Music

Unwind Rewind special episode – Israel 70

Celebrating Israel’s 70th birthday it’s time to introduce you to some Hebrew classics

 

1 Kaveret Lamrot ha-Kol (In Spite Of Everything)
2 Gidi Gov Yesh Ei sham
3 Yitzhak Klepter Tzlil Mechuvan
4 Yehudit Ravitz Hayalda hachi yafa began
5 Arik Einstein Atur Mizrech
6 Navy choir Ma avarech
7 The high windows Hatishma Koli
8 Boaz Sharabi Chofshi vemeoushar
9 Hava Alberstein Lu Yehi
10 Matti Caspi There it Goes Again
11 Sheva Salam Shalom
12 David Broza Yihye Tov
13 Eviatar Banai Yesh Li Sikuy
14 Ora Sitner & Wannes Van de Velde Al Kol Eleh
15 Kaveret Nechmad

Uncategorized

Episode 22 Unwind Rewind “This is us” Family

Episode 22 “This is us”

1 Labi Siffre Watch Me
2 Blind Faith Can’t Find My Way Home
3 Damien Jurado Over Rainbows and Rainier
4 Ray LaMontagne Such A Simple Thing
5 Meshell Ndegeocello Tender Love
6 Gotye Somebody that I used to know ft. Kimbra
7 Luiz Bonfá Seville
8 Growing Pains Theme Song As long as we got each   other – Theme song
9 Robin Thicke Dreamworld
10 N8n N8N – Sign Your Name
11 Mavis Staples Dedicated (or. Bon Iver)
12 Bettye LaVette Emotionally Yours
13 Jeff Buckley Mama youve been on my mind
14 Bob Dylan Mr. Bojangles
15 Leonard Cohen Famous Blue Raincoat [Live Nov 13, 2008; O2 Arena, London, England]
radio

Marilyn Ambach’s Unwind Rewind Passover edition – Celebrate Freedom

promo video:

episode 21 playlist:

1 Louis Armstrong Go Down Moses
2 Elton John Border Song
3 Mamas Gun I Need A Win
4 Gilbert O’Sullivan Alone Again (Naturally)
5 Supertramp From Now On
6 Joe Jackson Be My Number Two
7 Jack Johnson Better Together
8 Joshua James Broken Tongue
9 My Morning Jacket Hopefully
10 John Fogerty & My Morning Jacket Long As I Can See The Light
11 Gerry Rafferty Whatevers Written In Your Heart
12 Paolo Nutini White Lies
13 Whitney Houston When You Believe (From The Prince Of Egypt)
14 Richie Havens Freedom

listen on Mixcloud

 

Music · Tel Aviv

Marilyn Ambach “Unwind Rewind” Tribute to the leader of the band Happy 70th birthday Dad

 

1 Francis And The Lights Morning
2 Dan Fogelberg Leader of the band
3 Johnny Cash and Rosie Nix Adams Father and daughter
4 James Taylor You’ve Got a Friend (Live)
5 Art Garfunkel & son James (Arthur Jr.) Devoted To You (Live)
6 Art Garfunkel I Believe (When I Fall In Love With You I Will Be
7 Paul Simon The Side of a Hill
8 Randy Newman Real Emotional Girl
9 Charles & Eddie Would I Lie To You
11 Solange Weary
12 Jordan Rakei Alright
13 Nick Hakim I Dont Know
14 Emily King Georgia
16 Norah Jones Don’t Know Why
17 Gregory Porter Be Good (Lions Song)
19 Michael Kiwanuka Any Day Will Do Fine

 

Music

Marilyn Ambach’s radio show ‘Unwind Rewind’ episode 19


Marilyn Ambach’s radio show ‘Unwind Rewind’ episode 19 “Beautiful Excuse”

Welcome to the Unwind Boulevardplaylist below

1 A Camp I Can Buy You
2 Zaz Je veux
3 Simon & Garfunkel Mrs. Robinson
4 Crosby Stills and Nash You dont have to cry
5 Itamar Haluts Winter Blues
6 Melanie Horsnell Beautiful Excuse
7 Buckshot LeFonque Another Day – weekly one hit wonder
8 The Low Anthem Charlie Darwin
9 Oren Asaf Hideouts
10 Big Thief Pretty Things
11 Anderson Paak Celebrate
13 Jamie Lidell Another Day
14 Mayer Hawthorne Just Aint Gonna Work Out
15 Dennis Lloyd Leftovers
16 Midlake Acts of Man
17 James Vincent McMorrow Breaking Hearts

Motherhood · parenting · Personal

I’m a mom of two now…

Hi… I’m a mom of two now… And I’d like to share some thoughts with you.

