… in the U.S.A. as of 5:04 a.m. Eastern, after an 11 hour flight from Israel to JFK.  Then the 4.5 hour drive to Ithaca.  So suffice it to say I’m tired.

My final Israel travel post, which was mostly prepared yesterday while I was in Israel, will run later today, regarding my trip to the Lebanese border near Metula and the mysterious Hezbollah “village” along the border.

Thanks for the tremendous efforts of Mandy for running the blog while I was away, and to our regular contributors Leslie and David for picking up the pace of posting.  Special thanks to our unretired contributors Fuzzy and Bryan, and to our guest contributer Neo-Neocon.

And how could I forget — Andrew for his continuing excellent coverage of self-defense issues, and Tony for his great cartoons.

Aleister also helped run the show at College Insurrection while I was away, assisted by Leslie.

Let’s give them all a round of applause.

The Israel trip was fantastic. The details are in my prior travel posts.  The big picture is … (as he fades a little) … is (as he fades some more)… the people I met, not the landscape or even the history.

I got to connect with numerous Israeli bloggers:

I also met a number of people who work in the Israeli government to get their perspective on events, and to convey the perspectives I’ve aired here many times.

And I also made some other Israeli friends.  Who knows, maybe we picked up a few new readers.

I also reconnected with someone from my Moscow days who has a remarkable family and life story, and whose blossoming in Israel is something of a parable for Israel as a nation.

Now I think I’ll rest a little.  I need a vacation after this vacation.