That’s A Wrap

Hi Friends!

The final days of the program are upon us. I will be leaving Tel Aviv on Friday morning and heading back to Chicago. I can’t believe it’s actually time to go. I am truly going to miss this place. It has been a surreal 5 months. Before I get all sappy reflecting my time here, I’ll give you the quick highlights of the past two weeks. . .

Thursday, June 25 was Laila Lavan (“White Night”), one of the biggest cultural nights of the year in the city that never sleeps. Bars and clubs stay open all night long and the streets are packed with parties. I spent the night wandering the city with my friends Jackie and Jess. We started just a few minutes from my house on Rothschild Boulevard. We walked up the road and happened to stumble upon a huge, free DJ show. There was a big stage with lights and electronic music blasting. We danced there for a couple of songs and then made our way down the long street all the way to Rabin Square where we rented headphones and danced in the silent disco. Next, we went to an open air party with deep house and techno tunes followed by free champagne bottles and more dancing at this bar called Buxa.

The following Friday, July 3, was the day I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Tel Aviv was hosting a mini “A State Of Trance Festival” with Armin Van Buuren, Andrew Rayel and Jochen Miller. Armin is my absolute favorite DJ and I am SO happy I finally got to see him! The show was incredible. There is something really special about trance music. It has the ability to bring people together. You are free to be who you are, regardless of political or social identity. I know people criticize electronic music, but it does generate a culture of love and unity. Unfortunately, commercialized EDM has given the scene a bad rap. Okay, I’m going to end my rant, but you can click on this article for further reading. And, if you want to see how amazing this music scene can be, I recommend going to Electric Forest or listening to trance music. Back to the concert. . . I still get chills thinking about the moment Armin wrapped the Israeli flag around him during “This Is What It Feels Like” or the time he dropped Gouryella’s Anahara and showed us all how uplifting trance music is (click on the link to watch the short video). Wow, i can go on and on about this, but I won’t bore you any longer. After the show, we met some more friends out at one of my favorite clubs, The Block. It was a Britney x Beyonce night, which was so much fun! Friday definitely was one of my favorite nights here!!!

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Because this is my last blog post, I’m going to make it reflective and informative. You probably all know this already, but I officially accepted my job offer at Playbuzz. I will be moving to New York in October to start my career! In the spirit of Playbuzz, I am going to write two listicles. First, I want to give you all a list of my favorite bars/nightclubs in Tel Aviv. The nightlife was such a crucial part of my experience here. As I said many times, I’ve had a ridiculous amount of fun, and I owe it all to the people and the places!

The Best Places To Go Out In Tel Aviv

  1. The Block (house/techno)
  2. Pasaz
  3. Duplex
  4. Breakfast Club (house/techno)
  5. Buxa
  6. Kuli Alma
  7. Deli
  8. Radio
  9. Tangier (a bracelet bar)
  10. Par Derriere (a cute wine bar)
  11. Toma (bracelet bar)
  12. Biggy Z (bracelet bar)
  13. Clara (outdoor beach club)
  14. Solo

Since I finished my internship last week, I’ve had a ton of free time. I decided to use this time to discover new restaurants. But, to be honest, I was also way too lazy to buy food and cook. I ate at several fantastic places. If you’re ever coming to Tel Aviv, please ask me for recommendations because I like to consider myself a foodie with a palette for excellence. I spent 5 months eating my way through Israel and I never had a disappointing meal. It’s hard to narrow down this list, but I tried my best!

21 Tel Aviv Restaurants That Will Make Your Mouth Water

  1. Messa (very expensive but so worth it)
  2. Dalida
  3. Moon (best sushi ever)
  4. Vicky Cristina
  5. Dallal (go for brunch)
  6. Bicicletta
  7. Manta Ray
  8. Old Man and the Sea (prepare to overdose on dips)
  9. Lulu’s
  10. Miznon (perfect spot for lunch – I got the ratatouille pita)
  11. Claro
  12. Yakimono
  13. North Abraxas
  14. Diego San (order the bibimbop)
  15. Casino San Remo
  16. Pua
  17. The Flea Market
  18. Casba
  19. Tony and Esther (this is the cafe right below my apartment)
  20. Kaymak (vegan cafe on Levinsky)
  21. The Italian Restaurant on Levinsky 55 (the name is in Hebrew so I don’t know what it’s called, but we got an eggplant and goat cheese foccacia and a pizza made with a green spinach, basil and ricotta sauce topped with arugula and parmesan. How good does that sound?!?)

