Tag Archives: vacation

The things we miss

I had to be back in Montreal briefly this week. Driving down the leafy avenues, seeing the French street signs – it was a lovely sense of familiarity. Being at the Pharmaprix (pronounced FarmaPree, thank you very much) and overhearing French being spoken, and finally able to pick up Advil Cold and Sinus in the silver bottle (not available here) – it felt good.

I was in town for such a short time that I didn’t get to have poutine nor see most of my friends (sorry guys – next time). I also had been so looking forward to a shopping spree at Winners (like Kohl’s) but I had no time for it.

Montreal was my home for 16 years and I really didn’t think I missed it. It took going back to realize it was the tiny little things that I missed. I love living in New York, but Montreal will always hold a special place in my heart.

Vacation, all I ever wanted

We have 36 hours left in Israel, and it has been absolute bliss! We both feel as if we have been here for weeks. We packed so much into 7 full days, saw so much and experienced more. We visited with people from all walks of life, friends, old and new, and family. We saw people who knew me way back when I was in diapers, bumped into school chums, and cemented family bonds. We visited ruins, and new developments. We heard Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau speak in Modi’in, and we sat on the beach in Netanya (I had a beer on the beach at 10 am, because, well, because I could!). We visited kibbutz, went shopping in the midrechov, and ate our way through fast food places. We davened at various graves – didn’t get to Amukah tho – my son put on tefillin in many different locales. I had wanted him to see the real Israel – and that’s what he has seen.

More than anything, after 7 years away from Israel, and some life changes in between, this visit has given me a huge sense of peace. Standing at the kotel brought me full circle.

My son has had the time of his life. I wanted so badly for him to have a great time, and maybe get a feel for his land, but what I didn’t expect was the depth of emotion and connection that he has expressed to me. Driving along the road between Efrat and Rosh Tzurim, as he gazed out across the rolling hills, he exclaimed “I belong here”. What more could I have asked for?

Shabbat Shalom from Israel

We are having a wonderful time, my son is in awe! just wanted to wish you all shabbat shalom. here is a picture of me taken at Herodian , where we were taken by the awesome Treppenwitz.

Vacation Day One – from Paris

Our flight to Paris was delayed 4 hours, thus making us miss our connection to Tel Aviv, so we are now arrriving 7 hours behind schedule.  Please excuse the typos; i have a limited time on the internet and the lettering on the french keyboards is so diffferent.

this was my sons first flight delay and he is handling it like a trouper. they gave us each a 25 dollar food voucher to ease the pain of the delay. slight prob – no kosher food, but it covered beer quite nicely!

I am in Paris for the first time in my life and i feel no romance, maybe because i am with my son LOL???

i am getting very frustrated with this keyboard – if i could figure out how to use wifi it would be much easier to post.

Son couldnt be happier – they have a nintendo playstation set up where you can play for free – guess i wont see him, until it is time to board!

i will write more when i can get set up properly.

I’m leaving on a jet plane

Well, it’s time to finish getting packed and get on the plane with my 13 year old son. He didn’t sleep a wink last night, neither did I – how could I with him roaming the halls? He wants me to tell him everything, what it’s like on a plane, what it feels like to fly, and I have told him, sweetie, you will find out first hand in a few short hours. He wants to be prepared. I hope he sleeps on the flight!

 

Last night at dinner the boys were talking about planes being blown up and terrorist attacks, in great detail and with great relish. A friend pointed out to me that really they were voicing their subconscious fears. Scary!

 

It’s going to be hard to be out of constant touch with the other boys, but they know they are loved. I covered them with kisses and hugs, and they actually let me!! They also need to learn that their mommy has a life too, that I don’t just exist to fulfill their every whim. (hmm, I don’t??!)

 

If you want me to daven for you, please post in the comments.

 

Next time I blog it will be from Israel (unless I get a chance to post on our brief stopover in Paris). I wont be blogging as often, but will try to get some posts out.

 

Be well, y’all!

Home Sweet Home

It is so great to be home with my kids. (Ok, great doesn’t even begin to describe the joy I feel at being surrounded by their smiley faces again). But I feel sad that my vacation is over. I did so much, met so many great people, made new forever friends, renewed old acquaintances and experienced new things. Going on a solo vacation was a total first for me. I have always (in my mind anyway) been a mom, and the kids have always been front and centre. So for me to take advantage of the time they were spending with their dad, to do something for myself, was a huge step. One I am so glad I took, and something I plan to do more often.