First a few words on pregnancy, but I’ll be short cause what comes after is much better. Obviously, every pregnancy experience is different. For me pregnancy is just no fun, it means 9 months of no appetite; indigestion, fatigue and nausea. Both my pregnancies were exactly the same season – so good news for outfits and familiar timing, for dresses and open shoes from about 30 weeks. Bad news for another sweaty August towards the end, not knowing if you are peeing or sweating or if your water just broke. And you see these proud mothers and their strollers and envy them. Everybody kept saying how good I looked during this pregnancy so OK thanks I only gained 8 kilos but that’s mainly cause I was suffering. Yes, second pregnancy goes by faster but how uncomfortable is it when you want to have your toddler on you, lift her or play on the floor. And please all these websites: who cares if my baby is now the size of an avocado or a lettuce! I also found it weird how some people are super pregnancy friendly and some just don’t realise there’s more to it than a big belly and that you are not able to be 100% fit like others. So please, why aren’t there more reserved parking spots for pregnant women and strollers? Women in government are you reading this? Oh and another good thing is you can blame the farts on your toddler 🙂

source: Babycentre Uk
source: Whattoexpect
Nellie getting ready for her baby sister with daddy’s childhood’s anatomy book

A few thoughts on giving birth: just like babies have a deal with Murphy, I tend to believe labor has a deal with Karma. As much as pregnancy is tough on me, giving birth is something my body is very good at (and proof that I have a high pain tolerance); or maybe I am just very lucky – or it’s the compensation of those 9 months. Both times the babies came at week 38, naturally and super fast. Including an easy and fast recovery. Both times we went home within 24 hours and my body was back at its old weight and look. Remember; breastfeeding is very helpful here (faster shrinking of uterus and such). Breastfeeding gives me appetite and cravings and does NOT make me lose weight – fell in that trap the first time. I am also a big fan of Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital and system, the staff and their natural birth room; not so much for the useless accessories or nice curtains but for the time and space for intimacy and privacy before, during and after birth. When Nellie came to meet her baby sister barely an hour after birth, we have experienced the most beautiful moment of our lives. She had brought a gift we had wrapped together and was so sweet meeting her for the first time. The next day when we came home, we had a big balloon and gift for Nellie from Noa. Another amazing moment of true happiness, and the beginning of many more…

victory… the day after Noa came

The first few days post-partum are very different the second time. There’s less chaos and you are not in shock from becoming a parent for the first time. You kind of know what’s next. The challenge is now to divide your attention between both and it takes time to get used to this new situation. There were three of us and now we are four! Major adaptation, new equilibrium. You thought you were a multitasker with one? Here’s a new challenge! (Guess moms of 3,4 and more kids are laughing out loud now). Do you also feel like your brain is drunk? I’ve heard that’s normal. It’s scary to notice you are not as sharp as you used to right!? Anyways, now it’s all about juggling and making sure you are organised and assisted in the right ways. I’ve learnt that the hard part is not the kids; it’s the logistics around it. Some people are more depending on paid help and some are very hands-on-independent-allrounder moms, it is your job to figure out which kind of mom you become. I tend to believe that the anxiety of failing or the fear of not knowing what to do, can lead to a lack of mommy-confidence when assisted by ‘professionals’. Or let’s put it this way: every time I’ve had to overcome a challenge I thought “I’ll never be able to do this alone” but I of course did. And I came through feeling stronger and more confident. Didn’t you have moments thinking: where is my medal, trophy, street name and then just hugely enjoyed some chocolate or wine as a reward?

The first few weeks with second baby are all about primary needs: eating and sleeping. I was lucky enough to have a mother around who can cook – even though my parents live abroad. I was so excited as I got my appetite back, went out every night for amazing dinners including good wine and with the baby quietly sleeping in her pram. And yes I sometimes dared to order two dishes and I survived the waiter’s judgmental look. Yes the baby blues may occur and you may wish there was a bar around the corner to go in for a glass of white wine and to cry it all out. As much as I am happy with the way society and the medical system guides us through pregnancy and birth, I wonder why there is no moral support system after birth. As a mother you feed and nurse babies, you give yourself fully, body and mind but you also need to be embraced and supported. It gets lonely. You need to take the time to listen to yourself and take a break from it all. So who do you call? Ghostbusters? Dads are great but can they understand you in those hormonal rollercoasters? Your friends? Those without kids: they can try but they can’t truly understand you. Those with kids are probably at other stages in life and only a few remember what you are going through and even less can or have time to provide support. So here again you feel lonely. I am someone who needs to talk, to share and I’ve learnt how and with whom I can do that. Comes with a bunch of disappointments too. Remember that not everybody is able to open up as honestly and some will just lie about sleeping through the night and baby schedules, which creates even more social pressure. My first few weeks of sleep can be resumed in one word: breastsleeping. In general, what worked for me was – just like with my first – to go out as much as possible from day one. The big heat was calming down and we took her with us to the pool, the beach, the park and most of our other habits. What also works out well for me is to be able to still have enough quality and quantity time with my toddler; I pick her up after daycare and we do a daily activity together – just the two of us – enjoying the journey and not only the destination.

