As we returned to Chicago after two and a half strange and grueling days that began with a knock on our 6th floor hotel door in Haifa and ended with us staggering out of the airport in a stupor when we finally landed in Chicago, I realized that the trip that perhaps God most wanted me to take occurred during the final four hours.
The journey began with those door-knockers: two young women who were dressed in what I’ll call here a festive manner who told my husband that they were looking for ten shekels (about $2.50-2.75). The pair was very aggressive, trying to push past Bill to get into our room. My husband and I shoved the door closed in their faces and bolted it shut before calling security. The guard eventually located them on another floor of the hotel, going door to door in search of either business, someone to rob or both. After an uneasy and too-brief sleep, we headed to the airport, giving ourselves a couple of hours to drive there and drop the rental car, and allowing the three hours Israel requires for travelers to go through security.
When we arrived, weather delays stalled the flight an additional four hours. We discovered that we’d miss our connecting flight from Newark to Chicago. After the 12-hour flight (keep reading – this is not an SAT math test question in process), we did the zombie wander through the airport in search of some idea of where we could stay for the night. [Read more]