Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beginning the Adventure: NYC to Tel Aviv

Since our flight from JFK Airport to Tel Aviv didn’t leave until 7pm, we spent the next morning eating pancakes in bed, snuggling with the puppy and watching American tv. This day also happened to be our second wedding anniversary. I can’t wait to see how DH tops this anniversary gift.

On our way to the airport, the butterflies started up again. I am a worrier by nature so I did what worriers do best. I worried about the dog in the airport, I worried about dragging our luggage around the airport, I worried about missing our flight, I worried about the dog on the plane, I worried about us on the plane. DH parked me, our mountain of luggage and the dog near the El Al counter and did what he does best…get things done. While he ran around like a madman telling every El Al captain, co-captain, flight attendant, ticket agent and even a few random people he passed that the dog was going to be on the flight, Marilyn did what she does best…be the belle of the ball.

As the only dog in the airport, she caused quite the to-do and as I mentioned before, this was no ordinary Marilyn, but her alter ego, Super Marilyn, the most obedient dog on the planet. She sat patiently at my feet letting everyone pet her or ignore her as they saw fit. She never once barked or jumped or pulled on her leash. She simply sat quietly the entire time and never once bothered another soul. One lady, who passed by our docking station several times in the course of a few hours, exclaimed, “That is the most well-behaved dog I have ever seen!”. What? Where? I searched the airport for the amazing dog she was talking about. No other dog was to be found. Wow, someone actually used Marilyn and well behaved in the same sentence. The devil is surely freezing his ass off in his humble abode at this very moment.

Missing Dog: A hyperactive husky too big for her britches. 

Because of the dog, we were able to skip all 400 passengers in line to check our bags (let me tell you that made us a lot of friends on the plane and was a really fun walk from all the way from the back of the line). We then tried to get someone, anyone to tell us where we should drop off the dog. No one had a clue what we were talking about. No one could tell us where to go or who to see. Everyone had different suggestions. My uneasiness grew from a flicker of worry to a blaze of anxiety.

After nearly 2 hours of yelling, we finally found out where to drop her off leaving us only 30 minutes to go through security and catch our flight at the last gate on the furthest terminal. We again were ushered ahead of the 400 other people waiting in the security line. We again made tons of friends on the way.

We rush through security, sprint to the gate and are nearly the last to board the plane.

Finally we are seated in the very middle two seats in the very middle of the plane--perfect. DH once again reminds the flight attendant that a dog is on the plane. He knew exactly who we were and called us by first and last name. I guess we made enough of an uproar for the airline. That was precisely the plan.

The 10 hour plane flight is nothing short of miserable. Like any 10 hour flight, sleep was intermittent, food was unrecognizable and every screaming baby ever born seemed to be sitting right behind my ear. And only the Messiah himself (during either the first or second coming—whichever you prefer) could get me to watch “Remember the Titans” again. I used to love that movie, but when it is the only thing playing in English for the fourth time…you decide it is the worst movie ever made. But the second before landing in Israel is worth every bite of airline chicken (at least I think it was chicken), every flight attendant waking you up with a cheery “Ma’im?” (Water? No thank you.  Lukewarm water is not worth being woken up for) and every crick in my neck and knees.

The next two hours were spent picking up lugguage, anxiously waiting on Marilyn and packing up our 12 passenger van my mother-in-law rented to pick us up from the airport. During the 40 minute drive to my mother-in-law’s house, I was off in my own world. DH, his mother and Herzl, our driver, were babbling in Hebrew while I stared out the window in awe. We are actually here. After a four hour nap and four course meal, DH and I spent the next 6 hours unsuccessfully trying to go to sleep.

Checking where to pick up the dog at Ben Gurion Aiport.  We're here!

Tomorrow is our first full day in Israel.


  1. Glad you made it!

  2. Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!!! How very cool, this blog just got WAY more exciting (it was pretty exciting before!) Congrats on everything but especially your 2nd anniversary! <3

  3. Thanks Katie! We should have lunch when I settle in!

    Jen, thank you so very much. I have so many more posts running around my head. It has been an interesting few days to say the least!