By Heather O.
One of the things on my bucket list is swimming with dolphins. Like, in the water, able to pet them, really swimming with them.
We are in Eilat today. It’s a city at the very southern tip of Israel, on the Gulf of Aqaba, which is the northern tip of the Red Sea. J and DH took off to Jordan, to have their Indiana Jones moment in Petra. We decided the trip would be hard for Little Sister to make, and that everybody would have more fun if Little Sister and I stayed at the beach. I mean, I’d like to see Petra too, but Dh really, really, REALLY wants to see it, so I was fine with staying behind.
But I was alone with Little Sister. No husband to watch her while I geared up for the dolphin swim, not even an older brother to make sure she didn’t die. Just me and my (almost) 4 year old, and a sea of tourists who were mostly speaking Hebrew. I was literally INCHES away from one of my life dreams, and absolutely no chance of achieving it.
That’s not to say we didn’t have a great day. We did. We swam, we played, we even got pretty dang close to the dolphins in question. They have an observation pier that juts out to the dolphin area, and the dolphins just play around the pier. At one pint, I really thought one of them was going to brush my feet that were dangling in the water.
Little Sister was entranced, and laughed a lot. There was also a “creativity center” for kids on the beach, where Little Sister got to make a dolphin of her own, made out of 100% recycled materials. As she was happily humming away, building her dolphin, she said, “This is really fun. I really like this place.”
We ended the day at “the waffle guy”, as Little Sister puts it, a falafel stand we ate at last night that Little Sister remembered for its excellent choice of Fanta in a glass bottle. I bought a schnitzel to share (a falafel that is less falafel and more fried chicken), and now she’s playing with bottle caps while eating nutella straight from the jar with her finger.
Sometimes, dreams look a little different when you have a 4 year old. And sometimes, it’s just about the 4 year old laughing a lot and eating nutella straight out of the jar.
edited to add
We are staying in a youth hostel for 2 days. I kinda love youth hostels. I don’t know what it is, I just think they’re cool. And this one is the funkiest, coolest, most awesome hostel I’ve ever stayed in. Also, the guy gave us a private family room instead of just the beds in the dormitory that we originally booked, but at the same price. At $20.00/bed with a family of 4, the price comes out around the same as a motel 6, but what motel 6 do you know has carved tables with chess boards on them in the lobby, complete with folk art of Moses and the 10 commandments carved into the walls? None, I tell you, NONE! Youth hostels make me happy.
edited again to add
I just told the owner how much I liked the look of his hostel, and he told me that he does all the work–he carves the tables, he carves the funky carolers and reindeer over the doors, the awesome Moseses that adorn walls facing each other, all of it. I told him this is my favorite hostel I’ve ever been to, and he told me to tell all my friends. So, friends, if you’re into youth hostels, and you ever find yourselves in Eilat, Israel, Corinne Hostel is cheap, clean, and funky. In a good way. Best chess tables ever.
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