Zoe ~ Today, we woke up normally (meaning that Tali woke us up and we all hated her for about ten minutes) and came down to eat breakfast which was amazing because there was chocolate spread, and we got on the bus on our way to the Galita chocolate factory. Now let me preface this by saying that I have always wondered what heaven looked like. You know, I always thought that there would be pillars, and harps, and choirs, and all of that fancy schmancy stuff, but no. That is not what it looks like. When you go to heaven, it will look eerily similar to the workshop room in the Galita chocolate factory. Basically, you walk in, and you are hit with the smell of chocolate. Kind of like Hershey Park, but a million times better. So that is the smell. Also when you walk in, you are surrounded by chocolate. Like seriously. On all four sides, there is chocolate. I think I actually started singing when I walked into the factory. Anyway, we watched a video on cocoa beans or something, but I really could not pay attention with all the chocolate going on around me. Chocolate can be really distracting. Anyway, we finished with the movie, and they gave us bowls of dark chocolate (that were solid and hollow), and then bowls of other chocolate (that were melted and were to be the filling or something. Again, I could not really pay attention because of all the chocolate). They told us to make truffles. They also told us that it was okay to eat the melted chocolate. So, as you may guess, most of the melted chocolate did not end up in the hollow bowls. Most of it was in my stomach and all over my face. Anyway, they took them away to cool, and then they gave us squirt bottles with chocolate. Pure chocolate. They said to use the bottles and make whatever we wanted on sheets of wax paper. Dalia made one of her name, Miri’s name (because we love her), and a happy birthday sign to her sister. Tali made one of a flower, and her name. Madi made three blobs because she wanted to maximize the amount of chocolate on her paper (a smart idea. But don’t worry. Aviva and Noa poured chocolate down my throat in the most loving way possible). Noa definitely made something that was wonderful, but I could not see over to that end of the table, and please. When there is chocolate in the equation (as I mentioned before) I really cannot focus when there is chocolate around. The Rabbi attempted to make a sweet little thing for Aviva that said Aviva, but it also ended up being a huge blob of chocolate that looked quite wonderful. I made so many things. I made a chocolate name for each member in my family and ate them on their behalf (you are welcome Natanya, Xander, Padre and Madre. Yes, those do count as your presents), I made a flower, a sun with sunglasses, lots of things about Israel and lots of blobs of chocolate. It was all quite fantastic. Miri was our official photographer and now has many fantastic pictures of me with an insane amount of chocolate on my face that I am worried that she will use as blackmail. Anyway, it was at that point that they took away our concoctions to cool and gave us back the bonbon/truffle things that we had been making, and this time, we were told to put them together and decorate them. They gave us four more bowls of chocolate, and then they also gave us all these toppings that we could put on. As you might guess, my bonbons/truffles could not really be located after I was done putting the chocolate all over them. Everyone else’s looked really good though. I think that Aviva should open a bonbon/truffle shop because hers looked really professional and pretty. Anyway, we all finished decorating and they took away the bonbon/truffle things to cool, and they let us explore the shop. It was really cool, mostly because there was literally chocolate everywhere. Anyway, we got the chocolate back, bade farewell to the chocolate factory (I will not comment on my emotional status as we departed the facility. All I will say is that there may or may not have been tears as we departed), and continued on our way to the biking place. When we got there, there was an executive decision made that it did not seem like such a good idea to be biking in the middle (meaning the hottest time of the day) of the hottest time of the year, so we decided to put the biking on hold and continue to the water hike. We got to the water hiking place, and started on the trail, which Noa told us was part of the trail that runs from all the way in the north of Israel to the south. She said that it takes about a month and a half to do the whole trail. I suggested we do it, but Noa said that we needed to be back at the biking place at a certain time, so unfortunately we could not. Spoilsport. Anyway, before actually getting in the water, there was a pool ish thing with a waterfall before the trail. Noa suggested we go in there to get all wet so that we would not be too hot on the trail. We all got in (it was a really shallow pool so it only went up to our knees) but it was really cold, so no one wanted to go under the waterfall and get all wet. Then, Miri said that she would get in if I did, so I said yes. However, before either of us could go in at the same time, she tried to push me under! Traitor! Naturally, the only response I could give was to splash her, so I did. This started an all out war (oddly enough the teams ended up being me and Miri versus Tali and Dalia. I don’t really know how that worked out. All I know is that once the water started flying, Madi jumped out of the pool and started taking pictures. Anyway, we were all thoroughly soaked and ready to depart when the rabbi decided to come in and join the fray. He came up from behind and started splashing us all. That restarted the war, with a new team that consisted of just the rabbi. Midway through the battle, Aviva tried to be sneaky and join in from behind, but Dalia and I spotted her and got her before she could get us. She quickly retreated. After a while, we could not help but notice that Noa was conspicuously not in the pool. We decided to rectify this by splashing her too. This did not work seeing as she was not in the aforementioned pool. This time it was us who retreated, mostly because she was out of reach. Anyway, we got out of the pool (finally) and started the hike which was really gorgeous and peaceful. We walked and walked and walked and walked, and got to the end. We were all hungry, and luckily we found a pizza place about seventeen feet from where the trail stopped, so we decided to eat there. By that time, all of us were dry, even though we had all been soaked to the skin a mere hour before. That is what the Israel sun will do to you, folks. We had a nice lunch and then continued on with the original plan of going biking. We got there pretty late, so there were not that good of a selection of bikes left, and me being me, of course I chose the most ancient bike there that only had one gear that I am convinced is the granny gear (that means that I have to pedal twice as hard to go the same distance as everyone else. It does not do wonders for your already aching muscles). Miri stayed behind with the rabbi and Aviva to learn to ride a bike, and by the end she was able to do it! We are all so proud of her. The rest of us started on the loop around the lake, and in the middle, we stopped in the bird observing place thing, and we learned about how 65 years ago, that whole place was a swamp, and the first settlers of the land had to do back breaking work to make it a habitable place so that 65 years later, someone like me could enjoy riding her bike in Israel. We continued on with the ride, my legs going on mutiny for putting them through this, and finished just in time for my legs to completely stop working, in what my mind was a strike. I attempted to walk my bike back to the stand, but it ended up being more staggering than walking. Anyway, we got back on the bus and headed for the hotel thing, and we had some time before dinner, so Noa, Miri, and I decided to have a quick dip in the Kineret. We had lifeguard Tali watching us so that we would not drown, and it was really nice because the water was fantabulous. We finished swimming and went for a four minute shower and then went for dinner. After dinner, we continued to learn the gemarah we had started on Monday night about Bar Kamtsa and the destruction of Jerusalem. It was very interesting and we had a discussion about whether (if we were the leaders of Jerusalem at this time) we would fight the Romans, or if we would try to make peace with them and why. We ended up deciding that there was no good answer, because either way there were huge drawbacks. Anyway, after our discussion, we all went to our rooms, and packed. Just as Tali, Madi and I were about to fall asleep, we got a knock at our door from Miri. Apparently, there was a giant jumping bug in their room, and they wanted it gone. We all went, but it was Madi who heroically got the bug in the end. We went back to our room to go to sleep, but once again, it was way past my bedtime. So sad.