If you haven’t read the first part of our departure for the Holy Land you can check it out here.
The non-stop flight from Philly to Tel Aviv is a whopper. It’s a solid ten and a half hours and there’s no two ways around it. I recommend to anyone traveling with little ones and maybe even on your own to do an evening flight like we did. The final flight for Israel departed at 9:00pm at night. It was a little later than the kids normal bed time but it positioned us well for them to be prepared for their normal bed time hours, or so we thought.
We brought some coloring books, small toys, books, an iPad, a change of clothes, and plenty of snacks. Some toys were new and some were their favorites. We pretty much had 4 carry-on bags with one of those being my camera/laptop bag. The Maclaren stroller we gate checked and was a must-have in the airports. The other 3 bags consisted of a diaper bag and then two bags designated to toys and snacks.I thought we brought a perfect mix and a perfect amount. I wouldn’t take any more or any less if I had to do it over again.
Because Jake was not feeling well he did not sleep much. We did take the CARES system for the first leg from Monterey to Baltimore but decided against it for Jake since he was sick and thought he’d be more used to his car seat. O got the CARES and it worked perfect for her. I really liked the CARES and will share a lot more detail in an full review in the coming weeks. Olivia slept pretty well (as well as one could sleep) and when awake watched some movies on the iPad and colored, mostly. It wasn’t until the last couple of hours that the long flight settled in for O. Just about that time is when the puking began. She threw up a good 4 times before landing. We weren’t sure why she was puking but later chalked it up to her just being sick of flying, literally! 11 hours on that plane was a whopper but we made it!
The first few days in Israel were rough. Only because the 10-hour jet lag was more than we bargained for and it really hit us hard. Plus, both kids were sick so my only experience with Israel for those first few days was with the Grocery store a couple of times. The second day in Israel we got a call from the Doc that Jake tested positive for Strep. That was really cool cause you know what we then realized?? We left the Omoxycillin on the plane!! So now we had to not only see a Dr. but also get prescription medication in a foreign country! Fortunately, we had my sister with us who spoke hebrew fluently (well my parents could too) but was really able to help us find a Doctor. In Israel because taxes are so high they have very good and inexpensive healthcare. Well, that’s what we thought until we had a Dr. visit the Apartment. I was skeptical about this at first since we don’t have Doctors visiting the house at home but we decided to just go with it. He was a nice enough man or so we could tell from the slight grunts and saliva spitting comments he would make every time he’d open his mouth. He wasn’t a Pediatrician and that was obvious by his bedside manners. Well, he wasn’t actually standing next to the bed, we were in the kitchen, but you get the idea. The entire visit consisted of him checking both their heart beats and breaths with a stethoscope and looking in their ears with that ear looker inny thingy. From the extensive check up he pronounced them, “All Normal, All Normal”. That makes perfect sense considering the following:
Jake was just diagnosed by a Dr. in Baltimore with Coxsackie Virus 2 days prior
Jake’s throat was all nasty looking
Jake had a 104.5 fever the day prior
Jake was diagnosed with Strep throat via a Strep Culture performed by said Doc in Baltimore
O had a fever
O had a nasty red throat with bumps in it
The Dr. never asked us anything (in English or Hebrew) and took their temperatures by placing the back of his hand of their foreheads.
Apparently in Israel, I guess you’re closer to God so you don’t actually have to touch the patient to diagnose them. So, after we convinced him that in fact, they were not “Normal” and that “Drink, Drink, Drink” wasn’t the solution he prescribed to us Penicillin. We told him that the Dr. ordered us Omyxcillin not Pennicylin but he responded that it’s “Universal!”. Well, I suppose that’s true to a degree but keep in mind this was being prescribed for a 19 month old not an adult. I later found out that while they’re both very similar and can do the same thing Omyxcillin is much milder and tends to work better for people that can be allergic to Penicillin. I didn’t want to take any chances since he was already prescribed one over the other so we convinced him and $280 US dollars later we were on our way. Actually, he was on his way since he visited us but he did eventually leave.
When we finally did get out of the house we went and visited some relatives of my brother-in-law to be. It was my first real driving experience in Israel and oh boy was I in for a surprise. We had this big ol’ Hyundai Diesel minivan that was manual and drove just like it sounds. It took me some time getting used to driving such a machine but that wasn’t my biggest obstacle I’d come to find. The drivers in Israel…How do I put this?…Umm…Let me be nice about this. The drivers in Israel are ASSHOLES! My jaw dropped at the things I saw. We’re talking cars making U-Turns across major streets (sometimes 4 lanes wide) and then stopping to wait for traffic, all the while, blocking all traffic. They would cut in front of you, drive up on the sidewalk, drive back down, cut back in front and then get to the traffic light. Plus, the lights there turn orange before they turn green. Basically, they warn you that they’re about to turn green from red. So you’re at a red light stopped. The light flashes orange and then green to go. This sounds find up until you realize that people don’t actually wait for the green. People start driving the millisecond the light turns from Red to flashing orange, forget the green. Honking? Yes, they honk at honking for the honk. Honk! Honk! Honk! They would honk if you’re weren’t moving on the flashing orange before it turns green. Yes, they are the worst drivers I have ever seen. What was great about all this was that I loved every second! I fit right in and you know what? I got to be an asshole and it was okay! How cool is that? I mean how many times do you wish you could be an accepted asshole? Instead you walk around feeling guilty for your assholefullness, not here! We made it to our dinner that night unscathed and had an incredible dinner with drinks and a celebratory toast to the soon to be bride and groom. It was the first time I was able to meet my sisters fiance and of course his family. We finished the night with some cognac and Cuban cigars! I’m not a smoker but living in America I know that Cubans are banned, well their cigars are anyway!
To see the next installment of DadStreet Goes To Israel, Click Here!