Thursday, September 1, 2011

Emma's Trip to Israel

Oh we all know the BYU U of U rivalry exists in Israel, don't we? Well a shop owner in Jerusalem had a child who went to the Y and one that went to the U. What are the odds?

So I spent several hours putting this whole thing together. So I better receive some comments- otherwise I think I'll stop blogging... Because I blog in addition to making scrapbooks- so this really just is for the benefit of other people. Also a side note- this post is not for those who are just wanting to look for a minute or two. I have included well over a hundred pictures- yep you read that right, it will take a good amount of time to go through. Oh yes, and note the title- it definitely was Emma's trip to Israel as you'll be able to tell by all the pictures.
Emma was fabulous on the flights. She didn't cry once, and she loved the little bassinet seat that they put up for her. And then she finally fell asleep like this :)
As you can tell we're kind of exhausted.
But we stopped for a day in Frankfurt Germany. So gorgeous! I'd never been to Frankfurt before, I mostly spent all my time in Southern Germany. But, we stayed long enough to have a Doner Kebab! YAY!!!
Then we went on a boat ride on the Rhine river. And saw lots of really old castles!

We started out our trip in Jordan. I had to include this because this happened everywhere. Everyone wanted to take pictures with Emma. It was crazy, in fact when we were in Jerash, there was a huge crowd of the young girls militia- and they swarmed Emma. I'm really sad I didn't get my video camera out for this, because it was so crazy. They all took pictures of her, lots of the girls kissed her. We literally could not move because they had surrounded us.

Our first stop was to look out where Moses was taken and shown Israel, and where they basically wandered for those 40 years.
This was also where Emma and Leah discovered each other. Leah is my cousin, but she's about 3 months younger than Emma, and it was really fun to be on the Israel trip with these two.

Overlooking the valley.

We stayed in this really neat hotel, it was made to look like it was old, but we definitely had electricity and even cable.

Emma loved a window that we had from our bedroom to the living room part of our room.

Our second day of the trip was to Petra. Also what we believe in the Bible to be Edom.

My mom, my uncle Covey, and us in the siq.

Emma's first camel ride- which she loved!

It really is amazing how huge Petra is. And how we think it's so amazing and it's basically a global monument, but there's nothing to stop you from climbing up in anything.

The treasury which is what people know Petra for, is huge, but is nothing in comparison to the size of the Monastery which we hiked for maybe a little over an hour up these rock stairs to get to.

Here's the treasury

And here is the monastery. It may not look like a big difference, but it's at least twice as big! And much taller. Plus you can see the size of the people who are standing in it's entryway.
It's kind of amazing to think about how old this city is and about those who would have traveled through it because of it's placement between such ancient civilizations. Well known people like Cleopatra would be very likely as well as possibly Lehi and his family.

The next day we went to Jerash. Also referred to as Antioch in the Bible. It is one of the best preserved Roman ruins considering it's geographic size and grandiosity. It was one of the cities of the Decapolis

These pillars were huge and to show just how huge they were I climbed up there to give you a good idea. They may not seem that huge, but to think they were built between 3200 and 1200 BC blows my mind.

My uncle Covey holding Emma. He loved playing with her the whole trip, but she seldom let him. Sad!

Sleeping during lunch in Jerash.

Some of the ruins. It's just kind of amazing. The place where they raced chariots was still in tact and that is the bottom of this picture.

It still stands.

I can't exactly remember, but I know this was an important road that the Romans built- I'll have to ask my mom about it. Oh and she's in the picture with me.

Overlooking the new city of Jerash.

Emma was really good the whole trip, she did have fussy moments, but I don't think we could have been luckier. She was pretty happy most of the time.

The cousins in my mom's family standing on pedestals pretending to be statues. James refused to be in the picture. But from left to right: Jonah, Jacob, Claire, me and Emma, Paige, Ben and Rachel.

With my cousin Rachel

Then we moved into Israel. Our first stop was Galilee where we took a boat out onto the Lake and we sang hymns. Emma just liked being near the water. Oh for those of you who don't know the Sea of Galilee is in fact a lake.

Oh I probably forgot to mention my Grandad takes tour groups to Israel because he loves studying about it and has so much material. So my grandad was a headliner for the trip along with my Grammy's cousin Elder John Groberg. We got to know them pretty well because our seats on all of the planes were right next to them.

Family Picture in front of the Sea of Galilee.

The city was really neat too- this next picture is of the synagogue where Jesus would have taught, and how it was built on top of by another synagogue in the 4th century.

Us by the synagogue.

