We got to my parents place less than 2 hours after landing (it was now 5PM Israel time.... we left our house the day before at 2PM NJ time). They came out to greet us with hugs and it was so great to see them after mroe than a year. My mom took the kids up with her, and Ian and I continued on with my father and most of the luggage to our new house in Arnona-Talpiot (a neighborhood a bit further South in Jerusalem - neer Baka). We had not seen it yet at all (other than via my mothers descriptions) so we were both excited to see it and unload our luggage there etc.... Of course - it had no furniture yet (we will be staying here at my parents place for the next week or 2 as we set up shop), but it was our first chance to see the house that would be our home for the next year... I gotta say - I was a bit underwhelmed at first.... The phrase "what were we thinking?" has come up quite a bit - but it was particularly prominent during the first few minutes touring the vacant house. All the empty rooms - though technically exactly as my mom had described seemed somewhat smaller than I thought they would and also somewhat shabbier. The lower level room seemed more removed from the rest of the apartment than I expected as well - making play room plans seem less sure.... However - after a few minutes I collected myself and started visualizing where furniture would go and where we could hang some nice tapestries or inexpensive art that we might find and the excitement returned. The place really is great. The kids will each have their own room (for the first time since there were 3 of them) and we have an extra guest room (we do want many guests to visit!) and the dining room is nicely open to the Living Room which is on the other side or a glass walled balcony and 6 steps down. From the LR there are sliding doors to a really cure courtyard and garden (the grass has not been watered in a while though - so it was a bit crunchy!). There is also a lower level courtyard/parking area where the kids can play as well.... All in all a nice place.
By this time we were exhausted so we took a quick walk around the neighborhood (we found a nice shopping center 5 minutes walk away) and got a cab back to my parents place (15 minutes ride)....
The first day was ending. My mom gave us dinner (yay - mom's cooking).... ok - it was leftovers from Shabbat when both my sisters and their clans stayed over - but still yummy. We gave the kids baths and tried to put them to bed, but that took a while (it was the afternoon according to their bodies - even if they did barely sleep the day before!)
I passed out on the couch - eventually moving to my bed, but it was musical beds all night.... eventually everyone settled down though. Tuesday we got an early start on shopping with my mom and getting cable, phone, internet set up. I will try to give more of an update Tuesday later - for now I need to take advantage of a sleeping family and join them!
Layla Tov -