Tiyul 2019: Day 1 | Next Stop: Israel!
Abby C., Chloe F., Noah L.
Abby, Chloe and Noah
The excitement in the airport was visible by the huge smiles on each of our faces as we arrived and gathered into our point groups. After making it through security, with only minor bumps, we sat outside our gate as we were delayed for 45 minutes. The plane ride to Newark was efficient and quick, despite our concern about missing the connecting flight. After landing in Newark, we all quickly ran through the airport to catch our flight to Tel Aviv. We went through the second round of security before boarding the plane, but once we got through, it was smooth sailing. Most of us entertained ourselves on the flight by watching movies, coloring, reading, doing crossword puzzles, talking to friends, and most importantly...sleeping. 
As our plane touched the ground in Israel, we erupted into a round of applause and were eager to get off the plane and get outside and breathe the air of Israel. It was a lot warmer getting off this plane than it was when we got on in Chicago. Plus it was clear skies all around. As we drove to our first hostel, we were all quietly taking in the sights and were surprised to see that Tel Aviv is very similar to cities in the United States, just with more Hebrew. It was really cool to see the different communities and how our idea of what Tel Aviv was going to be like was different from what it actually was. We quickly shared dinner together at the hostel before participating in an incredibly powerful and moving Yom HaShoah Ceremony. We all read different quotes or poems from someone who lived through the Holocaust and each piece gave us a different perspective and story of how the Holocaust impacted each individual involved. The power of the ceremony was felt by everyone and it was the perfect way to end our first official day in Israel. Now it’s time for some much-needed sleep before we take on Tel Aviv for the first time!