by Steve Lancaster 7/14/15
In less than one week my wife and I will be leaving our home in Arkansas. My daughter is driving us to XNA (NW Arkansas Regional) and we will leave the US for Israel via Newark Liberty International with a plane change and a layover of 3 hours. Not that it will be a short trip the total elapsed time is just short of 17 hours. We will arrive in TA and be met by an old friend from the 70s. We will be in Israel for a month, arriving back in AR just in time for the fall semester at U of A.
For my wife this trip is filled with some trepidation, she deems Israel to be under the gun, not only from the usual suspects, but also our own government. For me, this is a nostalgia tour. I served with CIA in TA during the October 73 war so there are some memories and I have friends I have not seen in more years than I care to count. We will be staying with my friend in downtown TA, less than a mile from the US embassy and a short walk to the beach. I hear the beach is topless in places; the wife will get a charge out of that.
We will hit some of the usual tourist spots and some that are off the beaten path. Neither the wife or I are much for nightlife, but TA is known for it. I expect to take some of it in. We are spending time in J’slem the first week and a visit to the wall is on the agenda. Like I said, the usual tourist stops, Masada, Negev, Eilat, Dead Sea, Jordan River, Golan and Jezreel just to name a few.
My Hebrew is at the best it’s been in over 40 years and thank goodness most Israelis speak better English than I do Hebrew. My only regret is that due to some stupid concerns about safety I will not be able to travel armed on the flight over, however, my friend Mier assures me that a weapon is resting on his table that I can carry.
I will attempt to drop a note from time to time about the trip, and how Israel is coping with all that is going on. If war breaks out then look for me on TV I will be the one in an IDF uniform and a Marine smile. I told the wife tonight that there is a 50% chance that we will stay; she quoted Ruth.
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