Archive for May, 2011

Company comes calling

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

We’re excited that our good A-100 friend Richard came to see us from his post in Bogota! He arrived Wednesday night and we spent a long time just sitting on the balcony catching up. We had a lovely dinner beachside at Manta Ray last night.

Last Sunday evening, John and I went to the Ambassador’s residence for the annual American Chamber of Commerce awards gala. The residence sits on one of the loveliest spots on the beach in Tel Aviv. We had a beautiful view of the ocean as we ate dinner outside.

I’m on cat-sitting duty this week for two different people. I was so grateful that I had folks to take care of Flavia while we were in Arkansas in May – I’m happy to return the favor.

Everything’s coming up…artichokes!

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Artichoke flowers

I’m fascinated with these artichoke flowers that John bought for me – they are a gorgeous bright shade of blue, about the size of sunflowers. According to a blogger in California, the artichokes that you eat are just the immature buds of these flowers. John also got me a pretty orange begonia in a white pot for the patio table, and rosemary and basil plants.

We found these treasures as we were walking up Ben Yehuda Street last night, on our way to a farewell happy hour for our neighbors Melissa and Amos. Earlier in the week, I went “shopping” at their apartment – a Foreign Service ritual. When you are packing up, you call your friends to come take the food you have left in your cupboards –  I happened to be on the receiving end this time. It’s fun!

John and I have been taking early evening walks on the beach this week. The weather has been really nice, with a good breeze coming off the ocean – lots of kites out today. We’ve giggled this week as a guy has flown past our apartment at eye level in a power paraglider- it’s like he is para-gliding with a small parachute, but he has a power pack on his back to zoom him around. Click to see a photo that I found on the internet. It looks fun!

I’ve really been enjoying reading books by Jodi Picoult – I finished one this week, My Sister’s Keeper. I’ve also enjoyed Perfect Match, House Rules and Nineteen Minutes. I felt like I hit the jackpot when I found another one of hers in the Embassy lending library the other day – can’t wait to start it. Is anyone else a fan of hers?

Also, John and I have really been enjoying Mad Men, a television series about the advertising business in the 1960s. Everyone kept telling us that we would love it, and we do. We get so excited when our NetFlix order arrives in the mail!

Speaking of mail, we also really appreciate the care packages that Cousin David has been sending us! Alison tapes TV shows for him on DVD, and he has started sending them on to us – yeah! We get a pretty good selection of television shows on the Armed Forces Network, but it’s great to have something on DVD when there’s nothing on that we want to watch. Thanks, David!

Lazy week

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

John and Syllie on the beach

I’ve really spent the week trying to get over jet lag – I’ve alternated between getting no sleep and sleeping so soundly that I don’t wake up until mid-morning!

We were happy to have a day off on Tuesday to celebrate Israeli Independence Day. Our neighbors Diane and Bill had a great cookout on their balcony overlooking the ocean – I think everyone in Tel Aviv was down on the beach. Throughout the morning, fighter jets flew in formation and performed acrobatics overhead, and there were a million boats on the water. The party was great fun – I really enjoyed sitting in the sun and drinking a glass of wine as we visited with folks from other parts of the Embassy.

We had another treat on Thursday when our friend Sylbeth popped into town for the night. She is posted in Japan and has been travelling around for her R&R. We had a nice dinner at Whitehall, then sat in the sand at a beach bar for a nightcap. Syllie is a lot of fun, and it was wonderful to see an old friend from DC.

Friday after work, I went with a few folks from the Consular section to a cafe overlooking the beach to have a little Friday happy hour, which was a great way to start the weekend.

Israeli Independence Day

Jiggedy Jig

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

My Kentucky buddies, Stephanie and Becky

Home again, home again! I arrived back in Tel Aviv yesterday afternoon and am so glad to see John and Flavia! It’s especially nice to be able to celebrate my birthday with them!

Last Sunday morning at o’dark thirty, I left Hot Springs and drove through rain to catch my 7 AM flight to Lexington, Kentucky. I spent the week in Williamsburg at a conference at the Kentucky Consular Center. The conference was great and the hospitality that KCC extended to us was just incredible. It was so fun to meet folks from other posts and to meet the people at KCC who help us via email and telephone.

The week was a whirlwind of meetings and going to lunch and dinner with the group. It was especially fun to see my A-100 classmate Robert who was in from Lima. A group of us went to Cumberland Falls State Park to see the beautiful waterfall there, followed by dinner at the lodge, where we were entertained by goldfinches and a resident raccoon. We also had a great time celebrating Cinco de Mayo together at a local Mexican restaurant.

Click to see all of our photos from Arkansas and from the conference.

Mom and Tiger

My conference buddies, Wendy and Robert