My sincere apologies for not writing to you before now about our trip to Israel. It has been crazy at our house getting two children off to school out of town and one back in High school here. Not to mention the fact that the first week back I was catching up at our company and home.
Anyway, I had to write to you and tell you what an awesome time we had in Israel. It was by far the BEST trip I have ever had over there. EVERYTHING you organized and helped me plan was PERFECT!!! First of all the VIP service that you suggested was WONDERFUL!!! The nicest man met us as soon as we de-boarded and escorted us directly to customs via a van on the tar-mat. No line at Customs either! Another guide also checked on us at baggage to make sure the Howard family had arrived safely. Then we were introduced to our driver and about that time, sirens went off. I was so happy to have someone with us I was not afraid, but my girls were struggling. The driver took us to a safe place and the man who met us at the plane stayed with our luggage. After 10 minutes or so, the driver took us straight to the hotel with no delay.
The restaurants you recommended in Tel Aviv were wonderful when we arrived before the tour began. Of course Independence Hall and the Carmel market too.Then our tour began…Wow!!! I have no words to describe it. We had 15 people on our tour and it was perfect! I will never again be on a tour with more than 15. We got to be such dear friends. But the REAL highlight of our tour was Meni Tzabari, our tour guide. He became family to us too. Please see below what I wrote to Trip Advisor about him…
“My four daughters and I returned from the best tour I have EVER had to Israel last Wednesday. Our tour guide was Meni Tzabari. I have been to Israel 2 previous times, but Meni’s knowledge and personality was more than BOTH combined. He was OVER the top. First, he was very personable and we immediately felt like family on day one. We had 15 on our tour. He had all 15 names down within the first hour. He drew each one in personally in his explanations with humor and fun. Always had a laugh with his depth of knowledge. It was a time of intense safety issues while we were there. Meni always assured us that our safety was first.Once he could have picked us by bus, but chose to have us walk with him for security because he was getting updates about the state of affairs at each location. My girls rage in age from 17-27.They were concerned that the trip would not be fun and all they can talk about is how wonderful it was and that Meni was the person who made it for them. After the tour, 7 of us invited Meni for lunch and he joined us for a farewell lunch. I left one daughter there to attend TAU. Meni has even checked on her and has assured me that he will continue to do so. Also, when I was leaving, I got an email from Meni checking to see if we were okay at airport because of rockets over Tel Aviv at that time. There are no words to describe our time and all because of Meni. When we return to Israel, I will ONLY request Meni for our tour guide. It was the richest experience of my life and for my daughters too.”
After the tour, we and 3 others from our tour stayed in Jerusalem. The three others actually changed their reservation because they liked our hotel better and we could be together doing things. Your suggestions with the City of David, the Tunnels, the Davidson Center and the Light show were awesome. It was exactly what I wanted. My girls had a wonderful time.
God was very good about putting the perfect group together. My girls were concerned that there would only be older people. In fact there was a young boy who was 15 with his mother from Australia(two of the ones who stayed with us Jerusalem after the trip). There was a 19 year old precious girl from California with her grandparents. And there was a 30 year single gal.(other who stayed with us) This gal actually stayed in Tel Aviv after we all left as well and she and Georganne went all over Tel Aviv and Jaffa together and shared a hotel until Georganne could get into her dorm!! Can you believe all of this???
Our Georganne is settled at TAU and she loves it. She is in a dorm on campus presently, but she hopes to move into an apartment in a few months. Her number there is 972 526 047 637 in case your daughter would like to contact her.
She loves Tel Aviv!
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You were so wonderful, patient, kind and helpful across the boards for planning the trip of our lives. We always felt totally safe. I will call you again when we are going.
All the best,