Monday, July 9, 2007

Are We There Yet?

Home again and all is right with the world (except my carpets desperately need vacuumed). We just spent 5 days in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains at my in-laws house. We spent the time fishing, hiking, swimming, roasting marshmallows over the fire pit and visiting. All the things you do in the mountains. A great time was had by all.

On the trip home however, life got interesting. Who would have thought that a Sunday afternoon after a major holiday would pose any traffic trouble? We ditched the NY Through Way for some back roads since Mr. Clean never travels without "Maggie", our trusty GPS (for the record, I named it Maggie, Mr. Clean claims no responsibility). A fact you should know about my dear husband is that he would much rather travel 25 miles an hour, 25 miles out of the way on back roads to avoid traffic, then drive 25 miles an hour with a bunch of other harried travelers on a main thoroughfare. Besides, the kids were getting hungrier by the second and we were trapped on the NY through way. It was time to find a place to grab a bite.

So off the beaten path we go. Right into Israel herself. Driving along minding our own business and enjoying the scenery we pass a Hebrew Camp. Very cool and camp-like. A block away I see a sign prohibiting littering. Directly underneath it is a sign in Yiddish prohibiting littering. I did a double take. At this point we are coming into a little town called Woodbourne. It is packed with people and all of them (the men anyway) are decked out in yarmulkes and rekels. Everywhere you look is a sea of Hasidic Jews. Now, I grew up in an area right near a highly populated Hasidic community so this is nothing new to me, but I had never seen so many payots in one place! I felt like I did the first time I saw a large population of Amish people. I had seen them before, but was still memorized.

What astonished me the most was that everything in this tiny 3 block town catered to the Hasidic community, including the street signs. I almost felt as if I was intruding as we passed the deli (kosher of course), a bookstore, the gas station where an ambulance was being refueled by a Hasidic driver (and the wording on the side of the ambulance was all in Yiddish) and last but not least, the "Mazel Wok". I kid you not. It was a kosher Chinese restaurant. As I sat slack jawed and probably punching Mr. Clean in the arm in amazement (who sat unfazed by our trip into mini Isreal), I exclaimed excitedly to the kids, "Wow! The Mazel Wok! And it's kosher!".

K.Z.'s famished reaction to his mother's glee? "Well, can we stop there, whatever it is?"

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