Kathie Lee Gifford (right) shows Hoda Kotb (left) some new wine goblets she got during a recent trip to Israel. Kathie Lee Gifford (right) shows Hoda Kotb (left) some new wine goblets she got during a recent trip to Israel. Kathie Lee Gifford (right) shows Hoda Kotb (left) some new wine goblets she got during a recent trip to Israel. (Photo: NBC)

'Today' show's Kathie Lee reveals details about her trip to Israel

Host says she's been going to the Mediterranean country for 45 years.

Every morning on the "Today" show, host Kathie Lee Gifford can be seen chatting with celebs and swigging wine with co-host Hoda Kotb. So when she disappeared from behind the desk last week, many viewers were worried: where did she go?

The answer to that question was finally revealed yesterday when Gifford announced that she had spent the past week in Israel, traveling to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the Dead Sea. The "Today" show will air special segments from Gifford's trip on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

Want a sneak peek? Watch the video below:

Traveling to Israel is nothing new for Gifford. The 62-year-old talk show host says she's been visiting there for 45 years, ever since her high school graduation. For this most recent trip, she took along her kids, her granddaughter and some family friends. She also went with Broadway composer David Pomeranz, a frequent musical collaborator of hers, and together they composed a dozen songs about Israel. The tunes will be available for download next week after the "Today" show segments are broadcast.

Gifford also stopped at the Dead Sea for a dip in its healing waters. People from all over the world travel there to bathe themselves in its mineral-rich mud. (The Backstreet Boys took a swim there before their concert in Israel last summer.) She hung out at the Dead Sea with 28-year-old model Michael Lewis, who works with fashion house Castro and won the Israeli version of "Dancing with the Stars."

Kathie Lee enjoyed a dip in the Dead Sea with Israeli fashion model Michael Lewis.Kathie Lee enjoyed a dip in the Dead Sea with Israeli fashion model Michael Lewis. (Photo: NBC)

Gifford returned to the "Today" show set with gifts in hand. She brought back jewelry, wine goblets and chocolate tahini. "Israel has become the top gastronomical place in the entire world for food," she said.

And being part of morning TV's most famous duo, Gifford felt bad that she wasn't able to bring her co-host along for the trip. So, instead, she did the next best thing. She made a small cardboard cutout of her co-host, called "Flat Hoda," which she carried with her wherever she went in Israel. Want to see for yourself? Watch the video clip below:

MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: Travel, TV