Day #7 of our Epic Trip to Italy and Israel with the Museum of the Bible started out really hard for me. I was tired. I was exhausted. And I was really homesick. I do travel fairly regularly, but it’s usually only for 1-3 days at a time. The longest I’ve ever been gone was 8 days — and that was SO hard.
So I was just missing my people, missing home, and missing our quiet life. Plus, I was plain T-I-R-E-D. We had been going, going, going, going for 6 days on little sleep and I just felt so done. So ready to be home, to be with my family, to sleep in my own bed.
I honestly considered staying back at the hotel that day. But I knew we were supposed to go to the Dead Sea and I just couldn’t bear the thought of missing that.
But I’m glad I went ahead and pried myself out of bed and got out the door, because this amazing view was waiting for me!
Yes, we went to Masada — and it was amazing! We took a cable car up to the top and the view at the top was pretty breathtaking!
I snapped this picture of Claire doing some stretching and yoga poses. Is that not the perfect location for yoga??
Even though there were quite a few people there, it felt so quiet and calming and peaceful! I went to some rocks and stood on them by myself and just took it all in. It was so soul-filling for me.
I was also incredibly impressed that even though it was hot outside, the buildings built were so cool because of how they were structured.
We took the cable car down to the base of the mountain and ate lunch and did some shopping. Well, I ended up not buying anything because you had to spend $100 if you wanted to get the 18% tax taken off at the airport. And I just didn’t find anything that I loved enough to bring home.
(I also had packed in a carry-on, so I had very little space to bring extras home. But I did end up buying a few things in Nazareth Village two days late — bracelets for the kids, Israeli candy bars, and a wooden Shalom magnet for our fridge. I had hoped to find some earrings, too, but I never found a pair that I really loved. I guess I’ll just have to go back and get those next time!)
After that, we drove to THE DEAD SEA!!!
Oh my goodness! This was SUCH a highlight for me on the trip! After hearing about this sea and reading stories about it for so long, it was thrilling to actually be able to experience it.
As you might be able to tell here, getting out into the water was a bit tricky — it was muddy and slippery and rocky and you had to be so careful where you stepped so that you didn’t trip in a pothole or cut your foot on a rock (I actually ended up slicing my foot twice — ouch!)
But when we finally made it out into the deep water, it was incredible. Not only could you literally not sink, but you could stand straight upright in deep water where you couldn’t touch and try to bob yourself under and you wouldn’t be able to.
We laughed so hard as we floated all around — even while “standing straight up” in water where we couldn’t touch. We covered ourselves in the thick, rich mud… we even sort of swam.
This picture was staged, yes, but it captured so well the joy that we all were feeling out there together. It had been a long trip. We’d experienced a lot together. And the water and mud and floating just seemed to wipe all of our tiredness from the trip away.
The laughter spilled into teasing and, out there in the middle of the Dead Sea there was such a sense of camaraderie. And it was so F-U-N and beautiful to experience.
I’m SO glad that I didn’t stay back at the hotel that morning like I really wanted to. I would have missed one of the greatest days of the trip… and one of the memories that I probably will never forget for the rest of my life.
…to be continued…