Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Birthday in Bethlehem

On February 26th, I celebrated my 49th birthday in the city of Bethlehem.  
The 25th and 26th of February are always holidays in Kuwait because of the observance of National and Liberation Days, and while the past many years have been spent in Sri Lanka, this time we decided to take a 4 day trip to Jerusalem.
This was my first trip back to the Holy Land since 2006.
Once again, we visited the Church of the Nativity which is currently undergoing major restoration.
Emperor Constantine and his mother, Saint Helena, had the original basilica built and dedicated in 339 AD over the site of Jesus birth. 
The current building was erected in 565 AD after the original basilica was destroyed by fire during a revolt between Jews and Samaritans.
Here you can see Constantine's 4th century mosaic floor which was rediscovered in 1934.
As you can imagine, it is very dark inside and was difficult to take a lot of photos.  Plus, there were so many tour groups waiting to enter the grotto of the nativity.
And the grotto of the manger.
 
Back outside it was a truly gorgeous blue sky day.
 
Just the week before they had snow so we were truly blessed with beautiful weather during our entire stay.

And my birthday couldn't have been better.
The day was full from morning to night with lots of walking, visiting, sightseeing, experiencing, enjoying each and every moment.
  
 
 In the evening we celebrated with homemade cakes made my husband's family.

A wonderfully blessed birthday indeed.
Best wishes,

44 comments:

Linda said...

Beautiful photos!! :) I enjoyed very much seeing photos of a place I will likely never visit - it's like having a mini tour right from my desk! ;)

Loved the photos of you and you and your husband as well - you look great as always.

Hope this is a great, as my husband would say - 50th year of life for you - he's the math guy who always reminds everyone that when you're born, you're beginning the 1st year of your life and as thus, each birthday we are actually beginning the next subsequent year. So, for me - though I'm 50, I'm in my 51st year of life. ;)

We travel this weekend - a getaway to cabins in northern Illinois in the winter, lol, with a large group of friends to celebrate a friends' anniversary. Supposed to be warm - which is upper 30s near 40. We're having a campfire, going bowling, hiking, and a large anniversary dinner/dance on the Saturday night.

Soon, it's spring break here and then we'll be off for some warmth along the gulf coast.

Have a nice remainder of the week,
Linda

Teresa Kasner said...

*H*A*P*P*Y* * *B*I*R*T*H*D*A*Y*!*!*!* to you and what a wonderful place to celebrate, and to be with your husband's family too! Terrific!
((hugs)), Teresa :-)

homeschooljewelrymom said...

Happy Belated Birthday! It looks like you had a wonderful time.

barbara judge said...

Tammy -- What a beautiful ancient city.
Your photos are wonderful. You and your husband make a lovely couple. Liked your ending with the cakes made by your husband's family -- special for sure. -- barbara

moonstruckcreations said...

Belated happy birthday to you, what an amazing place you visited, would love to have the opportunity to go there myself - perhaps one day.

Those cakes look really delicious - I expect they didn't hang around for long!

Helenxx

Terra said...

Happy birthday and what a lovely place to celebrate your birthday, where the Holy Child was born.

summersundays-jw said...

Thanks so much for sharing your travels....beautiful!

Home Meadows said...

Happy birthday Tammy! It sounds like a wonderful trip and to see such ancient sites would be amazing. Hope you are settling back into your routine and having a good week. Heather

Susan said...

Oh my goodness, February birthday girl! What a fabulous celebration of your special day!

Thanks for all the super photos. I think that must have been an awesome experience. Thanks for sharing it with us! Susan

Wanda said...

Oh what lovely pictures. What a special Birthday. Our Pastor is going to give a report as he was just in Jerusalem and will be sharing his trip at church tonight.

Laurie said...

First of all, Happy Birthday!! How wonderful to be able to spend it in Bethlehem. I would love to visit there, but I doubt I ever do. I hate flying and I only do it to visit my daughter in Denver. My father went with a church group years ago and brought me back a beautiful brooch in the shape of the dove with an olive branch in his beak. I love it and wouldn't take a million dollars for it.

vintage grey said...

Sweet birthday wishes to you Tammy! Looks like you had a lovely and beautiful time!! So neat to visit there!! xo Heather

Melanie said...

Happy birthday, Tammy! I can only imagine how awesome visiting Bethlehem would be, from what I've read in the Bible. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos.

Catherine said...

Happy belated Birthday Tammy!! You young thing you!!
xo Catherine

Pradeepa said...

Happy Belated Birthday! Thanks for taking on a virtual tour to the places I could never ever imagine visiting. I loved it!

Dee said...

Your photos are beautiful. I'm glad you had a great trip. Looks like you had a wonderful birthday.

Debby said...

Happy Birthday. What a treat to go to Bethlehem. It looks so peaceful. I thought I heard that things had changed. I can't imagine standing near the manger. Glad your birthday was a good one. You are still a baby you know.

besomom said...

Happy Birthday, and thank you for sharing your photos. This is some place I'll probably never get to visit in person, so it's wonderful to see it all from your viewpoint.

Betsy said...

Happy Birthday just a few days late Tammy. You're such a youngster. I turned 55 in February so I'm an old lady compared to you. :-). What a wonderful birthday trip!!! Bethlehem is one of the places on my dream list that I would love to visit. To see the places that you saw would be wonderful. Thank you for taking us along with you and I hope your trip was a great one for you.
Blessings,
Betsy

Kit said...

