Words of the day –

Yella! – Let’s go!

Se baba! – It’s all good baby, babaayyy.

So many activities!!! I haven’t experienced this much structure since… Last Friday.

This morning we visited the Golan Heights where Israel fought part of three-front war against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria back in the ’70s. Of course Israel rocked shit. This was the Syrian front of the war.

Guided under the iron fist of our guide Avner, we visited an Israeli base just miles from Syrian border where part of the war was fought. The Israeli/Syrian border is easily identifiable… Israel, considered one of the most planted (with trees) nations in the world, is lush with vegetation and greenery. Immediately beyond the border exists little vegetation because Syria does not regulate logging, hunting, or anything environmental. From a distance we saw a village pummeled the ’70s Israeli army, ventured into a creepy dark bomb shelter, and viewed a 30 minute flick of a battle.

From there the group was transported to a mall where we hoovered schwarma, falafal and other yum yum deliciousness.

My bathing suit is still sopping wet from kayaking down the Jordan River. I shared a two-person kayak with a cool chick Sam from LA. We spent most the time getting the other boats mad wet. Our weapon of choice – the oar. It was as relaxing as it was fun. The weather’s been a perfect mix of hotness… About 90-95 and summer.

Kids in Israel have a ton of fun. They slice watermelons in rivers w/knives, they jump off trees into water, they smoke hookahs on the shore… All before the age of 8.

After the kayaking we hiked in hip-depth water and up a rocky trail. Some of the people are so out of shape. You know you’re on a Jewish trip when you hear a ton of complaining.

Common complaints/requests –

“My legs hurt.”

“Can you carry me?”

“I’m gonna hurl.”

Tonight is our last night (of 3) here. Tomorrow, Jerusalem!


If you wanna see pics from the trip immediately, check out the twitter feed to the right of the blog posts.


This post is a little late… Stay tuned for Israeli action:

…At least 6 hours have passed. Still on the plane. Still sandwiched between two Finnish dwarves. I did passout for about 3 hours…. Def not enough. Arggghhh! Trying to sleep in the coach section on a plane is as difficult as – something very diffcult. My brain isn’t functioning at its maximum potential at the moment, so thinking of an analogy will take way too long and consume way too much brain power.

Something funny – sitting at the gate with the whole group we went around in a circle saying our names, where we were from, and what type of alcohol we liked. Most of the girls obviously said vodka, a few said whisky (my kinda girl,) and one (seemingly outgoing) girl said she doesn’t like to drink. That comment was met with several boo’s from the peanut gallery. The guys proclaimed their spirit of choice – beer, Jameson, someone said Jager, some whisky. I said Maneschevitz. Hey, we’re goin to Israel, someone had to do it. It got a laugh.

Highlight of the flight so far – this 3 year old girl is playing in the aisle next to me. Her mom is sleeping. I laugh to myself each time someone is forced to hurdle over her to get to the bathroom. As I write this, the flight attendent told the girl to move her ass. Of course the flight attendent didn’t say it like that. But it’d be cooler if she did.

I was given a glatt-kosher (aka super kosher) meal for dinner. It was surprisingly tasty, but I was also starving and would’ve eaten anything.

They’re walking around serving water at the moment. Thanks, I’m parched. The two mini-bottles of wine and extremely dry plane-air probably had something to do with it.

Turbulence isn’t bad on huge planes. Oops, spoke to soon (rumble rumble.) When the plane’s a rockin, don’t come a knockin. This one’s a 747 double-decker jumbojet. I wasn’t invited upstairs. No VIP treatment courtesy of Delta. Boo.

The Finnish dwarf to my right is a native of Israel who travels back and forth from San Diego. PS – these people sitting around me aren’t really Finnish dwarves, I just like to pretend they are. Anyway, the Finnish dwarf to my right gave me a brief history lesson on Israel, Kosher foods, and a littile info on the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He’s a professor at one of the Israeli Universities. I’m extremely excited to get the hell off this plane and go adventuring.

The Finnish dwarf to my left hasn’t said a word all flight. Maybe he has a social-anxiety disorder. I’d prescribe him Paxil. The Finnish dwarf to my right and I enjoy climbing seats to get over the Finnish dwarf to my left who’s sitting in the aisle seat. In the future, I’d most prefer the window. This middle-action isn’t really doin it for me.

I walked to the back to check on my buddy. He was passed out with his Suffolk College Rams hat on, next to a really cute girl on our trip. The girl initially walked into the airport with a guy covered in tatts. Presumably, its her boyfriend. I will concentrate my efforts elsewhere.

They’re playing the shittiest movies on this plane… What is “Crazy Heart?”. Don’t tell me you’ve heard of it because I won’t believe you. I asked for headphones (since I can’t locate my ipod) and when I received them, they literally crumbled in my hands. I guess I need to resort to reading the hebrew subtitles. Problem – I don’t understand hebrew. Okay, so ill read lips instead.

Next post will be when I’m off the plane.


We made it (on the plane)… Sorta.

Bad news for one of my comrades. As you know, I was taking this journey with two other sweet dudes. Those two sweet dudes left the city to JFK together. One dropped his passport in the back of the cab and didn’t notice until the cab was long gone. Needless to say – no passport, no good. Despite all efforts to recover the document, no luck.

