It has been a while since I’ve written my last blog entry. Much has  happened since – major social protest, Doctors strike,  and Gilad Shalit returned from captivity –  just to name a few.  But my “real excuse” for not writing was our month long trip to the US. We left in mid August and returned in mid September. It was quite the trip. We spent a couple of weeks in the San Francisco area, and a couple of weeks in New York. In between we squeezed in short trips to Santa Fe, New Mexico and to Chicago.

Typical California House
This was not a “vacation trip”. Our main objective was to spend time with our kids – the one who lives in San Francisco and the other who lives in New York. Aside from spending time with our kids, we did get to see old friends, and catch up on some shopping at Costco, Macy’s, TJ Max and other stores.
It was strange visiting California after the move to Israel. For almost 20 yrs, a trip to California meant a trip “back home”. All of a sudden, it became a visit to another country. The houses, the streets, the stores were all very familiar. Yet the feeling was different.
Perhaps the strangest moment was visiting our old house, which is now rented. The house looked very familiar, yet very different. The kitchen, the bedrooms and the bathrooms were the ones we personally designed and remodeled, yet the furniture and decorations were somebody else’s. The only part that looked unchanged was the backyard. It felt like Goldilocks and the 3 bears – “Somebody has been sleeping in my bed”.
California has a lot going for it – the streets are wide and clean, the weather is great, the outdoors is beautiful, and people are polite. California is home to great tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google, Cisco and others. But it isn’t home for me. Home is now Israel, where the streets are dirty (sometimes), the people are rough (sometimes) and the weather is challenging (sometimes).
Oops, I shouldn’t have said that. Some people might get offended. But I don’t mean to offend anyone, on either side of the ocean. After all, “home” is a matter of personal feeling, not the address on your driver license.
If anything, the visit to California reassured the decision to move back to Israel. I will always have a warm place in my heart for California. You can’t just “erase” 20 yrs of your life. But I am glad to be home in Israel. And it has been more than 3 months since we returned, so there you go… 
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