Sunday, June 24 - Pre-Flight

You are not going to believe me. If I tell you just how easy the fourteen hour flight was from Los Angeles to Israel, you will think I am making it up, lying or at least trying to pull the wool. But it is true. Don’t get me wrong, “just how easy” shouldn’t connote perfect, but it was awfully close. We have had far tougher stretches on 3-hour flights, or fourteen hours at home!

But I get ahead of myself.

The day started bright and early in LA with Baba Toni & Papa Don. Of course, we couldn’t head to the airport without a good breakfast, and what fills kids better than IHOP?!?

Saying ‘Goodbye’ at the airport wasn’t so hard knowing that they will be joining us in Jerusalem in a little over a week.

Now get this: we cut the whole check-in line at the airport. No, not deceitfully, and not on accident, but by invitation. Yep, the ticket agent asked us to. See, first we went to the SECURITY BAGGAGE SCREENING line, as it said to do on our internet printed boarding passes, bypassing the LONG check-in line. But the TSA fellow over there told us we had to stand in the LONG check-in line even though our boarding passes said not to. So we went back and Jen stood in the long line, and I went to make sure we were in the right line.

So I walk to the very front and ask this nice El Al fellow where we should be. He looked at the 5 boarding passes, and then at me, and then at the 5 boarding passes, and asked that deep question the Hostess always asks in a restaurant, ‘How many?’ So I explained we were 5 and he asked where the rest were. So I pointed to the end of the mile long line, to these three gorgeous little kids, 2 strollers, 1 large suitcase, 3 huge duffle bags, 4 carry-on bags, and Jennifer batting her long eyelashes.

And next thing I know, he invites us to bypass the whole line, stand with him, and he sends us to the next available agent. Then as the nice Israeli lady was asking us security questions, she said: ‘You know what, since the other fellow let you cut the whole line, I want to be just as nice. So, you don’t have to take your bags to the SECURITY BAGGAGE SCREENING, I will check them right here.’ I thought she was joking. She wasn’t. Basically, we cut one very long line and skipped a second.

That pretty much sums up not just our LAX experience, but our whole flight. Told ya’ you weren’t going to believe me.

So we had time to nap in the airport at LAX.

And we bumped into a whole bunch of people we knew on our plane: members of our congregation, a rabbi from La Mirada I have known for years and a former Student Rabbi from Butte (with her husband and seven month old baby!).

That's not to mention all the new friends and stories from the plane ride!

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