Happy Monday, and (belatedly) Happy 2014! Justin and I got back from Israel a few days ago, and I'm starting to get over the jet lag and get back in the swing of real life. This week, I'm officially diving back in—to my regular workload, to dance classes, and to writing. Yup—now that I've finished my revisions on THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND and the book has gone to copyedit, it's time to jump back into my next manuscript! I'm a little nervous, like I am each time I haven't first-drafted in a while, but I'm also excited. I woke up yesterday morning thinking about an important scene and wanting to jot down notes to myself. I can't wait until I hit that point where it's all I can do to get the words down fast enough! (I hope I get to that point soon!) So here goes…with updates to come, I'm sure.
In the meantime, I wanted to share some of our photos from Israel! We took SO MANY, so this is just a sampling, but I think it captures many of the amazing things we saw. We spent one night in Caesarea, where we saw the ruins of Herod the Great's seaside palace and city; three nights in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee, where during the daytime we toured all over northern Israel—Megiddo, Zippori, Capernaum, Dan, Beit She'an, and many more; one night at the Dead Sea, with stops at Qumran, Ein Gedi, and Masada; and four nights in Jerusalem, where we toured all over the city as well as crossing the border into Bethlehem, in the West Bank. We saw so many Canaanite and Israelite and Greek and Roman and Byzantine and Crusader ruins with so much historical significance that it was hard to process how amazing it all was after a while. We climbed rolling green hills and drove through harsh deserts and floated in one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth. We ate so much hummus and falafel and shawarma and shaksuka (a new favorite: eggs poached in a rich tomato sauce). We ate so much delicious dessert—guilt-free, because of all the walking up and down hills. And we were introduced to Turkish coffee, which is wonderful and strong, basically French press without the press.
All in all, it was a pretty fantastic trip, and we hope to get to go back at some point in the future! Click past the jump to see the highlights (and if you're not a "look at other people's travel photos" person, feel free to come back later in the week when I blog about something else!).
Still with me? Not feeling like I'm that family member who always wants to show you a slideshow of old vacation photos on an actual slide projector? Good! Because I honestly didn't mean for this post to get this long, but I wanted to share some of the adventures we had. I promise, next week, I'll talk lots about writing, writing, writing. Or something.
So Happy New Year, again! Here's to a 2014 full of excitement, adventure, momentum, and joy.