Man, I’m overwhelmed right now.

To start, my blog has been down, off and on, for over a week, thanks to some kind of hack and malware. I’m so sorry if you got a warning when visiting here last week. I’m told by my host that it’s really, for real, totally fixed now. Seriously. They mean it. They better mean it.

I lost my first post about Israel, and I have SO much to tell you all about it! I don’t even know where to start.

I’m going to re-cap what I said in that post that was lost, I guess.

Basically, did you know I went to Israel for a week at the beginning of the month? I did! And it was life changing. Just beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.

So here’s how that came about. I got an email from Vibe Israel last spring, asking me to apply for a “mommy bloggers” trip. They could only bring a very small group of mom bloggers from around the world, so I thought my chances were really slim, and I was REALLY scared to actually get accepted. But I applied anyway.

And after a couple months of waiting and an interview, I got the email with the invitation. Eeep!

Why was I scared and why did I decide to go? I’ve got a whole other post for that coming up.

Who else went?  from the US- Jamie and Janessa, from the UK- Amanda, and from Australia- Kelly.

What is Vibe Israel all about? What was their intention in arranging this trip? This video explains it far better than I could.

To sum it up, it wasn’t for political or religious reasons. Vibe Israel is a non-profit dedicated to working with influencers to highlight the Vibe of Israel in all aspects.

Where did we go, what did we do? Here’s a rundown in pictures. I’ll elaborate more in future posts:

Day 1 was a travel day, ending with dinner in Old Jaffa in a building from the time of the Crusades.

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Day 2 was Jerusalem with a group of Israeli mothers and a phenomenal female tour guide (one of the very few women offering tours of Jerusalem).

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Photo by Tamar Avara

Then a traditional Shabbat dinner with 2 families in a Tel Aviv home (this was SO special!).

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Day 3 began with a visit to the first children’s museum in all of Israel (and a REALLY spectacular one, at that).

ShaniChildren's Museum

Photo by Shani Sadicario

Then the Dead Sea!

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Photo by Shani Sadicario

Day 4 started with a visit to Google Campus Tel Aviv to meet and talk to local entrepreneurs and start ups focused on women and families.

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Photo by Shani Sadicario

Then an afternoon with my “Israel Buddies”- two moms who welcomed me, and talked with me in one of their homes for hours. I’ve got an entire post coming up just for this!

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Then dinner on a rooftop in Tel Aviv with 3 powerful and inspirational Israeli women and mothers.

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Photo by Shani Sadicario

Day 5 began with a visit to the Sarit Shani Hay design store, where we met with the designer herself, and got to play with all her creative designs. I NEED this massive alligator for our playroom!

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Photo by Shani Sadicario

Then it was time to drive north. We stopped at a kibbutz that’s home to adults with special needs, and those who need a little help in life. It’s a working organic farm!

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Photo by Shani Sadicario

We collected food and made a delicious dinner with Paula Rosenberg, an Israeli TV personality and natural lifestyle champion.

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Photo by Shani Sadicario

Day 6- After waking in our historic and stunning hostel in Nazareth, we took a walking tour of the city. This was the day a HUGE sand storm covered the country. It was pretty crazy.

ShaniNazerethWalkPhoto by Shani Sadicario

After that, we headed to a children’s boutique- Tuty- to chat with local child and baby brands.

ShaniTuty

Photo by Shani Sadicario

And finished it off with an interview with a large newspaper! Did you remember the part about how we started the day walking through a humid city drowning in sand?

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That night we played with Mamanet, a sports organization solely for mothers, where they play something very similar to volleyball, except you throw and catch the ball instead of bumping and spiking it… which didn’t help me much at all. (But it was fun!)

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Day 7- A few of us walked through the local market in Tel Aviv, or “the shook.”

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Then it was off to the Daniel Rowing Center (had you any idea that Tel Aviv has a thriving rowing community?)

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for a final farewell cocktail party.

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Photo by Shani Sadicario

That last picture is me hugging Vibe Israel Founder/CEO Joanna Landau. It was an emotional goodbye. I so admire her and all the women on team Vibe Israel.

I feel like I have family there now. One that I fully intend to visit again soon.

I plan to blog about my trip for the rest of the week, and I’d love to hear if you have any questions you’d like me to try to answer for you! Did you know Israel is the #4 country to raise children, according to a 2015 poll by Internations, and the US isn’t even in the top 20. Why do you think that is? I don’t have the answers, but I have some theories I’ll try to get into in the coming days.

Look forward to a LOT more pictures, too! That is if I can finally finish editing them all.

Here’s a peek at what’s to come tomorrow- An afternoon in the life of an Israeli mother.

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12 thoughts on “My Trip To Israel, Part 1”

  1. I followed your week in Israel on instagram, and I’m really excited to see the posts about your trip! It looks like it was incredible!

  2. 6aNe7K Thank you for every other great post. Where else may anyone get that type of information in such a perfect method of writing? I ave a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such information.

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