 

I was overwhelmed by the grand scope of things in NY. I think my catchphrase for this trip was “OMG it’s so big” – applied to everything!

 

Hadassah took NY by storm. I even learned to navigate the subway system, not bad for a person who feels directionally challenged all the time!!  While there I attended a bris, an engagement and a wedding. (and yes I dressed to kill lol). I shopped the avenues in Brooklyn, and I totally hit the big name stores in Manhattan. Visa thinks I am their new best friend. Don’t tell them that I am also associating with MasterCard and Amex! Century 21 along with Syms has become my new Mecca. I am not used to being able to find such great selection of clothing in my size that’s not geared only toward teens. So I loaded up. Got a great Tahari suit for peanuts…what a thrill!!  But sadly, shoes did not make it into my shopping bags. I would not have had room, so I bade them all a fond farewell. Sniff sniff. I was fortunate to see a Broadway show – Gypsy, and to have the experience of standing in line at TKTS to find out what we could see for cheaper. It’s a real experience. Patti LuPone starred in Gypsy and was more than phenomenal. I would totally see it again. I watched no TV this trip – who even had the time?

 

I did the touristy stuff too – walked along the Brooklyn bridge, visited the empire state building, ground zero, Central Park zoo, NY Aquarium, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Word of warning – the Guggenheim sucks the juices out of certain cellphones, for some reason there is no signal inside the building so the phones are always searching and that kills them dead.

 

Culinarily, this vacation was a huge experience. I ate at kosher Dunkin Donuts (although have since been informed that having an egg n cheese croissant is Bishul Akum, so I am not too sure it’s an experience I shall repeat), I had a meatball sub at Subway in Flatbush (kosher) with Uncle Moishe’s “bang bang bang with a hammer” playing over the loudspeaker (talk about weird experiences…..whoa nelly!). I ate great sushi in a lovely restaurant, and had even better sushi at a picnic on the beach by candlelight. Eggplant parmesan at a local café with the most vilest drink I had ever tasted – a yogurt – mint milkshake. It was totally disgusterating. But we followed that with Carvel ice cream – a  total treat for me, reminding me of my dad taking us to Carvel in Boro Park when I could have been no more than 9 years old. The Nine Days made me sick of fish, but I ate out at Café Renaissance who did the most miraculous dairy tiramisu. Almost orgasmic. I ate at a kosher Mexican place, at Kosher Deluxe with great company (you know who you are), Kosher Delight and a whole host of other fancy and not so fancy places. At one point I risked getting lost in Central Park in order to find a kosher place to eat. (Now, that park is HUGE). I have to say one of the best places I ate at was My Most Favourite Dessert in Manhattan (maybe it had to do with the company…..I was with one of my most favourite aunts).

 

I have to say that after the first 3 days of stuffing my face I was worried that I would pile on the pounds. But with no car at my disposal I walked on average 50 blocks a day, so all that tiramisu and pasta with cream sauce did not stick to my hips.

 

I was so blessed to stay with good friends, and I felt at home there. I made my chicken soup and kneidlach for both shabbatot and it was very well received. Shabbat without my boys is generally difficult for me, but being away and being with loving friends helped me through it.

 

I fasted Tisha B’av for the first time in a long time, and it was an experience I will never forget. Hearing the Rabbi read Eicha moved me so much. He cried as he read it, and for some reason, this year, Israel’s past suffering resonated deeply within me. I spent the day with my friends in a meaningful way and I am so much better for it.

 

I was blessed to meet up with my kids at the wedding I attended, and that was the biggest treat ever. To get their hugs and kisses and their love in the middle of my vacation was just the icing on the cake. And they put up with my kissing them in public too. I must cherish that memory.

 

All in all, it was a great vacation, with the potential for more to come of the friendships I have made. I am beat, overwhelmed with laundry, but I could not be happier. I have great memories, I have my boys around me, and life can continue on its merry way.

