During the planning stage, Susan was attentive and always available. She listened and helped us build a perfect itinerary striking the right balance of activities, sight-seeing and family time. Weeks before our trip, we received a well-organized and beautiful trip planner. Our extended family was visiting at the time and everybody, including those who had traveled to Israel several times, was impressed with the attention to detail that Susan and her staff provided us. We were extremely concerned about our guide/driver. Susan selected Lior for us and we were delighted and felt fortunate we were able to spend many days with him as our guide.
Our fabulous experience began in Jerusalem where we met our warm, personable and good-natured guide, Lior Eitan. We knew we were in good hands! His English was superb and he so clearly wanted to make our trip run smoothly and allowed us to enjoy our time while not having a care in the world: he was beyond accommodating and anticipated each of our family’s needs. He is beyond knowledgeable about every historical sight and provided us with his wonderful insight into life in Israel. He made every visit even more meaningful.
Traveling with teenagers can sometimes be challenging. Susan insured that our children were engaged and amused which made our trip so enjoyable every step of the way. Susan interspersed the wonderful “must-see sites” with fun activities including our life-changing experience when we met with Israeli soldiers shortly after missiles had been fired from Lebanon on to Israeli soil. We met with a leader at a nearby kibbutz who was engaging and warm and happy to take the time to show us around. We then went to meet and speak with some soldiers near the Lebanon Border, it’s difficult to put into words how incredible these brave boys were and their love of the country was infectious.
Other highlights and unusual experiences included our ATV sojourn on the Syrian border. One example of Lior’s expertise was that we were originally set up to go on a jeep ride. Once Lior met us, he knew we would prefer to each drive our own ATV. Plus the weather was threatening on the day we were planning our great adventure. While we were at a museum in Jerusalem, Lior rearranged our trip to accommodate our ATV experience. Between Susan’s staff in Israel and Lior, our trip was re-organized so that we could engage in all our wonderful experiences without allowing the rain to put a damper on our journey. And we were not aggravated by the details because the new arrangements were all made while we enjoyed the other sites.
Another unique experience that Susan planned was our trip to Caliber 3. This is an anti-terrorist training center. There we met with a wonderful officer who taught us how to spot a terrorist and how to shoot guns. We even had a competition amongst our family. This experience was fun and educational. A not-to be-missed experience! Other fun-filled days included our afternoon at The Dead Sea where Susan set us up at a wonderful hotel for swimming, relaxing, lunch and lots of laughter!!! We loved our afternoon that we spent digging at an excavation where we uncovered a stairway…it was so exciting and just great time spent together with our family.
One other unforgettable adventure….Susan set us up for the most decadent Shabbat dinner with Iris, our gracious and talented hostess for the evening. I surprised my family with this culinary and treasured evening. Iris warmly welcomed us into her home for a fun-filled night of food, drink and wonderful conversation. What an unforgettable evening!
There were other unusual activities…too many to mention but included a bike tour of Tel Aviv and walking tours and journeys with Lior…all of which added up to one incredible journey. Susan and Lior were a great team!!