During four months in Paris we had visitors almost every week. We have been waiting almost 7 weeks for our first friends to arrive and experience Israel with us. Margaret Deutsch, our friend and neighbor who lives on our block in Boston, and Tina Scarlatta, a friend from work arrived on Friday March 2. Dick Maniace & Andrew Buzzi, our upstairs neighbors in Boston who have since moved to Berlin, bought an apartment and renovated it in the last two years, arrived about an hour later on Friday. We have traveled extensively with Dick and Andrew and have traveled to Scotland with Margaret and Scotland, Paris & Barcelona with Tina. The six of us took a walk down the beachfront promenade and then had dinner one block from our apartment with an early bedtime for the jet lagged Bostonians. Saturday morning we walked to Rothschild boulevard and took the free White City tour which Sandy and Jim had already done. We had a different guide this time who gave a more interesting and educational look at all of the architecture of the area. In addition to bauhaus buildings we saw the recently completed Richard Meyer, Rothschild tower and an I. M. Pei bank building.
After the tour we rushed back to our apartment as we were meeting Margaret’s friends Sam & Sari for lunch at home. We had gone out on Friday morning and loaded up with Israeli fruit, vegetables, hummus, lentil soup and chopped salad. This was our first big meal at home with friends. We had met Sam and Sari in New York City as we had dinner with Margaret and her friends before attending Verdi’s Requiem at Lincoln Center. After our late lunch Jim and Margaret took another walk along the beach north to the old port. Sunday morning we headed into an intense week of touring which we will cover in the next few blogs. We were able to spend a leisurely Saturday the 10th of March, Margaret and Tina’s last day, walking south down the beach 3.1 miles to Jaffa. Margaret, Tina, Sandy and Jim had breakfast along the way sitting in the sand at La La Land restaurant.
The group of six wandered the old city shopping and admiring the sites.
We had a small lunch at an idyllic outdoor Arab cafe with the best ever mint lemonade.
We then walked through the city on our return home hitting Neve Tzedek, Rothschild Boulevard and Dizengoff street, covering a total of 10 miles for the day prior to Margaret and Tina flying out at midnight. Unfortunately for the shoppers, a lot of stores were closed on Shabbat and so we had to return to Jaffa on Wednesday the 14th with Dick and Andrew so that Dick, Andrew and Sandy could poke around in the markets and stores. The non-shopper Jim was incredibly patient during the shopping and just did his best to keep the entire group somewhat together.
We feel that we gave our guests a very good overview of Tel Aviv in the few days that they had here. Being a tour guide for others makes us realize how much we have learned about the city of Tel Aviv and the country of Israel in the two months that we have been here. As usual Jim can navigate large parts of the city without help and Sandy is very good at recognizing where she is at most times and also knows her way around quite well.
We just bid our friends Dick and Andrew farewell and safe flight home to Berlin. We now have the huge task of writing up seven intense days of touring this country from North to South and East to West.