Hadassah does New York

I am so enjoying my well earned vacation. Yesterday I went to the metropolitan museum of art and totally enjoyed my visit there. Koons’ sculptures on the rooftop were awesome, and actually seeing the real Warhol art was something I will never forget. I managed, on my own, to take the subway to Manhattan – something that I was concerned about, as everything here is on such a huge scale, and I am such a little person…….well, in the grand scheme of things I guess I am little. Or just a total country bumpkin!

 

On the subway I had occasion to witness an interesting “performance”. A 20 year old dude came into the subway car with a whole bunch of different chocolate bars to sell for a dollar. But he wasn’t just selling them – he had a whole shpiel. It was a rap, about how he is trying to save money to get through college, and once he has enough saved up he is going to finish his bachelors degree. So please buy his chocolates so he can get edumacated. I loved it – so New York!

 

I walked through Central Park in order to get something kosher to eat, and the place where I was recommended to go was on the other side. I was so grateful to a special NY friend who stayed on the phone with me while I made my way through the park, to make sure that I got to where I needed to go. Of course telling me that 7 out of 10 people make it out of the park alive was very reassuring! I hated not knowing how to get there, I hated having to rely on another person for help – but it was a humbling experience asking for help. I may just do it more often.

 

Today we went to the NewYork Aquarium – such a wonderful place. I so enjoyed seeing all the fish, the sting rays, the sea turtles and the sharks, the baby walrus was awesome as was his mommy – such huge mammals. Saw some penguins. The jellyfish were totally awesome – some of these creatures are so tiny that it is impossible to deny that there is a higher being that created them. There is no way that these creature are anything but creations of G-d Himself.

 

The restaurants have been phenomenal. Tonight we ate at a place called Café Hadar, in their garden, or as we say back home, on their “terrasse”. Sitting in the garden, at little bistro tables, one would hardly think that one was in the heart of Brooklyn. It was just so pretty. I had the eggplant parmesan, and ordered a drink that sounded heavenly but tasted so vile I wanted to puke. It was a yogurt / nana(mint) smoothie. Blech. Euw. Totally disgusterating. But the rest of the food was delish.

 

For dessert my lovely hosts took me to Carvel. Actually truth be told I took them as I drove the car there. Something I vowed years ago never to do was drive in Brooklyn. When I made that vow I was a timid little mouse afraid of everything. No more mouse. I am now the mouse that roared!!! And the ice cream was divine and worth every calorie.

 

This place, New York, has an energy all of its own. I am so thrilled to be able to drink in all that it has to offer.

 

 

 

 

TOUCHDOWN – NY Part One

Well it was a rocky start, but I am sure things will totally improve. Our plane was this close to touching down at LaGuardia and all of a sudden we were airborne again. The captain’s voice came over the intercom a little later to explain what happened. There was “something” on the runway so we had to get airborne again to avoid it. In my mind that was  – OMG WE ALMOST CRASHED!! I was thrilled to land in one piece 5 minutes later.

 

We took the scenic route to my friend’s house, and the people-watching was amazing!!  The people watching continued on the date I had tonight – I saw a pregnant woman wearing a tight long tee that said “I LOVE SEX” – come on, that’s ridiculous!!!

 

Being in New York is like being in a different world. There are so many people here of all different races and creeds, the streets teem with people all day long. Every street corner is like a miniature United Nations. One thing I already noticed is the police presence – it seems there are NYPD cops everywhere you look. Makes one feel a little safer somehow.

 

Anyhow, I am off to sleep my first night in NY, and I just know this is going to be a brilliant vacation……

 

 

VACATION – all I ever wanted!

Now that the barmitzvah is over and all we are left with are phenomenal memories and a teen with a hat (oh and stupenderrific photographs) it is time for me to get some well deserved R and R.

 

Did I pick a desert island, a paradise resort? No. I am going to Shoe Mecca. Watch out NY, the frum world’s answer to Carrie Bradshaw is coming to town. Yes, I am to be vacationing in the Big Apple. I plan to squeeze in some sight seeing, some dates, and plenty of Manolos and Jimmy Choos.

 

I will definitely blog from NY so long as I have time – my schedule is already so overbooked I am tired before I have even left.

 

So peeps, any recommendations of fun touristy stuff to do, and or where the best clothes / shoe shopping is? Can you tell I am excited? I cannot remember my last vacation – if I ever had one!!

 

So Shabbat Shalom everyone!!!