June 15 3:30 PM:
Today is the big day! Before even go forth with this blog post, I have to say thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of my every move. The words of encouragement have been nonstop and I couldn’t be more grateful. So thank you for the well wishes, I am definitely going to miss America, but I’ll be back before you know it!
In preparation for my flight, there were a series of events that took place before. This morning I went to Shacharit service (morning prayers) with my dad at our synagogue. I’ve been going with him for the past week. It’s a very big part in his life and I wanted to be able to be a part of it by sharing the special hour every morning with him. He has a great group that he goes with every morning and I loved going the first time, so I made it part of my routine for the past week. Anyway, this morning, for the first time in my 21 years of existence, I was given the honor of an Aliyah on the bimah for this week’s parsha, which means the Torah portion of the week, (which the portion was ‘Korach’) and it was so great to have been given that honor. After my Aliyah, the congregants blessed me on my journey to the holy land. What a great group of people. Shoutout to the B’nai Aviv Minyan crew!!!!
After services, it was a whirlwind of last minute errands to run. I’m glad I had my dad with me to keep my anxiety levels at an all-time low and to keep the excitement high. I made it to the terminal without a problem. The plane is HUGE and for you airplane fanatics, it is a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. I’m seated in the middle section of the plane and I have the aisle seat. I’m hoping I can switch to a window seat so I can see every bit of land we’re flying over. The first stop is Brussels, Belgium and I am planning on exploring the city as much as I can before getting on the next plane to Tel Aviv, Israel. For now, I am gathering my belongings to make my way to the plane.
June 16 4:00 AM:
Reporting to you from the humongous airplane! I, unfortunately, didn’t get a window seat. Can’t say I didn’t try! In the beginning of the flight, the captain turned on something called the “party lights” where the entire cabin lit up in an array of bright colors (see photos.) I felt as if I was in a Coca-Cola commercial, where the airplane was a party scene! I slept most of the way to Brussels which is great because I am now energized and ready to explore the city. I’m really hoping I can get my hands on some Belgian waffles and Belgian chocolate. I was able to try some Belgian beer, courtesy of the flight attendant. I asked to try some Belgian beer and he smiled and gladly handed me a can of ‘Jupiler’ (see photo) and when I went to pay for it, he chuckled and said “welcome to Belgium!” It really set the mood for the trip. I have about a half hour until the flight lands and during this time I am mentally and physically preparing myself to walk around the city. I have a six hour layover and I am determined I’ll be able to see some of the beautiful architecture and taste the delicious delicacies I’ve only seen in movies.
June 16 10:00 AM:
The plane landed in Brussels around 7:50 am and the next step was obviously customs. The airport in Brussels was the most confusing I’ve ever been to. It was quite the headache with the series of events that took place. In the end, however, I was able to take a train to the central station. From central station I walked a couple of blocks and made it to “Grand Place” and let me tell you, what a grand ol’ place! The architecture was magnificent, I felt as if I jumped into an episode of the Travel Channel. While I was there, I made a few stops. First I walked around to find Belgian waffles and chocolate, of course. So I bought about a gram of mouth-watering chocolates and walked into a little shop where I bought myself a Belgian waffle. The waffle contained strawberries, bananas and was topped off with whipped cream and a variety of chocolate drizzles. After going on the mini-adventure, I made my way back to the airport and I made it just in time for my flight to Tel Aviv.
June 16 6:00 PM:
There’s only two hours left until I land in the land of milk and honey and I am really looking forward to seeing my family and eating my grandma’s yummy foods. I can’t wait to land and be in my favorite place in the whole entire world. For now, I’m signing off to get some rest and have my internal clocks reset.
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Have a adventure suggestion for me, in Israel? Please comment below, I would love to explore new places! Will you be in Israel anytime soon? If so, please contact me so we can get together! If you don’t have an iPhone with iMessage, download the app called ‘WhatsApp” where you can call and text me for free. Add me as a contact and get in touch with me: 954-266-9998. Not a phone person? Feel free to email me: YariRostamian@gmail.com