I've arrived in Tel Aviv. The plane ride was 10+ hrs, and went without a hitch. Customs and the passport authority were no problem, and my aunt Debby's best friend, Sandy Ashri met me at the baggage claim. I practiced my Hebrew and bought a 1/2 watermelon (avatiakh).
The best cure for jet lag, I've found, is to sleep for 14 hours in a row. I conked out at 10 last night, and woke up at noon today.
Started my first full day in Israel with some "jachnun," a typical Yemenite breakfast that Sandy's neighbor made. It's a simple flour and water dough rolled up into cylinders and baked in a ton of margarine! Really good but really heavy! Sandy drove us straight into Tel Aviv, it took 15 minutes because on Shabbat there's no traffic coming from Petakh Tikva (the suburb of Tel Aviv where she lives). She found an amazing parking spot a block from the beach and then we went straight to the shore, and relaxed for 1.5 hours, people watched, went into the ocean - I put on lots of sunscreen and the sea's kinda like bathwater, but it was very nice. Then we saw Galia, Sandy's daughter, who works w/ an ad. agency in Tel Aviv. Went to this salad place for lunch, had great salads, then ice cream, then back home. After a shower, a nap, cleaning up, and trying to reconnect Sandy's DVD player, it's quarter after 9 pm here, and we'll sit down to dinner in a while. Petakh Tikva's pretty quiet, even on a Saturday, but I'll head out later to check the scene.
It's been a good first day!
Hope all's well w/ all of you.