Speaking to my cousin Roz many months ago about giving myself a memorable birthday gift, we discussed the possibility of an Israeli tour. After researching a few of the Israeli tours, we decided on the 12-day Margret Morse Tour Group. It was one of the best decisions we ever made – the trip of a lifetime.
We booked the trip in November 2021 and hoped the threat of COVID would not cancel the trip. Roz had moved to Israel in August 2021. I decided to fly to Israel a few days before the tour began to visit with Roz and her family.
El-Al requires everyone to have a negative PCR test 72 hours before boarding the plane, and an entry document completed. I worried about the test for about a week and thankfully it was negative. When arriving in Israel I had to take another COVID test and remain in quarantine at Roz’s apartment until I received the results. Fortunately, the second test also came back negative.
The months flew by and before we knew it, March 21, 2022 had arrived. Arriving at Newark airport and going through Israeli security was nerve-racking. The custom agent wore a mask, and his English was hard to understand. I kept saying “What” until finally he was satisfied with my answers and told me to have a safe trip. From that point on the rest of the experience went smoothly.
The plane was packed with most of the middle seats empty. It was a long and smooth ride. When I arrived at Ben Gurion Airport, my cousin, her daughter, and her husband were waiting for me. I was so excited, I couldn’t breathe.
We went to their beautiful apartment, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The next morning Roz and I left for Tel-Aviv to join the tour group. It amazed me to see the Hebrew and English lettering on all the building and signposts. It reminded me of a big city with all the apartment buildings, shops, restaurants, and people. Roz and I took a walking tour, seeing many different architectural styles. There were no guidelines for how the buildings were built; they were all completely different.
That night there was a scheduled welcome dinner at the hotel, where we met our tour guide and the other eight people in our group. Everyone was so friendly and six of the people live near me in New Jersey and Philly.
For the next 12 days our tour started at 9 in the morning and ended at around 9:30 at night. We visited museums, different Kibbitzes, and archival discoveries. I kept thinking about the determination of the Israeli people continuing to build their country while living with the threat of terrorist attacks and the possibility of war every day.
Akiva, our driver, drove us safely around the narrow streets and highways while Alan, the tour guide, pointed out the different sights we were passing. When we got off the bus Alan gave us a history of the area and showed us different archival discoveries. He told us stories about the area and had a great sense of humor. We all loved him.
The highlight of the trip for me was seeing the Western Wall. Walking down to the Wall I had felt that God was there and watching over all of us. One of the customs is to write your prayers to God on a piece of paper and put it in the Wall. Putting my prayers into the Wall and praying with the other women brought tears to my eyes.
I flew back on April 3, 2022. It was a very smooth flight, and I was happy to get back to America, my home.
I highly recommend Margaret Morse Tours: your every need is met, hotels are luxurious, and you experience an inside look and feel of the country.
Getting back to my everyday life was a struggle. I felt like I was in a coma for the first few days, and had no energy. It took me about two weeks to feel normal again. It was worth the trip, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
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6 thoughts on “Trip of a Lifetime”
Loved reading about your experience!
The best part was sharing the trip with you.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Felt like I was living at as I read it. What a great memorable trip. Keep on making memories
Thank you. My next big trip is to see the animals in Africa. Let’s start planning.
It was wonderful to read this and relive those fabulous memories! I also feel that it was the trip of a lifetime and loved sharing it with you!
Toni it was great meeting you and experiencing our Israel trip together.