24 hours in tel aviv

as i mentioned in this post, dekel & i went to tel aviv friday morning and stayed the night at crowne plaza.
we were wowed by the room and the atmosphere of the hotel in general. it was super high class and, by far, one of the nicest hotels either of us have ever stayed in. our room was modern, simple and chic. the little touches really made our stay so comfortable. for example, there was a little note on our pillow that said if we wanted to exchange our feather pillows for a different type of pillow, just to make a call. also, on friday evening they brought little hazelnut chocolates to our room as a “shabat shalom” gesture. we also got to use the holmes place spa in the same building as the hotel for free so while browsing through the carmel market in tel aviv we picked up cheap swimsuits so we could take advantage of the jacuzzi  🙂
we arrived to tel aviv around 11 am, checked in & then set out for some lunch and to just poke around the street shops near dizengoff center (the city center). our hotel was within walking distance and right when we reached dizengoff we heard, what i thought was an ambulance, the city sirens go off. you see, there is sort of a war going on over here right now (read more about it here) and the palestinians are firing rockets on israel (mostly in the south) but some rockets have almost reached tel aviv and jerusalem. so back to where i was, the sirens started going off and i got this gut-renching, eerie feeling because you see the busy, bustling streets clear out in a few short seconds and no one is out walking, which is so weird. dekel and i just stood there in awe and took “cover” at a nearby restaurant and just waited for the sirens to silence. they soon did & everyone came back out and everything returned to normal, but it was definetly an experience!

so after walking around the carmel market and stoping in a few stores along the way (check out the cool hole-in-the-wall 2nd hand book store we found in the photos below!) dek & i decided to rent some bikes and head back to the hotel. like in many touristy cities around the world, there are bike stations all around tel aviv where you pay a small fee and can rent a bike for 24 hours/ a week/ a month or a year. all you have to do is “check in” at a station every 30 minutes or you just pay a small fee. you can get anywhere in the city basically within that time frame, so it worked out really well for us and was a fun way to get from one point to the other. after showering back at the hotel we got dolled up and went out for dinner and to meet a friend of dekel’s from college, liron. we met at a cafe called ‘streets’ and had a beer. i forgot the memory card to our small digital camera and didn’t want to take the nikon so i don’t have any photos of that night. but after catching up with liron, dek & i contimplated going out, but just opted to go back to the luxiourious hotel room and snuggle.

saturday morning we woke up & had complimentary breakfast at the beautiful (& delishious!) buffet. i loved the various cheese choices with toast & dekel loved the jachnun. they also served fresh red grapefruit juice and yummy, tart yogurt with muesli. after breakfast, we headed to holon for ‘dialogue in the dark’. we got there at 10 am & were in a group with 4 other people and we were given a white cane, as the visually impared use, and we were guided in total darkness through a maze of rooms. they were all different and we were instructed to use our senses of touch and sound to really focus on our surroundings. some of the rooms included a cafe where we got to order drinks by feeling the coins to know how much to pay, we got to “walk through a market” and feel the different fruits and vegetables to figure out what they were. it was really interesting and it really made me realize how much we rely our eyesight for everything. anyways, our tour was over around 11:15 and we headed home.

it was seriously such a great weekend!
please pray that the missile shooting on israel stops soon!

our room at crowne plaza

bath robes “for our pleasure”
he loved that chair!

walkin’ through the streets of tel aviv
walkway/ bike path in the middle of the bustling streets
dizengoff shopping center
a hole-in-the-wall 2nd-hand book shop
he picked out a book for his 3-year-old niece, ma’ayan

gettin’ ready to BIKE!

azrieli center. out hotel was in the square building
ready to go out for the night!
i was so proud of my eye make-up; used my naked 2 pallet
at the beautiful (and delishious!) breakfast buffet at the crowne plaza
glorious cheeses with toast & a baked cheesecake bite
salad & fresh fruit


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