I’ve tried really hard to figure out what was the BEST part of my incredible experience with Taste of Israel. While it’s kind of like trying to decide which of your ten kids you love most, I must say that one of the highlights of this lifetime adventure was the farewell dinner at The King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The King David Hotel (מלון המלך דוד Malon ha-Melekh David) is a 5-star hotel in Jerusalem, Israel, and it originally opened in 1931.
Known as one of the most famous of the Dan Hotels, the King David Hotel wreaks regalia and history from the time you spin through the doors and into the massive stately foyer and grand rooms and halls. An overwhelming sense of emotionalism was felt when I walked in and saw the American flag standing proud and tall next to the Israeli flag. Built in the 1920’s at the meeting point of the historic Old City and dynamic New Jerusalem, the King David Hotel delights the eye with stately pink quartz exteriors and exotic public rooms decorated with motifs that recreate a bygone romantic era. It is one of the most magnificent hotels in the world.
Today, the King David Hotel is part of the Dan Hotel Chain, and a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and continues to accommodate foreign heads of state and diplomats visiting Israel. Amongst the hotel’s more famous guests are King George V; Jordan’s King Hussein; U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama; British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and Tony Blair; the Prince of Wales; Elizabeth Taylor; Richard Dreyfus; Richard Gere; and Madonna.
I really had to breathe deeply and pinch myself~~never in my wildest dreams as a littl’ girl growing up in the hollers of Appalachia in Southern West Virginia did I even dream that someday I’d be in a hotel of this stature and that I’d be dining where world leaders have sat, celebrities have walked and things have gone down that have changed the world. From the gourmet dinner we were served, the warm breezes of the balmy night’s dining on the terrace, the toasting and laughter with our Taste of Israel and Stand with Us hosts to the unexpected pleasure of being part of an orthodox Jewish wedding, our farewell dinner was something of a ‘Pretty Woman’ fairy tale.
Rather than pinch myself to see if the night was real, a littl’ furry friendly feline found his way to me, began purring, nuzzling up against me and said, “Yes, this is real, Ally, and I’m so glad you’re here…let me sit with you a while…and, please give me some nibbles of that fine looking salmon…” There was no language translation needed for the language of meowing.