|We made it to Israel, but what a crazy trip. On Wednesday, the day we were to fly out, there was a huge snowstorm. First, the van that was supposed to take us to the airport canceled because of the weather. Then we started hearing about all the airlines that were canceling flights and the talk of the airport closing. After being on the phone for over an hour my grandpa found a taxi company that was willing to drive in the storm because our airline, El Al, still hadn't canceled. We had to shovel snow to get out of the driveway. We got to the airport which was practically deserted. Apparently, the only two flights that departed that day were ours and a Polish flight. They had to de-ice the plane many times. Sometimes the stuff was orange and sometimes it was green. It was really weird and gross to see this colored slimy stuff get sprayed on the airplane and drip down the windows. Then we slowly made it out to the runway, but no one could see the runway. Then we had to sit a long time because every time we were ready to take off, the snowplows had to clear the runway again. I was just excited to take off. I couldn't figure out why every single adult on the plane looked petrified as we took off.
The plane was really huge. It was a 777. There were 9 rows across and I thought I heard that someone said the wingspan was over 200 ft. They served us lots of food. For dinner they served us chicken and rice with pita bread and hummus. The best part was the brownie for dessert. For breakfast they served us bagels and cream cheese with lox.
Then we landed. It was 75 degrees and sunny. I saw palm trees. What a difference from all the snow. The airport was beautiful. The time difference is 7 hours, so we arrived at about 8:00 am (in Vermont that is 1 am). It is really important to stay awake the first day so that your body can adjust to the time change. The first thing we did after we got our luggage was to drive to a farm to volunteer to help harvest crops for the poor. All the fruit we picked gets sent to various food banks around the country. We got to pick clementines. We were also allowed to eat them as we picked them. They were delicious. Then we stopped for lunch and I had falafel. Falafel is a sandwich that consists of fried chickpea balls (they look and taste like meatballs) served in pita bread. After that, we drove to Old Jaffa, the original port of Tel Aviv. All the buildings and streets are really old. Then we got to check into the hotel and take a short rest before we went out to eat at a Yemenite Restaurant. There were all sorts of interesting dips and appetizers. My parents tried them all. I stuck to the pita bread and pickles because the dips looked yucky to me. Then they brought out shish kabob. That was yummy. As we were walking back to the hotel after dinner I noticed tons of stray cats. I counted 18 just in the 3 blocks back to the hotel. I had seen even more in the afternoon. Apparently, the city had a mice problem many years ago and the English brought over cats to solve that problem. However, they never thought about how many kittens a cat can have. I was so tired by the end of the day. As soon as I got back to the hotel room I fell asleep.