Shalom from Israel!

After an 11 hour flight my groggy stiff-jointed self was greeted by this handsome guy:

I think I started eating the moment I landed.

Yeah, I double fist kartiv (popsicles). That’s just how I roll.

After a night of popsicles and meet and greets with The Fella’s childhood friends we retired to the swanky Tel Aviv apartment a friend of his is lending us.

The thing about dating a personal trainer is that they like to work out. For fun. Which means the moment I landed I already had a two-week gym membership waiting for me.

I started my first full day of vacation clad in oh-so familiar spandex, but let’s just say there was a learning curve to my gym-going. I started my workout with some chest and tricep exercises. All the while standing at the weight rack mentally trying to convert pounds to kilos. I’m pretty sure my fellow weight-lifters assumed I was in some sort of dumbbell induced tantric trance. After a while I just gave up and hit the cardio machines.

Running doesn’t take conversion, right? You just move one foot in front of the other—hopefully quickly.

Except…

Wait, look closer…

The treadmills were in Hebrew, which makes sense, this being a Hebrew speaking country and all. I ended up pressing a whole bunch of buttons to no avail and just sticking with the up and down arrows to adjust my speed. A speed that also needed to be converted to the metric system.

My workout made me feel dumb.

After the gym Roy and I hopped in a cab and went to one of the smaller cities that surrounds Tel Aviv to visit his grandmother. Where I proceeded to not take a picture of the lunch of omelet, pasta, and salad prepared for us. Considering I can barely say hello in Hebrew, trying to explain that I write a blog seemed way outside my current vocabulary.

Six hours of baby-boyfriend stories later, we headed back to Tel Aviv and Roy introduced me to the new love of my life.

This juice stand!

And this here smoothie!

Dates, banana, melon and milk.
I don’t ever want to drink anything else.

Chen (pronounced H-phlegmy sound-en), the friend who is lending us his apartment, then took us for a foot tour of old Tel Aviv, before he got on a plane to head to America for his own vacation.

I’ve been to Tel Aviv before, but didn’t get to see much because I happened to be here (in the desert) during the one week in the last bajillion years that was constant torrential downpours. Things are way better when they’re dry.

One guy lives there. One. Singular. Uno!

Eventually we left Chen to pack for his own trip and met up with some friends and headed to Jaffa for dinner at a traditional Arab bakery. Jaffa is an ancient port city. There are sections of the city that date back 5,000 years. It also happens to be one of the most mixed in terms of Jewish and Arab population. I was told that for the most part that isn’t really an issue and people get along, despite what we see on TV. But every once in a while there is an incident, especially as the area becomes more and more gentrified and rising property values push people out.

It’s a good thing the food isn’t effected by the rising property values, because my goodness was it a carbtastically tasty dinner.

Roy picked out a bunch of baked goodies for us to share, something tells me I’ll be at the gym again tomorrow morning.

We took our baked goods to go and strolled over to the pier.

And through some winding archways and tunnels.

Until we finally found the perfect bench to eat on.

The first thing we shared was a sweet sesame seed bagel.

The next pastry was a mallawach, filled with tomato paste, hard-boiled egg and pickles.

Next came pita with za’atar (A combination of spices including chickpea flour, sesame seeds, oregano, thyme, and savory)

I don’t know how to describe this, it’s basically a pizza but made with egg, cheese, onions, and mushroom, hold the tomato sauce.

Finally there was a sambusak, a spicy potato pastry dough filled with hard boiled egg.

What we obviously needed after a dinner of bread, bread, and more bread was some simple sugars to wash it all down with.

This is a small. I have no idea why Israelis are so skinny (I’m beginning to think they sweat all their fat out). I had two bites of this sucker and resigned it to the garbage. I know when I’m beat.

Now I’m off to sleep off that carb coma. More Israeli hijinks tomorrow!