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Where is your top pick for vacation?: LaVonne Ackerman

Posted 7/17/19

Hello! There are only five weeks or so until school starts up again! Time to get vacations and travel in full gear. Where are you going? Where have you gone? Better yet, what is your dream vacation? …

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Where is your top pick for vacation?: LaVonne Ackerman


Hello! There are only five weeks or so until school starts up again! Time to get vacations and travel in full gear. Where are you going? Where have you gone? Better yet, what is your dream vacation?

I never really had an Israel trip on my bucket list. However, when the opportunity presented itself, and the price was right, I was ready. Read more about that adventure below.

Look below for some vacation ideas and have a super-chill summery week!

You can email me your news to share, or call!

Israel: Day Two

After enjoying a delicious breakfast buffet at the Leonardo Hotel with a gorgeous view of the Sea of Galilee, we ventured out to see points of interest in Lower Galilee and Sea of Galilee. In Nazareth, we visited Nazareth Village. It is a re-creation of a first-century village.

We saw a vineyard, placed near an old, believed-to-be first century winepress, an olive press, weaving demonstrations, and much more. This was very educational and can be seen on YouTube.

My takeaways: We always think of Jesus as a carpenter and his father, Joseph, as a carpenter, but in fact, they were stoneworkers, possibly masons. Also, do you know why they stepped on the grapes with bare feet in the winepress? Soles of feet are soft enough not to squash the seeds, which would lead to a bitter taste.

We went to Korazin and walked in the ruins of this town Jesus cursed (Matthew 11:20-24). We visited the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter (John 21). It is at the edge of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus made breakfast for Peter and six others. I put my hand in the water and found two tiny shells.

Jesus asked Peter very compelling questions. We were challenged by Dr. Jim Ayers, our guide and faithful leader, to think about our responses to how we would answer those questions. Are we truly following Jesus?

Capernaum, the hub of Jesus’ ministry in the Galilee area, was very interesting as we could see the ruins of Peter’s house. A church was built over it with glass on the floor so we could look at the foundation of what was left of the home where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 4:13-16). We went to Nof Ginosar, a museum of a first-century fishing boat which was recently found in the Sea of Galilee.

Magdela was so very cool as the synagogue there was recently discovered while a hotel was being built.

There is no doubt that Jesus taught there. Mary Magdalene was a faithful follower and we could easily imagine them in that small town.

We climbed up high to a cave where weary travelers would take a rest from the hot sun. This area was believed to be the place Jesus taught his powerful teaching on the Mount of Beatitudes in Matthew 5-7.

Lunch was a lovely experience in a restaurant located next to the Sea of Galilee, also know as Lake Tiberias, Sea of Tiberias. I was boring and chose the grilled chicken. Others had battered fried tilapia. The heads, tails and everything were cooked and eaten carefully, watching for those bones!

The days were long and nights were short. Many times we had wake up calls at 6 a.m., breakfast 6:30 and the bus was ready to leave by 7:30 a.m.

Also, I mixed up information in the photo caption for my July 3 column. We saw the Mediterranean Sea from our hotel room in Netanya, not Jerusalem.

Tune in next week for day three.


Happy “terrific twos” belated birthday to Savannah Perry of Middletown. She celebrated on July 14. Many blessings to this sweetie!

Happy 19th birthday to Jade Senior of Middletown. Enjoy your last teen cake day on Wednesday, July 17!

Dalajsha Shickley of Lower Swatara Township marks her 17th confetti-popping day on Thursday, July 18. Have a super-duper one!

Britney Mason has 24 reasons to celebrate on Thursday, July 18, as observes her me-holiday. A very happy birthday to you!

Best wishes for a wonderful happy birthday are sent to Kay Turns of Middletown. She will party on Saturday, July 20. I hope your weekend is very festive, Kay!

Here is a happy birthday shout-out to Tracey Bechtel of Lower Swatara. She will hear the birthday song on Saturday, July 20. God bless you, Tracey!

Billy Muller of Royalton hits cake-and-ice cream day No. 19 on Saturday, July 20. Have a super fun day, Billy!

Luke Coughlin of Lower Swatara will observe his very special 22nd birthday on Sunday, July 21. I hope it is the best yet. Enjoy your day, and maybe I will see you!

Happy frosty-filled-cupcake day to Joan Nissley of Lower Swatara. Her streamer-flying day is Sunday, July 21. Enjoy!

Tim Wagner of Lower Swatara marks his 17th balloon-flying day on July 21. Many blessings to you on Sunday, Tim!

Happy super-duper-dazzling birthday to Sarah Matincheck of Middletown. Her last teener cake day is Tuesday, July 23. Happy 19th!

Happy 15th snappy-happy birthday to Mason Zeigler of Middletown. If you see him around on Tuesday, July 23, be sure to give him a friendly, happy birthday smile!


Happy Sunday anniversary to Bill and Barb Dagenhart of Lower Swatara Township. This sweet couple enjoy their 21 years together on July 21. Congrats!

Cool Crab Dip

1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese

1/4 c. milk

1/2 c. mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. green onions

1 can lump white crab

1 to 2 tsp. horseradish

Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate for several hours, then serve with crackers.

Dean’s list

Congrats to the following students who were named to the Gettysburg College spring semester dean’s list: Blake Gill of Middletown; Marni Granzow, Logan Grubb and Brendan Roth of Hummelstown; and Kyra Buettner of Elizabethtown.

These students were named to the Central Penn College spring semester dean’s list: Shannon Assman, Kayleigh Bangert, Joseph Gross and Ryan Popp of Middletown; Sarah Bell, Colin DeLany, Lindsay Hoke, Shamarr Jacobs, Sorita Nhim and Aaylan Zapotoczny of Elizabethtown; and Mercedes Reddick of Highspire.

All-Class Reunion

The Central Dauphin High School Alumni Association will hold its All-Class Reunion from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, at Cedars Grove, 8143 Old Jonestown Road, Harrisburg.

Included in the ticket price are music; a catered meal; desserts; cold drinks; coffee, beer and wine; snacks throughout the event; door prizes; and more.

All former CD students, staff, and “Ram Fans” are invited. Proceeds will benefit the CDHSAA Scholarship Fund.

For prices, information and ticket order forms, go to the association’s website at, email, or call 717-652-7047.

Quote of the Week

“Summer has come; and with all the lush life outdoors and softer schedules inside, my soul has been refilled. It is a sweet reprieve, a warm embrace given by our maker.” — Greer Oharah, author.

Question of the Week

What is your dream vacation?

“Having a house on the beach with a pool and enough bedrooms for all my family.” — LeeAnn Hocker, Harrisburg.

“Spending a week in Paris!” — Ayla Windows, 8, Susquehanna Township.

“I would love to take a trip with friends or family to a city to explore and then go to a Major League Baseball game.” — Ann Seaton, Harrisburg.

“Camping at KOA.” — Logan Benner, 12, Royalton.

“Florida. I want to go to Destin. I can't wait!” — Ryan Benkovic, 5, Lower Paxton Township.

“Cancun, Mexico.” — William Benkovic, 16, Lower Paxton.

Proverb for the Week

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity (17:17).

Reach LaVonne Ackerman at 717-649-7366 or by email at