at the Pool on Noa’s 3rd day
source: Mommy needs vodka

A word about the working mom. Yes, some people will take advantage of your absence or weakness during pregnancy, birth and maternity leave. Why isn’t there more universal solidarity between women? We are all the same, we will go through things that men will never ever know, then how come women are so cruel to each other then? But what comes around goes around. Luckily, I know my priorities now and I know what truly matters. That is one of the perks of not being a very young mom. I call this the NO-FO-MO-asset: No Fear Of Missing Out. I feel accomplished: had more than enough time for personal, social and professional achievements. I have worked with my all time favourite artists and toured the world with mister Leonard Cohen. So for now, I am content and devoted to any precious moment with my kids – yes that includes the tough ones. And whoever doesn’t understand or tries to interfere can get lost.

The 5 main differences I noticed between first and second child:

  1. You don’t panic at every cry and calmly finish what you were doing (including eating your plate, showering or being on the toilet). Calm parents = calm baby, cool parents  cool baby.You have much more mommy confidence to start with and that is an asset for the mood and mind. You trust your baby to know its needs without interfering which means you let go of control a lot – also great for mood and mind. And congratulations, you achieved the level of “expert” in multiple departments: strollers, carriers, breastfeeding and pumping, clothing and other practicalities that make life easier…
  2. You know there is no routine at first so you don’t lose any time on speculating on it. You don’t obsess at analysing and planning her diaper, sleep and feeding schedule in order to feel you are a good mom. No need to overanalyse and study each phase by the book because by the time you think you got it, baby is already at the next; there is no now.
  3. More than ever you enjoy the small things and moments you get for yourself including going to the bathroom alone! That feeling in the shower and when you get out and it’s quiet? No one screamed or cried while you were in there? Woo-hoo!
  4. Many things you said NEVER to for the first are now being ignored: watching tv, letting baby with babysit or other family members, in the car without the security isofix car seat, breastfeeding* in car… *Let’s see how long I’ll keep breastfeeding (First baby was breastfed till 19 months) You don’t change yours nor baby’s clothes on every spit up, people even give compliments on your hair while you know there’s spit up in it.
  5. You still get very angry when someone says “don’t cry” to the baby, that never changes, let the baby cry it’s her only way of communicating ALL of the emotions she has!

Then you hit some milestones, 3 months, 6 months and so on. As a temporary conclusion I’d like to share the following wisdom I learnt:

  1. One of the secrets of happy motherhood for me is what i called NO-FO-MO earlier: it’s not an age thing, but you have to feel you are ready to be devoted to this. Whether on a social, personal or professional level, you have to feel that this is ‘the here and now’ you want to live in, that your baby is the center of the world right now, and you’re not thinking of what you are missing in the outside world – traveling, partying or being anywhere else, because then you won’t stand the crying at night.
  2. My second advice may sound easy but isn’t and it’s called CONNECT & DISCONNECT: connect to the baby and disconnect from the world, you, your schedule, your logics, your plans… and your phone. There are days you may feel you have lost yourself completely and your labels have been reduced to ‘mom only’, but these days happen and pass too. You sometimes ask yourself what you have done all day huh?
  3. For breastfeeding moms another thing that works for me is PUMPING from the early days-weeks: breastfeeding is amazing. Besides giving the baby all she needs nutritionally, it also creates a great bond of intimacy and it’s easy everywhere you never have to worry about bringing anything. But breastfeeding is very time consuming and some struggle with this dependence. Therefore pumping can buy you freedom. I just did it right from the start and am very proud of the stock I have in my freezer now.
  4. I learnt it takes (another big cliche) a strong relationship with your partner to make it work and the secret is called PARTNERSHIP: it’s all about communication and taking time to listen to each other (which not always works as we all fail at times). When you are both busy with the kids, days can easily go by with barely exchanging a few technical details about the kids. And you can easily fall into isolation. So whatever it takes, make sure you make time to communicate. Doesn’t have to be a forced date night where you both fall asleep at the table though.
  5. GUILT AND AMBIVALENCE Can’t hide or lie about this one: moms know these feelings. Guilt of sharing attention, guilt of our own needs… Ambivalence of the nostalgia to our old lives, our freedom, our old habits. But I wouldn’t trade what you have now for even a second.
  6. And again, the hardest thing is to adjust your needs to the baby. Sounds cliche and with my first I couldn’t. Now I managed to be able to LET GO of logics* and the schedule I’m used to, the home tasks to be done, the pseudo-urge to do things right now. It’s a big challenge to overcome that the laundry or dishes can wait for now. It’s hard to fall asleep cause there’s nothing more to long for now the baby is here. And to feel you circle is full. For daytime naps, what helped me was breathing exercises (I don’t like the word meditation), going to my acupuncturist and listening to music. Even though those kids tunes were humming on repeat in my head (“Mummy finger mummy finger where are you”….) And at night after the babies are asleep, i see my window of me-time shrink and deal with the dilemma of crashing in bed versus me time. *With logics I mean the tendency of planning and negotiating with yourself (if she ate now she will probably be hungry then, if she sleeps now she will waker up then): no need cause babies have their own logics and will surprise you so why bother guessing. Don’t forget to enjoy every little moment cause time flies…
  7. THE OTHERS (again): advice of others is the worst. Most people really mean well but we get easily frustrated and pressures if things are not the same for our babies. Now can only I hope I don’t sound like all those mothers I hated when giving their advice as if they have all figured it out.
  8. Get over the OCD: They say one kid is one and two is twenty. No it’s not. This only applies on the laundry. Tidy people like me may get in major conflict with an OCD tendency and it’s hard fight: if you fall in the trap of slavery to the cleaning and tidying the house at your pace you may get stressed when it interferes with kids needs. But if you don’t do it, you get stressed and it doesn’t leave your brain. so again here, find balance. as this cool mom said as long as she can pave a way between the toys without stepping on any lego to make it to bed and bathroom she s ok with it.
  9. YOU CAN DO IT – it’s in these times you realise you are a superpower and you can overcome anything that once scared you. People will nag, even unintentionally and you’re wondering how you’re gonna handle. And then hop, you just did! What a satisfaction when you finished your day and juggled all things.

