Up early and out by 8:30. But wait, what happened during the night while we slept? RAIN! Now rain in Orange County can be tricky, we know that, but rain in the dessert? We were not even 5 miles from the hotel and the road was blocked by waters rushing from the mountains. What could we do? Turn around and take a very long route to Jerusalem, or hang out a while while the waters receeded? Where was Moses and his staff when we needed him to part these waters for us? But hope springs eternal and soon the road crews were there with a bucket loader and a road grader to move the water and debris off the road. Finally we got to the old city and said Shehecheyanu at a spot overlooking the city. This is the city King David declared the capital of the Israelite Kingdom over 3,000years ago and where David's son Solomon built the First Temple. Rabbi Kligfeld led us in the blessing over wine at the Southern Wall, explained the religious observances and customs surrounding the Western Wall and the importance of the Southern Wall to the Reform and Conservative movements. At that very same time, right next to us, a young boy was becoming a Bar Mitzvah, which, I must say brought tears to many an eye in our group. BUT - not as many tears as actually standing at the Kotel brought to my eyes. I could not believe it, I was really standing there. I immediately took out the many notes give to me by friends and family and tried to find spots to stick them into the wall. This is when I could have used another 6 inches of height, but I managed to find a great little crevice and fulfilled my promise. We also took this opportunity to give out some of the tzedukah we brought from home, and the women were very grateful,indeed. As we walked through the old city, Arieh, our extremely knowledgable guide told us stories, traditions and legends behind the stones of the ancient city. More walking, now to the City of David and the archaeological excavation of water tunnels. Down, down, down we went - and here is where I wished I was just a lttle bit thinner. In some spots, I thought I was actually going to get stuck, but I took a deep breath, sucked in my gut and made it out in one piece. The day ended with more rain, a nice room and dinner on our own at a local Italian restaurant. Just an aside here - internet is pricy so I may have a slight delay before my next post. When we get home I will devote a few pages here on the website for more pictures. Thanks for your comments. I will pass your kind words on to the others.