Lesley & Don Nadel

the antipodean adventurers

Lesley & Don Nadel

Two retired travellers continue roaming the world after our first great adventure.

Middle East » Israel » Tel Aviv District » Holon October 24th 2018

. Holon - Third in a series of experiential, off the beaten path tours to encounter and appreciate other important religious communities in Israel led by licenced tour guide Rina Yellin. The city of Holon is located south of Tel Aviv. (See our blogs "Day around the Carmel in Israel - January 2016" and "Day tour of Minorities in the Galil - April 2016" for the two previous tours with Rina.) Our Samaritan (Shomronim) Holon tour began with a visit to the Samaritans during their Sukkot holiday. We started in the house of Benyamim Tsedaka, an elder and head of the Israelite Samaritan Information Institute ( www.israelite-samaritans.com ). As we walked in we were confronted with a beautifully decorated sukkah in the middle of the living room and greeted by Binyamim who said "call me Ben ... read more
Samaritan Institute & Ben Tsedaka’s home
paintings by Miriam Tsedaka
Mezuzah in Ancient Hebrew

Middle East » Israel » Center District » Ra'anana May 15th 2018

After 15 hours in the air we finally arrived back in Israel very tired but pleased to be home. We had visited San Francisco, flown via Houston to Quito, toured the Galapagos Islands by yacht with flights from Quito and back, flown via Houston to a Cabo San Lucas resort at the southern tip of the Baja peninsula in Mexico, and now we made it home again via San Franciso long haul. Including indirect connections, our total flight distance was over 27,000 miles / 40,000 km - farther than once around the world. The next day we would start to reflect on our experiences of the past 21 days ! There was one positive side-effect of our travel weariness and jetlag after the 9-10 hour timezone shift. A couple of days later we celebrated the ... read more

Today was the end of our holiday! We went down to breakfast and found the family to say farewell. It was somewhat sad as we don’t know how long it will be before we see the American branch of the family again. This was the second time in two months that many of us had gotten together. We had attended the wedding of Don's nephew in Chicago two months ago in March, but the previous gap had been two-and-a-half years since the family gathered. We collected our bags from our room and said a teary farewell to Caroline and Max who were staying on for a further day. Then we queued for the taxi to the airport. We were a bit panicked as there were very many people waiting to go to the airport but ... read more
Don's nephew Ben (Katie's brother, not husband) and his newlywed wife Sammi

Sunday - the big day. We spent the day relaxing and then getting ready for the wedding ceremony. I (Lesley) had managed to avoid the sandy beaches for the past 13 days but today I had to succumb as the ceremony was literally on the beach. Whilst I was titivating myself, Don ran down to the Chabad restaurant to get food for us and for Caroline and Max. We started the celebrations with photographs. For these we removed the resort bands from our wrists, and stuffed them away. However, this proved to be a bit problematic as there were drinks at the bar first and the wait staff had a challenge with serving us without us wearing these bands. However, we soon managed to sort this out and we were drinking our margaritas! Then we ... read more
Bride & Groom start the party
Midnight Pool Party !
Bridesmaids blow Bubbles

We were able to have a lie-in as the service at Chabad started at 11 am!!! We strolled back to the Chabad house. The town was relatively calm and quiet after the rocking and rolling of the night before. At the fire station youngsters were training to be fire fighters. They were all dressed in a uniform and they were lining up in formation obviously to be put through their paces. The older firefighters were getting out buckets and hoses ready to show them how to get wet! The youngsters were taking it all very seriously. Again we had a minyan, which pleased us and amazed the rabbi. After the service ended we went next door to the rabbi’s apartment for lunch. Lunch was not so chaotic as the night before but there were still ... read more
3 brothers reprise The Letter
Katie and Ben - bride & groom
Mike and Rob entertain Katie

We all spent the day lazing around, chatting amongst the family and generally being idle! Even a bit of time in the gym or in the pool was fairly light activity. In the late afternoon we went with one of Don’s brothers and his wife to the Chabad for Shabbat. It was only a 2 km walk and was a surprisingly pleasant stroll through town. Each store was either a bar or a tourist shop selling Mexican chutchkes: maracas, sombreros, ponchos etc. The people were very friendly - or were they just trying to sell us something? Cabo in daylight was busy but relatively peaceful, as we were to discover later that night. We passed a large walrus statue by the marina, and an imaginative roof display with King Kong atop the Statue of Liberty ... read more
big brother Al, Don, brother Mike

The family were due to come into town during the course of the afternoon. At lunch time Caroline and Max took us to the Indian restaurant very close to the hotel. We discovered that it was Mexican Mother’s Day. We had a wonderful vegan meal and after our meal I was given a heart shaped red balloon with “Happy Mother’s Day” written on it. Upon return to our room we found the chambermaids had left a towel creature in celebration of Mother's Day. The cute dog was decorated with a real flower. (SCROLL DOWN to see) Later in the day two of Don’s brothers and their wives arrived, and - most important - the bride and groom arrived. In fact the reason we were here at this Mexican resort was for the 'Destination Wedding' location ... read more
Towel animal carried a flower

Lazy day spent sun bathing, reading and generally relaxing. We did use the gym today and a few other days, but our personal workouts at the resort did not seem as strenuous as traipsing around the Galapagos islands! Caroline started her search for vegan food. She sought out the manager of the hotel and submitted a very long complaints form. She and Max were so disgusted that they spent much of the rest of the trip eating at the vegan restaurants in town, despite the 'all inclusive' food having been paid for within the resort. We were a bit concerned as we had been warned that Cabo is one of the most dangerous tourist spots in Mexico. Another comment about the food and drink and general attitude of the resort. Yesterday when we arrived at ... read more

The night flight from Quito to Houston was simple but uncomfortable. We arrived in Houston and had a great deal of “fun” trying to get through immigration. We seemed to miss the easy path for US-transit-only passengers and ended up having to go through security again. We had a few hours wait until our ongoing flight to Cabo San Lucas. This was an ok flight and eventually we arrived In Mexico. Now this location was not in the main Mexico you think of which lies south of the middle of the US. No this was the southern tip of what is geograpically known as Baja California, alhtough it is officially part of Mexico albeit disconnected from the Mexican mainland. The baja sur runs south from San Diego California, with Tijuana at the northern border of ... read more
Pueblo Bonito Rose resort

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center May 7th 2018

It was cold and raining when we woke up and went down to breakfast. The four of us sat and discussed what we would do as we had a whole day in Quito until our flight after midnight. We decided to get a taxi and go into town. It was the first time that Don and I had been into town which was about an hour’s drive from the airport. Fortunately the weather improved somewhat, but it remained cool and overcast all day. The taxi service that the hotel used was a limousine service! We piled into the immaculate car and went into town. Caroline and the taxi driver were chatting in Spanish and we added our comments in a mix of Spanish/English. The journey into town was quite staggering. The road crossed a deep ... read more
El Maple vegan cakes
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana

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