Becoming a mom made me the happiest I’ve ever been.

As much as I would love to share photos of my gorgeous two daughters Nellie & Noa that are 2 years apart, I have to respect their daddy’s will to not share anything online. Respecting him and respecting their privacy…

Liked this post? Read part one here and part two here

Baking · Cooking · Entertainment · General · History · Innovation · Israel · Jaffa · Kitchen · Lifestyle · Lilienblum Street · Nightlife · Photography · Restaurants · Tel Aviv · Tel Aviv & Antwerp · Tourism · Travel guide

15 hotspots in Tel Aviv for this summer (2017)

The Norman amazing boutique hotel in my favorite neighborhood right behind Rothschild Boulevard… my advice is to go there for breakfast

“Stay: The Norman”: 
“To find the best value for your money when booking your accommodation in Tel Aviv, have a look at the map of 
Tel Aviv on AllTheRooms.”Onza located in the hippest area in the Jaffa Fleamarket amazing Turkish food and vibe

Orna & Ella perfect for lunch on Shenkin Street 

Cafe Bucke perfect for breakfast and lunch, hip people only  🙂

Cafe Noir timeless! go for the chicken shnitzel.

HaSalon just google Eyal Shani. PS ideal for big groups and parties. need to make reservation ahead. this is the only restaurant I shared that is NOT walking distance from the heart of the city.

Nanuchka 100% VEGAN and then you just dance on the bar ok?Abraxas North as Jessica Biel tweeted: best burger ever
America Burgers my personal favorite burgers in town including an amazing vegetarian one!Delicatessen always good for breakfast and brunch and take away food and delicatessenBrasserie another classic of 24/7 amazing French foodManta Ray the only real gourmet food ON THE BEACH including amazing sea food and sea viewThe Old Man & The Sea real Meditteranean atmosphere and food at Jaffa Port

A few side notes:

  • yes life – and dining – in Israel is expensive
  • almost all restaurants stay open and are cool with menus at any hours (unlike Belgium)
  • another great Israeli invention is EatWith if you want a home dinner
  • contact me for more details or assistance during your trip: marilyn_josephine@ymail.com
Jaffa · Photography · Tel Aviv · Tourism · Travel guide · Uncategorized

Tel-a-visitor: Impressions of Tel Aviv by Peter Monbailleu

guestblog  by Peter Monbailleu – www.shakalaka.be

Fan for Life

Coming to Tel Aviv always feels like coming home to me, even though I am not Jewish. Originally arriving to the city very hesitantly – like many people, I’m sure – it took just a few hours to turn me into a fan for life. Was it the comfortable climate? Was it the warmth of its people? Was it its glorious food? Make it a combination of all of the above. Either way, since then, I have visited the white city many times. It became one of my getaway cities over time, a place where I can come to hide from the everyday hustle of a promoter’s life, a city that gives me energy and inspiration while at the same time relaxing me more than any other place.

