We decided to eat dinner in the kibbutz restaurant last night, although Rochelle did not join us as she was too tired. A good selection, though at first I thought it might not be kosher as one staffer described the meat as khazeer (pork). We later found that he meant the eggplant (khazeel). At first, I thought I had just misheard him, but another guest thought he said it was pork, too.
While most Israeli restaurants do not serve pork, given that this was a kibbutz founded in part by members of Habonim, a labor-zionist youth movement, they were more likely than others to do it. It turned out to be beef.
The rooms were very comfortable and we all slept well. This morning was rather cold and overcast (a low of 5), and given how cramped the car was for dad and Rochelle in the back, they voted to skip Tel Dan and Tsfat and head straight to Caesarea. Even though I was disappointed, this was for the best. Even though we left before 10, we didn't reach Tel-Aviv until late afternoon.
We drove via the Kinneret, and when we reached Tiberias, we turned onto route 77 (not that it was signed or anything). I remembered that yesterday at this intersection I had intuited I needed to go right. This time, I intuited I need to go hard left. Up and up we climbed, until we had a great view of where Salah-al-Din defeated the Crusader armies in the 12th century. Eventually we reached the 65, which we took all the way to Hadera, and from there to Caesarea.
I've alway enjoyed Caesarea, though I don't get too excited over it. It has great Crusader and Roman ruins, the remains of the hippodrome, the amphitheater, etc. We watched the opening 10-minute English language "Time Trek," which tells the story of the city in rather hokey images. Most of the audience was a large group of Taglit-Birthright participants. We skipped the tower (and the shopping opportunities it presented), to grab a lunch at the harbor. I went with my usual shnitzel, while mom had the sweet potato ravioli, and dad had ice cream. We all enjoyed our meal and then walked along the Roman section.
Above the hippodrome, there were the remains of several structures with mosaic floors. I realized I could tell Caeserea was a Roman/pagan city, not a Jewish one, since none of the buildings or floors listed their donors.
From there it was back to Tel-Aviv. Given the navigational problems we've been having, I said that only one person would be permitted to navigate for me. That ended up being dad. No one else would be permitted to say a word about directions. I didn't care if we ended up in Timbuktu; I'm not driving through screaming hysterics.
We made our way into Tel-Aviv, but got turned around and ended up on a no-left turn/no u-turn road to Ramat Aviv. Eventually we were able to turn around and got back to downtown Tel-Aviv. The hardest part was unloading the car. There was no place to park in front of the hotel and with only one lane heading south, I wasn't prepared to block all traffic. After much more additional screaming, I parked and blocked the road. Eventually, all suitcases, bags, papers, coats, and mom and Rochelle were left in front of the hotel, while dad and I now began our search for Hertz. As it turns out, mom thought we left her a block from the hotel and didn't realize for a while where she was (the hotel's sign is only visible from across the street). Eventually, they got all the luggage inside.
Meanwhile, dad and I searched for Hertz. He knew it was on Hayarkon, but he'd left his map with his suitcase. He wanted me to pull over so he could ask at Avis, but I suggested we try the Sheraton instead. The bellboy pointed south on Hayarkon, which I doubted since we had already driven it without seeing it, but back we went. This time, I dropped my dad at Avis. As I was circling back to pick him, I saw the sign for Hertz. All Avis could tell him was that it was north on Hayarkon, but by then I had the street address.
Surprisingly, Hertz also doesn't have a place to leave cars, so I pulled as far onto the sidewalk as I could. We filled out a report on the puncture and headed to the pharmacy.
The area of my hand with the stitches has been hurting for about a day now and it clearly has become infected. The pharmacist drained some of it, poured on some iodine and said I needed to see a doctor. He recommended the guy across the street, but he turned out to be closed for both this afternoon and all day tomorrow. We went back to the hotel to see what the situation was.
I'm going to contact my friend Ofer, who lives in Tel-Aviv and see if he can recommend someone who can give me a prescription for antibiotics. Then I can have Kaiser fix everything when I get home on Wednesday.
For dinner, we all went back to Brasserie on Ibn Gvirol. Rochelle and I split the blini with salmon, and the crab ravioli. Mom had the chevre chaud salad. For the maincourse, mom had the sole menuiere, while Rochelle and I both ordered the steak au poivrewhile dad had the beef filet. He didn't touch his bone marrow, and Rochelle ended up leaving over half her steak. The chef came out to check to see if there was a problem, but she explained that she was just full.
Mom and Rochelle kept trying to say in earshot of the waitress that it was one of their birthdays, though I told the waitress it wasn't true. We ordered the crepes suzette, which were excellent, and then the waitress brought us a large chocolate cake for "the birthday girl" and handed it to mom. We ended up taking over half of it home in a "doggy bag."
There was some interesting people watching at the restaurant, what with the male purses, and one woman outside who looked suspiciously like she was an escort for a gentleman who looked like Ariel Sharon's younger, and slightly healthier brother. Mom lingered before leaving to make sure our waitress got our tip, since one oddly dressed gentleman at the bar seemed to be eyeing the money we left on the table.
Tomorrow, I'll hopefully resolve my health situation and then go with dad to the Haganah Museum. Then late tomorrow night it's back to the U.S.