Salt & Pilpel

Connecting Jewish Americans and Israelis in North NJ

A Winter Vacation January 20, 2011

A winter trip

So winter vacation came and with a lot of planning we are set to go.

3 families and 3 cars loaded to the roof with ski equipment, coolers, blankets, gadgets and smiles that can light up any dark sky.

You would imagine that once on the road the goal was to drive straight to Vermont (about 3 ½ or 4 hours drive) but as organized as we are, we planned a stop at COSTCO and purchase all the food needed to feed this bunch. Oh boy ……. Let the kids out of the car and into Costco……. Result: 8 kids stacking all sorts of things on to the carts. “We need cookies, how can we not get this chips” as they put stuff into the cart, Shiri and I took them out.  An hour later we are on our way. But an hour later into the road trip….. ” I need coffee, I need tea, I need to pi, and can we stop?” So we pulled at the rest stop .

Finally, we arrived.  The view was amazing, white powder dressing up the trees, the roofs filled with snow; you can clearly see the ski trail.

We rented a very nice house that can accommodate all of us. Everybody grabbed something and we ventured inside , the kids ran in as I make a silent  prayer  for a clean environment ( you never know what you get when you rent a house from a website). To my surprise it was exactly as the pictures but only with one surprise.

The owner of the house was a cow collector, yes I said COW, I am not kidding they had cows in pictures, cows as stuffed animals, kitchen gadgets, door stoppers, cow vacuum cleaner, cow broom, cow dust pan, cow wall paper, cow pillows, cow light switch, entrance cow, cows on top of the fire place, even a cow manikin in the middle of the living room (that Ron was scared of so Shiri had to turn it facing the wall). It was a cow invasion.

I declared myself the designated cook, I am the only member of the crew that is not ski friendly ,I needed to get some office work while on vacation plus I was going to take ONLY ONE SKI lesson just to have it checked on my bucket list. I was pretty happy with the indoor cow environment.

I have to admit I was petrified of taking the ski class, I am a control freak and the day of the class I was getting the butterfly on my stomach feeling. How will I stop, what if I fall, what if I need to pi in the middle of the mountain, what if I am so uncoordinated  that I will not learn at all. STOP ! Think positive, you can do it, one class what is the worst that can happen? Think of something else!!!!!!!

I am happy to report that I took the class, my mind was set to nail it, I did not fall, I did not freak out, I did not pi at all. I was so surprised and confident, it felt SO GOOD.  Learning to ski…. CHECKED

We spent 5 days in the cow house, eating like pigs (I fed everybody from schnitzel, hamburgers, matzo ball soup, pasta & deli sandwiches with the help of my sous- chef Shiri). Tal even made cookies, yummy .

At night we played Pictionary and found ourselves screaming the answers before the sand clock completed the minute.  A shesh besh  match between fathers & sons was the highlight. The fathers thinking that they have more experience and can conquer any opponent ( ha ha ha) , kids putting on a Kippa to win the match ( luck is needed at this point) . My husband losing the game to and my son   …… priceless.

As the trip came to an end and with sad faces to go back home, we all bonded, friends & family, we had a great time. The cows did not follow us home (thank G-d).

Next trip ….. Laufer’s/ Sofer’s please lets pick a tropical location  xoxoxo.

From any family trip you will always get great memories, and with time these are the stories that your kids will remember and cherish forever.

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Paterson Great Falls November 21, 2010

Paterson Great Falls in New Jersey are a natural wonder. These falls, the largest ones in the Northeast after Niagara Falls, powered manufacturing plants here to create the cradle of the industrial revolution in an America trying to become less dependent on British manufacturers.

The Falls are viewable from Haines Overlook Park on the south and Mary Ellen Kramer Park on the north. Drive-by viewing is available from McBride Avenue where it crosses the river just above the Falls. A footbridge over the Falls gorge (historically, the eighth such bridge to span this spectacular chasm) also serves as an exciting outlook point from which many have captured the famous Falls rainbow. A visitor’s center at the corner of Spruce and McBride Avenues, in the heart of the Great Falls Historic District, provides a historical overview of the falls and the industrial and cultural history of Paterson.

For more information:

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Apple Picking October 14, 2010

Last Saturday we decided to enjoy the fabulous weather and go out for an Apple and Pumpkin Picking.

