Today was Israel's 57th Independence Day. To kick off the event last night, I went to a national ceremony at the site of Herzl's grave in Jerusalem. A friend was an honored guest, so we got front row seats. It was absolutely amazing.
I'm in the process of uploading quite a few pictures. The Internet connection hasn't been fast or reliable here in the hotel, so I'm forced to use flickr's web-based upload form which only lets me send 6 photos at a time (I assume that the "uploadr" tool is failing because it doesn't have as many error-correcting mechanisms as IE). I also took a couple of videos with the digital camera, and will add them to this post as soon as possible.
Last night, we went out to a night club called Teatron (theater) in Jaffa, met some awesome people, and had a great time. Tel Aviv really is the city that never sleeps -- we got back to the hotel around 5-6am and crashed hard until about 1pm, and spent the rest of the day on the beach.
Tonight, we went to an outdoor reception at the army headquarters in Tel Aviv. The location and buildings were beautiful. The minister of defense, head of the airforce, and a few other important people were there, but it was a bit of an older crowd, and Greg and I didn't know too many people, so we left the place and hailed a cab (got quite a few "what the hell are these kids doing" looks from the many very well armed soldiers along the way out - hehe). Then we got back to the hotel, changed, and headed out for a restaurant/bar called Evita. More good times had.
Tomorrow, we're waking up early to go on a tour of the controversial security fence between Israel and the territories, then having lunch with my cousin and his girlfriend. Saturday, we're going to visit my extended family in the North, then heading off to Jerusalem for a few days.
More pictures and video on the way.
I'm still working on getting embedded/streaming videos to work, but in the meantime, I've uploaded a few clips:
Independence Day Ceremony 1
Independence Day Ceremony 2
Update: Added videos [5/16 - 9:45pm]
Update: Posted videos on Google Video [12/23/2006)