We were so excited from the first we heard about this amazing trip our church friends would be taking together.

Still chipper in Miami before the LONG night ahead

So close! Really couldn’t believe we were about to land in Israel.

No rest for this group. We immediately started touring the ancient city of Jaffa, which is just south of Tel Aviv.

Getting our first impressions of Yossi (Joseph) who would be our guide throughout the tour.

St Peter’s Church is considered the center of Christianity in Jaffa. We were surprised by the gorgeous color of the Mediterranean Sea.

The city has been partially restored and today is an artist’s colony and entertainment center.

Thought to be the general location of Simon the tanner’s home. (Acts 9 & 10 – Peter prayed and Tabitha was healed in Joppa/Jaffa and Peter stayed with Simon the tanner and Cornelius sent men to find Simon Peter there)

The first of many, many steps throughout Israel

The port at Jaffa. This served as an ancient Israelite port during the reign of King Solomon.

The Caesarea Aqueduct Beach just north of the Herodian port of Caesarea

The public buildings and infrastructure nearby were built mostly during the reign of King Herod the Great from 22 BC onwards. The city had no reliable fresh water so this amazing aqueduct was built and has been preserved until today.

Ancient port named after Caesar Augustus – contains a hippodrome (course for chariots or horse races), large statues, ancient synagogue with mosaic floors and an amphitheater.

Modern & ancient. Note the beautiful sailboats out on the sea.

Ruins of one of Herod’s palaces. They refer to it as the reef palace.

The prison of Caesarea. Researchers believe that this may be where Paul was tried and imprisoned, according to the New Testament. (Acts 24:27). The courthouse would have been above ground to the north.

Caesarea is also the area where Peter traveled to meet Cornelius, the first Gentile covert, after being summoned by his men back at Joppa/Jaffa. (Acts 10 & 11)

Remains of a swimming pool. Water would have been obtained from the massive aqueduct seen above.

Remains of mosaic tile

Columns excavated from the site

The Roman Theater from the stage area

This theater was buried beneath coastal sand and only after 1949 did they begin excavating and uncovering this incredible place.

Holly sang “The Blessing” in The Roman Theater. It was the perfect song to kick off our amazing tour of this historical land where our savior walked.

Our bus for the tour and our multi-talented driver/singer Avner.

View from The Resort Hotel Hadera on the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel is next to Binyamin Beach, facing a beautiful lagoon and natural sea rock formations.

First sunset in Israel. People swimming in the Mediterranean in front of our hotel.

The first kitty, we’ll call her Mediterranean Sea kitty. We didn’t know it yet but we’d see cats every single day everywhere we went.