Saturday, April 5, 2014


My theme for A to Z this year is a wildly different, but very exciting, HERE'S TO YOU all month long. 26 posts to be precise. The most difficult part was narrowing down the 26. All of you deserve your own post. What you will find here is a post by the featured blogger, with traveling music chosen by me that complements said post, and two links. One will link back to the original post and the other to the main page. This year's A to Z is all about making new friends!

Empty Nest Insider aka Julie writes one of the most humorous blogs I've ever read. Rarely do I leave her place without laughing. Sometimes until my sides hurt. She is the real deal. I promise you will LOL.

Cue the traveling music:

The Maniacal Miserable Tour by Empty Nest Insider

My mom (second from the right) with our dear girlfriends, and tour guide at Masada

Last week my husband's cousins from Israel came to visit. They had shown us such a wonderful time when we were out there, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing them again. This brought back memories of my first trip to Israel with my mom in 1984.

It all began when one of my mom's oldest friends and her husband asked her to join them on a tour of Israel. My mom invited me, and then another close friend decided to share a room with us. I loved her friend dearly, but sometimes they would just get too rowdy late at night when I was trying to sleep. Neither of them knew how to whisper, and I remember curling up with my pillow in the hallway one night until my mom dragged me back in. Yes, I was clearly not the fun one in the group.

Mornings were like boot camp with the three of us sharing one bathroom. My mom woke up two hours before we did to get a head start. She put on her makeup and teased her hair for an hour and a half before it was my turn. I had to take a quick shower while my mom got dressed. Next our friend moved at the speed of light. She was showered and completely ready in about seven minutes flat. Everything was precisely planned out so that there wasn't even a hint of humidity in the air while my mom ignited herself with hairspray. Between the hairspray and cigarette smoke, it was refreshing to go on a tour bus through the smoldering hot desert.

We traveled to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and the resort city of Eilat. A highlight was when an eighty year old woman in our group grabbed my arm, and we climbed Masada together. I started screaming for back up when my mom came up behind me. She was sporting an off the shoulder mountain climbing number when she said through clenched teeth, "Shut up Julie. You're embarrassing yourself."

My reward was sitting in the death seat on the bus ride back to the hotel. We all took turns up front next to the fan, and everyone who sat there caught a terrible cold. Everyone that is, except my mom.

In Tel Aviv, I took a day off to go to the beach. There I met a tall, skinny young man who was quite chatty. At first I thought he was being friendly until he turned into a bit of a stalker. After he followed me to my hotel across the street, I politely sat with him by the pool. Then he asked me for a glass of water. I told him to get one at the bar, but he thought it would taste better in my room. I asked him if he thought all Americans were easy, and he said yes. Needless to say, I finally ditched him, and double bolted my door.

Another hotel had a beautiful jewelry store. The owner's son was very cute and flirty, so my mom kept nudging me to flirt back. The next day he called to ask me out. He was very busy, and could only meet at midnight. After I didn't accept his invitation, my mom was disappointed. She couldn't believe that I turned down a nice Jewish boy who was the son of a jeweler. What could possibly happen with a stranger in a foreign country at midnight when odds were good we could get a discount on jewelry cleaner?

Based on those experiences, I would've never dreamed of marrying an Israeli. Though after twenty six years of marriage, my husband would be the first to tell you his wife is a shining example that not all American women are easy.

Every day that Julie posts is one day I know that I will get a chuckle. If you want to add some hilarity to your day, follow Julie's blog. She can help you out with that.


  1. Julie is amazing! She's been one of my blogger buddies for years. I think I met her during the second Challenge? I do remember that post and photos! (Do I get bonus points for that, because I don't remember what I had for lunch yesterday?)

  2. That was a funny article. My sister-in-law just got back from a tour of Israel. :)

    Blue Grumpster gave you a mention today, so I just clicked over from his place ( I was coming anyway, I'm not missing out on the A-Z business). :) Now I'm headed over to Manzi's. Have a great Saturday!

  3. This is a fun story! And as I type this, I am still smiling!

  4. I also remember this post! Yes, Julie is a lot of fun.

  5. Loved the story and oh yeah the Eagles add was great too! Your post reminded me I haven't visited her page in awhile. :/ So I am hopping right over there!

  6. Robin, gotta agree with you that Julie is funny. I can only imagine how she felt when that guy said yes to thinking every American female was easy. Talk about being painted with a wide brush.

  7. >>... I asked him if he thought all Americans were easy, and he said yes.

    Someone needed to inform that kid that, what he thought was honesty, is not ALWAYS the best policy. Ha!

    Robin... you know "easy" and "peaceful" don't always go together. (That's the Eagles' song I used to hum to myself the day of a wrestling match in high school. It was meant to calm my nerves but... it never really worked.)

    I know that Julie is one of your most devoted 'Followers' because I see her in your Comment Sections ALL the time.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  8. Julie cracks me up. Great choice. :)

  9. oh hahah this is priceless- thanks for sharing your memories!

