Today is the first day of chol hamoed Pesach in Israel, the intermediary days of Passover that have the status of a semi-holiday. (In the US, the first day of chol hamoed will be Monday – we get five days instead of four!) All of the schools here have vacation, and in Israel it’s a time of family trips and activities across the nation.
We went to a local park with most of our family members as well as our lovely guest who came from Jerusalem to spend the weekend with us. Dh needed to work and ds18 was supposed to meet us there later (though since it’s such a large park and he didn’t know which section we were in, he couldn’t find us when he got there). The park we went to is called Park Hagalil; it’s a huge park that includes a very nice playground, an ampitheater, a waterfall, and lots of other stuff. There’s no admission fee and it’s just a ten minute walk from my house.
It’s a really nice play to go, whether you’re a kid or an adult – the first time I went to the waterfall, I had fantasies of taking a regular early morning walk and then sitting there for some quiet time before I started my day each morning. But I’m not an early riser so it’s remained wishful thinking. I find the waterfall area very restful and calming, and thought we’d start off at there and then go to different areas since the kids would get bored after a while, but I was wrong – we spent almost four hours there and no one wanted to leave.
There’s a small path to the right of the main pond behind some rushes that the kids spent loads of time at – there were frogs, tadpoles, and little fish there that kept them interested for ages. I didn’t actually go over to look at it, since I was happy to plop myself on the grass in a shady spot and watch everyone while chatting with our guest and the older kids.
Ds13 quickly got soaked under the waterfall, then he and the other middles enjoyed hiking up the hills surrounding the waterfall.
Ds13 had brought his baseball equipment with the intent to play with ds18. But the area we were in was hilly and ds18 wasn’t there, so he played catch with all of his younger brothers instead.
At one point, a huge flock of large birds flew over us. It was an unusual sight because they weren’t birds we had seen before. Our guest is an amateur birdwatcher, and had her binoculars and bird guide book there, so she was able to look them up and tell us what we’d seen. They were some kind of stork migrating to their summer homes; learning about them from the guidebook made it more interesting for everyone.
It was a lovely day out!