Subject: Re: Traveling or staying home this year?
Hello fellow Ziners,

Next week, it's off to San Diego for a wedding with a few days to sightsee. We will take in the Zoo and the Wild Animal Park and also go down to Cabrillo National Monument to wander among the rocks at low tide to look for (but not touch) starfish, sea anemones and small octopi. It was in Old Town San Diego that I first learned to enjoy Mexican food.

Just 15 days vacation a year for me, so most of it is taken up on quarterly visits to Israel to see my daughter and her family, who have a year to go on a three-year assignment there. We try to see a different site (historical, archeological or natural) on each of my trips. I have to time my trips with the days off from work (July 4, Labor Day, etc.) so that I can maximize my own.

So far we have done some birding in the Southern Arava Desert area, while staying on Kibbutz Lotan, which caters to birding expeditions. We have gone to the Oceanarium in Elat (a must-see with kids!) We've hit the museums in Jerusalem, as well as the Tisch Zoological Gardens, and a zoo in Tel Aviv that's part walk- thru and part drive-thru. (Can you tell we prefer wildlife viewing to being inside buildings?) We also visited Apollonia, National Park, an archeologica site north of Herzliya, where they are excavating a crusader's castle.

I must say that the restaurant food in Israel has much improved since I had first visited there twenty years ago. It's not just felafel and schnitzel (Israeli fast food) any more!

Wishing you all happy travels this summer, Carrie, Bardonia NY