I can’t say this move has been ordinary. But nothing is these days. Irrespective of a pandemic wreaking havoc on the world, on the micro level, there have been some notable events that have gone on in the past few weeks…
From Summer Heat to Smoked Meat
For one, we survived a massive heatwave, with a broken air conditioner. Honestly, at points it was cooler outside than inside. Finally, to our relief, a few guys came to install a new unit. We supplied them with homemade babka, which they complimented me on to no end until I finally gave Zvi the credit for making it. Before leaving, the guys insisted that we take their number down and pop by for a BBQ in their hometown. We might take them up on it, as we never say no to meat.
Speaking of meat, Zvi is officially a Pitmaster. The Traeger smoker we bought when the lockdown started in April has proven to be the most useful appliance around the house and is the subject of our new Instagram page Eatsz. We are well acquainted with the local butcher and go on special trips to pick up brisket, short ribs, ribeye steaks, you name it. To go with the meats, Zvi prepares his own sauces, from homemade BBQ sauce to finely chopped chimichurri. I can’t believe it’s taken nine years of marriage to discover that Zvi is a hidden chef. Read more about that here.
Also notable is how Israel went from being a world leader in handling the pandemic, to quickly sliding (plummeting) down the chart. What happened? Well, after placing the entire country under severe lockdown, effectively containing the virus, they let us all out at once. And out we went. To the beaches, the malls, hotels, restaurants and cafes. The cases immediately started to climb which led to talks about a new lockdown, but nothing came of it. At one point the state threatened to re-close down the restaurants, but then the restaurants threatened to re-open. And that was the end of that.
We try to avoid most indoor activities, which is easy enough since the beach is only 25 minutes away. We go once a week for sunset, sometimes to dip in the ocean and other times just to walk along the boardwalk. Out little guy loves the water and thoroughly enjoys making a big splash, or sitting by the shore on our lap while the water wades in. Usually, after some swimming, we retire to the beach tent. We pull out the snacks and settle in to watch the intense paddle ball games going on. You can hardly hear the waves over the noise of the paddle balls whipping back and forth at incredible speeds.
The other day, we were sitting in the tent when out of nowhere one of those paddle balls came whisking in, landing right next to our little guy (who barely noticed). When the twenty-something year old guy came around to see if the ball landed in our tent, I had already stretched out my hand to pass it to him. He thanked me, looked over at our playful toddler, and returned to his game but not before turning to his friends and saying, “Careful, let’s move over, there’s a child in the tent.”
Israelis love the beach. They love children even more.
We really miss travelling. Part of the reason we moved was to enjoy Israel’s proximity to great destinations. We won’t be travelling anytime soon, but it has been special to be a tourist here in Israel. When the lockdown ended we took a trip up north with our friends. It was great to be out in nature, breathing in fresh air. We went to a winery and enjoyed an assortment of wine and delicious cheeses. We swam in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), which thanks to a rainy winter, was at its highest point in decades, and stayed in an Airbnb overlooking a forest. We made pancakes in the morning, and had a BBQ at night. The guys set up a mini campfire (sounds easier than it was) while my friend and I prepared smores (minus graham crackers because we couldn’t find them here). It was definitely the highlight of the summer.
But the real Israeli travel experience is happening right here in our own backyard. Well not ours, our neighbours’. If you read my last post, you’ll know that our kitchen window overlooks right into their gardens. They each bought one of those above ground pools which they accessorized with a giant beach umbrella. Every weekend there is a swarm of guests who don wide rimmed sun hats and sip cold drinks while listening to music. I love the staycation vibe. Really feels like the Maldives.
In other news, my extended maternity leave is coming to an end. It got delayed due to our move and Covid. Our little man officially starts daycare next week. I can’t believe how quickly he’s grown. I’ve had the best time hanging out with him the last year and a bit, and if I keep writing about this topic, I will start to cry. So, I’ll stop right here.
Till next time!