Now it’s time for me to get a little emotional and a bit serious. Coming here was not easy for me. I did it because I was looking for something new and exciting in my life. I was a recent grad with a year to spare. This was my time to travel and go out of my comfort zone. I spent my entire life at home. Although I left Buffalo Grove to go to college, I was still close. My family was always around. Living in Tel Aviv was a test for me. Could I actually live so far from home? I knew I wanted to eventually move away, especially if I wanted to break into the film industry and moving here for half a year was the first step. Adapting to a new city takes time, but it is possible. Because Tel Aviv, I know I will do just fine in New York City!

This song is so cheesy, but it kind of makes me tear up because it describes my experience so perfectly, so please play while you read the rest: Memories – New World Punx

I really believe I flourished here. I did things I never would have done if I had been living at 1503 Quaker Hollow. We had to write down our goals at the beginning of the program. I had two definitive goals. I wanted this to help me further my career and I wanted to grow as a person. Well, in a few months, I will be starting my career, thanks to my internship with Playbuzz. And, for goal number two, I definitely think I grew as a person. I learned that I could be independent. I learned how to let people in. I learned how to make friendships I’ll cherish forever. I learned how to communicate and negotiate. And I learned who I liked and who I want to surround myself with. The program would not have been the same if it weren’t for my friends. The people really make the experience worthwhile. I want to give a few special shout outs to some of those great souls:

To the girl I shared a tiny room with for five months, Hannah, you are so wonderful. We really were the perfect roommates. We watched all the same shows, had the same sleep schedule, and could relate on a very deep level because both of us lost a parent recently. It was reassuring to have someone like Hannah to talk to. She is so funny and so confident and I’m so lucky to have met her!

To my housemate and other half, Jess, you are one of the coolest and hippest girls out there. Thank you for reintroducing me to choker necklaces, platform shoes, Motez, a vegetarian diet, and sriracha. My life is def a little spicier because of you. One of my favorite nights out was spent just with Jess. We went to The Block and had an epic time just dancing to techno in our own world! From the very first day and our talks about music festivals, I knew we would get along. Music really does bring people together.

To the ray of sunshine, Bonnie, you have become one of my best friends! Our sushi and wine nights were always perfect. I am so glad I now have a reason to visit California!!

To my party twin, Jackie, you were always down to go out and get a little crazy, which I loved! I can’t wait to see you again at Lolla.

To the rest of my Levinskers…Ash, thanks for going on ice cream dates and sweet tooth adventures with me. Jesse, you are so kind and easy to talk to. And I’m so happy you were on my side in the AC battle. Danny, you were probably one of the best-dressed guys I’ve ever been around. Your clothes were nice, and so were you (I’m serious, he is literally the nicest person ever). Gil, for a 28 year old, you can sure keep up with us kids! Plus you’re so open-minded and easy-going. And Mitch, you are a true Ari Gold. I definitely appreciate your sarcastic sense of humor and we certainly had a lot of fun together.

To the wise-man, Stu, you always had great advice and hilarious stories. A lot of things we did (i.e. Boat Day and Our Birthday Extravaganza) would not have happened without your exceptional planning skills. One day we shall reunite at Voodoo Festival in New Orleans!

And to my March program friends Jake, Hannah, Avram and Tal, you guys were part of a night I will never forget. Dancing and hugging on our roof at sunrise was so cliche but so amazing!

Sorry this post was so mushy gushy, but “The End” is always bittersweet. For five months, I lived in a dream world. I hope I stay in touch with these people because they really did make an impact on my life. I am leaving Israel as a new person, ready to take on a new city and have a new beginning. I am beyond thankful for getting this opportunity to live in Tel Aviv. Although I am super sad to go, I know it’s time to start the real world. We can’t live this life forever, but we can hold onto the memories forever.

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Thanks for the memories, Tel Aviv!