Even the graffiti is stylish

Beware of the green monster man

Sharing the city

For my girlfriend and travel companion, it was her first visit to this mostly unknown, hidden treasure. It was fun to share some of my favorite spots and discovering some new ones, because Tel Aviv is a city that is constantly changing while maintaining its vibe.

Did you know… When a muslim returns from the pilgrimage to Mekka, friends and neighbors paint the house of the pilgrims in honor of their return and feast.
Here you can even grow plants from an old suitcase
The Jaffa clocktower if you look down in stead of up

213 – And God spoke unto the city…

Tel Aviv is only about an hour away from Jerusalem so a visit to the holy city was inevitable. Our guide Karen was very well informed about all matters from the past and from today. She took us to some unique viewpoints and even into places where you would never come as a regular tourist. Jerusalem has always been a complicated city and it will probably always remain that way. But all its diversity is what makes it what it is today.

The dome on the rock bathing in the December sun
Humus like it should be in the Jerusalem market

When can we go again?

We’re on the plane home now and while at the beginning of the trip there seemed so many days ahead, now it feels like they went by too fast. We’re already looking forward to our next stay and yes, I promise to get in touch with my friends there before landing. Sorry guys.

Credits

Thank you Marilyn for the tips. Thank you Melissa for arranging the tour guide. Thank you Iris for breakfast and ever lasting friendship.

Peter Monbailleu – www.shakalaka.be

Personal · Photography · Tel Aviv · Tourism · Travel guide

Tel-a-visitor: Impressions of Tel aviv by Misty Roberts

Guestblog written by Misty Roberts:

“So, about a year ago my life kind of fell apart.  I had worked pretty hard to get things to look conventional.  You know- own a house, live with someone in a functional relationship, job, flowers in the yard, kitchen by Williams Sonoma. Then a series of unfortunate events occurred.  I got really sick.  And my relationship fell apart.  And I wondered if I was going to be able to pay for my little perfect house.  And car.  And doctor bills.

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You see, my role in life is to be strong.  My role is to be the person who has all their shit together.  I lead groups of people all over the world, when something goes wrong- they look to me.  The one with all the answers.  My job hasn’t ever been for everything to be perfect, it’s been to be able to anticipate and fix a problem before anyone else notices.  When someone like that has things fall apart, there’s no hiding it.  Everyone sees the cracks.

I’ve never felt more weak and broken in my life.  And that’s saying something because the path hasn’t been easy.  After a few months of wading in the shit, I woke up one morning and said “Ok, right…now to fix it.”  I felt a bit stronger physically.  Mentally, I was still a wreck.  It’s my process in life to just make lists.  So, I sat down and made a list.

“Things That Would Make Me Feel Better Right Now”

Do you know how long a list like that can become?  I started out easy with things like wine.  And new face creams.  

Then I got serious.  Things like “Sell house I bought for boyfriend and I to build a future in” and “Find a way to become more financially secure so that I never feel this hopeless again.”  

And the last thing on that list- “Feel FEARLESS”.

Now, I know it’s not really realistic to say that you will ever feel fearless.  But the kind of fear that had crept into my life after the previous few years was starting to consume me.  I didn’t leave my little house.  I didn’t want to go out in public, I didn’t want to meet new people.  I just wanted to hide in my safe place and feel some kind of comfort.

So, I’m going to skip over the months of self help books, therapy, cases of wine, HOURS of conversations with dear friends, hard realizations, new jobs and lonely moments to the end.

Almost a year later, I’ve learned some things.  I’ve learned some things about what I didn’t like about me.  I learned a lot of things that I love about me that I had forgotten.  I’ve remembered that I love traveling to new places.  I’ve learned that I love doing things that some people would never think about doing.  I’ve learned that after everything I went through- there isn’t much left in this world that scares me …at least to a point that i can’t overcome it.  I’ve learned that I missed my friends.  I’ve learned that I love making new ones.  I’ve learned that people are generally good.  I’ve also learned that everyone is flawed in some way and that those cracks let the light in.img_0858

So, this year I’ve done things.  It’s been the year of adventures.  I’ve flown friends to Seattle to see me, I spent 5 days with my oldest friend in the world on a road trip adventure to Marfa, TX to see The Marfa Lights, Prada Marfa and just indulge ourselves in some much needed catching up.  I went to Cabo St. Lucas with one of my other oldest friends- rented a car in Mexico and saw the coolness of The Hotel California, ate some of the absolute best food I’ve ever had in my life and spent many hours just sitting around enjoying each others company.

