Looking back on the last month and a half I realize that I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful 6 weeks at home in California. It flew by in the blink of an eye but the time spent was done enjoying time with family and wonderful friends, and really, outside of going to Disneyland (which scheduling conflicts wouldn't allow), I was able to do just about everything I wanted to do while home!
My last blog post left off at the conclusion of the high holidays, and after that period I really utilized the time that I had left at home to see my most special and favorite friends because as we all get older, and our schedules busier and busier, combined with the fact that I'm a tad bit farther than a hop, skip, and a jump away, it gets very hard to stay in touch. Lucky for me my 3 best girlfriends from home were around for much of my trip, and I was even lucky enough to get a surprise visit from a friend who has been very dear to me for pretty much most of my life (well since middle school and up!). Seeing him again, even though it was a short visit, was really wonderful! Sometimes I wish Israel was just a little bit closer so it wouldn't be so hard to see everyone, but I was fortunate enough to see the people I wanted, and even though on multiple occasions I wanted to kidnap my best friend Blair and lock her in my suitcase, I was happy she was with me pretty much up until the last hour before I left! Thank God for viber :-)
|The girls enjoying a night at the ACE Hotel|
|BUBBLE AND DIZZ!|
|Just relaxing... you know :-)|
|Me and MD!|
|The one and only Mr. Dustin Chehey!|
|It wouldn't be normal if Blair and I weren't up to something!!|
The time I was able to spend with my family this trip was really priceless. We are a crazy bunch of Peppers, but there is very rarely a dull moment when any faction of my family is involved. Since there are too many things to recount in one blog post I'll just sum up some of my favorite moments, which should give anyone a good look into how us Pepper's like to do things :-)
I think my favorite moment with my mom was when we had our annual mother daughter date at Las Casulas, a wonderful Mexican restaurant right on the downtown strip, and going there really only means one thing: MARGARITAS!!! After one drink I was pretty content and a bit buzzed (I can't really hold any alcohol at all), but my mom was a huge trooper and champed down two drinks before my sister joined us after her shift at work! We were a fun bunch when she arrived. In fact, that was the night that I told my mom I wouldn't mind getting married young, to which she responded: "Jordana, I love you, but you're almost 25... The days of getting married "young" have passed you"... O mommy! Never a dull moment :-)
|Mommy and me date!!|
|After margarita #2! GO MOM|
|More mommy and me!|
|Elana and me at Las Cas :-)|
My favorite moment with my dad and Step mom, without a doubt, was my dad's birthday extravaganza in which my step mom (with a little help from me) pulled off one fantastic surprise! I'm so happy I extended my trip so I was able to partake in my dad's big 57th birthday (sorry for spilling the beans on your age dad but 57 is the new 40 so it's ok :-p) Anyways, the night before my dad's birthday my step mom divulged that she was planning on taking my dad to lunch and wanted me to wait there to surprise him. Without hesitation of course I agreed, and then the morning of his birthday came and the plan changed once again when my step mom amended the surprise to include the whole side of my dad's family, which included my sister, grandparents, and myself. While she was out keeping my dad busy for the morning, I called up everyone to arrange the meeting, we arrived at the restaurant 15 minutes before the birthday boy, and when they came we jumped up, yelled surprise, sang our happy birthdays, and had one of the best meals I've ever eaten! My dads was thoroughly surprised, and it was a wonderful birthday :-)
|Happy Birthday Daddy!!|
Speaking of favorite experiences, I had a wonderful, unexpected, treat while I was home this trip and was able to see my Step Uncle Michael who came in from Sweden for a few days! It had been a long time since I had seen him and it was pretty amazing being able to spend time with him. He is such a character, so much fun, and I can't wait until Ida and I plan a trip to Sweden to see all the family that is there! I was able to see two of my Uncles this trip which is truly a blessing. Maybe next time I'll even be lucky enough to see my Uncle Lon too!
|Dad, Me, and Uncle Mike in Idyllwild|
|My crazy, but very cool, uncle!|
|O my family!|
Unfortunately I don't have much pictorial documentation of the time I spent with my grandparents but from the holidays, to playing our favorite card game, hand and foot, to spending time with my muzzy while I was staying with my mom, it was a wonderful 6 weeks spent with a lot of grandparent time. I'm so lucky to still have 3 of my 4 grandparents, and it was perfect spending time with them. I can't say I miss my Bubby and Zayde too much while I'm gone because every other day I skype with them so it almost feels like I'm still home at their house :-) I really see them more than anyone else in the family, and I'm so glad I taught them how to Skype!!
And lastly, probably the member of my family I will miss the most is my 4 legged brother who is the sweetest little baby in the world. I miss canine companionship so much here in Israel and I was took advantage of ever moment with the little monkey!
|Ari pre haircut|
|Ari post haircut|
I have now returned home to Israel and couldn't be more excited to be back in the Holy Land! I have too many things to look forward to (including the much anticipated return of my boyfriend who I haven't seen in almost 3 months!), and tomorrow I will give a much more detailed post on my first few days back!
Until we meet again <3,