There were a few days of the trip where Emma let my cousin Rachel's husband Ben hold her. It was kind of funny cause she'd never really seen him before.
This is what they believe to be Peter's house. And there is a building built over it now.

We ate some fish from the Sea of Galilee.

It was there that we discovered that Emma really likes figs.

And then we dipped our feet in the water.

Caesarea Philippi- where Peter was promised the keys.

Oh you know just another picture of Emma on a tank :)
The sun rising over the Sea of Galilee, we stayed right on the bank of it.

The Jordan River.

Sitting by the river with my mom and my grandad.

Here we sat on the Mount of Beattitudes.

The Mount of Beattitudes overlooks the Sea of Galilee.

With Covey and my mom

In the excavations of Armageddon.

My aunt Katie, my mom and I standing in front of the Valley of Armageddon.

Emma contemplating what will happen there in the last days :)

Sitting at Natanya University hearing about how they revere Orson Hyde as the first Zionist and the following prophets of our Church for dedicating the land for the return of the Jews. They even have a courtyard of olive trees dedicated for each of our prophets.

Mount Tabor- where we believe Christ was transfigured before Peter, James and John.

This was by far the busiest place we visited other than Bethlehem. This is Mary's home (the mother of Jesus) and there was a whole huge Church built around it.

This was Mount Carmel where we believe Elijah called down fire to consume his sacrifice.

We stopped by the Red Sea, and Emma loved her first trip to the beach!

This is Caesarea where Paul preached to King Agrippa. It is a bunch of ruins that extend all along the Red Sea coast.

The big pool of water was actually King Agrippa's personal pool.

Emma loved her "cousin" Leah.

This is part of the Shepherd's fields in Bethlehem. Although there isn't much left of them, because there is a lot of construction going on.
The traditional place of Christ's birth in Bethlehem has a large ornate Church built over it and they've really commercialized the site making it seem almost unholy because they've added so much to it making it not feel like a nativity or stable at all.

We went to Biblical gardens which was really neat because they had tons of plants that are mentioned in the Bible, for instance James and I picked fig leaves to bring home, and we shelled mustard seeds and brought those home.

Four generations in front of the Dome of the Rock.

Emma's last camel ride.
The Christensen clan in front of the Dome of the Rock.

James and I decided to climb up Masada. A long hike up to a fortification that Herod had built as a fortress for himself, which ironically was overtaken by Zealots who were then fortifying themselves from the Romans. This is part of the palace.

Masada was quite close to the Dead Sea. This is me and my cousin Jacob.

It really is amazing that this is such an amazing place, but no rules or restrictions so James and Jacob climbed up to peak inside.

The Dead Sea. James walked out into it, and the mud squishes between your feet, and before he laid down in the water he couldn't believe that he would float. But he did!

My cousins and friend painting themselves with the healing mud.

The water is extremely salty and kind of stings, so Emma didn't want to get in the water for very long.

The Hasmonean tunnel underneath the Western Wall. These were constructed under King Herod's instruction. It was really neat!

Here are the Pools of Bethesda.

These are from Orson Hyde park, right next to the Garden of Gethsemane on Mount Moriah.

Elder Groberg, my grammy, Diane Brown, and I can't remember his name right now. The cousins
The next few pictures are taken at the BYU Jerusalem Center.

Emma with Mami and then playing with the roses.

The Jerusalem Center is such a neat part of the city. It is such a landmark and so beautiful.

This room is very near the room where the twelve disciples had the Last Supper. We sang some songs and it was pretty neat. But it was one of the more bustling places.

Me and my two beautiful cousins; Claire and Rachel.

The Dome of the Rock

Emma playing on the ground by the Western wall.

Emma liked wearing James' Yarmulke.

More new excavations on the lower part of the Western (wailing) wall.

These stairs were recently excavated and in the summer of 2007 Neil Armstrong asked his private guide to take him where they knew for sure that Jesus would have walked. His guide took him here because these were the steps going up to the temple where everyone would have walked to get into the temple. And he said standing here is more exhilarating than standing on the moon.

Then we went to Caiaphus' Palace (where Jesus was tried in front of the Sanhedrin). This is also one of those places we know for a surety because it has been around forever and being an important building it has not changed. I am standing- James had to sit because the ceiling was too low, where they would have held the prisoners who were waiting to be tried.

This is Golgotha, it literally is right next to the garden tomb.

The Garden of Gethsemane is one of those places which has not changed and we know is correct. This tree has a fence around it because it is over 3000 years old- and was definitely in there during the Atonement.

Emma had just had a blowout- but we had to take a family picture in the garden.

