After we left the settlement, we made the drive down to the Dead Sea right as the sun was setting. The drive seemed short to me because I fell asleep, yet again. I woke up to us pulling off the highway and parking the car on a gravel shoulder. We were there? This wasn't the Dead Sea I remembered visiting with Urvi, Beau and Heeral. (Well it could have been, it was pitch black when we parked so I could barely see anything.) Zenobia and Oded insisted that we were at the right place so we took out our phones, turned on the flashlight feature and made our way down the path towards the water.
We made our way down to the water, saying hello to other groups as we found our way to a spot that was a few feet from the Dead Sea and a few feet from a hot spring. I think this was my first time in a hot spring--there's a reason why they're called hot springs! They're...hot! We laid out our spread of cheese and grapes and halva and wine and spent the next few hours just hanging out and alternating between floating in the Dead Sea and soaking in the hot spring. The best parts of the night were when Tyler, who has never been able to float before, got into the Dead Sea and started screaming,"I CAN FLOAT! HOLY COW! THIS IS SO COOL!" He quickly swapped his screams for shrieks as he put is face into the water, without closing his eyes. "MY EYES! MY EYES! OH IT BURNS!" Poor guy. But it was pretty hilarious for the rest of us. This part of the trip was by far one of the most relaxing things we've done and a must do for anyone visiting Israel! Before we knew it, it was close to midnight and we still had a drive to Jerusalem and then Haifa ahead of us, so off we went.
The drive home was an adventure in itself. I fell asleep, again, on the way from the Dead Sea to Jerusalem, but after some tea and snacks at Zenobia's, I was wide awake for the drive up to Haifa, taking shot gun and letting Tyler sleep in the back. Chad's phone had died by then so we relied on our sense of direction, the road signs and faith in the universe to get us home--including a close call with a nearly empty fuel tank. But we made it!
After a Sunday Funday that lasted 21 hours, no one stirred on the boat on Monday until well after 12pm. Still recuperating from the full Sunday and the exhaustion of the week leading up to the trip, Monday was a much needed rest day. I spent the day bumming around, putting together a video tour of the boat, watching The Breakfast Club for the first time (Intel lunch table--are you proud??! :)), and made it to bed before midnight. A good day, if I say so myself.