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Published: January 16th 2015
After many months of waiting for this day to come, we finally were packed and ready to embark on a trip of a lifetime, a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land. We drove to Pete’s house and he drove us to the airport arriving 3-1/2 hours early. We were one of the first to arrive to meet Dennis, our tour director. After going through security which was a snap, we went to the gate and since we had lots of time we had lunch and then proceeded to the gate where our fellow travelers were starting to show up. We spent time getting to know them and introducing ourselves before it was finally time to board the plane.
The first leg to Philadelphia was uneventful, a mere 3 hour flight. We had about a 3.5 to 4 hour layover so we found a food court where we had dinner and waited around until it was time to go through security. Since we were going to Israel it was a little more thorough but no problems. We boarded the plane at 9:15 p.m. for our 10-hour flight to Israel. At about 11:30 p.m. they served us a meal. If I had known that I would have forgone the meal I had earlier. With the meal came a complimentary glass of wine which I gladly took because I thought it would help me sleep. I managed 3 hours of sleep before I woke and did some reading and then tried to sleep again with no luck. We arrived in Tel Aviv at around 3:00 and went through Customs and collected our luggage. It was not the longest flight I had been on but nonetheless it was good to be on the ground. The weather was a balmy 52 degrees and raining.
We were met by George our Tour Guide who we were told was the best in Israel. Once in the bus he gave us all a hat so that Dennis could keep track of us and a hand-made Rosary for all of us. Then we were off to our first stop which was St. Anthony Church in Jaffra where Father said Mass in thanksgiving for safe travel and other petitions which people sent from home. It was a beautiful church which was only 200 years old. George told us it isn’t history until it is over 1000 years old.
We boarded our bus again and arrived at the Seasons Netanya Hotel about 6:15 p.m., had time to go to our room to drop off our luggage before going to the dining room for a buffet which consisted of all kinds of salads, chicken, fish, vegetables, beef and beef tongue, which I tried and it was the most tender beef I have ever had.
Our room was huge. It was really a suite with a large bedroom, hallway leading to a dining area and living room. Bathroom was very large also. We are only staying here 1 night which is too bad because when I got back to my room, I found that it has a large balcony overlooking the magnificent Mediterranean coast.
Tot: 2.45s; Tpl: 0.039s; cc: 11; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0375s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
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