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But the thing that I did that I am the most proud of was take a trip by myself.  Last year when my life was crumbling down around me, I went to Tel Aviv for work.  I wasn’t able to do much because of work but I remember being in awe of how great the people I met were and how beautiful it was.  So, wrapping up one project and starting another, I had a week off.  I looked at where one ended and the other one started and a map and immediately knew where my destination was meant to be.

Tel Aviv, Israel.  

Now, I know that so many people hear Tel Aviv and think…”Israel, oh shit….things are scary there!”  We as Americans are very programmed to believe what the mass media tells us (as illustrated by this fantastic election cycle we are in 😉  I’ll be honest, I didn’t look at any news before I went.  I thought to myself that if I did, I would change my mind.  I did know that last year there were some pretty heavy incidents between the Israelis and Palestinians.  But that was about it.  

My gut instinct told me to just get by with the help of my friends, in the famous words of the Beatles.

And I did just that.  I let the 3 ladies that I had met while I was there working know that I was coming.  We didn’t plan really because to be honest, I wanted to trip to just be a go with the flow kind of thing.

I left Boston and flew through London Heathrow, which was a nice break between 2 long flights.  I landed in Tel Aviv at around 3PM and made it through customs and immigration in about 20 minutes.  They no longer stamp your passport going into Tel Aviv, they give you a little card instead with a car code on it and your photo.  Make sure you put that with your passport because you need it on the way out.  I met up with the car driver that I had my hotel arrange to come get me.  He was wonderful!  By the time we got to the hotel, he had offered for him and his wife to take me out for a drink while I was there and given me his cell phone in case I needed anything while I was in Tel Aviv.

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I checked into my hotel on Rothschild Boulevard.  I had no idea what a cool area Rothschild was!  When I looked for a hotel, I wanted something that was near the beach but also near the downtown area.  I found this one right in the middle of everything.  I had decided to kind of go for it on the trip and booked myself a Penthouse Suite.  When I arrived at the hotel, the incredible nice gentleman offered to make me a expresso and then informed me that he was upgrading me to the Rothschild Suite, the nicest room in the hotel.  I asked a million questions about the area and found out that there was a great coffee stand directly across the street, a market right around the corner, and an entire area of bars and restaurants about 2 blocks away.  After getting checked in, I went up to my Suite.  A full wraparound balcony in what was basically a large apartment!  With a bottle of champagne waiting for me on ice!  I can think of about 10 million hotels in the world that could learn something about hospitality from a place like this.

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My first night in Tel Aviv was spent…sleeping.  Haha!  The Jet Lag kicked in and kicked my ass.  I feel asleep around 5PM and woke up at 4AM.  

Day 2- I met up at around 9 with my friend Marilyn, who it just so happens lived about a block away from my hotel!  She and I caught up over coffee and she gave me the down low on the area.  We parted ways and I decided to just start wandering around.  I wandered and wandered and wandered.  Up and down Rothschild Boulevard to the Habima Theater and all the way to the opposite end.  A beautiful street lined with trees and bicyclists.  It reminded me so much of Newbury Street in Boston.  I stopped in the afternoon and tried Halva ice cream.  The best way I can describe it is a pistachio peanut butter brownie 🙂  Of course, I had to grab some more coffee too.  Tel Aviv is truly a city that people go outside.  All of the cafes and restaurants were packed full of people.  The city just really always seems alive.  During the day it’s calm but in the evening, it buzzes.

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img_0529I stopped on my way back from wandering around and taking photos and grabbed some Thai food because why not eat Thai when you are in Israel, hahah!  Again the jet lag kicked in I was asleep by 10PM and up again at 4.  One of my favorite things about this trip was making Nespresso in my room before the sun came up and sitting on the patio outside and watching the sunrises.  I began my days with meditation to the sunrise.  I’m not sure if you can get more idyllic than that.

Day 3 started with breakfast with Marilyn and Anat at the Sheraton.  Anat was the wonderful woman that I met when I was there for work the year before.  We sat drinking coffee and eating from the delicious breakfast spread and gossiping like only women do.  

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My friend Shiran introduced me to how great Gett Taxi Israel is later that day.  It’s basically Uber but quicker!  Her and I “uberred” over to Jaffa to walk around the street markets.  I’ve never seen such large outdoor markets.  So many beautiful things.  I wanted to buy everything!  But…getting it home would of been the problem.  Anything you can imagine there.  Furniture, jewelry, antiques, spices, baskets.  Shiran and I stopped for lunch at a fabulous restaurant and had some beverage that I still dream about.  Seltzer water with mint, honey and lemon.  Spent some time wandering around the Jaffa MarketPlace and picked up some handmade soaps at Zielinkski and Rozen that I am still trying to eek out the last of because they smell so incredible.  Inside the store they have all the large glass bottle of infusions that they use to make their products.  I’m betting if you are there at the right time of day, you can watch them make your bottle.

