Unlike the last time I visited Israel, as the plane taxied to the gate, I felt little excitement--too tired and too annoyed by the travel glitches and too worried about the next steps. I got my new simcard into the phone while waiting to deplane. Got through passport control, got my bag, got cash, and made it to the train, where I had to wait almost an hour. In the meantime, I reached Colin, who offered to pick me up at the train station near Tel Aviv University, and managed to run my phone out of minutes--which I don't understand since I thought they were unlimited. So I have to take care of that on Sunday--everything is closed today, it being Shabbat.
So I was feeling pretty down when Colin met me. But the Prices are so wonderful--warm, loving people--and Colin got me settled in one of their girls' rooms. After a shower and a nap, the world looked better. And then Nurit had come back, as well as two of the three girls (Avital, the oldest, is away for the weekend). We all headed off to Colin's brother's home for Shabbat dinner--a lovely time with three generations: Colin's mother, his brother and sister-in-law, the two girls, and of course, Nurit and Colin. Good food, good company, and good wine. By the end of the evening, the travails of getting here were over and I was very tired and happy.
This morning, I video-chatted with Miranda and Dan--how communication has changed in the past few years since my last trip!--and then had breakfast with Nurit and Colin. Israeli breakfasts are magnificent: eggs and different white cheeses and fresh veggies and melawach (Yemenite pancake: http://www.delcollo.us/recipe/pages/yemenfriedbread.html) and coffee. Again--wonderful food and company. It's remarkable how good food and company can fix pretty much everything. Took a walk through the area with Nurit--too hot and humid in the sun, then shade and breeze and it was perfect.
We came back, sat with Colin and the three of us continued our conversation in the backyard with shade and a breeze. A wonderful peaceful day--Shabbat with good friends.