And so my story continues after a very full first Shabbat on the Kibbutz. After a day of nothing but eating and resting Stephane and I still managed to sleep for a hundred hours Friday night. Thankfully, despite our excessive sleeping, we were not required for breakfast before 10am so we were able to sleep even more!! I promise we aren’t that lazy we just wanted to capitalize on a relaxing weekend 🙂
When we woke up we got ready for Shabbat brunch at Pnina’s house with her whole family. It is a Linder tradition to have a big brunch with the whole family every Saturday, and I was so excited that Stephane and I could be apart of it. When we arrived the house was full of family, the long dining room table was filled to the brim with food, the adults were eating, while the some of the kids were playing with the adorable new puppy! We enjoyed a really lovely brunch and then decided we would take advantage of the sunny day and walk along the beach until it was time to head back for lunch. We had a lovely stroll along the water, explored the area a bit, regathered our bearings, and then headed back to our caravan for lunch and a movie. We had to vacate the guest house by 4 so we decided to spend our last 2 and a half hours doing what we do best and relaxing.
At around 4pm, after we had packed everything up and made sure the house was clean, Pnina came to collect us so that we could wait at her house until dinner which would be followed by the start of Chanukah and a special Kibbutz Chanukah performance. I was so excited to spend the first night of the holiday with the Linder family, and even more excited that I was going to be a part of Stephane’s first experience with Latkes (levivot)!! I sometimes forget that even though we are both Jewish there are so many differences between Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions, so I was happy to introduce him to this (delicious) one!
After the whole family arrived at Pnina’s we lit candles and ate about a hundred latkes each! Stephane seemed to really enjoy them so I was very happy (he isn’t the biggest fan of Ashkenazic food so I was a bit worried). After dinner we went to the big theater on the Kibbutz and watched an adorable Chanukah performance that the residents put on every year. It was so great seeing all of the people perform (especially the little children) and the fact that I could understand most of it was nothing short of a miracle.
When the performance was over we exited to the dining hall, ate a handful of suvganiyot (jelly doughnuts), and then were driven to the train station by Pnina’s son Uzi. We arrived home to Tel Aviv around 10, lit candles with the roommates, and then went to bed to get a good night sleep before our big Sunday activity in Jaffa!
The thing about Stephane and me is that we have fun doing just about anything, even if that anything is simply staying at home and watching movies. However, to change things up a bit, we decided to utilize our overlapping Chanukah vacation day to have a nice date outing to Jaffa. Originally we wanted to go to the big Shuk (marketplace), but you know how making plans goes… they never work out how you originally plan most of the time 🙂 When we arrived in Jaffa I decided to take Stephane to my all time favorite restaurant, Abu Lafia, which I think has some of the best shawarma in the world! He seemed to agree with me, and we had a really perfect lunch filled with lots of meet and even more Arab salads. We had planned to order a pizza for dinner but after seeing all of this food we decided that leftovers would do just fine!
After we couldn’t eat another bite we got the check, wrapped up the food, and decided to walk to the pier before going to the Shuk. It was a perfect day outside that we wanted to take advantage of being outdoors as much as possible. While we were on the pier we discovered that Jaffa would probably be a perfect place to go fishing, and since we didn’t get to fish at the kibbutz we decided that in the upcoming week we would return to Jaffa and try our luck with the fishing equipment Stephane owns.
After scoping out various fishing spots we got to see about 5 different wedding parties taking their bridal pictures on the pier, so of course, not wanting to just stand by and watch, Stephane and I had our own little photo shoot on the pier! Why not, right? We just wanted to fit in 🙂
It was really the most perfect day! After our makeshift photo shoot we got a hot chocolate from one of my favorite little cafes (which really helped with the cold weather), waited for the bus, and then headed back to my house. Stephane had class the next day at 8 so we had to get to bed pretty early, but with all the running around we did we were ready for an early night!
Stay tuned for an update on my first visit to Ashdod to meet Stephane’s family and our fishing extravaganza!
Until we meet again <3,