We drove to Sugar Loaf enjoyed their lovely annual Fall Festival and continued to  Apple Wood Orchards to pick apples

We all had a great time !

Now we need apple recipes … do you have any ? if so, please share….


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The sign


As you drive out of Brooklyn on the Williamsburg Bridge you’ll see a traffic sign above you reading:
“Leaving Brooklyn. Oy Vey!”
No, the sign isn’t the work of a prankster. It’s a real sign, placed there last week by the Department of Transportation at the request of Marty Markowitz, Borough President of  Brooklyn.
Says Markowitz: “Oy vey is an original Jewish ‘expression of dismay or hurt.’The beauty is, every ethnic group knows it, and motorists seeing it know it means:‘Dear me, I’m so sad you’re leaving.’ “



Friends October 12, 2010

Definition: confidant, companion
Synonyms: ally, alter ego, associate, buddy, chum*, classmate,  companion*, compatriot, comrade, consort, cousin, crony, familiar, mate, pal, partner, playmate, roommate, schoolmate, sidekick, soul mate*, spare*, well-wisher

It took a few months of planning and some back & forward but we finally made it, a trip only for us, four childhood friends turning 40 that live all over the map but somehow never lost touch.

We know each other since G-d knows when, kindergarten? Experienced life together, laughed, cried, went to study overseas, got married, divorced then married again , had kids, went our separate ways as adults  but still share that special bond that can put us in a room as if time has not passed by.

We complement each other, we can argue and not get upset, we can have different opinions but still respect each other.

This is the way I describe them …..

S : Strong minded ,highly  educated , gorgeous  looking ,  strongly  opinionated , defender of the least fortunate , stubborn, warm heart

R : strong character , defiant, a bit un patience, complacent,  stunning  ,charismatic , friendly , warm heart

E: Funny, humble, honest, believer, strong moral , free spirit , methodic , easy going , strong faith, warm heart

Me: …………………. Come one I cannot give an opinion on my self

We finally gathered in this amazing location, cozy luxurious cabin, surrounded by mountains, pine smell, fresh air, leaving our husbands, kids & work behind. Total freedom!  Drank some wine and stayed up catching up.

We spent 3 days doing all sort of things, massage, spa, walking, eating, touring, hot tub , eating , sightseeing, eating , went to the Sundance Festival location ,  watch the sunset in the most amazing place sitting in front of a fire place drinking wine  , did the zip line down the mountain , I screamed all the way and had my panic attack moment but I DID IT .

We spent quality time taking turns driving, pit stop @ 711 for some slurpee , looking for any coffee shop not Starbucks , eating amazing food and some junk on the way , remembered old boyfriends, first kiss….. Among other crazy stuff, shared views of life, husbands, kids, work and encouraging each other with “BUY IT ! You look amazing on this! You don’t spend this much ever and you are worth  it !!!

We should all have our once a year GIRLS ONLY trip , let me tell you it is a self esteem booster, heartwarming,  feel good  moment .

My favorite part of the entire trip …… waking up at 6:30 am in the cabin realizing this is not a dream, gathering  in bed in our pajamas next to my best friends in the world having amazing conversation.

How amazing it is that we can still connect in every level.

So as we read the definition of “Friend” they missed one portion : Loyal, empathy, sincere , loving .

Love you girls …….. Looking forward to next year get away

Yael Chamay


A boardwalk and a bridge in Vernon Township, NJ October 4, 2010

The mile-long boardwalk, with its 110- foot long wooden suspension bridge forms a section of the Appalachian Scenic Trail, between the Pochuck and Wawayanda Mountains is a beautiful hike .

It is a beautiful marshy bog of tall grasses, bushes, wild flowers and the state’s largest concentration of cattails, surrounded by a hardwood and evergreen forest. It is a habitat for a variety of native and endangered species.

For more information:

Here are some photos from our visit:

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Cape Cod September 30, 2010

A few weeks ago, while the summer was still around (looks like a looooooong time ago), we decided to spend the weekend with good friends and good food in some nice place. We choose to travel to Cape Cod, and what a great choice that was !

We rented this beautiful house on the beach and had a great time !

We took the kids to whale-watching in Provinctown, saw lots of whales, spent time on the beach, took a few hikes – had a great time.

Here are a few photos….

Do you have suggestions for places we can visit in this rainy weather ?  we will be happy to hear your recommendations.

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