I arrived in Tel Aviv just after midnight and headed straight to the hotel. At least Tel Aviv is a city where I feel comfortable and familiar with the airport and area, so I didn't mind stumbling to a cab and making my way to the hotel so late at night. Can you guess what I did right away? Washed up and went straight to bed. I knew I had some busy days ahead with the conference, so I needed to get some good sleep.
The hotel I picked was just down the street from the main one used by conference participants. After 4 weeks of travel and no one rooming with me, I decided to pick something a little cheaper, but still in the neighborhood. So, I was happy to have found Port Hotel.
The room is a good size, but I had some issues with the A/C. Thankfully they were able to fix it the next day because that first night was really, really hot.
The shower was decent too. The only thing I would have liked was a shower with a bath tub so I could hang my clothesline and do laundry, but I liked the big shower head and was happy with the laundry service offered by the hotel. I guess it all worked out in the end.
I also really can't complain too much because this is the view from my window.
Yes, that is the Mediterranean Sea just out a little ways, and the view at sunset was even better than this early morning view. Here I have zoomed in a little to give you a better view.
The first thing I did, after checking out my view of course, was head to see what the hotel had for breakfast. It wasn't a huge spread, and no hot food, but it was enough.
The second thing I did was take a walk over to the beach and stick my feet in the water.
I am not entirely sure, but that looks like a bike just at the waters edge.
Walking back from the beach I realized I was not only starving, but I was extremely dehydrated. I found Benedict. I asked for a table outside and waited for some water. It took a while, but as soon as the server realized how hot I was and how dehydrated I was (remember I had no AC in my room and not much air from outside) she brought me inside and got me a large pitcher of cold water. That was just what I needed.
Once I was feeling a little better, I was ready to order some food. The Israeli sun is hot, so you have to stay hydrated. I was just hoping my A/C would be fixed by the time I got back. In the meantime, I started with a salad.
For my meal I ordered the smoked salmon eggs benedict. It was delicious.
They also brought out a nice assortment of rolls and some spreads, including chocolate spread, which is a like a staple in Israel.
Walking back to my hotel I was pleasantly surprised to bump into one of my friends (also a dietitian) who was in town for the conference. We had been emailing earlier in the day, so it was nice to have found her and met up so easily. My next big surprise was this note and chocolates when I got back to my room. I was so happy to see that my A/C was fixed. Plus, I was happy to have some nice chocolates and a nice note.
Next on the agenda was a much needed nap. Not only was a drained, but I knew I had to teach seminars for Kaplan online at 2 am and 4 am, and then I had to be somewhere at 7:15 am the next day. Therefore, a nap was necessary.
After my nap I was really refreshed and ready to head out and walk around. I was so excited to find a mall, but then I realized I had no desire to shop because I was hungry again.
As I was walking down Dizengoff, which is the main shopping street in Tel Aviv, I stumbled upon a place called Fresh. Perfect! So I sat down and ordered bread with spreads (common on Israeli menus).
For the main course I went with a nice salad, topped with red peppers, oranges, and cheese. It was really good.
Since my pictures end here, you may think my night ended here, but actually it turned out to be just getting started. I walked by the hotel where everyone else was staying and they just happened to be in the lobby. So I stopped in and discovered they were headed to dinner. Obviously I was not hungry, but I did decide to go with them to a place called Suzana. When we arrived they had no open tables outside, so we decided to grab some drinks in the rooftop patio bar area. With the poor lighting I decided not to take any pictures, but I will say that we enjoyed a really lovely dinner (I sampled a few bites of the appetizers) at this restaurant. I would definitely recommend going here if you are in Tel Aviv.
That wraps up my first day in Tel Aviv, and my only real day of down time. Up next is the post about my birthday and the fun activities from that day. Trust me, it was fun and really interesting.
QUESTIONS: What is the first thing you like to do when you check into a hotel? Do you like eggs benedict?