Jerusalem, Travel

Jaffa with my toddler

Sometimes the easiest way to get out of Jerusalem on the weekends is just to inform Bertrand that I’m going, grab a kid, and go. A few weeks ago, Jasmine and I took advantage of a beautiful Saturday to drive down to Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv.

oth Old City Jaffa and Jaffa Port are beautiful. I was delighted to find several art galleries and jewelers, and Jasmine was delighted to find boats. Hundreds and hundreds of boats.

I love traveling alone, but traveling with Jasmine is also very special to me. As a child, she is interested in the bright, the bold, the colorful, and the practical, like boats and jewelry and curbs to balance on. She also loves art. Art. I’ve humble bragged about this before, but I love taking her to museums because she opens my eyes to a very different perspective on art.

One of the most fascinating museums in Jaffa was the Ilana Gore Museum. Ilana Gore is an Isreali artist who’s turned her home into a showcase for her own art, as well as the art she’s collected traveling the world for the past several decades.

Some of the art displayed was beautiful. Others, such as this table, covered in sculpture of leftover food and oversized insects, I found horrifying. To me, it was a scene of decadence and overindulgence, everything wrong with consumption in the world today. Jasmine, however, thought the bugs were delightful! She could not get enough of the colors and how big they were.

I asked Jasmine how she’d feel if she came downstairs one morning to find a mess like that in home, with real bugs swarming all over the kitchen. She answered, “Dad would not leave a mess like that!” And that was the end of that.

After wandering around for a few hours, we sat down for a sumptuous feast at Old Man and the Sea. OK food, expensive prices, but I can see the appeal for tourists who aren’t exposed to Middle Eastern mezzos (“salatas” here).

We wrapped up the day by wandering through two more art galleries. The first, by Sigel Melinger, was full of bright contemporary street scenes. The second, the Jaffa Art Salon, has rotating exhibits, seating space, and local artisanal foods for sale.

Jasmine insisted on a selfie (rightfully, that’s what the space was for).

We had a great time. Getting the whole family awake and clean and dressed and into the car and around the tourist sites can be more hassle than fun sometimes. Taking just one of the girls opens up a lot of opportunities that we can’t see as a family.

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