Jetlag was hard on us this trip. I blame pregnancy completely. I have no idea what Geoff's problem was. For the first time in our marriage, HE was the one having trouble going to sleep and I was waking up crazy early in the morning. It can't last.
For the first two nights we stayed in the Old City at the convenient and charming Gloria Hotel. Though we'd visited this hotel in the past we'd never stayed the night and wanted to experience their lodging and food offerings first hand before possibly booking it for a group in the future. We much prefer knowing a hotel as well as possible before recommending and reserving for our groups. Times like this when we have arrived early gives us the perfect chance to "sample" new accommodation options.
We are now at Manger Square in Bethlehem, where they offer a much more reasonable rate and better food offerings with large buffets at breakfast and dinner. This location is hard to beat as well - just steps from the Church of Nativity, the oldest standing church building in the land (originally built 327-339 A.D.) which is traditionally built over the site of Jesus birth. They even upgraded us to a suite so we're enjoying some of the nicer lodging we've had in a while.
It's been such a blessing to arrive early and ensure everything is in order before the group arrives. We've been able to get a lot done while also enjoying a few leisurely walks together through some of our favorite areas. Our first group of the month arrives Sunday and we are ready for them to get here!
As for now, the sun is setting and Shabbat is beginning. Geoff and I are looking forward to enjoying a Sabbath day tomorrow of driving to visit some of our favorite sites as we hike and enjoy the day together. Shabbat Shalom!