We didn't make it down to Tel Aviv today. Our beach bags were packed, the snacks and lunches were ready to go, we were dressed and sunblocked, and then at 6:45 am we made the startling realization that we were absolutely out of our minds. It would have been a blast to spend the day in Tel Aviv celebrating with 100,000 of our closest friends, wading through the throngs of people to find a towel size spot on the beach, being trapped due to road closures until the end of the day, where we would inevitably sit in several hours in traffic to drive the 10 miles back to our house. We would have loved to have had a front and center view of the sky divers and air show, and we really debated going for about 10 minutes, but when we asked ourselves the tell tale questions, "What is the likelihood of the girls having a total and complete meltdown by the end of the day?" and more importantly, "What is the likelihood that WE will have a complete meltdown by the end of the day?", we knew it wasn't worth schlepping them around.
So instead we went to the beach by our house. We walked the 3 blocks, worrying the whole way that it would be too crowded to find a good spot. Boy were we surprised when we got there - the Mediterranean was packed with boats, and the beach was EMPTY. We settled ourselves into a nice spot, unloaded our bags, and let the girls go. Not long after our arrival, we were passed by a small Israeli Navy flotilla, in route to the celebrations in Tel Aviv. About an hour after the naval vessels, we heard a noise in the distance... a formation of Blackhawks, Apaches, and CH-53 helicopters began flying over the Mediterranean, also en route to Tel Aviv. We even got to witness a mid-air refueling over the beach of two CH-53's. The helicopters preceded the last of the entertainment that we were able to witness; 15 fighter jets, three of which were refueling directly above us.
The girls didn't pay a lick of attention to what was going on overhead, they were just thrilled to be able to play in the water, throw sand at each other, and have a picnic lunch. I on the other hand, was entranced with the show, and probably took 50+ pictures and a few video clips.
Our day at the beach ended with a crescendo when a young man stopped to talk to me while Matt and the girls were in the water, and I was laying alone on our large beach blanket. I didn't pay any attention to him until he said something to me in Hebrew. I responded that I didn't understand him, to which he switched to English and sat down next to me. Matt looked over at me from the water, but made no attempt to come over or stop our conversation. The young man asked me several inane questions, and it wasn't until he began with the personal repertoire of questions like, "How old are you?" and "Are you here studying?" that I realized he was trying to hit on me. It was at that moment when Sheridan came running over to me and the young man asked me if she was mine. I told him yes - and so is the other one and the husband out there in the water. He apologized profusely, put his tail between his legs, and quickly walked away. While it was very sweet that he came over, I'm still trying to figure out what signs I sent out that said, "Look at me - I'm single!" I was surrounded with 4 pairs of flip flops, 3 large bags, 2 children's sun hats, children's clothing laying about, Matt's shirt, and a bevy of beach toys that completely encircled our beach blanket. Did I seriously look like I was alone? Oh yeah, I was also wearing a wedding ring - and boy shorts, both of which send out an immediate signal that says I'm married, I'm a mom, and I don't need to look sexy. Though I must admit, I was a bit flattered.
Matt finally came back over and asked me who the guy was. When I told him what happened, his only question was, "So how was his English?" What a pain in the a**...
Here are a few photos from the day.
Boats out in the Mediterranean ... The crowded beach
Navy Ships floating by ......... CH-53's refueling in mid-air
Fighter Jets in formation ....... Laughing with the girlies