The olive trees are so amazing because although the original tree may be thousands of years old, they graft in newer younger branches to keep them alive.

This is the Garden tomb, there are several prophets who have said that this was indeed the place where Christ was taken.

Four Generations in front of the Garden Tomb

Here is the entire Holbrook clan in front of the Garden Tomb.

The flight back home. A great trip, but we were sad to go back.


Chris and Ellie said...

That looks like such a neat and amazing trip! I feel jealous :) Im glad you share this with us, and I feel the same way about comments. I basically dont get any so I wonder too if I should delete my blog.

Elisabeth said...

Thanks for sharing! Looks amazing! What a great trip. Keep blogging-- I read what you post :)

Kami said...

Wow! Looks like such a great trip. I am so jealous, and I am sad that we missed out on this. We miss you guys!

KatieB said...

WAY impressive post...I loved reading through it and seeing all your pictures. Emma really was so good on that trip. We miss you guys so much! Are you going to Claire's wedding? I think Dallin and I might be there...

Aimee said...

Erin, I made it to the end, although I didn't read all the text, but I absolutely loved looking at the pictures. It looks like your family has such an amazing time, what a privilege for you to be able to go to all those wonderful places.

Also, Emma is absolutely darling!

Liz Brown said...

Are you sure that was 100 pictures? It didn't seem like it. What an amazing trip. I would love to go with your granddad. Does he go on tours with folks outside the family? We looked into going over there a while ago but never did know exactly how or what to do.

Emma is darling in all those pictures. I'm so glad she did so well. You just never know with little kids and traveling. Loved, loved, loved looking all the pictures. I want to go!! Love you guys.

SweeneyFam said...

Awesome! I loved it and I read every word. What a fabulous trip. Emma is adorable. Remember when I told you my friend, Cheri Toolson sent me an email with a photo of James & Emma as soon as you all got home? She thought Emma was adorable too. And she is!
I love Emma on the camel.
I laughed when you said James refused to pose on the pedestal. That’s probably because I made him pose in soooo many places growing up. I have a cool photo of him posing like a Mayan warrior in Palenque. I’ll have to show you. But he did get in the Dead Sea and strike a great pose.
Small World: Michelle is best of friends with John Groberg’s grandson, Kyle! I told her “Hey, you and Kyle are cousins! By marriage.” :)
I love the photos of you and Emma by the Red Sea. Precious!
Love the Neil Armstrong story. I may borrow it for my blog when we are in Israel.
Thanks for sharing. Keep blogging. Now, you have to go and comment on my blog. :)
Love you and miss you lots!

Two Peas in a Pod said...

How neat Erin.I felt like I took a mini history tour! What an amazing legacy you are forging for your little family! I've always wondered how to arrange places to stay and those things in a foreign country! Looked like you guys did well :)

Marin said...

Wow i really still can't believe you guys went there! THANKS SO MUCH FOR The post!!! It was really fun reading it and seeing all the neat pictures, especially since we will NEVER go there in person!!! What a great experience!

Ashley Smith said...

Okay i have so many comments! :) First off- i cant get enough of emma! She is just so stinking cute so i appreciate that she is in the majority of the pictures- hehehe :)
I am so glad that you got to stop in germany! What a fun little side trip with meaning for you! Petra is AMAZING! the monastery was so big-- cant help but think of indiana jones seeing the smaller part of course :) Emma's camel rides are so precious! I thought Jerash was so cool. It was so big and there was so much of it left it seemed like for being around for so long. i laughed when you wrote that james wouldnt be a statue in the picture like your cousins... he HATED when my mom made us do stuff like that!! :) I love the photo of emma looking out at the sea of galilee from the boat. I thought caesara philippi was very pretty. Its so cool to be able to have a physical place in my head for sciptural things now. Emma on the tank- hahaha. love it. The photo you got of the sea of galilee with the sun rising belongs in a magazine! I think my favorite photo of all was the one of you and emma on the camel with James standing by it with the dome of the rock behind you guys- it is so awesome and amazing that you will have these experiences and photos to cherish forever.

Eric and Lindsay said...

Love! I hope that our family gets to do something incredible like that some day. There are so many places I would love to go and learn so much! Emma is so beautiful!

JamiLeigh said...

You have some real treasures in this post - you and Emma on the Camel with the dome in the background, the picture of your family in front of the olive tree, the four generation pic in front of the tomb - just to name a few of my favorites. I to admit I laughed a bit when you wrote "Emma's first camel ride" like it's some common milestone for babies. Though, it certainy wasn't her last! Haha. What an incredible trip. Keep blogging please. :)