Thursday, September 06, 2007

2 Rusty Nails and a Sorbet

We're back from our marvelous, fantastic, amazing, relaxing honeymoon at the Holiday Inn/Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Dead Sea. It was really 4 full nights and 4 1/2 days of blissful relaxation - where we completely vegged and just enjoyed ourselves. This blog will be a partial recap so, if you're interested in seeing some great pics and hearing some fun stories, read on!

This is the fun water shoot at the pool. Unfortunately, the lifeguard ruined my shot, but when this water shoot is on the current sucks you in and pushes you almost across the entire pool! On Monday, our first full day at the pool, Buggy and I decided to go through it together and somehow I got catapulted across the pool and almost into the prone body of some French guy lounging on the side of the pool with his girlfriend. Buggy was right behind me trying to catch me, as I was literally unable to keep myself upright.

The Dead Sea was absolutely beautiful and Buggy and I didn't go near it the entire time! Here's the situation: basically, I don't like the way I feel in the water. It leaves this really slippery residue on the body, the sulpher smell lingers on you for an entire week, and the thought of not being able to control my legs so that I'm basically stuck in the floating on the back position until Buggy has no choice but to tow me to shore, kept me close to the pool! Fortunately, Buggy wasn't too keen on the whole Dead Sea dunking idea either so we enjoyed it from afar.

This is the view of the pool area from our suite. Did I mention that we were upgraded to a suite because of our Honeymoon status? And, it was the first time I didn't have to wear my "Just Married" sweatshirt to get preferential treatment. The room was really, really nice and we had a balcony view of Jordan and the Dead Sea. We loved this pool as our daily schedule was as follows:

sleep till 12:00/12:30 p.m.
shower/dress/daven until 1:30/2:00
1:30/2:00 - lunch (we skipped breakfast except for the last day as checkout today was 11:00 a.m. and we had to be up anyway)
2:00 - 5:00 - pool (except for yesterday when we had 5:00 p.m. anti-stress massages
5:00 - 6:30 - shower/relax in the room
6:30 - 8:00 - movies that we brought with us on Buggy's travelling DVD player which, conveniently, hooked into our large in-room TV.
8:00 - 8:30 - dinner
Evening - movies/sleep

We had a hard, hard schedule - as you can probably tell. Lots of rest and relaxation, some nice pool time, a massage yesterday and PLENTY of sleep!

When we checked into our room, they had left us a bottle of red wine (which, I drank some of even though I'm allergic and sure enough, I had a terrible headache!) and a platter of fruit. I brought some of the fruit back home with us in the cooler that we got as a wedding gift from Buggy's Aunt and Uncle. Nice present - I packed us some snacks for our trip which helped stave away the hunger when we went to late dinner and kept us munching along as we watched our movies.

This is, what Buggy calls, "Mount Shmoigel". He kept joking that we would try to climb it but fortunately my couch potato lovin husband was just bluffing. The closest we got to a mountain was today, when we stopped off at Masada to go through the new museum. Since I was just on the Masada mountain less than a year ago - and Buggy has been there plenty - we got back on the road to Jerusalem after we went through the guided tour of the museaum.

Evening at the Dead Sea are terribly, terribly dull and boring. There is absolutely nothing around for MILES! Strips of hotels clustered in Ein Bokek have lots of tourist feeling the boredom during the night. Fortunately for us, we were covered as we came prepared with plenty of our own entertainment. But, for everyone else at the hotel, they were greeted by "in-house entertainment" in the form of dancing one night, bingo the next night, a Hebrew version of West Side Story and some carnivalesque show last night. We missed them all but someone did manage to drop off some bingo slips as Buggy and I imbibed in the hotel lobby/bar on 2 Rusty Nails (drambuie and whiskey - yummmmmy!) Buggy needed to cut the alcohol with some sweetness so he ordered two scoops of sorbet and, when we skipped back to the room after all that good stuff in our bellys, Buggy sang his "2 Rusty Nails and a sobet" song. I guess you had to be there - it was fun!

So - those are the only photos I can share with the blog but there is more to tell.

1) Mikvah - there is a Mikvah at the Royal Hotel in the Dead Sea. I needed to use it one night during the honeymoon, and Buggy and I had made all the arrangements in advance. We called and reserved a time, they told us that we needed to bring 100 shekel and I brought a robe just in case they had no towels. Well, I honestly don't know what I paid for, because the experience was really, really lousy. And, if you're new to using the Mikvah, it's definitely not something you want to have happen to you the second time around. Basically, we waited for a security guard to come and take us through the darkened labrynth of the hotel's spa. He opened the door labeled "Ritual Bath" and then pointed the way up these dillapitated stairs. Once inside, I saw that there WAS a shower and bathtub (I had asked in advance and they said there was none. Obviously, the woman dealing with us had never stepped foot into the Mikvah). Anyway, the problem was that they didn't heat the water. I don't know why we needed to reserve a time in advance if they didn't even bother to heat the water. The water, unlike ANYTHING else in the Dead Sea area, was absolutely freezing. But, I sucked it up and shivering from the shock of the cold, did what I needed to do. It's a good thing I didn't have glasses with me either, cause I really don't think I wanted to see what was floating in the water. The reason I share this with the blog is for any woman who will need to use a Mikvah in the area. I highly recommend making other arrangements - perhaps even traveling the distance to Arad - or insisting the hotel heat the water before use. It's ridiculous that I paid that kind of money for some guy to just flip the switch.

2) Survival kit - when traveling to the Dead Sea, it's really crucial that a woman bring all the products she needs as there really isn't anything close by. For me, the essentials items included plenty of SPF! My days of tanning with baby oil are long, long over as the fear of wrinkles have set in a few years ago. I used, daily, SPF 30 on my face and SPF 30 sunscreen spray on my body. I got the sunscreen spray in the States and I have to say, it's a great invention. Easy for me and Buggy to use on each other before we got into the pool. Now, I also spend a lot of money on my hair. I dye it - I'm not ashamed to admit it - cause it's the truth. Two essential items for women who DO NOT want their hair color to bleach in the sun are Redken's Sun Milk, which has UV protectant so that your hair doesn't lighten and also Frederick Fekkai's new sunscreen spray which fight humidity and helps keep your hair healthy in terrible climates. I also brought with me special shampoo and conditioner, and did a hair mask each night to try to keep my locks night and moisturized. Bring PLENTY of water as most of the water at the hotel is way over priced and the other half is not fit for drinking. I packed 2 big bottles of water and 3 little bottles that we took to the pool each day. Also, don't forget your lips in the Dead Sea heat! Blistex lip balm with SPF 15 and some color is nice, as I got a sweet red tint with the SPF I needed to avoid burning. There is also this GREAT aftersun with cooling beads that I brought with me and didn't use (even though I should have). You'll need it to cool off any possibly burnt areas. Finally, make sure you bring a razor with you if you don't wax in advance. Otherwise, if you forget like I did, you'll spend the honeymoon begging your husband to let you use his shaver to get at the hairs underneath your arms. (For the record, Buggy was firm and didn't let me use it. It was ok until this morning, when I really felt like I had Tina Turner stuck underneath my pits)

3) Did you know that, if you fart in the pool, bubbles actually come up?? Note to others - if you have some gas, go to an area where the water is already frothy (like the shoot at our hotel or underneath the waterfall) so no one else in the pool knows what you're doing.

I won't lie to ya, it sucks to be back - life is always amazing on holiday. But, I guess there comes a time when everyone has to just, well, get back to work!

At least I still have a few more hours until that happens (conference call already at 11:00 p.m. this evening!)

To quote one of my Dad's favorite sayings: the honeymoon is over

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