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We headed back to my hotel and parted ways and I decided to walk down towards the beach.  The one thing about Tel Aviv- it is HOT AS HELL!  My skin has never looked better after spending 5 days there, I think I sweated out every toxin I’ve ever put in my body.  I spent the rest of the day walking up and down the beach Boulevard and going in and out of little shops and dipping my toes in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea.  I found a fantastic restaurant that evening called Manta Ray and had dinner on the ocean front.  Sea bass, gnocchi, risotto and a drink called Bitter Passion (which seemed kind of fitting for this trips cause) with red grapefruit, passion flowers and campari.  Gett Taxi got my back to the hotel that evening, hahah!  I couldn’t have walked a straight line if I tried.  

Day 4- Remember that Fearless thing.  Well, I took it to the limits on Day 4.  So far I really had just been fairly lazy and wandering around in the city.  I wanted to really see some stuff!  So, I woke up- had some breakfast at my hotel-img_0551

and asked Anat if she knew where I could rent a car.  Of course- right across from the Sheraton!  I Gett Taxi’d over and met up with her.  We went to the rental car spot and the because I was with her, they upgraded me to this snazzy White Audi!  Vroom, vroom!

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I hit the road to the Dead Sea.  Driving in Tel Aviv is super easy!  Incredibly Americanized.  I mean, I drove around Los Angeles for 8 years, Tel Aviv has nothing on that!  About an hour, 10 minutes and there I was.  Staring at the Dead Sea!  Anat had hooked me up with her friend at the Crown Plaza Dead Sea which has a private beach.  I checked that out for a bit and decided that I wanted to hit the beach in an area with not quite so many people, I kinda just wanted to have that moment to myself.  So, hopped in my car and drove a little ways down from all the hotels and found a beach that had literally 3 other people.  I walked out into the water and I can honestly say you will never feel anything as magical as the Dead Sea.img_0569 I peeled my outterclothes off and walked all the way out.  I covered myself in mud and walked back out to let it dry.  After about 10 minutes I hopped back in and walked out far enough that I suddenly couldn’t feel the mud anymore.  The next thing I knew, I was floating in the Dead Sea.  There really isn’t any way to describe this feeling. I spent some time floating then decided it was time to get on the road to Jerusalem.  I took a different route than I had taken to get to the Dead Sea…and found myself a tiny bit lost in the Israeli desert.  Remember that Fearless thing.  It kicked in.  Okay, Im lost in the Israeli desert.  All the radio stations have switched to Jordan radio and my cell has lots service.  Whats the best thing to do when you are lost?  Keep going.  So, I did.  I turned up the Jordan radio station and kicked that Audi into high gear to see how fast I could go since there was no one else on the road.  And sped through the Israeli desert at about 110 miles an hour.  I’m not sure I will ever be able to describe the feeling of freedom that I had in those moments.  I can say that all the moments of the past year kind of just flooded away.  It’s the moment that I realised that I really can do just about anything.  

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I saw camels.  Real ones that I thought were fake…until they moved and one nuzzled my neck.  Trust me, you don’t want camel snuggles.  They are sloppy and smelly.  But incredibly funny.

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I hit Jerusalem about an hour later and got lost again.  Parking near the old city is pretty frustrating but so so worth it.  No matter that your religious views are- when you are standing in the old city realizing that this is the oldest that we know.  The beginning if you will, it’s pretty heavy.  I visited the Western Wailing Wall and the site of the Last Dinner.  I spotted a group of kids and one was wearing a KU Jayhawks hat!  So…I followed them and their guide around.  Haha!  Who goes all the way to Jerusalem and runs into some good old Kansas kids- this girl!  I took ALL the pictures that I could and bought some Jerusalem pottery to bring home with me as well as some handmade jewelry.  

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The trip back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem wasn’t quite as uneventful.  I got stuck in traffic for a few hours and by the time I was returned the car to the Sheraton, I was really happy to see a Gett Taxi pull up for me.  I headed back to my hotel and hit up the market on the corner.  Grabbed some hummus and pitas and assorted things…and wine.  I enjoyed my last evening on the patio of my stunning hotel drinking and eating and packing.

I called my driver that picked me up at the airport and asked if he was available to drive me back to the airport in the morning.  He was and offered to come get me early to have breakfast with him and his wife.  What a great offer!  So, he picked me up an hour early with his wife in tow and we hit up a spot that was fabulous.  I ate the most delicious omelet ever with an array of breads and sauces and Israeli yogourt.  Yum.  And my last delicious coffee.  

The trip out of the airport isn’t quite as quick as the trip in.  The security lines are pretty crazy but when you put it in perspective that it is to keep you safe, it makes sense and is a lot more tolerable.  Made it to my gate with about 15 minutes before boarding and hopped on my flight to Amman, Jordan to start work again.

