Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ticket to Ride

Tal, Saarya, and I took our annual pre-Passover mini family vacation last weekend. We vacation before Passover because the rest of Israel vacations during Passover and everything is too crowded. Also, during Hol Hamoed there js Games Day, and I usually work the rest of the time.

We stayed at Nuriel Fruit and Guest Rooms in She'ar Yashuv. The place is run by Miriam, a friendly and helpful woman who tries hard to accommodate your every need. She doesn't serve any meals (no breakfast), but she will give you milk, the rooms come with tea and coffee, and you can pick fruit from her trees. We picked a dozen grapefruit, and Tal squeezed them into juice for us to drink over the weekend.

She'ar Yashuv is a small moshav a few meters from the Banias spring. You can walk from the moshav upstream past Snir and to the falls, which is one of the prettiest in Israel. I'm pretty sure you used to be able to swim in and around the falls, but there are no swimming signs everywhere now. You can walk out the front gate of the moshav to Tel Dan, which is nearly across the street. It's a short drive to Kiryat Shemonah.

The moshav's synagogue is small, and there was only barely a minyan on Sat morning. One interesting thing about the synagogue is that the parochet has the usual gold and silver threaded stitching, but in addition to depicting symbols of the tribes of Israel they show two helicopters, in commemoration for the 1997 helicopter crash that occurred right above the moshav.

On Thursday we stopped for dinner at El Rancho, a nice restaurant that was way overpriced (but we used a groupon for half off). Friday we bought groceries and ready made food in Kiryat Shemonah for the rest of the trip. Then we visited the Banias springs and falls.

Friday night we played Ticket to Ride, our first time playing the game together. I think Tal and Saarya had both played the game at friends' houses. Tal nearly didn't complete any tickets, but she finally managed to sneak a route through the center of the map. I picked what I thought would be a series of tickets that, after completion, would lend themselves to matching at least one new ticket when I came around to drawing new ones. Alas, only one of the new tickets came even close, and I still have to build two routes (4 and 5) to get it.

Saarya fared better in his new ticket draw and even drew new tickets a second time. He ended up not completing one of the final tickets he drew, but he still won the game. We were all within 15 points of each other with Saarya leading with 125 points or so.

The next day we mostly slept. Tal beat me in a game of Gin Rummy. I think I called Gin once.

Sat night we drove Saarya back to his base (he had to be back on Sat night, for some reason) and headed home, taking  home three soldiers from Saarya's base who were headed our way.


Rachel said...

Just watched a video of this being played on Geek and Sundry's 'Table Top' show (YouTube).

Looks very interesting. Will be on the look out for it the next time I'm in the US :)

Cameron said...

Ticket to Ride is extremely fun- I play it with my cousins all the time. Much more fun than TransAmerica, imo... :)