Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dad in Jerusalem Day 1

After my Paris study abroad three years ago we sort of regretted not having my parents come pick me up. You get to know the city so well during study abroads, and it's really fun being able to be an expert tour guide for them! We originally thought about having my whole family come visit me in Israel after my program ended, but after plans for Jenna's study abroad in Italy and my mom coming to France to help me move in materialized, we decided it would be enough international travel for our family if just my dad came. Our first daddy-daughter vacation!

My dad came to pick me up at the Jerusalem Center on the last night of our program. Everyone else was staying one more night and leaving the next day to go to the airport, but I snuck out a night early. Dad got to meet most of my friends and see some of our Memories Night slideshow. Then we ventured out to attempt to find our hotel. I say 'attempt' because apparently it was pretty much impossible for cab drivers to find. Thankfully, we eventually found it! It was in a great part of Jerusalem- right in the city center of West Jerusalem. It was in a pedestrian-only area, which is why it was hard to find. But it was definitely a fun place to walk around. There were lots of cafes and things like that. Here's a glimpse of our hotel: the Arthur!

It's named after my BFF Arthur Balfour. #jewishhistoryreference

My favorite thing about the hotel was that it had real Wifi. I got to do shocking things like go on facebook and youtube and access the internet while IN MY ROOM! I didn't even have to hike up any stairs to use the internet. So that was my favorite part. Let's just say that if I ever become a millionaire, I'm donating 21st century internet to the BYU Jerusalem Center.

Anyways, we pretty much went to bed right away after getting to the hotel and decided to sleep in the next morning. Dad was obviously really tired from flying all night, and I didn't really get to sleep in past 6 all summer. I thought I would wake up early just from habit. Nope. I got up at 11, haha.

My original plan was to do the Knesset (Israeli parliament) tour on our first day, but they happen to close the building for the entire month of August. So instead, the first thing we did was do a tour of the Israeli Supreme Court building. It still has to do with Israeli government, right?

It was a pretty cool tour, and an interesting building. We got to sit in a courtroom and learn about the Israeli justice system. Nice.

The building and the view from it:

Since we were already on the western edge of Jerusalem, we went to the Holocaust museum (Yad Vashem) afterwards. We had to rush to make it to the tour of the Supreme Court, so we hadn't had breakfast or lunch by this point and it was like 2:00. So then we did something that was a total flashback to our vacation in Germany last year. We had lunch at Yad Vashem...like when me and mom had to eat at the Dachau concentration camp. You know, not the most appetizing places, but you have to do what you have to do.

So it was my fourth time at the museum! It's definitely my favorite place in Jerusalem. I was glad my dad really liked it too, even though he's not obsessed with WWII like I am. After going through the museum we walked around Mount Herzl a little bit and I showed him the graves of some Israeli politicians. Then we took the light rail back to the city center, where we then impressively located our hotel.

I very carefully planned our itinerary for this trip. With my dad in mind, I included nap time every day. He was very grateful :)  After a little resting, we went out to dinner at the same Italian place that I went to with some friends the week before. It was still delicious! Then we went on a 10 minute walk to Mamilla Mall, which is an outdoor mall that I wanted to see lit up at night. We didn't get out very much at night during our program, since we weren't allowed to walk in East Jerusalem after dark.

Mamilla at night:

So I kind of took it easy on my dad on his first day in Jerusalem. None of these places were very Middle Eastern. Everywhere we went was very nice and modern. The perfect way to ease him into Jerusalem :) Don't worry, the next day we dived into the Old City!

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