Candice and I took our time getting ready for the beach while Giff and Ayal took a short run/swim in the ocean. We met at one of the restaurants on the beach for a coffee. Candice and I got to the table first and the waiter with his accent asked us if we cared for what sounded like a “peyay”. He said there were two types, one with fresh ginger juice and one with watermelon and both served with a club soda. We went ahead and ordered it and realized we were totally scouted as tourists when he had 2 airplane sized Perrier sparkling water cans on his tray, beside the cans were two glasses of water…the glass had one cube of watermelon in the bottom of it. He charged us $4.00-WOW. Thanks for the soda water.
About 15 minutes from the Tel Aviv is the old city of Jaffa. We had been to the town for that really nice multi-course dinner but had not seen the actual city during the day. We took the day to walk through the old cobblestone alleyways and the old port area. There was a great view from here showing the beach and Tel Aviv. There were also some cute boutique shops and a big marketplace. This market was more of a flea market or giant yard-sale with things like used clothes and antiques.
We ate at a small cafe with a couple of tables right on the street, perfect for people watching. The menu had zero English but Ayal translated for us. We opted for the Bureka Special. It was delicious…it was a crusty cheese bread with eggplant, tomatoes, pickles, cucumbers, hard-boiled egg and a tahini dip (sesame paste with herbs, garlic, paprika and lemon).
We wandered around a bit more after lunch doing a bit of window shopping. We also saw one of our favorite cats…I don’t think I’ve mentioned the cats yet. There are 100’s of cats roaming the streets of Israel. Instead of the city having rats, they have cats…these cats are so muscular…and thinner than American breeds. They are literally on every corner and are so cute. The one we saw today was especially cute although a little feisty.
We wrapped up our Jaffa visit and went back to Ayal’s parent’s house for dinner. Candice left for NY tonight and there was a big family dinner before she left. His family was so welcoming and it was nice to eat a real local Jewish dinner in their home. After visiting and having dinner, we dropped Candice off at the airport and Ayal dropped us off at our hotel…the Marriott (of course) right on the ocean in Tel Aviv. Giff and I will be on our own the next four days in the city before leaving for France, although I am sure we will see Ayal at some point.