And, in 2010 ... as I am going to return to my journaling about the Land of the Bible, God's Holy Land. When last we spoke of Israel -- before my mother's untimely death -- I wrote to you of my adventure in St. Gabriel's in Nazareth. Now, I want to tell you about something completely (sort of) unrelated to the Bible but sooooo much fun for me.
In 2007, after Miriam and I had gone to St. Gabriel's, we stepped out into the open courtyard and I purchased some gift items from a kiosk vendor nearby. I then declared to Miriam that I was a little fatigued and wished we had time for a cup of coffee. It was now mid-afternoon, the winter air was pleasant, and we'd walked a good ways just to get to the church. Miriam pointed to a restaurant called Bayat (The House) and said, "How about over there?"
We were seated at a table outside, just beyond the front door. Miriam suggested cappuccino and I nodded in agreement. Minutes later, two cups of divine with adorable hearts swished into the foam along with little bisciottis were placed before us. I declared the coffee to be the best anywhere that I'd ever had in my whole life.
In 2009, with my fellow journalists along for the journey, I said to the group that after St. Gabriel's we had to go to the cafe for afternoon coffee. Everyone agreed. YES!
Bayat's was exactly as wonderful as I remembered it. This time we sat indoors, the eight of us around a long wooden table in a sunken dining room with old stone floors and walls, giving the aura of old world Israel. We ordered different things off the dessert menu -- our intent to share -- and individual desires for drinks such as cappuccino, hot tea, and Coke.
We laughed and told jokes, Ellie Kay entertaining us with more impersonations of her mother, who is from Spain. And then the food came ... and we nearly died right there on the floor! We ate. Oh, did we eat! We shared! Oh, did we share!
Too soon it was time to leave. To be full and happy, this is the way of travel in Israel. One taste and pilgrims know why so many of the Bible's stories happened around a table.