  10. Alex ~ You do get bonus points!

    rosey ~ I got an Honorable Mention somewhere? I MUST check this out immediately!

    Liza ~ That was how I felt when I read it... every single time.

    Al ~ :)

    GG ~ Yay. I know she will appreciate the visit.

    J.L. ~ I like how her stories come full circle. From the "every American woman is easy" to the end when her husband makes the definitive statement that she isn't. Hahahaha.

    StMc ~ Yeah, some people don't know when to keep it to themselves. Ha! Interesting bit about humming this song before a wrestling match. I don't think it's one I would've picked... who am I fooling? I wouldn't wrestle - ever - so how would I know???? Whatever pumps you up.... good enough for me. Yes, she is good about commenting with interesting and intuitive insight. (Check out all of the "I"s there.)

    L.G. ~ Ditto.

    Kathe ~ It is a great story.

  11. Great story to start out the day with.

  12. Just signed on as follower to get my daily dose. This was great!

  13. Forgot to mention, thanks for the tune! I loved it--one of my old favorites.

  14. Julie is awesome and I don't get over to her blog near as much as I would like. I need to work on that!

  15. That was pretty funny. The mom sounds hilarious.

  16. What a vacation, Julie. Travel sounds fun until you do it! Adventure is someone else having a terrible time. Thanks, Robin, for introducing me to Julie and for following my blog. :-)

  17. " would taste better in your room...."?

    They sure don't bring their A-game in Israel, do they?

  18. I follow Julies blog, she is great :)

  19. Susan ~ A little humor makes the world go round.

    debi ~ Welcome to this crazy place. I hope you have fun...

    Mark ~ Time management... it gets us all.

    Briane P. ~ Julie's mom is quite a character and I enjoy it every time she is included in the story.

    Roland ~ Travel sounds like fun until you do it.... hahahaha. I am enjoying your trip through the alphabet, Roland!

    CW ~ No. That was pitiful, wasn't it???

    Siv ~ :)

  20. I'm going to have to check Julie's blog out. Thanks for sharing.

  21. That was a heck of an experience in Israel. And yes, a rendezvous with that jeweler guy at midnight probably would not have been a good idea!

  22. I met Julie during the 2012 A to Z challenge. She was the FIRST commenter on my A-post.
    You are always guaranteed a good laugh over at her place. Just what the doctor ordered!

  23. I love Julie. She is so clever and kindhearted, the real deal as you say. I'm glad you dedicated E to her.


  24. Sandra ~ YW]

    Sherry ~ "They" say that nothing good happens after 10:00pm. In this case, "they" are probably right.

    Michelle ~ I can't remember when/how I met Julie. It might very well have during the A to Z last year.

  25. Hi human, Robin,

    I hope you realise my paws are very sore from typing and commenting on like a zillion blog sites involved in the alphabet challenge I cannot stand. Yes, cue irony.

    I'm sorry that I cannot pawsibly keep up. However, I've timed it very well. Julie is a kind, witty delight. One of the shining human stars out there in blogland. Very good of you to make note of yet another one of my adoring fans.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny, the cordial host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014! Enjoy your Sunday. My human has left up a video to help you guys have a smile on Sunday. Must go now to The Hotel California....

  26. Laughter is so good for the soul. Nice that you're promoting bloggers with your A - Z! We need real in blog land, and we need humor too, not to mention good blog friends :)

    MJ, A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Writing Tips
    Effectively Human
    Lots of Crochet Stitches

  27. Robin, I'm so honored that you not only thought about me, but that you took the time to sort through my blog to feature a story! I don't even mind that you shared my 80's mullet photo! I didn't get home until late tonight, and this was such an incredible surprise! I really appreciate your kind words. It really means a lot coming from such a wonderful, and talented friend who just happens to share the same birthday! Thank you so much Robin, and thanks to everyone for your generous comments!


  28. Robyn ~ Definitely a good way to finish the week. I think this is going very well thus far:)

    Gary ~ Aha. So, I featured another of your adoring fans. Rather, one of Penny's adoring fans... I see that you are enjoying the A to Z;)

    M.J. ~ Yes. All of that.

    Julie ~ I see you finally made it here... a bit late to your very own party. I didn't realize that we share the same birthday. I am thrilled:)

  29. *Waving to Julia*! Awww lovely to meet Julia and to you too Robin!! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this song!! Awwww The Eagles are the BEST!!

    Oh dear - such experiences with these men! LOL! But I like how calm and cool the amazing Julia dealt with each situation! And as for Julie's mum - love how she looked her best for her climb!

    Wishing you fun and frolics with your A-Zing!! Take care

  30. This is a great shout out for Julie. She is sweet and oh so pretty. I too, love her humor. I'm always late because I have the baby chicks. Every morning I feel like I'm a zoo keeper.... feed the dog, the cat and now the chicks. Ha

  31. Julie's a fine entertaining blogger who also visits around regularly. The Eagles song fits her well.

    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog


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