From my screen to yours,

Carlie

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We Have To Go Back

Okay people, we are officially nearing the end. I have 3 more days left of work and then 2 weeks of play! My last few weeks will be spent enjoying the sun, eating at new restaurants, overloading on hummus and pita, and nursing a few dreadful hangovers. I am really excited to go home and see all my family and friends, but I am also very sad to leave. When I signed up for this program, I had no idea what to expect. I wanted it to be amazing, but I had my doubts (especially with my less than stellar start to the trip). Four and a half months later, I can say with all my heart that it has been amazing. This experience has truly been unforgettable. I met lifelong friends, made incredible memories, and grew as a person. I also took my internship very seriously, because I wanted it to help my career aspirations. And, I am proud to announce that all my hard work has paid off. I was offered a full-time position at their New York office!!! An official decision has not been made, but stay tuned!

To catch you up on all my shenanigans since my last post, I guess I’ll start with the music festival. A few close friends and I went to SunBeat, which was probably one of the strangest music festivals I have ever been to, but also one of the coolest. It was SO Israeli and we loved it. We camped out in the Jordan River Park (for all you Birthright people, this is the place where you raft  float through the Jordan River). The music was a mix of global beats, local DJs, and live jam bands. We danced the night away and it was transcendent.

SunBeat Music Festival

Sunbeat Music Festival

The next week, we said goodbye to one of our roommates, Danny. He had to leave early, and we sent him off with a delicious dinner at this place called Rak Basar, which translates as Only Meat. It truly is only meat. You walk up to a counter of meats and pick a cut that you want. I chose kebabs and they were so good! The following night, a bunch of friends and I went to one of our favorite clubs, Pasaz. We ended the night (or should I say morning) watching the sunrise on our roof. It was one of those cliche nights that you will never forget.

For lunch on Friday we went to the Yemenite quarter of Tel Aviv (very close to the Carmel Shuk) and got one of the best meals I’ve ever had. The hummus and special yemenite bread was incredible. I am definitely going back there before I leave!

On Sunday, we left for a program trip up North. We went on a beautiful hike followed by rafting/floating/kayaking down the Jordan River. We stayed overnight at a Kibbutz and then went to Tzfat in the morning. I got more Yemenite food and shopped, of course. I also bought a lovely painting from this Kabbalah artist, Avraham. It is an abstract picture of the shofar sounds. I can’t wait to hang it up in my new apartment, wherever that will be.

Kabbalah Artist

Kabbalah Artist

The more I reflect on my time here, the more I’m going to miss this place. There is so much more I want to see and do. At least I got a really nice taste of Israel.  I can’t stop time, but I can go back (one day).

Enjoy my LOST reference ~

From my screen to yours,

Carlie

It’s The Final Countdown

One month left. . . I truly cannot believe it. These past few weeks have flown by. I guess that is a testament to how much fun we’re having. When I think about it, I am having a ridiculous amount of fun. Our lifestyle here is amazing. This – Israel – is not real life. We live minutes away from a beautiful beach. The weather is so pleasant (which is not normal for June in Israel). The food continues to impress. And our weekends are filled with mischief and magic. I always look forward to Thursdays, which are the end of the work week. I’ve had a Thursday dinner tradition going on for quite some time. My friend Bonnie and I get sushi and wine before going out to one of the many popular clubs in Tel Aviv. The sushi here is outstanding!!! Sadly, this tradition will have to end. Bonnie is doing Teach For America and her training begins in a few days. She left today and is heading back to the states for good. It was really sad and hard to say goodbye to her. My experience would not have been the same without her. She made this all worth it. I truly do consider her to be a best friend and I am so grateful to have met her! She will be working in San Jose and I feel confident I will see her again soon. I’m applying to lots of jobs out in California and hopefully I hear back from them!

Gonna miss this girl

Not having Bonnie in our core group will be strange, but we have SO many things to look forward to. First, June marks the beginning of Pride Month. It’s going to be wild. This Friday and Saturday, I am going to a camping music festival called SunBeat in the Golan Heights! The following weekend, Destination Israel is taking us to an overnight trip up North. And then two weeks later is the beach festival headlined by my all-time-favorite, Armin van Buuren. This concert begins our “Ender Bender” aka our last week in Israel, where we are going to try to do everything we possibly can before we all leave and go our separate ways.

