News of the Cruise (Part 8: Sushi on the High Seas)

“Sushi tonight!” That might be a good idea, but it wouldn’t be such a big deal lots of places I know where kosher sushi is there for the asking. Not in Jerusalem or thereabouts; there’s even a branch of Sushi Rehavia right here in Ma’ale Adumim. Not in Tel Aviv. When Tina and David lived on Ibn Gabirol St., we used to walk across Nordau to Nini Hachi, one of the finest kosher restaurants in Israel. Even when we were living in The Exile, sushi was easy to come by, at least in Teaneck. My sense is that if you are more than an hour’s drive from some kosher sashimi or a plate of pad thai, something is radically wrong. Continue reading

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The 10th anniversary of a 60th birthday

Barbara and I have this on-going in-joke about her birthday: that every four years the American government throws her a big birthday bash. If you realize that her BD is on January 20, the point of our little joke becomes clear. This year not marked not only a presidential inauguration and the opening of a partly new road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, it was also for Barbara a BIG BIRTHDAY, one that called for some sort of celebration. Continue reading

News of the Cruise (Part 7: An Impressive Pile of Rocks)

We had done it before and we were doing it again: waiting along with several thousand other people, all of whom were eagerly and anxiously trying to walk down the staircases at the same time and disembark from the Costa Diadema at 9AM this particular Thursday morning. We had arrived at Cagliari, the port city of Sardinia, about an hour before, and we would have until 5PM to explore the island before the ship set sail again. Not a lot of time to get to our destination, the Su Nuraxi archaeological site and get back in enough time to spend a few minutes getting a glimpse of what there was to see in the very old port town. Especially since the bus ride to our destination, pretty much on the other side of the island, would take over an hour each way. Continue reading

New of the Cruise (Part 6: Sailing the Ocean Blue)

I find it hard to believe, but it’s apparently true: there are hotels in Las Vegas – several of them, in fact – bigger, way bigger than the Costa Diadema. Some of them so big they could possibly tuck the entire population of Efrat in their rooms, without anybody having to sleep on a love seat in the lobby or a blackjack table in the casino. Nonetheless, I’m going to stick with my preferred description of the ship we were sailing on: a huge Las Vegas hotel turned on its side, floating in the water.

On Wed. Sept, 14, the ship was sailing at its normal steady pace from Palma de Mallorca to Cagliari, the port city of Sardinia. The actual distance is 556 km. (346 miles), which means you could fly from one to the other in less than one hour (plus all the time in the airport!). By boat? Let’s just say that the ship left the one port at 1AM Wednesday morning (when we were all fast asleep) and arrived at the other port at 8AM Thursday morning (when we were having breakfast – with a whole day in between). The moral here is that this is not the way to travel if you’re in a hurry. Continue reading