Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Aunt Randi Visits Mitzpe Ramon

Except for one small interval at a wedding in Palo Alto, we hadn't seen Aunt Randi since we left Palo Alto for Englewood in 2000. But due to the wonders of Facebook it felt like we had hardly been apart at all. And Aunt Randi looked exactly the same as she had 10 years ago, although she denies it. She was here for the Zionist Congress in June, representing the Reconstructionist Movement, and made a special trip way down here to Mitzpe Ramon to visit. She was also visiting Israel with her niece, Cassie, and teenage great nieces, Esty and Ricky on their first trip to Israel.

Aunt Randi with Baby Shimshon and Pam. (Don't forget to click on each photo for a full-size image.)

Randi took us to dinner at the Ramon Inn where she met our two grandchildren for the first time, a big event since Chavie had grown up with "Aunt Randi" from her early years in Palo Alto.

Chavie (age 6) and Aunt Randi build a Succah. Uncle Marty is somewhere out of sight.

Randi and I made a stop at the CafeNeto, my favorite watering hole in Mitzpe Ramon, where I showed her how to check-in on Foursquare. (I'm the Mayor of CafeNeto Mitzpe Ramon.)

At the Cafeneto.

After catching up on ten years of missed conversation I decided to take her on my own tour of Mitzpe Ramon. We spent some more time talking and looking out over the Har Gamal overlook as the sun set and Shabbat approached, and then I took her to the other side of the crater rim north of town, where we viewed the site of the earlier great boulder explosion that took down a 400 ton monolith that threatened to crash down on Route 40 below.

At the Har Gamal Lookout.

This is where the 400 ton boulder was detonated off the face of Machtesh Ramon.

We managed to find a large metal can filled with rocks near the rim where we could hold on while we edged close to the very edge of the crater to see the debris field of the boulder blast below.

Debris field from the big boulder explosion above Machtesh Ramon. Route 40, threatened by the overhanging boulder, snakes below.

I didn't get a chance to photograph Ricky and Esty, Randi's two beautiful great-nieces, so everyone will just have to come back again next year.

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