Summers on our rooftop!

I know this final month is going to go by incredibly fast. There are so many restaurants and nightclubs I still need to go to. I don’t want to leave here with any regrets. So far, I don’t have any. I am so proud of myself for going on this program. It showed me that I am ready to live on my own, which is one of the reasons I’ve been so set on moving out to California. I also made lifetime friendships. The girls have already planned a reunion trip Labor Day weekend to Montreal! I really hope this happens!

Time Flies

Hey Everyone!

We’ve almost reached the end of May. Wow, time is really flying by. I can’t believe I have less than 2 months left in Israel. Summer has finally arrived here and I know it’s just going to keep getting better and better (and hotter and hotter).

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The girls and I spending a beautiful afternoon in the park

I don’t have much to update you on, but I’ll give you a quick recap. Work has been really great lately. I’m always busy writing posts for the site. A while ago I suggested to my supervisors that we do more food related lists. They agreed and had me start writing them. Now, I am the sole person in charge of the food section of Playbuzz and I’m constantly getting compliments on how delicious my posts look.

Apart from work, I’ve just been hanging around and enjoying the sun. I’ve gone out to some fabulous dinners. The restaurants nearby are amazing. There is this place right by my apartment called Diego San and it is Korean Mexican fusion. I got the vegetarian bibimbop, which is this Korean dish made with rice, veggies, and an overeasy egg. It was excellent. I also went out to this cute little restaurant in the Neve Tzedek area, which is a boutiquey part of Tel Aviv. We had lovely raspberry mojitos for happy hour. Oh, and my roommates and I ate at Bicicletta, which is this hip restaurant with an adorable outdoor backyard for eating. We shared all our dishes and every single one was good, especially the eggplant fries and focaccia bread.

In other news, because it’s now summer all of the outdoor nightclubs and beach bars are opening. Last weekend, my friends and I had an epic night at one of the most popular clubs, Clara. I had known about this club for awhile, thanks to my brother Alex. That’s all he would talk about. You can ask him for all of his wild stories, but Alex definitely spent a lot of time and money there!

This weekend is Shavout. At work, we had a small party where we ate a bunch of dairy treats. We also had a cheesecake baking contest. I decided to take part in it. I don’t know what possessed me, but I attempted to make two different kinds of cheesecake from scratch in my ghetto Levinsky kitchen. BUT they turned out absolutely incredible. I made an oreo one and a nutella swirl cheesecake. Click on the links for the recipes. Sadly, I didn’t win because not enough people tried my cheesecakes to vote for it. I don’t know why, but everyone who did taste them said they were the best.

Alright tune in next week (or whenever I’m free) for my next update. See you all soon!

From my screen to yours,

Carlie

Run To The Desert, You Will See All You Need To See

Hi Everyone,

The title of this blog post refers to a few things that happened over the last two weeks.

1) I just spent a weekend in the literal desert (more on that in a bit)

2) “Run To The Desert, You Will See All You Need To See” is a name of a song and I went to a concert for Independence Day (more on that in a bit)

3) Finally, my eyes have been opened to Israel and I’m really starting to enjoy myself

Okay now time for the recap of the last couple weeks…

This past weekend we took a group trip to the Negev and Eilat. On Thursday morning we left Tel Aviv and drove south. We stopped at this place called The Salad Trail where we picked fresh tomatoes (the best ones I’ve ever had), tricolor carrots, and strawberries. Nothing beats produce straight from the source! In the evening, we arrived at the Bedouin Tents. If you’ve done Birthright, you know what this is. We all crowd into a huge tent and sleep in sleeping bags. The sleeping part was not the greatest for obvious reasons, but the experience was something worthwhile. We got authentic Bedouin food for dinner consisting of rice, meat, vegetables, hummus, bread, and salads. The best part was the after dinner tea. We woke up at 5 am the next morning to continue our trip. I went on a 4-hour challenging hike through the Eilat mountains. We climbed all the way up and then went down into the valley. From the top we could see both Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The terrain was a bit tricky and it was 92 degrees as well, so we definitely worked up a sweat. After the hike, we drove a half an hour to Eilat to spend the rest of the weekend relaxing.

