And just like that, this girl is finally 21-years-old! And absolutely loving Israel, obviously.
My birthday last week started off with five straight hours of Hebrew class followed by an incredible adventure to a royal palace atop a hill known as Tell El-Ful (near Beit Hanina in Jerusalem). Pretty fitting place to visit for my birthday, I’d say. We explored the area for a bit, which had an awesome panoramic view of part of both Jerusalem and the West Bank, and learned about the abandoned structure itself and the role it played throughout history. Later that day, there was a super cute “ladies spa night” program led by a student center right by campus so I got a fresh manicure and nice makeover to spice up my ~ birthday look ~ ! I ended my birthday celebrations that night just hanging out with a group of friends in our neighborhood and continued celebrating throughout the weekend in Tel Aviv.
“Tel Aviv is one of the most vibrant cities in the world. Titled the ‘Mediterranean Capital of Cool’ by the New York Times this is a 24 hour city with a unique pulse, combining sandy Mediterranean beaches with a world-class nightlife, a buzzing cultural scene, incredible food, UNESCO recognized architecture, and an international outlook.” – Tourist Israel
The above description truly nails it. My weekend was, indeed, vibrant for three days straight, filled with hours spent on sandy Mediterranean beaches, fun nightly outings, a truly “buzzing” cultural scene, obviously mouth watering food and much much more! We (a group of friends and I) stayed at a nice little Airbnb apartment about a 5 minute walk from the beach on Ben Yehudah (not to be confused with the Ben Yehudah in Jerusalem) in a great location right by a bunch of restaurants and super close to the shuk (outdoor market). Being in Tel Aviv definitely gave me some strong LA vibes; I was happy to get a little taste of extravagant city life again but was even more happy to return back to Jerusalem after a few days of craziness.
The weekend ended with a super cute and artsy “wine and paint night” led by the student center again. I was honestly very surprised at my artistic abilities… just call me Picasso from this point on to be honest. The next day I went to the cutest little Kibbutz (what they call a communal settlements here in Israel) for “wine tasting and chocolate making”. We tried a variety of delicious wines and learned a little bit about how to wine taste. My Argentinian background truly came in handy around this time, especially since I grew up learning from my dad who’s extremely passionate about wine and all that comes along with it. I was able to recognize certain types of wine and knew a little bit about them as well. I know he’d be proud! After that, we went to their chocolate factory and were able to create our own chocolate bars from scratch and later take our masterpieces back home with us. It was an overall lovely and exciting day!
After going on many outings and being away for a full weekend, it was crazy to think about how glad I was to be back in Jerusalem after a few short days of not being “home”. I still can’t believe that I live here, that I wake up every morning and look out my window to see numerous buildings covered in Jerusalem stone, that The Western Wall is just a few bus stops away, that world history is right before my eyes and that I still have so much more to explore. There is still so much more to learn!
Until next time..