All in all- my trip was fantastic in so many ways.  I never felt unsafe.  The people of Tel Aviv are friendly and most speak English or there is always someone closeby willing to help.  It seemed like every person I met in Tel Aviv struck up a conversation about where I was from and the reason for my visit.  Jerusalem was a bit more aggressive, if that is the word for it.  Not quite as friendly but I was in the biggest tourist spot so that’s to be expected.  

I recommended to some friends that were traveling through to spend a few days.  They did and I think they fell in love the same way that I did.  I learned some things about myself on this trip.  And about Israel.  And it’s people- all of them.  And I would do it again in a heartbeat.  

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Antwerp · Tel Aviv · Tel Aviv & Antwerp · Tourism · Travel guide

THE LOCALS // MARILYN AMBACH – TEL AVIV

http://www.tatytravels.be/everybody-travels/2016/1/20/tatys-friends-marylin-ambach-tel-aviv

Meet Marilyn! Marilyn is from my hometown Antwerp but moved to sunny Tel Aviv in 2007, where she works in the music business. This girl even toured with Leonard Cohen, very cool. You can read all about Marilyn’s love for Tel Aviv on her blog Marilyn & Josephine. Here are her highlights!

Age  35

Born in  Antwerp

Profession  Concert promoter and freelance producer

Favorite quote  “You can become anything you want in life”

 

“I’ve lived here since …”  2007

“I came here because of …”  I didn’t really have one reason and didn’t really plan on moving or staying. I just came for a few months to “check things out” and see if I’d find myself, my job etc here.

“Taty and I know each other from …”  Via via via via many ways but mainly via both our dj brothers.

“When family/friends come to visit, I always take them to … first”  The beach and the best food spots… and then to a night out in Tel Aviv, 24/7 city.

“If I want to get to know new people, I go to …”  Any bar around my corner on Rothschild Boulevard.

“If I want to have an amazing breakfast/lunch/dinner, I go to …”  Breakfast: Delicatessen, The Norman, Benedict, Ben Ami, Max Brenner, DaDaDa, Lachmanina. Lunch: Hummus Nahmani, Mezze,Arcaffe, Rothschild12, Cafe Noir, Tachtit, Buddha Burgers, Shishko. Dinner: Cantina, Cafe Europa,Nanuchka, Jaffa Flea Market, Manta Ray, Fortuna del Mar, Abraxas North, Messa, Port Said.

“When the night is young, I go to …”  Radio EPGB, Alphabet, Nanuchka, Jimmy Who, Pollym Tangier,Pinguin, Sputnik, etc etc etc.

“My morning routine consists of …” Capuccino on the boulevard…

“I like the locals more than Belgians because …” They are always up for a chat, intimate talks with strangers, familiarity and being comfortable.

“I like Belgians more than the locals because …” They have distance and manners.

“If I miss one thing here, it’s … “  My mom’s kitchen and den Delhaize… en rijsttaartjes.

“If there’s one thing that frustrates me here, it’s …”  The ignorance of the world. People who’ve never been to Tel Aviv and have the falsest image of this place.

“I get inspired here by …”  Anything around me can be a source of inspiration if one is open to see…

“Since I live here, I’ve changed my mind about …”  Not that many things…

“If I could go back in time, I would go grab a … with … ”  Coffee with Golda Meir – look her up!

“The one thing I’d like to accomplish still, is …”  More kids 🙂

 

QUICK QUESTIONS

Coffee or cocktails? Since i became a mom: coffee

Wine or beer? wine always

Red carpet or red lipstick? carpet

USA or Europe? both

Organic food or fast food? organic cause it’s hip but it’s expensive and fast food is also welcome every once in a while

Movies or musicals? movies

Island life or city life? city life for real life

Spicy or sweet? sweet

Bike or car? bike if possible

In control or out of control? in control is reality

Meat or fish? meat

Christmas or Easter? none of the above

Spanish or Italian? depending for what: food? language? boys?

Early bird or night owl? when you’re a mom: early bird

Chocolate or vanilla? none of the above

Adele or Celine Dion? hmmmm…. celine dion cause HELLO ruined it

Chandler or Joey? ROSS

Cats or dogs? love both but no need to have one of my own

Vacation or staycation? STAYCATION – when you live in a city on the beach with 300 days of blue skies a year its also a vacation

Mountains or ocean? mountains

Chicken or pasta? better together

Scandinavian or Latino? LATINO

Ski or surf? surf

Finding true love or winning the lottery? finding true love

Oscar/Grammy or Nobel Prize? whatever they wanna give me

Instagram or Facebook? Pinterest

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