We’ll miss you buddy.

Let’s switch gears –>

Currently I’m sandwiched between two finnish dwarves in seat 24J aboard Delta Airlines flight #whatever. The cap’n just said it’ll be a 9ish hour flight. I can’t locate my ipod (major bummer.) I know I packed it… Must be in the bag below the plane. Unfortunately that was goin to be my source of entertainment for the flight. I’ll resort to reading the mags in my bag – Maxim, ESPN, and Details. The plane’s huge – double decker style. Our trip is scattered throughout the plane, with three other birthright trips on board as well. Score.

Chilled in the airport with our trip peoples before boarding. About half are from LA and half from NY. Totally a good crew. Def some cuties. How you doooiiin?

Turning phone off. Catch ya in a little.


I’m currently on the train leaving NYC and heading to NJ. My parents are taking me to the airport tomorrow and we thought it’d be nice to spend some time together before I departed… Its like leaving for sleepaway camp all over again. I hope I don’t cry.

Just kidding.

But seriously.

No I really am joking, I’m not gonna cry. But they might. Cuuuute.

This morning definitely felt like I went to a few bars last night – then went to my sisters apartment in the wee hours (we live in the same building) cuz she had 5 girlfriends staying over. And then

First stop today – PARAGON

Perhaps the greatest one-stop shop (in the country) for everything that is sporting gear.
It’s Sports Authority on steroids.
It’s Dick’s Sporting Goods overdosed on 36-hour Cialis. Our trip leader advised each of us to bring aquasocks for our future hike in the Jordan River. When’s the last time you wore aquasocks? When’s the last time you’ve even seen aquasocks. And the cost – $20… Not bad. I then went to town on the mesh shorts (located downstairs in the team sports section) and got 15 pair socks. Also got a pair of sneaks… The pic is somewhere on this page, I think on the bottom.

From what I hear its a casual trip. Sweat like crazy in a tshirt during the day, tshirt and jeans at night.

Second Stop – The Gap

I haven’t been to the Gap in a while. I really haven’t been clothes shopping in a while, so I really enjoyed the day. Anyway, the plan at the Gap was to buy inexpensive, comfy plain t’s. After a sweaty, sandy day on camels, I’m just gonna toss the gross clothes.

And I got boxers. They have funny boxers. I got a pair with elephants on them. Whatever, it was a successful trip.

Then went back to the apartment.

I packed pretty well. Okay, I’m getting off the train.

Peace out, have a good night.


This is a test post from my Blackberry. If it works, I rule. If it doesn’t work, you wouldn’t even know.

Word up.

Enjoy the random picture below.


Hello Reader,

In three days we’ll be embarking on a 10-day journey to Israel.  I’ve heard many great things about Birthright trips and I’m extremely excited to go.  For background on the program and the adventure, check out http://www.freeisraeladventures.com/.

I received 2 weeks off of work (thank you Pepsi CSD team) to travel Israel with my two sweet dude friends.  We’ve been friends since our teens, they both live in my building in NYC.  The trip is about thirty 20-somethings deep, skewed slightly female. Lucky them.

My hair’s been growing.  This kid at work calls me McGruber.  Picture of MacGruber conveniently holding a can of Pepsi.  I don’t mind being called MacGruber…. in fact, I like it.  Classic McGruber.  Been considering cutting it, but something’s stopping me.  I like the line “use it before you lose it.” May get a trim before the trip just to clean it up…. but a part of me doesn’t wanna do that either.  It’s going to be a game-time decision.  I like making well-planned game-time decisions.  Yes, it’s possible.

I attended Hebrew School when I was younger, but don’t remember learning much (or caring) about Israel at the time.  As I’ve grown older, I’ve also grown curious and anxious to check out Israel for myself.  Despite what’s going on there, I’m not scared to go.  I hear people actually feel safer in Israel than NYC. I’m more scared of monsters coming out of my closet than the streets of NYC, so by the associative property (I’m not a math major) Israel should be scared of us.

My parents said to get a phone to use in an emergency.  I know what they mean, but I also enjoy being a smartass and saying things like “in an emergency i need a cell phone?  i don’t need a phone, i need a gun.” Between you and me I’ve never fired a gun in my life.  Giving me a gun is a bad idea.  I’m definitely better off with  cell phone. Luckily my cell phone conveniently switches to international use. I’ll have my parents call 911. Wuttup Blackberry.

Just heard a sick line from Jay-Z off the new Drake CD – “I don’t do too much blogging.  Just run the town, I don’t do too much jogging.” CLICK HERE FOR THE JAM I actually love to jog and don’t blog much… the line seemed relevant at the moment, thus its inclusion.  Please Note: somewhat random thoughts may pop into my head.  They will most likely be transcribed on here.  Don’t be surprised.

I think this is it for the night.  My first blog post ever. Aren’t you proud?  I am.  I’m now going to teach myself how to load pics and videos for your viewing pleasure. May need to upload videos to YouTube.  If that’s the case, I’ll link them to here.

Goodnight.

Ryan

Should I pack you in my bag and sneak you to Israel with me?

(polls)