Thursday, December 3, 2015

MY DEAD SEA / MASADA EXPERIENCE

My family, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all came to a long weekend at the Dead Sea (Israel) to celebrate my cousin's Bat Mitzva. Some flew all the way from the New York area. Luckily, I only had to suffer of a two hour drive. I had a great time and decided to write about my experience.


FRIDAY
Most of us left at around 13:00 and rented a bus to take whoever was going there, from Tel Aviv (where I live) to the hotel. Since I had school and other appointments, my brother, stepdad and I only left at 15:00, and we got there around 17:30. 
The drive was beautiful. Even though we only drove for two and a half hours, the view and the sites we saw kept changing (big cities, farms, desert, etc.). 
We had some free time in our hotel until dinner. Since some of my cousins are very religious, we said some prayers before we started eating. After dinner, we (my siblings and non-religious cousin) went back to our room and watched Bob's Burgers on Netflix (very recommended), until we went to sleep.

SATURDAY 
On Saturday, we woke up early and went on Jeep tour around the area, and had a great time. If you have me on Snapchat (@zoeeozstar) you've probably seen my brothers and I making jokes and having fun.
We got back just in time for lunch. Since it was Saturday, none of the restaurants were open, so we ended up eating at McDonalds. We made fun of ourselves because we stayed at such a fancy hotel and ate food from McDonalds - who does that?!
Later on that day my mom and I went to a 'salt pool' in the hotel, that was like a heated version of the Dead Sea. It felt so good and calming! Since it was only open to people over the age of 16, there were no little annoying kids running around splashing and peeing in the water. It was very nice.

SUNDAY
Two of my brothers (Ido - 15, Iftach - 12) and I went to the pool and the Dead Sea. Later on, Iftach left us and Ido and I went to the salt pool and Jacuzzi (I didn't know it was spelled like that until now, it's so fancy and French).
Anyway, we took showers and left to a Bedouin village and learned about their way of living. We ate dinner there and it was amazing - SO MUCH FOOD.


Mine: Dress - H&M (similar)
His: Shirt, Shoes (both on sale)

MONDAY
Finally, the day of the Bat Mitzva. It was a busy day. 
6:00 - wake up, getting ready, dressing up, makeup
7:00 - breakfast
8:00 - we hired photographers who took photos of us in the morning and during that whole day.
8:40 - leaving for Masada
9:00 - we get there, take some more pictures
9:20 - more cousins come, they were late and it was annoying. We went on a cable railway that took us to the top of the mountain. There is also an option to hike up, but we were all wearing fancy dresses and shoes. Not a great idea.
9:40 - the service starts. My cousin lead the prayers and read from the Torah for the first time, very exciting! At the end, we threw candy at her (Jewish tradition).
11:00 - we had another activity where we made Chalas (special kind of Jewish bread, usually eaten Friday night).
13:00 - got back to the hotel. Packed up quickly and had a big lunch (they make a big meal - almost like a banquet - for people's last meals there). We ate SO MUCH! The food was so good, we asked them to pack it up for us (there was so much of it, we'd never be able to finish it)
15:00 - bus left from the hotel 
18:30 - My grandparents and I went with my cousin (the Bat Mitzva girl) and aunt back to their hotel in Herzliya. We walked around the Marina (port) until about 20:30 and drank hot chocolate. Then my grandparents (who are staying in my house) went back home.

The hotel also had a spa (that costs extra money) and a gym that I never got to try. This is the hotel and I recommend it a lot. This post isn't sponsored and I genuinly really liked the hotel.

Have you ever been to Israel / the Dead Sea? Tell me about your experiene!