A Trip, An Adventure…

Tel Aviv, Pride Week 2019.

… but I wouldn’t call it a vacation. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

We began our trip in Herzliya, a neighborhood just outside of central Tel Aviv. We chose to stay in AirBnB’s so that we’d have access to washing machines, clothes dryers, and kitchens since our kids aren’t the most adventurous eaters. Mrs. E. was in charge of the research and did she deliver!

The view from our balcony in Herzliya.

I love a view of the water and watching the boats sail the Med, just on the other side of the wall, was wonderful. Parking was plentiful, which was helpful since we accidentally rented a commercial van, a Citroën Berlingo.

Mrs. E., behind the wheel… and on the sidewalk.

The advantage of a commercial vehicle is that we could park on the sidewalk to unload and nobody thought anything of it. We were obviously there to repair something.

Spices, fruits, vegetables, t-shirts, stuffed animals, even a Venezuelan areperia. Carmel Market is the place to take it all in.

Our adventure began when we returned to a parking garage to discover that the vehicle had “developed” two flat tires on the driver’s side. Ah, kids these days. Must have been Spring Break…

After a bit of a wait in the garage which had a spectacular view of the Med (the kids and my mom were driven back to the apartment by our friend, Val, who we met for lunch at the Ha’Carmel Market), Hertz delivered a new… Berlingo.

Crazy Americans…

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Lightweight

The amphitheatre at Petra, Jordan.

Mrs. E, the family and I just returned from a whirlwind trip to Israel and Jordan. Why call it a whirlwind? I still consider two weeks barely enough time to start to know a place without rushing about. Especially if that place is as historically and politically layered as Israel or Palestine.

But, with friends at the Embassy getting ready to return stateside and dogs waiting for our return, two weeks was what we could swing, and so it was wheels up from DCA, connect through Toronto and on our way to Tel Aviv.

What made this trip even more different from the way I travelled in the past was my decision to take nothing but carry-on luggage. In my case, a PDW S.H.A.D.O. 24l backpack and a Mystery Ranch 21l Urban Assault Pack. Travelling light. Contrast that mental image with the photo below. I am a creature of extremes.

Returning home, after 8 months, via London, around ’96. To be fair, one of the cases was Mrs. E.’s… That was then.

2 t-shirts, 4 (Mack Weldon Vesper, and J Crew mesh) polo shirts, two pairs of lightweight trousers (Dockers tech fabric and Asos poly-tech “seersucker”), one pair of Ghurka shorts, one pair of slip-on sneakers, a pair of summer Blundstone’s, 5 pairs of underwear, 4 pairs of socks, one hat, one linen cardigan, one safari jacket and a scarf. Aside from the chargers, books, Traveler’s Notebook, Lifeprint printer, Lenovo lens, meds and mints, that was the extent of my kit.

I’ll be… errr… unpacking more about the trip, my takeaways about travel and whatever else springs to mind in the next few posts. Stay tuned. And special thanks to Steve of the IDF, and the Parisian private contractor at the a-Za’ayem checkpoint. Thanks for the rescue. (Told you it was an adventure….)

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Weaving Into Summer

Reading through Alexander Kraft’s “9 Rules for Living Elegantly” for The Gentleman’s Journal, I have to say Rule #5, “Never Wear Sandals” certainly rang true. (well, to be honest, the whole article resonates with me, which will come as a shock to no one.) A gentleman shouldn’t thrust his exposed toes onto the scene unless he is on the beach, and there are many more suitable and interesting choices in summer footwear.

Now, I’ve long been a fan of espadrilles, loafers, Belgians, slip-ons of any kind, really.

Antibes, 1996, with my soon-to-be brother-in-law. I had three pair of espadrilles on rotation. Blue, white and black (for evening.)

And, as I sit at my desk in a pair of leather TQT Reef flip-flops (they don’t make it past the front door), I wonder why I don’t rely on my trusty staples-of-summers-past.

For one thing, espadrilles used to be cheap. Paying anywhere north of $20 seems like highway robbery to me (save for the suede versions, but still…) Especially for shoes that get thrown away after you walk though them.

For another, my permanently busted-up feet need arch support. And most soft shoes don’t afford any degree of support. Some, if they are made of heavier materials, can take insoles. Most can’t.

H. London’s Spanish-made woven slip-ons.

Enter the above pair of woven slip-on shoes by H. London purchased a year or two ago, on-line, through Asos.com. (They don’t carry them anymore, but they can be found … here.)

It took me a season or two to work up to wearing them, perhaps because of the design? But, having worn them, let me say that these are the perfect hybrid of espadrille and leather-soled loafer. They are supremely comfortable, stretchy because of the weave, have a bit of arch support, and are sturdy enough to take some in soles. Pair them with linen trousers, shorts, jeans and khakis.

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