March 16-18

As you can tell I have a new format for my titles. I’m doing it by date now instead of day number. I’ll change the others as soon as I’m sitting next to a calendar/schedule. Why change them, you ask? We don’t mind, you say! Well, I mind, and due to some minor OCD I’m going to change them. So there.

Anyway, today I will tell you all about my first free weekend. We all did different things and stayed with different people, keep in mind, so my experience was vastly different from others’. That said, however, the consensus is that everyone had a great time.


Before the weekend began I thought I would be staying on campus. I had no plans to make, and most of the other girls’ plans fell through, so it was going to be me, the rest of the girls (minus Raelle), Max, and Matt (lucky boys, right?). Well, anyway, we got a call from Nurit (our madricha), and she said that the woman who is hosting four of the girls for Pesach, Liora, would like to have us for the weekend so we could get to know her. Well, she was happy to take an extra, and all five girls went to the Shiller household for our free weekend.

We were told that the house was very nice. Great, we thought, we’ll have a real bed or a sofa and some fun with a girl close to our age who lives here. Well, we had no idea what “nice” really meant. The house was gorgeous. We walked through the gate and into a front garden. The house itself is clearly of Asian inspiration (most likely Hong Kong since the family once lived there), and it was just beautiful. Tal, who is in 10th grade, showed us around her house. We walked around and saw the living room where we would spend much of our time watching movies on the plasma television. She then led us outside and downstairs to the basement of the pool house, where we would sleep. We put our stuff down and continued the tour, walking past the amazing infinity pool onto the stables where three horses greeted us. Dana, Tal’s little sister, was there petting her horse and gave us a very warm welcome. Oliver, a To-Toesque dog, followed us as we strolled past the koi fish pond, and then frolicked with us as we walked back to the house. Inside, we headed toward Tal’s room, and on the way stepped over a creek that ran under the floor under a plate of glass. The house was amazing.

The gorgeous pool. Napping on the couch.

The food was equally as stunning. Chicken, pasta, rice, salads, potatoes, pound cake, soup, fruit, grilled cheese, anything. It was as though we were being fattened up so that we could be the main course for Pesach dinner. We were constantly eating. Mmm…

So, after the tour of the house Tal and Shai (father) brought us to a garage and showed us their Ranger (basically a Range Rover/ATV). “Would you like to take a ride?” Shai asked, and like little school girls we all exclaimed “YEAH!” They brought out some mats for a few of us to sit on in the open back of the Ranger, and we all got in. We rode over dirt and through water and went to the family’s orchard. We picked fresh oranges (which we still have an abundance of. Mmm…), snapped some photos, then hopped back into the Ranger and went home. We then went home to change and nap, and headed to Barak’s house for Friday night dinner.

In the back of the Ranger. Oranges!

The boys of room 81 (what what) were staying at Barak’s (Noah, Eli, Micah, Brandon, Jacob, and Jeremy), so we ate a gigantic dinner with two families and11 Weber kids. It was so much fun and delicious. We had some coffee and some cake, and then the girls left to go with Tal to a friend’s birthday party. The party was more of a dinner, actually. And the dinner, in reality, was more of a dessert. We went to Max Brenner’s, which, now don’t get too excited, is a CHOCOLATE RESTAURANT. Everything on the menu was chocolate. Milkshakes and cakes, of course, but also special desserts in shot glasses and a huge list of hot chocolates. Most people got the banana split or fondue. There were even chocolate cocktails (no worries, none of us got one)! Well, aside from my near-death experience (no joke) everyone devoured and thoroughly enjoyed their chocolatey treats. Wait, you say? Near-death, you ask? But Jamie, you say, you’re not allergic to chocolate! Yes, this is true, but I am allergic to hazelnuts, a favorite ingredient of good Israeli chocolate. I had, literally, less than a sip of a friend’s delicious milkshake. I then passed the shake back to her, and within a few minutes my allergic reaction began. Fortunately I have amazing friends who all gave me their waters and lemons and constantly asked “are you gonna die!?” Well, I made it out okay, and have resolved to not eat sweets in foreign countries. Hopefully it’ll not only keep me alive but maybe I’ll stop eating so damn much here!

Dinner at Barak's. Chocolate!

Anyway, Liora picked us up at 2:30am and we went home, but not before getting stuck in TRAFFIC. Yeah, I know, traffic at 2:30am! And apparently it’s worse at 4:00am when people are done clubbing. Insane. Anyway, we got back, went to bed, and slept in as long as possible. At 1pm we woke up and went upstairs just in time for lunch. We ate, watched a movie (The Omen – it was okay), and some girls napped while the others lounged in the hot tub. Unfortunately it was then time to come back to Muss, so we packed our bags, said goodbye to the nicest host family ever, enjoyed a quick grilled cheese and scrambled eggs dinner, and came back to a very quiet and empty campus.

I love hot tubs. Grilled cheese, yay!

We hung out, played some poker, went to bed, and had classes again today. Tonight we have a Zionism project, where we are split into groups and research an assigned historical figure. We’re told we need to write a skit and a song about the person. Hoorah.

All right everyone. I’m done for the day.

Goodnight and have a pleasent tomorrow.



8 Responses to “March 16-18”

  1. Ellen Sichel Says:

    Your descriptions made me laugh outloud (except for the near dying part!). I wish I could visit that house and swim and eat and eat… Your writing is absolutely amazing. Keep it up and thanks for including a picture of you. Love you, Mom
    (Jenn, hope that wasn’t too cheesy for you!)

  2. Brandon Says:

    Jamie your opening picture makes me look like a madman. None of the parents reading this blog will ever let me come into their homes every again. Please follow this up by starting your next entry with a picture of me wearing tefillin. That should balance the scale. Thank you and see you in five minutes. Sorry I missed the restaurant incident.

  3. Grandpa Verby Says:

    Jame Nanny and I just read your 16 17 and 18th description of your fun experiences visiting an Israeli family. It is great. The pictures are just wonderful. We hope that you continue to have a great time. Love from the both of us

  4. Barb and Art Miller Says:

    We are Adam’s grandparents from California. Your Blog is terrific. We feel like we are there with all of you. The pictures are fun to see. Keep enjoying your experience.

  5. Cheri Levitan Says:

    Jamie, I have to echo Brandon’s request. Between the shaved head and the picture with the dog…he looks maniacal! Please post something nice to restore my faith, okay? Keep up the writing!!!!

  6. Miss Vann Says:


    I am so sorry that your good friend, Chocolate, turned on you. I have always had an unreasonable dislike for Hazlenuts and now I know why. They are evil Filberts. Other than the photos of Daniel looking like Satan himself and Brandon attacking that poor dog, the pictures have been great. I especially like the one of you and the oranges; you look so happy!

    Be good,
    Miss V.

  7. Paul Ginburg Says:

    Excuse me, was that Brandon on the right or on the left side of the picture?
    He just doesn’t look like himself.

    This blog is terrific and your writing makes me wish we could all be there with you. Thanks for sharing so much and so often!

  8. brad cherson Says:

    finally some photos of jeremy…..keep up the good work….

    take care guys and gals

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