Eilat is the southern most part of Israel. It is a huge tourist destination and resort town. We stayed in a nice hostel right by the beach, which was great. We all sat out in the sun/sea all day and got super tan. We went to a bar at night and had a yummy brunch in the morning. We left Eilat late Saturday night and drove all the way back to Tel Aviv (5 hour drive!)

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The Levinsky Roommates In The Desert

Thursday April 23 wasYom HaAtzmaut (Independence Day). The parties began Wednesday night so all of us roommates went to a Kibbutz party, which was so much fun. And on the following night, we went to see Carl Cox, a legendary house DJ. It was unbelievable. One of the girls we went with interns for the record company that put on the show so she was able to get us backstage behind the DJ booth. It was so cool.

Backstage with Carl Cox

Backstage with Carl Cox

My Independence Day weekend was incredible. It really showed me how fun I could have in Israel. I can finally say I’m loving it here. I can’t believe it’s already May and I only have 2 months left. I feel like every weekend from now until the end needs to be filled with something crazy memorable. It’s officially summer here, so all of the outdoor nightclubs are opening, which should be awesome. Israel is also getting some amazing talent to come like ARMIN VAN BUUREN (I am SO FREAKING EXCITED FOR THIS, if you know me, you know why). Besides having a wonderful time these last few months, I am hoping to figure out my plans for after Israel. I’ve been applying to a lot of jobs (fingers crossed I actually hear back) and I’m still waiting to hear back from a grad school.

Alrighty, that’s it for now. I must return to the land of job applications and cover letters – wish me luck!

From my screen to yours,

Carlie

My 3 Weeks of Fun

Hello friends!

I apologize for going AWOL, but I’ve had an insanely busy past few weeks. I had the absolute best time with my family, my cousin, and my friends. I can’t believe the three week stretch of fun that I’ve been looking forward to since the beginning has happened and is now over. I will try my best to give you a Sparknotes version of the greatest weeks ever…

First, my Mom, brother, sister, Grandma, and Aunt came to visit. They stayed in Old Jaffa in a beautiful penthouse apartment. It was lovely sleeping at their place. I had a big bed and a clean shower. We had such a wonderful time together. I missed them dearly, especially my Mom! She really is the best Mother in the world. I am so lucky to have her in my life and I am beyond grateful. She is a superhero.

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I love my family!

Highlights from the fam’s visit are the food, our trip up north, and my birthday. Let’s start with the food. Boy was I wined and dined. We went to terrific restaurants each night. Some of my favorites include: Goshen (a Kosher steakhouse), Cafe Nimrod (a delicious Israeli breakfast spread), and Manta Ray (an excellent seafood restaurant overlooking the sea). Dobs definitely ate their way through Israel – I’m looking at you Alex! Besides our amazing dinners, we also had gelato almost every night. The gelato in Israel seriously rivals that in Italy. This week was definitely a week to indulge my sweet tooth. While I was at work one day, they did a day trip to Jerusalem and picked up the #1 chocolate rugelahs in Israel. They were doughy and so yummy. Mmmmmm!!!! We also bought lots of pastries from the pastry corner at the Shuk and a French patisserie in Jaffa. I’m still dreaming of those chocolate croissants. Another example of our edible Israel experience was the food tour. On my birthday (yess I turned 22 on March 22), we did a food tour through Delicious Israel. Our fabulous guide took us on a tour of my street – Levinsky! Who would have known there would be such hidden gems next door. I have now befriended this man who makes fruity fizzy drinks (called Gazos) and I have become a regular customer at the cheese store right by my apartment! This day was super special, not just because it was my day of birth, but because I got to discover new places on my street, eat fantastic cuisine, and be with my family.

Sabikh - an eggplant pita

Sabikh – an eggplant pita

Okay, I’m going to stop talking about food for now because I have way more on that later on….Anyway, the family and I also travelled up North. It was good to get out of Tel Aviv for a bit and get a change of scenery. I loved Tzvat and I especially loved our Chocolate Factory tour (obviously).

Wine Tour in the Judaen Hills

Wine Tour in the Judaen Hills

Saying goodbye to Alex, Sydnie, and my Mom was especially difficult. We are such a close family and I am so happy when I’m around them. I already miss them terribly and I can’t wait to go home!

