One of Brian’s co-workers has a friend that is an Israeli reserve fighter pilot. She organized a trip for us to visit her base and check out some of her jets ;). It was so cool. Even cooler that we were armed with some extra questions after Hamas bombs dropped in Tel Aviv a couple of days before this.
After seeing some videos of drills they run, history of their unit and even some real videos of bombs they’ve shot into enemy territory, we were able to see some of the gear the pilots wear during flights. Tessa and Lauren loved trying on these heavy helmets and it was so funny to see these huge things on their tiny bodies. Haha. So cute.
Tessa- future fighter pilot with that serious pose. She (who didn’t allow us to take a picture of her face, understandably) also showed us the F-16’s that she has flown and are currently in use by the IDF. We got to climb to the cockpit and practically get inside- it was awesome.
Forgot that Taylor tried this helmet on too. Clearly she enjoyed it.
We cannot sum up our time in Israel without mentioning what a big part Carmel Market played in it. We got almost all of our groceries in this bustling open-air market with its crazy vendors and dirt-covered produce. Oh, and the best strawberries we’ve ever had. Plus, some of our favorite cafes. (Yom Tov 30, Shmuel, Ning Thai to name our top 3). I went here at least twice a week to get my beef fresh-ground on the spot at one store, another for my freshly butchered chicken, fresh cheeses at another, fresh bread at the bakery and produce at about 5 different places (I got pretty good at figuring out the best prices and the best quality and went to many different vendors depending on what I needed that visit). It was a totally crazy shopping experience, but one I will never forget. I loved that they called me “the American” and would give my girls free strawberries or bread when they came because they loved little girls.
I used to walk all of my groceries home (it was about a 15 minute walk) and then that got to be too much so I got smart and bought a granny cart or would often hang the bags off of the handles of the electric scooter on the way home. Things got crazy, but those are things that are indelibly marked in my memory when I think of our time here.