May 2011 / Carmen Varner // Lifestyle Blogger & Social Media + Blogging Coach


Akka, Bahji, & Haifa, Israel Travel Diary

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tuesday, June 22
Another long & full day in Haifa, Israel. Another sticky hot mess. The gardens were beautiful. Most of all, each day I love walking around Israel. I like seeing the houses, the stores, the streets. I like experiencing Israel.

Wednesday, June 23
We went to the beach! The weather was not as hot as other days. It was nice out actually. There was an abundance of dead jellies washed up on the shore. I was pretty scared to go in because I couldn't tell where they were! So I went only ankle deep.

Bahji, Israel

There was a bakery in the mall leading to the sea. I got a chocolaty coconut ball; it was superb. It was an excellent beach day. I got a little tanner. There were chairs & cabanas for public use. A simple but fun day. I'm especially happy that I was able to experience a beach in Israel. We went to a supermarket, watched U.S. vs. Algeria FIFA. U.S. won in the last minute. Dinner was baked carrots & potato.

Thursday, June 24
We went to Akka today or Akko as the locals call it. I always enjoy the 45-minute ride on the bus because it's so high up that I get a lovely view of the entire journey. The village is culturally diverse & enlightening to visit. It's mainly an Arab/Muslim area. The little shops had souvenirs. There were stores that sold rosebuds. Akka is really neat.

I like Israel very much; it's so different from other places. We went back to Bahji & stayed there for many hours. I took tons of photos & self-portraits (fine, they were selfies).

Once we finished with Bahji, we walked around Haifa & went to a Romanian dinner place. One meal option was the animal organ platter consisting of brain, liver, kidney, & spinal chord. It was a hilarious experience to decipher the menu.

"Pixels" = pickels
"Likers" = liquors
"Brendy" = brandy

Bahji, Israel

We got a bunch of random stuff; it was relatively expensive shekel-wise & compared to places we normally go to. We also went to a mosque. Falafels for dinner.

Haifa & Tel Aviv, Israel Travel Diary

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Saturday, June 19

I am currently on the airplane headed toward Newark, New Jersey. The flight is around 4.5 hours long, then we layover for a couple hours before we fly to Tel Aviv, Israel.

I am presently sitting in seat 20A; I am responsible for opening the emergency exit in case it is necessary. I am a potential life saver! Rather unfortunately there were no vegetarian options to eat, but I was served salad, carrots, brownie, & a Mr. Pibb knockoff.

Day #1 was, for the most majority, spent on an airplane.

Stairway to Haifa, Israel

Sunday, June 20
Again, the trip has mainly been spent on an airplane. The second plane ride was 10 hours long but seemed shorter due to the vast array of movies, shows, & music to watch on your own individual t.v.

We arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel at around 5 p.m. We rode a train to Haifa & then a taxi to our hostel. We bought food from a little market. Spanikopita. A short day, as all our journey was traveling from Point A to B to C.

Trainspotting in Tel Aviv, Israel

Monday, June 21
Woke up relatively early for Carmen standards, 7:30ish. Got ready then we went to breakfast across the street; it was delish. Yogurt, cucumbers, cheese, bell peppers, etc. A hearty & healthy start to an excruciatingly hot day.

Haifa is beautiful. I appreciate the splendor of the Baha'i temple, shrine, & gardens. I tried my best to capture everything on my camera, kind of like I am encapsulating Israel in my camera for those who didn't get a chance to come here; plus, it cements Haifa in my head, seeing as I'll always be able to look back on my photos.

Meat truck

I walked throughout the shrine/garden; it was hot. My face nearly melted off. I truly welcome the local food; it has been easy for me to find things to eat. I even had some magnificent falafels to eat for dinner. I love the structures here. When I walked around alone, it was eye-opening to see a day of the average Israeli. I saw a few young boys playing basketball. Cute! Then I saw a cow carcass in a meat truck - not so cute.

One of My Very First Blog Posts (2011)

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Hi, I'm Carmen. I'm a lifestyle blogger, a digital influencer, & I'm also a blogging + social media coach. My goal is to share thoughtful posts on blogging, travel, food, beauty, & everything that makes life the magnificent adventure it is.

These are the things I'm obsessed with at the moment...


I visited London in 2007 & again in 2017, so England has a special place in my heart. In December 2017, I celebrated 6 months of entrepreneurship as I worked from my little Notting Hill flat. It was such a wonderful experience. We spent 9 days in London (10 days if you count the one night we spent sleeping on the coach at London Gatwick airport). Yes, that happened. 

buckingham palace
Buckingham Palace, 2007


It was always my dream to work at a magazine. I blasted through Dirt, a cool show about a magazine editor "in the world of celebrity journalism" starring Courteney Cox. In terms of real life, I have a growing stack of unopened magazines. This task calls for summer...


Obviously, Odd Future has been around for years at this point, but when I initially wrote this post, they were up-&-coming. :]

If you're a huge hip-hop fan like me, then listen to "Malaya" & "Elephunk Circus." Both songs have super catchy beats, lyrics, vibes. They used to have their mixtapes available for free on their website, but I believe they took them down. 

Summer 2011

Hot weather. Summer attire. Sun. Sand. Tan. Beaches. Magazines. Frozen yogurt. Flip flops. Sunscreen. Beach towels. Bikinis. Friends. Happiness. Gardens. Picnics. Staying up late. Staying out late. Sleeping in. No school. Memories. It's almost summer. We can do it!

israel beach
Summer in Israel, 2010

Hi :]

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Work in progress...


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