The last day of the trip. Oh my! We did not want this trip to be over yet! But the day to return home had finally arrived. We had seen so much in the days while we were in Israel that I'm not sure we could have absorbed much more, anyway. We woke up that morning, ate a great breakfast, and then went out to the Blue and Red Buses to load up for the last time. Olga and Malcolm were there waiting for us. We thanked them for being great guides and then loaded onto the buses. At the airport, they were standing beside us as we lined up to go through the security line for the beginning of our long trip back. That was our last glance at them as we started home. Saying good buy to people whom you become acquainted with is sad, especially if it is some great event in your life you have experienced with them. We have enjoyed their company, now we would probably not see them again. Maybe one day they will visit Texas.
It always lifts my spirits to see trains. I have great memories of trains when I was younger. The Express that runs from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv was passing by on our left. It crossed over the overpass as we went under. I watched it until it faded out of site.
This reminded me of when my young buddies and I were playing with Lionel Trains in the 50's. There was more interest in train travel with its great service. Then the Great Northern Railroad rolled into Glacier National Park in Montana. The Santa Fe Railroad stopped at Grand Canyon National Park. The national parks had more of an aura about them. If you picked up a National Geographic Magazine and read about the parks they seemed to take on proportions bigger than life. The opportunity for people to travel was less back then compared to today. Click on Trip of Wonder at the top of the page for another great trip.
My Dad worked for the Santa Fe Railroad. I treasure the memories of visiting the Santa Fe depot in Carthage, Texas. The telegraph key would be chattering. There were Santa Fe train calenders on the wall. Then they even kept an old steam engine to switch the train cars. I was allowed to ride in the diesel switch engines occasionally. What fun it was to be allowed on the switch engines and ride while the cars were shuttled around to make up a train! I wondered just where each car would wind up and what state they would be unloaded in.
When we visit our daughter in Atlanta, sometimes we ride AMTRAK. Trains are fun! I was wondering who was on this train above, what was going on in their life, and what would their day hold?
I remember these lines from a travel poem:
"My heart is warm with the friends I make, and better friends I'll not be knowing;
and yet there isn't a train I will not take, no matter where it's going."
Here we are at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv waiting to board our Turkish Airline Flight for our first 2 hour flight leg back to Istanbul, Turkey.
Notice the writing on the airport sign-- Hebrew at the top, English underneath.
Looking out the window at other flights and just wandering where they are heading and who is on board. On the long 12 hour flight from Houston to Istanbul when we first started out, the lady in front of us was headed to India. She said as we departed in Istanbul that she still had 9 more hours of flying left.
When we were flying on the long last leg back to Houston, a Mom and Dad were in front of us. Their three young children were with them. I may have missed it, but I never saw the lady get up one time to move around or go to the bathroom. She was tough!
Oh how great to be back in East Texas!
"The stars at night are big and bright - deep in the heart of TEXAS!" Yea, it is great to be home!
On the way home, we made two stops for refreshments and to use the bathrooms. We were tired and fading fast by this time. Remember Tel Aviv, Israel is 8 hours ahead of Texas time. We arrived back in Henderson around 11 p.m. That is equivalent to 7:00 a.m the next day Israel time which makes a long day. We appreciate so much the drivers who ferried us back and forth to Houston.
This trip was AWESOME - WONDERFUL! We want to thank Dr. David Higgs, our Pastor for taking us on this wonderful adventure of a lifetime.