Date night in Ein Kerem / by Susie Lubell

Ein Karem

Mr. Rosen and I celebrated New Years last night instead of tonight because last night we had free babysitting. Anyway, tonight is a regular school night. It's not a national holiday. No one has off. They don't even call it New Years here since the Jewish New Year is in September. They call it Sylvester. Or was it Putty Tat...What was I talking about?

Yes, New Years. Well our second shipment finally did arrive on Thursday so our house was once again inundated by boxes and hunkin pieces of furniture. Mr. Rosen's parents came up on Friday morning to help build things and watch the kids and then they actually took the kids with them back to Beer Sheva to spend the night leaving us an unprecedented 24 hours in our house to GET. SHIT. DONE. We still had the baby but he's manageable.

But instead of trudging ahead when they left we decided to take a break and treat ourselves to a date in a beautiful neighborhood on the outskirts of Jerusalem and only about a 15 minute drive from where we live called Ein Kerem which means "Spring of the Vineyard" and yes, it's as charming as its name would imply. It has a long history which is why many of the homes feature Arab style architecture and many of the landmarks are Christian. John the Baptist was born there. But now there's a giant hospital on the next hill over so lots of people can make that claim too. Sorry John.  These days it's home to a lot of artisans and funky little restaurants and cafes and galleries. And there's a bunch of stuff open on Shabbat too which is nice.

We parked the car and walked toward the main street to see that a ceramic tile gallery was open so we popped in since the tiles on our coffee table (built by Mr. Rosen) broke in the container. We ogled for a few minutes over the gorgeous tiles and then walked up a side street and noticed this little shop full of beautiful goodies. I plan to go back when it's open and buy one of everything. Finally we decided on a place to eat - a small cafe where we dined on focaccia, warm wild mushroom salad, haloumi cheese sandwich and kabobs. Each dish was better than the one before. It might have only been December 30th, but it was New Years in my mouth.

And then we spent the last day of this unbelievably crazy year finally unpacking all of our things into our new house. We're not there yet, but we're getting close. And it feels good. Look out for a home tour in the coming weeks.

Happy 2012! xoxo

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