Posted by: Liza Rosenberg | November 15, 2006

Scenes from a visit with the parents

The parents have been and gone, and despite the whirlwind nature of their visit, we managed to take in quite a few interesting activities. Here are some of the highlights – in photographic form, along with some fabulously scintillating commentary…

The picture below was taken at an Arabian horse show, held on the grounds of an agricultural boarding school in the south. Something about this scene just grabbed me, so I decided to play photographer. Coincidentally, this is also the boarding school where Husband and I met, when he was a counselor to a group of rather unruly 11th graders, and I was an American volunteer. Husband and progeny are in the background…

Lots of animals at the school. Not terribly unexpected for an agricultural school. I’ve always had a fondness for cows (though I’m not terribly keen when it comes to eating them), and am teaching the Little One to follow in my footsteps. He enjoyed the petting, but seemed rather put out once the young calf began to lick him. I, on the other hand, couldn’t care less, having been licked by many a young calf while living on a moshav many years ago.

I love penguins. Is it me, or do they always look like they’re watching television? Here’s a tip. If you’re ever in the London Zoo during penguin feeding time, stand well clear of the pool area. The penguins swimming around to catch a meal are cute. The birds that circle overhead are not cute. Especially when you notice that one of them has left a little souvenir on your arm (bless your little wet wipes for cleaning me off, nrg!). This shot and the other animal shots below were taken at the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem. If you’re ever in the area, it’s definitely worth a trip. Amazing!

We were all charmed by this lion couple, who seem rather satisfied with their lot. I don’t know if these are the same lions, but when I saw them, I couldn’t help recalling a story I’d read several years ago about a lion at this zoo named Liza, who was having fertility problems. I was both amused and alarmed, given that I was going through something rather similar, as I alluded to in this post. Just one of those “too close for comfort” moments, I suppose…

“One, two! Tell me who are you! The Bears…” Gold stars to the first person who can tell me what that quote is from.

You pick little bits off my back, and I’ll pick little bits off yours. Gotta love those primates! I’ve always liked monkeys, and even had a remarkably life-like monkey puppet in college named Sherman. Don’t ask… The Little One was rather enamored of Sherman, until I inadvertently left him in Ben Gurion Airport’s domestic terminal.

We had a wonderful time at the zoo. Grandma’s time at the zoo was marginally less wonderful upon discovering that one of the local birds had left her a rather large souvenir on the side of her jacket (we’re not quite sure how it happened, since none of us actually saw the bird, only the, erm, package). Grandpa and the Little One diligently wiped down all the markings, and when they were finished we asked the Little One “who made doodie on Grandma”. His response? “Daddy”.

On Friday, we drove up north. We took a long and winding road to the Druze village of Kifra Samea (and I’m not quite sure why the link refers to Kisra, but it’s the same place), heading straight for the village’s olive press. It’s olive harvest season, and we stood by watching as the residents brought in their bags of olives, poured them into the press, and watched as they were turned into oil. We left with a five-liter container of fresh olive oil and a large jar of olives.

We made our way through a series of twists and turns, ups and downs, and found ourselves at the Rock Park, where the Little One ran around the rocks, skipped through small caves, and generally presented us with many photo opportunities. I’d never heard of this place before, but it was well worth the trip. The shot below shows the view from the Rock Park.

We had lunch at the restaurant below – the originally named Rock Park Restaurant. Don’t let the simple name fool you. The owner was utterly charming, the Tabbouleh among the best I’ve ever eaten, and thoughts of the Kubeh in yogurt can still make me drool. It’s right across from the park. The interior of the restaurant is decorated with Israeli flags, photos of soldiers and pro-IDF slogans.

A sated father and son head towards the car…

Following a brief playground stop with views similar to those in the shot above, we drove to the village of Peki’in, which is populated by Druze, Christians and a small number of Jewish families. We stopped in a small bakery and bought this tray of Baklava, which is one of my all-time favorite desserts (along with the Belgian chocolate truffles from this restaurant, where Little One did his best impersonation of the famous Meg Ryan scene in When Harry Met Sally after taking a bite of one of the truffles). The tray was full when we bought it less than a week ago…

Here’s a close-up shot. How yummy does that look? I had Knafeh too! Mmmm…

Lots of food and lots of animals – how could anyone possibly ask for anything more?

And now I leave you with one final Little One quote that my parents are undoubtedly sharing with all of their friends. When asked if he was heavy, he replied, “I’m not heavy. I’m little.” It doesn’t get much better than that folks. Out of the mouths of babes…

If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to finish off the baklava now…



  1. Could you send that baclava as an email attachment? It looks yummy and gooey and in general something that I should avoid, which is why I want it!!!
    I loved the photos! Is the Little One always on Daddy’s shoulders, or does he self-propell? :-)…
    Thanks for sharing! Glad to hear that Lance and your mom had a good time despite the unsolicited bird droppings! tee hee! Is that a family thing for you guys? Very unlucky in the zoo + bird droppings on jacket combination…

  2. baklava looks mmmmmm… but i felt sad for the animals..

  3. bad news bears? do i win the gold star? it just sounds like something from that movie…never seen it. i was always a little afraid of burt reynolds…or was it billy bob thornton? i can’t tell those 2 apart…it’s the moustache.

  4. Great pictures! There are many specialty grocers the next block over and I have to go get some baclava tomorrow.

  5. rami: Baclava was definitely mmmm. After the Little One was born, one of the Husband’s Druze customers brought us a huge tray of the stuff. Talk about heaven!

    As for the animals, I can understand your sentiment, but they are quite well taken care of (having large, natural enclosures), and I’m guessing that they weren’t, for the most part, actually born in the wild. Not only do they not know what they’re missing (unless they’ve seen “Madagascar”), but they are probably too domesticated to deal with life outside the zoo.

    bagelunderthecouch: Nope, but you win a gold star for guessing, since no one else has even tried (shame on you all! where’s your spirit?). I grew up on the “Bad News Bears” movies – I was a Little Leaguer too (until I switched to girls’ softball because all the male coaches in Little League were too chauvinist to give me decent playing time).

    beth: Thanks! Did you get the baclava? How was it?

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