Happy Birthday! Your photos gave me chills. What an incredible place to be. So beautiful! I can't imagine what it would feel like to walk those streets. :) Kit

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Tammy,
So happy to read all this and you were truly blessed with perfect weather too!
Lovely photos and you look so beautiful; in perfect shape and very happy.
That was for sure a blessed family time for the three of you and your husband's family. Love the special Birthday cake; symbolic heart.
Hugs and blessings,
Mariette

Alessandra Poggiagliolmi said...

Buon Compleanno Tammy !!!!!
xxxxxx Ale

Taciana Simmons said...

Happy belted birthday my dear friend. It looks like you had a day to remember... Making wonderful memories. May your blessings be too many to count this coming year. Happy happy birthday and lots of love to you!

Preeti said...

Happy Birthday to you, Tammy!!:)
You had a lovely vacation on your day:) I enjoyed seeing the pics.

Aishwarya said...

Belated Happy Birthday Tammy!!Wishing you a Happy Healthy Peaceful and joyous days ahead

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Happy, Happy Belated Birthday, beautiful lady!! One of these days, I hope to visit Bethlehem; thank you for the tour. I love that you enjoyed homemade cakes... especially the heart shaped ones! Gifts of love. blessings ~ tanna

Lorrie said...

Belated Happy Birthday, Tammy! What a great little getaway to celebrate your birthday. The skies are so blue! Loved seeing the photos of you and your husband.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Poppy said...

Happy Birthday, Tammy! All the very best in health and happiness!

What a spectacular day you must have had, to have spent it in Bethlehem; such history, such spirit and vitality.

Thanks for sharing and wishing you a lovely rest of the week!

Poppy

Mereknits said...

Happy Birthday dear, dear Tammy. Your trip sounds amazing. i am a bit envious of your traveling adventures. I thank you so much for taking us along with you.
Hugs,
Meredith

Helen Philipps said...

Wishing you a very Happy Belated Birthday, Tammy! What a fascinating post, and a wonderful way to spend your birthday. And lovely homemade cakes with your husband's family....lots of blessings.
Helen xox

Amy at love made my home said...

Happy Birthday!!!! What a wonderful way to spend your birthday, you will remember it always I am sure. An incredible visit that I thank you for sharing with us. xx

Gracie Saylor said...

Belatedly...Happy Birthday, Tammy! What a special way to celebrate your birthday. Thanks so much for posting about it. I'm glad you felt blessed, and I feel blessed by you! xx

Grammy Braxton said...

Happy Birthday, Tammy. I'm so surprised at all the bloggy friends who have birthdays this month. I knew I enjoyed all of you for some reason. :)
I so glad you enjoyed your birthday trip.
Hugs,
sharon

Pam said...

Your photos are always so lovely. Bethlehem is so beautiful and has such a history. Love that floor photo. Also Happy Birthday. HOpe you had a good one.

September Violets said...

Happy Birthday Tammy! What a wonderful place to spend your birthday ... thank you for sharing the photos! I'm so glad you had a good time with your family.
Wendy

Dagmar said...

happy belated birthday Tammy, what a wonderful trip. The photos you took really gave me a good idea of this ancient and holy place.
Sweet hugs,
Dagmar

Liz D said...

Happy Birthday, Tammy! What a unique and special way to celebrate.

lizzy

Sam I Am...... said...

Happy Belated Birthday and what a way to spend it! It was a gift to me as I have never seen Bethlehem up close like that. Amazing and the history goes back so far it's hard to comprehend. It must be just an amazing experience to be surrounded by that kind of history and monuments....awe inspiring.
I loved the picture of you and Sam together. You look like a teenager...do people not age over there? Is that where Sam's family lives? The cakes looked delicious. So glad you had such a wonderful birthday!

zana said...

Happy belated birthday Tammy. What a wonderful place to spend it, the photos look gorgeous. Have a great 51st year and hope al you want or desires come to you.

CatieAn said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!
What a beautiful and breathtaking city to celebrate. Thank you for sharing such amazing picture and celebrating the rich history. My dream some day is to go to the Holy City. Having a glimpse of it is so wonderful.

Sherry said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday. I would love to travel to your part of the world some day. We have not had that opportunity so far. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

Londoneya said...

What a dream birthday! I would love to visit the Holy land someday, your pictures just made that longing even stronger. You look fantastic in the photos, I love your figure, all that walking is keeping you fit, I need to follow your example.

Take care and thank you for your message on my blog and on instagram :)
Londoneya

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

Happy belated birthday, Tammy! Not sure how I missed this post but sure glad I came by. What a splendid way to celebrate your birthday. I have really enjoyed seeing the photos of your time in Bethlehem!

Quinn said...

A very belated Happy Birthday to you, Tammy!
Strangely, I found three new posts from you on my reader today, and although I have been a bit behind on my blog-reading (due to trying to keep up with my cashmere-combing) I feel pretty certain I haven't overlooked your posts. Maybe I shouldn't rely on Feedly to keep me up to date with my favorite bloggers anymore! It used to work, but perhaps it has been "improved."
Anyway, your trip sounds like a perfect way to celebrate your birthday, and I love the picture of you and your husband! It's nice to see the wonderful man who brings gifts of yarn :)

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