A leisurely morning turned into a leisurely afternoon. Once we got out of our hotel room we walked around a bit in another neighborhood of Tel Aviv that we hadn’t gotten to yesterday. It was a holiday today so many things were closing but we enjoyed strolling down the sidewalk stopping for ice-cream.
Tomorrow we leave Israel and we enjoyed our last dinner in Tel Aviv at a place called, Benedict Blvd. It had a cute patio area right on the street and a huge menu of only breakfast…all kinds of eggs and pancakes and breads from their bakery with jams and fresh squeezed juices. Giff ordered the traditional Israeli breakfast which came with those little bowls of different spreads and fresh rolls as well as a chopped salad, orange/carrot juice and coffee. I ordered the traditional Israeli Shakshuka served is a sizzling hot sauté pan with tomatoes, eggs, eggplant and feta cheese which also came with chopped salad, fresh rolls and an orange/carrot juice.
We were so full after our breakfast dinner…we could have been rolled home. Thankfully we still had a fairly long walk to get back to our hotel which allowed some of those calories to burn off.
The last 10 minutes of our walk was on the ocean and the sun had just gone down so the sky had a beautiful pink tint to it…we were enjoying the breeze and taking pictures when Giff realized his money and credit card were missing. We searched his pockets, the ground and our beach bag with no success. We called the restaurant and they could not find it anywhere and warned that we should call to cancel the card right away. We got back to the hotel after debating on retracing our steps in the dark. The hotel also called the restaurant for us but again the restaurant said they still hadn’t found it. We ended up calling the credit card company to cancel and re-issue it. Not an ideal way to close out our trip to Israel but at least we got it canceled before any damage was done.
Tonight we are packing up our stuff including all the clothes we have hanging around the room. We had done laundry in the bathtub earlier and were hoping everything would be dry by tonight. Tomorrow we have a super early flight and have to leave for the airport at 5:30AM.
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
View all posts by Giff Kabat