This is what happens when you forget to press "publish" after writing a post: your Lag B'Omer post arrives a week late!
We had a great time on Lag B'Omer (link to full info if you would like to know more about the holiday). We stayed local, which was quite enjoyable. At night, the party mobiles were out and about.
We discovered that we live in a great place to celebrate Lag B'Omer because across the street is the beginnings of a new development of apartment buildings. Right now, there are just large piles of dirt and a paved road leading down to the dirt. It became a very popular place for kids and families to build bonfires. Ilana counted 14 (really reminded me of July 4th in Winthrop when I was a kid) and there was much roasting of marshmallows and hot dogs.
Oh yeah, and Ilana got to climb the giant dirt pile :).
The kids had school off for Lag B'Omer day. Penina enjoyed sleeping late and Ilana went to a carnival that the local Yeshiva hosted.
Meanwhile, the "Meron Report", from Chana and the five other seminary gals who we saw this past Shabbos (including Malden's famous Esti R.!) was that Meron was "very cool and very crowded". Reports say that half a million people were there for Lag B'Omer! There were lots and lots of crowds of people. "MANY different types of people-you can't believe how many types!" Most of the girls reported that it was too crowded to get into the kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, but that they were able to daven near it. Rebbetzin Tzipora Heller described Meron as, 'the bottom of the hill is Purim and the top is neila'". There are people giving out cooked, kosher food. There were also different groups of chassidim with bonfires which their Rebbes lit. On the way back to Jerusalem, the buses stopped at a "pop-up" rest area, with 100 portable toilets (50 for the men and 50 for the women, which felt unbalanced until I thought of how many more men than women go to Meron) and more people giving out food! Reports were that the traffic was horrible (5 hours back to Jerusalem, rather than the normal 3), but those who went to Meron at midnight and returned at 3 a.m. (let's not name names here) used the time to sleep.
All in all, a very fun holiday!