So. Usually when I’m told that I will be going on vacation, it’s usually a “Guess what? We’re going to Disney!” sort of thing, or a “Nana and Papa invited us to the beach for the week!” deal. But this time things were a little different. Yes, I was still an awkward tourist in this certain place and yes the whole family got to go, but this time, it was all the way across the globe. ISRAEL. The Holy Land! My grandma wanted the whole family to go in honor of her and my grandpa’s 50th wedding anniversary. So of course, we were eager to leave and adventure with them! Here are the photos I took along the way.
I love Meditteranean food. The fish is really good, and so was the falafel! Falafel is a bunch of chipeas grinded up into a ball and fried. (The pic above) apparently the bananas are a big deal in Israel too! Our tour guide, Jimmy, bought us all one. Oh- and you can probably tell I have a mild obsession with pomegranates…those were everywhere. They had a bunch of fruit, and it was all sold in tiny little shops that are so different from America. Publix is not a thing there, which is kind of weird and nice. They even had places where they would squeeze out juice from a pomegranate and give it to you right there on the spot for like a dollar. The pomegrantes they sold usually cost about 3$, but I bargained it down to 2$. Some say it’s a gift. So you can see me happy as a clam with my 2$ pomegranate. They also had rice at every meal, which I thought was really really good. I put it in all my soups, which were either chicken or plain broth. And you can’t forget pita bread! We had that at every meal too.
The churches in Israel were plentiful and absolutely beautiful. And a little overwhelming. More is more for them, I guess. A lot of them dated back to the Byzantines, (a really old 4th century Roman empire) and each commemorates an important mark in the Christian Faith. Such as, the place where Jesus was born, or where they think he died on the cross, or where Mary was born. There’s a church called the Wedding Church of Cana that we visited, too. It was all just so breathtaking. There is nothing like that in America. To summarize the looks of the churches, you could say they all had mosaic tile, stained glass, ornate wood details, and high ceilings. The picture above is the exact spot where people thought Jesus was born, so they marked a place where people can touch and feel the presence of Him. There are places like that for a lot of major Bible people, like John the Baptist. Here’s a selfie of me touching where he was born
Being baptized (renewal baptism) in the Jordan River sort of speaks for itself. The water was freezing, but it was really memorable to do something like that right where Jesus did.
This is Marvin the camel. Riding him in the middle of a parking lot in Jericho was also something I don’t think many people can say they did. Trust me, I would do it again.
These are my cousins and me just chillin with mud all over ourselves. Dead Sea mud, to be specific.
This was a garden that could be the place where Jesus was buried and then rose again.
This is called Qumran, which is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. These scrolls were pieces to the Bible, and the earliest manuscripts of the Bible ever.
Seeing the view of the Old City, and the Dome of the Rock. I’ve seen it in so many pictures, but being there was even better.
I’ve been to the lowest point on earth!
Here is another (sideways) pic of that Garden where some people think Jesus could’ve been buried and then risen.
A picture of 20 young Christians being killed by ISIS. This was is the Armenian corner of the Old City, which is a Christian sect. So moving and crazy and sad. People actually do that stuff to people. I couldn’t believe that those men were willing to die for God, and it really made me question myself. That really spoke to me.
My note on the Western Wall. People before me stood right where I was and cried out to God, just like me. We all came from different homes and places, and we all have a different story, but we all stood there serving the same God.
My cousin and I taking a selfie at one of the gates to the Old City called the Dung Gate. Apparently in the olden times (like 2000 years ago) people dumped all their trash and debris out that gate, giving it the name Dung gate.
Here is Cana, where Jesus performed His first miracle.
My favorite experience was walking down the markets of Israel, especially the Old City.
This is Will, and he laughed at me all time, and the reason we are friends is because the first thing he said to me was making a joke about me. Which I’m okay with, I mean he and his bro aren’t that bad 🙂
HOW CUTE IS THIS GIRL? Meeting people who don’t even speak my language yet were totally okay with me taking pictures with them was kind of awesome.
Don’t really have a caption for this one, it’s more of an inside joke. 🙂
My sweet, sweet Nana. She somehow manages to take us on this trip, make sure we all are okay, and be the best grandma ever. It’s harder than it looks, and it looks CRAZY hard. I love this picture, it’s a precious moment between her and my cousin Courtney (in previous pic) right before we went to the Western Wall.
These are my cousins, sister, and Nana at Megiddo, which is the oldest civilization ever. Courtney and Madison are my cousins, and Conoly is my sister (the one to the left of Nana) and on the end there is Nana. I already miss them soooo much, being with them for the trip was so fun and I always enjoy spending time with them. They make me laugh so hard and we get along so well, and I don’t see them enough!
Flattering shot of Maddie. Love her. I am so proud of watching her become so overwhelmed with Jesus’s love, and I know this trip will always be so special to her. Her laugh is so pretty and her voice could make someone cry, which it did when she sang for us in a church with reallllly good acoustics. I really admire the way she works so hard in life, and all that she’s accomplished. Everyone loved getting to meet her, her and Courtney are both really good with people.
Kind of glad Dad photo bombed this pic. He does that a lot, and it’s all by accident. Funny dude I’ll tell ya. He was the only guy out of our whole family to go, and having him there was so much fun. We Kimbell girls always need a man to balance us out.
Me, Courtney, and soldier bae! We got a pic with an Israeli soldier during a tour of where the tribe of Dan lived, and he was the nicest and cutest thing ever!
Just thought I should include the time we put on turbans…
This is Courtney, she’s in a lot of my pics because she follows me around everywhere 😉 just kidding I love her so much. She is beautiful. I mean look ^^^^. And she is a huge impact on my walk with Jesus. We sat together and underlined the places we’ve been in the Bible, and just talking through everything that we’ve done in Israel with her was so amazing. I hope I can be like her when I’m older. And I absolutely love her laugh, too.
And who could forget Jimmy. Jimmy was the kindest, cutest, funniest person we met in Israel. He was so good with people, and we all grew close to him by the time the trip was over. He cracked jokes, he worshipped with us, he bought us bananas, and he even showed us where he was born and grew up! I’m gonna miss that guy. This is a pic of him showing us where he was born in The Old City.
Not pictured: Allison. Ally was probably the most magnetic person I’ve ever met. When I was getting on the bus I saw her and said to my cousin courtney, “I like her. Let’s be friends with her. She’s so pretty and sweet.” And ever since then we were able to become really good friends. We pulled an all nighter the night before we had to leave in order to prevent jet lag, but only Allison, Will, courtney, and I stayed up. That was suchhhh a fun night! I loved hanging out with her.
Overall, Israel was really special. It gave me a whole new perspective of God and who He is, and it gave me the desire to really delve into my Bible. I saw how Christianity is not a 10 minute per day thing, but a lifestyle. And God has the most perfect plan ever that I want to be a part of. You should go sometime. Israel, you will be missed!