I had the honor of guiding the wonderful Tzur family for 2 days this past week throughout the Galilee.
Wine was not on our itinerary, but we set out into the Galilee back-country to trek, to gnosh, to discover, and most importantly, to make sure the kids were happy.
The Galilee is a world waiting to be discovered by guests hoping to get off the beaten path and into this stunningly scenic side of Israel. Ranging in age from 10, 12, 16, to grandma (I didn’t ask her age), it was a fun challenge encouraging the youth to embrace the classic sites we visited like Zippori and Beit She’arim, while having the adults let down their hair and enjoy the monkey refuge at Yodfata.
We ate the best goat cheese you’ll find at my absolutely favorite restaurant that doubles as a goat farm, learning about the process and seeing how a family farm can inspire us to reconnect to the land and labor. We sped around the UNESCO ancient city of Acre on speedboats that offered epic views of the city we had walked together on foot. We visited sites, but more important than simply seeing, we were able to truly connect to the rural and pastoral energy of this region.
Our final stop brought us to a simple street sign with the name of the family patriarch who also happens to be one of the early leaders of the young state of Israel. To connect with three generations, and honor one past truly hit home and I was humbled to be a part of the experience, if only as navigator and photographer.
As a guide, my philosophy is to give myself entirely to my guests and make sure their vacation is nothing short of fantastic. To engage three generations of a family and be able to synthesize the various narratives to be relevant to each age group is a worthy task for any guide and is one I fully embrace. It forces me to empathize with restless children and weary elders and to make sure I look after my guests as is they were my own family (except my family never tips ;P ).
I hope to host more families as I guide both the world of wine, as well as the rest of the wonder that is Israel.