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Happy Independence Day! - Mark's Journal
Happy Independence Day!
It's the second of a two-day national holiday in Israel, starting with Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day) which is followed by Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day). It's the anniversary of Israeli independence, and Memorial Day, on which veterans and fallen military are remembered and honored, was placed right before it as a reminder of the price of independence.

We weren't able to buy wine at dinner last night at Ruth Rimonim, since it was after sundown the evening before the holiday's date, but apparently that's not an issue here at Ein Gedi tonight. Either it was only a single day without sale of booze, or that's a regional thing and not nationwide.

Independence Day FireworksSpare as the accommodations at Ein Gedi are (the rooms are really small and feel more like camping cabins than hotel rooms), the (included!) dinner buffet is outstanding. It's a nice-looking dining room, with tables oddly arrayed in circles around the buffet stations. Loads of dip and cold salads (as we've found everywhere), lots of roasted and grilled vegetables, several meat dishes including an improbably good (and really rare) roast beef, and some great cakes and other desserts. Better food, better prepared, than at the supposedly way-fancier Ruth Rimonim.

After dinner, we went to check out the Independence Day celebration/parade the hotel had set up and invited all guests and staff to. They started with some music and segued to a great fireworks show. Then another set of music started, and we decided to wander off rather than wait around to see how long it would be before the parade.

Up very early tomorrow morning to drive to Masada, and then we're heading to Jerusalem for the last few days of our visit before flying back on Sunday. Good night!


2 comments or Leave a comment
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: April 19th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Small Hotel Rooms

Did I ever tell you about the time when I lived in Albany and I arranged a conference at Mohonk Mountain House? When we the staff arrived, I was thrilled to discover that I had one of the luxurious castle tower rooms that had a fireplace, balcony, and was bigger than a house. It was also furnished all in original antiques.

My Big Boss at the time was stuffed into a windowless basement room that was the size of a closet with all modern furnishings. I asked the conference contact how the hell that had happened and she said, I just assumed that you were the VIP since you did all the work arrangeing everyting, paid for everything, and were my key contact.

I hated that boss. Karma can be a bitch sometimes.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: April 22nd, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Small Hotel Rooms

I just discovered this comment! What a great story. I've heard awesome things about that locale but have never stayed there.

I've gotten some kick-ass upgrades for being an Elite Preferred Mega Whatever in a chain's affinity program, or sometimes just for asking sweetly, like when we got the gimondo suite in Albany on a slow weekend a couple of months ago. I think the times I've appreciated it most have been when I'm in a hotel room for a week, like at the San Francisco Marriott.
2 comments or Leave a comment