Utah travelers return from Israel

Oct 18, 2023, 10:46 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Wendy and Kelly Groth didn’t expect their Israel trip to turn out the way it did. In fact, Wendy wasn’t all that excited about it in the first place.

“Well, to tell you the truth, I never wanted to go to Israel,” Wendy tells KSL TV.

But there she was on October 6, in Tel Aviv, Israel. She, and her husband Kelly, and a few others that were going to meet up with a larger tour group, were enjoying a late dinner. The next morning, they woke to the news that Hamas had just bombed Israel.

“It wasn’t like the hotel was shaking, although you could feel you know, it was almost like a mini earthquake,” Kelly and Wendy Groth said.

They quickly found out what had happened. They were meeting up with the rest of their group the next day, which they say went smoothly.

And they saw many of the sights they set out to see including the garden tomb, the western wall in Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee, all with the sounds of war in the distance.

“There were some rockets pretty much anywhere we went but they weren’t incoming from the, Hamas,” Kelly explained. “They were what they call the ‘Iron Dome’.”

Getting home took some creativity and they credit their tour guide, Steven Rona from “Israel Revealed” for helping them do so safely – which they do not take for granted.

“When the locals are like very nervous about it, it made me nervous in the fact that we don’t get out like I knew we would, but it was a little bit frightening,” Wendy said.

They’ve now returned home with a new perspective and appreciation.

“You know, we were so grateful that we were able to get out,” Wendy said. “But so sad for those people who can’t get out. And they live with this all these innocent people that live with this fear every day and what’s happening to them? Yeah, it’s just heartbreaking.”

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Utah travelers return from Israel