late, and they were tired.

Things immediately started to look different. We saw the strict Jewish dress code, watched a man actively rocking while memorizing and reciting the Torah, and began to hear Hebrew. We were leaving our Turkish world. 

And upon landing in the Holy Land, the Middle Easterners on our flight broke into applause, as is their custom. I glanced out the window and saw the outline of palm trees. And I began to cry. Happy, happy tears. I was touching the same land that my Savior walked upon. 

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