Well, I just arrived back in the good old U.S.A. after a three-week adventure abroad. When I was eighteen, I asked my Dad to send me abroad for the first time. (He said he couldn’t afford to send me a girl, but gave me ten bucks to go to the movies!) In any case, my travel companion and I just returned from an amazing trip to Israel. We were lucky enough to hire a former military officer named Udi, who spent four (long) days as our guide, listening (somewhat patiently) to all of my bad jokes. (i.e., “Why don’t they put Jews in prison in Israel? Because they eat locks. ” (Lox!)

Anyway, Udi was tempted to show me his Uzi from time to time, but he managed to maintain a dignified level of tolerance. We loved every minute of our time together, and got a memorable introduction to this incredible country. Day one was spent touring the Old City of Jaffa and then driving around the very hip and modern city of Tel Aviv. (Which has some truly remarkable restaurants specializing in Mediterranean food.) On the second day, we drove up and along the Golan Heights, which was a great surprise to me. I never imagined how beautiful and plush the heights were. We also got to visit Udi’s “summer retreat” which was on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, which is actually more of a lake than a sea, but still quite lovely.

A few days later, we drove down to a little place called Jerusalem, which for this historian, was simply overwhelming. OMG (good pun!) this city was simply stunning in its sheer importance and beautiful architecture. Udi spent one day guiding us through the twists and turns of the Old City, and we got to walk around the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Armenian Quarters of the city. We spent some time at the “Wailing Wall,” which is the only remaining part of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great. Nobody was actually wailing, but we did get to film an Ethiopian wedding, and that was quite interesting.

The very next day, (still digesting my previous night’s feast of hummus and Israeli eggplant) we hopped in our armored vehicle and drove south, passing numerous Bedouin villages in the desert. I think these folks are known as Bedouins because they spend so much time in beds inside their tents. Yeah, it was dang hot. One of the camels was operating a snow cone stand! (By the way, do you realize that every day of the week is “hump day” for a camel?) Where was I? Oh yes, we were driving south…..

Well, now comes a fascinating visit to the ancient site of Masada, the mountain fortress is the Judean Desert. The fortress is built on the top of a TALL mountain plateau overlooking the Dead Sea, which is quite appropriate. (If you tried to walk up the steps, you’d be dead before you reached the top!) Fortunately, the Romans built an escalator to help the tourists reach the top, which was very considerate of them. Masada was the “weekend retreat” of King Herod, who built the place around 30 B.C. Breathtaking is the only word I can use to describe the view and the palace, which became famous after a long siege during the First Jewish-Roman was, which occurred from 73 to 74 CE. Incidentally, I was only kidding about the Romans building an escalator. (They actually built a cable car!)

Our final stop was at the Dead Sea, which lives up to its billing. (It is ten times saltier than the Mediterranean Sea!) Being “a man for all seasonings” I thoroughly enjoyed dipping my toes into this famed body of water, but I would not like to own a condo there. Of course, my neighbors would be nice. The “salt of the earth,” so to speak. (OK, that’s my last salt joke!)

Once again, I’d like to thank our wonderful guide, Mr. Udi, for introducing us to the wonders of Israel. I just got back from England (a few hours ago) so I’m too tired to post many photographs, but they will be forthcoming in the very near future. You have my word!

Until then, be safe and keep smiling. I LOVED our recent outing, but there is still no place on earth like America! Speak to you soon……

(Travel-weary) Doc Yanoff.

P.S. Attached is a photo taken last night at Heathrow Airport. God Bless Guinnss!

3 thoughts on “SHALOM Y’ALL!

  1. THOMAS Cothran

    Hi Stephen,

    Sounds as though you had a great trip. Sally and I are taking our first cruise in two+ years. It is just a short trip NY to Bermuda and back but we are really looking forward to it.


    Sent from Mail for Windows

  2. Magnificent!!!!!     Let’s talk .    Best Regards to you and your wonderful family……..JohnnySent from my T-Mobile 5G Device

  3. What a marvelous experience.
    Thank you for sharing it. Looking forward to seeing your photos.
    Glad you came home safe & sound. Enjoy the remainder of your birthday 🎂
    Stay well.

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