Leaving them was made a tad easier because my cousin, Hanna, came the next day. She was on a field trip in Cyprus and extended her trip to see me in Tel Aviv. I had work during the days, but our nights were spent going out to eat and hanging with my roommates. Thanks to my fabulous Mom, we got to spend our last day at the Sheraton hotel relaxing by the pool. We also got to celebrate the Passover seder together. I was invited to one of my coworker’s house for the seder. It was nice, but I definitely miss the famous Dobkin seder. I actually found myself wanting to sing the ballad of the four sons and dip mini hot dogs in ketchup… There’s always next year (although it was cool to be in the Israel).

We got home from the Seder at 11:30 and had to wake up for the airport at 3 am. Both of us had early morning flights to catch. Hanna was going back to Chicago and I was going to Europe for our Passover break!

WOW – My European Extravanganza was incredible. It definitely made returning back to Israel more difficult. First, I went to London. There, I reunited with one of my best friends, Courtney. Way back in October, I had purchased two tickets to see my favorite DJ, Above & Beyond, perform there. I knew my program was off that week and I was hoping someone would come with me. Turns out, Courtney was willing to fly all the way to London for 36 hours just for this. Sounds crazy, but it was so worth it. We both arrived Saturday  morning and spent the day visiting all the classic touristy spots like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, The London Eye, and the Aquarium. We went to a pub at night to get some fish & chips and cider and then we got ready for our concert at the O2 Academy in Brixton.

Classic London Tourist

Classic London Tourist

Fish & Chips - YUM

Fish & Chips – YUM

It was the best show I’ve ever seen. They played literally all of the songs I wanted to hear. It was wonderful. The next morning, Courtney found out her flight was cancelled. After hours spent on the phone with the airline, we decided to look at the silver lining of all of it. She ended up being able to spend not just Sunday with me, but practically all of Monday, too. On Sunday, my other friend from school, Amanda, flew to London to join the adventure. She is going on a 5-week backpacking through Europe trip and decided to start her trip early to see me. All three of us visited Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross and the British Museum. After Courtney left, Amanda and I continued in London. We saw CATS on the West End, went to Afternoon Tea, and went to the National Portrait Gallery. We also had about one million servings of chips (fries).

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Platform 9 3/4

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CATS!

On Wednesday, we took a quick plane ride to Amsterdam. Amsterdam has been my dream city for years. I am so happy I got to go there. It is truly magnificent. I’d love to go back in the near future. It is such a strange and cool place. The culture is so laid back and chill. The town is so quaint and beautiful. All of colored buildings, tiny streets, bikes, and canals…it is a picture out of a painting. In Amsterdam, we stayed at a hostel, which is something very new to me. I’m definitely more of a hotel gal, but the hostel was in a great location and had such friendly staff.

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Such a picturesque city!

On Thursday, we went to the Van Gogh museum. Impressionism/ post-impressionism is one of my favorite forms of art. It was an awesome museum, although it was missing his entire blue period and Starry Night. I wonder why? On Friday, we got to go to the Anne Frank haus. Every day there is a 4-hour winding line to buy tickets. However, thanks to the super powers of my mom, she was able to score us tickets ahead of time. We skipped the line and toured the house. It was so powerful and immensely interesting. I can’t believe they hid up there for all those years. We weren’t allowed to take pictures so it is definitely something you all need to see in person.

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Outside of Anne Frank’s house

Some other things we did in Amsterdam was go to the Diamond Museum (Amsterdam is one of the leading cities for diamond production), the Sex Museum (I told you, Amsterdam is strange), walk through the Red Light District (we only peaked in because it looked sketchy), and I went on a lovely morning run in Vondelpark. We had excellent weather in both London and Amsterdam. It was like 65 and sunny!!! Oh, but the very best part of Amsterdam is the food. WAFFLES AND PANCAKES!! These waffles are unreal. They use sticky donut dough perhaps and put it in a waffle iron. Then you can eat with soft serve ice cream, whipped cream, bananas, nutella, and so much more. I need more of this in my life. The Dutch pancakes were also on point. They were thin crepe-like pancakes and you can choose an endless of toppings. Another reason why I need to go back to Amsterdam is because I want to try so many more places to eat! There were tons of cafes selling mouth-watering pastries, deep dish apple pies, cream puffs, and more. I’m getting hungry just thinking about this.

