Camels, Hookas, and Falafels

This is a very brief outline of my trip to Israel and Jordan. I will embellish on sites if you request me to. There was a lot to cover!

Disclaimer: THIS WAS A RELIGIOUS TOUR, SO MOST, IF NOT ALL, OF THE SITES HAD RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE

Places visited:
8th- 9th: Amman
10th: Petra, really great; We stayed in an amazing Hotel! It was a village, so the rooms were converted houses, very Southern Utah Indian.
11th: Crossing into Israel; Madesda, Ein Gedi, Quaram, Dead Sea, and Scots Hotel, also a very good Scottish themed hotel with a great view of the Sea of Galilee.
12th: Ten Dan (Dan’s Natural Wildlife Preserve on the Israel/Syrian border), Baniass, Ceasarea Philippi, Mount Hermon/Kal’at Nimrod, Road to Damascus/ Site of Paul’s Conversion, Jordan River, and a boat excursion on the Sea of Galilee.
13th: Capernum, Old Nazereth, Cana, Mount of Beattitudes.
14th: Mount Tabor, Ein Heron, Jezral Valley, Carmiel, Ceasarea (on the Mediterranean Coast!)/the Aqueduct.
15th: Pool of Siloam, Hezekiah’s tunnel (narrow, short, and overall claustrophobic, if it didn’t have water running through it, I would’ve had an anxiety attack), Bethlehem/West Bank, Yad Veshem (Holocaust Museum/Memorial).
16th: Temple Mound/Mount Moriah/Dome of the Rock/Wailing Wall/Old City, BYU Center.
17th: Upper Room, Ciaphus’ Palace, Ellah Valley, Bethlehi, Orson Hyde Memorial Park/City Lookout.
18th: Garden of Gethsemane, Garden Tomb, Israel Museum, Shrine of the Book (the location of the Dead Sea Scrolls found in Quaram).

Items Bought:
Scarves: 3 for $10
A really great ring for 5 pounds, and worth it.
A widow’s mite pendant: It retailed from $50 up to more than $200, but I got mine for $25. It involved secret meetings with the jeweler who was selling them on the side. It was probably illegal. Oh, well.
Mud from the Dead Sea, for which I was questioned for at the airport security flying out.
Three Pomegranates: my best and favorite purchase of the trip. A friend and I had to book it to the fruit vendor and back before the bus left us, and it was so worth it! Three for 8 sheckles (less than 2 bucks), and I didn’t even have to claim it at airport security.

Funny Experiences:
Shopping was so funny! Everything on the streets seemed to be one dolla. “10 postcards. One Dolla!” ect. The best was when my aunt Lynda was bardering with someone and she got a necklace down from $20 or so to $5 by saying she only had $5. Then, when the vendor agreed on $5, she said, “Good, do you have change?” and he simply replied, “Yeah.” It was great!

My family seemed to be the one causing all the problems: lost luggage, lost backpacks, unpaid room fees… ect. We were almost thrown/ voted off the bus/”the island,” but we made it up in our enthusiasm for roll call, and welcoming people on the bus.

We were sitting eating lunch at this resteraunt all by ourselves. It overlooked the Sea of Galilee, and was a really great lunch, but halfway during lunch, a boat waved the American flag, and two guys with flares stood there while the resteraunt played cheesy music for us, thanking us for our support and friendship to Israel. It was embarassing for all invloved. I wanted to laugh so hard, but it wasn’t a joke to them.

Movies Watched:
Speedracer: actually, good. It was very comic bookish, but I liked it. It was bizarre.
Agnus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging: really good. Sweet in a non-obnoxious way… or cheesy.

Albums Listened To:
Jason Mraz: “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things
Sufjan Stevens: “Seven Swans” (surprising religious songs, but without being cheesy or in your face)
Beck: “Modern Guilt
The Black Kids: “Partie Traumatic
The Beatles: a couple of albums “Please, Please Me,” “With the Beatles,” “Rubber Soul,” and “Revolver
Calexico & Iron and Wine: “Red Dust” especially the song “16, Maybe Less” great haunting melody: listen to the lyrics!
The “That Thing You Do” Soundtrack
Cake: “Stick Shifts and Safety Belts

I listen to a lot of music.

Airlines flown:
BMI: not a good flight/airline…. stay away.
British Airlines: really good. I liked them a lot. They had a bunch of selection for entertainment including full CDs that could be put in a playlist, and great movies! Fly BA!!!

That’s the gist of it. If you want to stay tuned I’ll add more pictures. I took a lot, surprised?

Lion King Makes a Scene

Last night I had the opportunity to see Lion King, the musical. Katherine and I had incredibly close seats and we were excited about that, because we would able to see all of the costumes up close. The only problem was that we were on the seats at the edge of the stage, so our view of one side was cut off. It was good though. My favorite parts were the dancing and the costumes. I added a lot of pictures of those things because I think that they were the best of the show.

The young Simba was a bad actor. Not just for little kids, but in general. Watching him was like watching a road show. A bad one, too. So, the first half was kinda painful. Scar was great, and he kept sounding like David Bowe. Mufasa was good. Zazo was hilarious. Rafiki was funny, and crazy, and a girl…. kinda interesting.

We were so close that the music and the singing drowned into one, so it was hard to hear the songs. That was a bummer. Another bummer was that I had a stomach cramp for the entire night. (The cramp still hasn’t gone away and it’s been 12 plus hours!) It hurt so much that I wanted to cry. That element could have added into my disklike of the play overall.

The costumes and dancing were amazing, but I do not think I would pay to see it again. Especially not if that little boy is in any part of it. I don’t know; it just wasn’t my cup of tea.