When we were discussing what to do today, Mirit and Shai were throwing around ideas, all of which sounded good to me. And then they said "Mizpe Ramon." My aunt had just been there a month before, and she absolutely loved it, so I jumped at the chance to go there myself. Of course, before we could take off, we had to stuff ourselves with food. We went to Shai's parents' house and had an Iraqi-style breakfast. This meant that potatoes and eggs had been in a pot on a hot plate over night and were very well cooked. We mashed them together, threw in some salad, and loaded up a pita half with that mixture, eggplant, matbucha (some tomato sauce that was great), and mango mustard. Not only was it fun, but it was also delicious. Eventually, we headed out to Mizpe Ramon. We passed a lot of desert on the way, but it was pretty green due to the recent rains. The riverbeds that we passed over were dried up, though. We passed clumps of trees planted by the various funds that plant trees in Israel. We passed illegal bedouin settlements with no water or electricity. We even passed some random statues. They were just sitting there, in the middle of the desert, with nothing else around them, no context or anything. They amused me. My first view of Mizpe Ramon was from a scenic outlook spot. Check out the pictures because no thousand words I have can describe the view. We then went down into the crater and checked out the rocks. Down there were rocks of various colors. We saw black, orange and tan, but also blue, pink, and purple. I didn't think rocks came in those colors unless the were like quartz or semi-precious stones. We also got a good close-up view of the desert flowers and plants, which were both pretty and abundant. The most surprising thing was the sea shells littered all over the place. It was so hot and dry that every time we touched the guard rope on the path, we would shock ourselves. It was a little hard to imagine this place under water. I'm wondering if those didn't belong to some sort of land snail instead. Either way, the were cool to see. After we hiked around the crater a bit, we went to Ben Gurion's grave site. It's a simple area, but, like the Baha'i gardens, people had decorated it with plants. Apparently, Ben Gurion's dream had been a green Negev, so it was quite fitting that he was buried overlooking the desert and surrounded by greenery. From where we were, we could see a whole family of ibex playing around, right in the middle of the day and right nearby. I was excited to be that close to nature. We headed back through the old part of Be'er Sheva and I noticed that all around town were various statues of vegetables. Nobody really knew what they were all about, but I found it interesting to pass an intersection full of tomatoes, a walkway ended by chile peppers, or any of the other statues. We hung out again for a while- I even got to see my first ever episode of American Idol, which was a little ironic. Again, we had a big family dinner with tons of food, this time at Mirit' dad's house. Again, the food was great, the company was great, and I had a good time. This seems to be a recurring theme for the trip. Alas, it was time to go to the airport and leave. I most certainly was not ready to leave the country. Even in the car to the airport, I was calculating in my head how soon I could come back.