Banana Nutella Pancake

Banana Nutella Pancake

Waffles and Ice Cream

Waffles and Ice Cream

I <3 Amsterdam

I ❤ Amsterdam

So that’s a wrap. I’m now back in Israel trying to get back into the swing of things. I’m excited for Independence Day (there is an outdoor festival with legendary DJ Carl Cox), Holocaust Remembrance Day (we are going to Jerusalem to hear speakers and visit Yad Vashem), and I’m ready for it to get warmer. It is still quite cold in Tel Aviv. I’m waiting for the unbearable heat that everyone has promised me. Right now we just get 60s-70s.

From my screen to yours,

Carlie

First Week On The Job

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I started my job at Playbuzz this week and I absolutely LOVE it. It’s actually so much fun. I get to write items about anything I want!! Playbuzz is known for its whimsical quizzes and I’ve already made a few including Which EDM DJ Are You, Which CW Hottie Should You Hook Up With, and Which Taylor Swift Style Describes You? It takes me the longest to make these personality quizzes because I really try to have the questions/answers match each result. Plus, I’m a perfectionist. I can’t believe that some of my posts have already gone viral! Not every post gets promoted on the homepage, but a few of mine are, which is awesome. My favorite, 36 Times Stephen Amell Proved He is God’s Gift To Mankind has over 2.5K shares and it was just published on Thursday! So far, I’ve only been writing posts, but I will start running their Pinterest next week.

Because the company isn’t that big, we have to write under several different aliases. Here’s another one of my posts that has gone viral: Cinderella vs. Belle. I think the content team has about 15 people. Unfortunately, there isn’t any room for me and the other intern in the editors’ room, so I am separated in another room (it’s the former CEO office, which is cool, but a bit isolating).

There have been a few perks with my job as well. I got a new set of nice headphones, a personalized notebook, and a hot/cold coffee cup. However, the best perk is money for lunch. We get a debit card with 400 shekels a month for food. There’s a great salad bar that I’ve been going to, but there are still tons of yummy restaurants that I want to try.

The food in Israel is SO GOOD. It’s all super fresh. I’m glad I am here for such a long time because I want to try everything! There’s also amazing gelato everywhere in Israel. Last week, I got dulce de leche/banana date and it was magnificent. I think the only thing I miss is Greek yogurt. They don’t have it here, which is sad, but the delicious pastries and juice stands make up for it.

I really enjoy work, but it’s definitely long and tiring. I wake up at 6 am to go for a run and then I leave for work at 8:30. I’m in the office from 9-6, with a lunch break in the middle. I walk 20 minutes home, make dinner, and then get ready for bed. This is my schedule Monday through Thursday. I get a 3-day weekend which is perfect because it gives me time to relax and have fun.

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Getting ready for a Girl’s Night Out

Besides starting work, I’ve had a pretty chill week. We had a big shabbat dinner with all the roommates. I’m constantly impressed with our cooking abilities in our tiny kitchen. We made steak with a mushroom and red wine reduction sauce, green beans, roasted potatoes, spicy cous cous, and salad. So gourmet!

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Shabbat Dinner

I am so excited for next week. It begins my three weeks of family & friends. I especially can’t wait to see my Mom, Alex, and Sydnie. I wish they could bring Sadie! It’s my birthday next week, too! Seeing my family is seriously the best present. It’s my friend on the program’s birthday a day before mine so we’re having a joint party. It should be crazy. After a week of family, I get even more family. My cousin, Hanna, is coming to visit for 4 days. We’ll get to go to the Passover seder together. Then, I’m off to London to reunite with one of my best friends. I’ll be touring London with Courtney during the day and then we’re seeing one of our favorite DJs, Above & Beyond. Courtney will go back to Chicago on Sunday night, but my trip is just beginning. Another one of my best friends, Amanda, is backpacking Europe, and she’s starting her trip with me. We’ll spend 3 days in London and then we’re jetting off to Amsterdam for the second half of the week. I am literally so pumped for these next few weeks!!! I’m counting down the days 🙂

From my screen to yours,

Carlie