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Showing posts from 2012

Istanbul-Bound!! - Turkish Thanksgiving Day 1 and 2

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Wednesday, November 21st and Thursday, November 22nd

We might need to go back to the beginning for this one...

In the middle of September, Adele and I noticed a sale fare to Istanbul. There wasn't too much of a thought to it. We've seen multiple sale fares to various parts around the globe. We can't go everywhere. Yet. But that sale fare was tempting. And persistent.

I looked a little closer one time. Between Christmas and New Year. It was $300 higher than the sale fare. The price was just a bit far out of our grasp. On September 20th, the stars all aligned.

The day started with a bit of They Might Be Giants. As I left Union Station and began the walk to the office, I heard "Istanbul, Not Constantinople" on the iPhone. As I listened, I texted Adele and said it was "a sign." Early in the workday, she e-mailed me to say the Thanksgiving flight was a little over $500 round trip. That's where shit got real. We had a few back and forth e-m…

The Kebob Crawl - Turkish Thanksgiving Day 5 (Part 2)

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November 25, 2012

The Kebob Crawl was set up almost as quickly as the airfare was purchased. I'm not sure entirely how it happened, but I think it was Adele who came up with the idea. Four or five locations, food at each location. And we didn't have to pay for it...as we were eating. We had to pay for it in advance, of course, but...

We actually ventured out into a whole other neighborhood to start this crawl. For the most part, we stuck close to Sultanhanamet. This is where the majority of the "old" areas existed that we wanted to see. It wasn't until we took the Tram to the Funicular (total fail...I thought we'd go up a huge hill...like in the Alps. Apparently, I didn't look at the topography of Istanbul before I came.) that we saw a whole unexplored area.

Shopping, multiple Starbucks, a very European feel. We kind of missed all of this until now. And we didn't have time to explore. We walked by a cute little place that was like a bookst…

As We Amble Home - Turkish Thanksgiving Day 6

November 26, 2012

Our flight home left Istanbul at 555a. So start counting backwards and you'll know why we weren't necessarily at our best today. The flight starts boarding 30 minutes prior. It takes a while to check in and go through security and immigration, so we needed time for that. We had to make sure the cab was ready for us at 3a. Which meant we had to wake up at 2a.

That just sucks.

Neither one of us went to bed until after 10p. I woke up at 1a with a start, thinking I had overslept. No matter what, we were a mess. I was moderately functional. Adele, less so. But we finished packing and cleaning up the apartment. The keys were placed nicely on the dining room table. And we made our way to the airport.

Side note. Luckily today was the first day where I saw the rat. If I would have seen the rat in the building (just hanging out in the stairwell) any earlier, I would have been not so thrilled. At least this time we were on our way out. Maybe the rat was …

The Home Stretch - Turkish Thanksgiving Day 5 (Part 1)

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November 25, 2012

We're dragging a bit more today. Part of it has to be because of the pace we've been keeping over the last few days. Part of it could be because we know it's the last day. The other part could be that I stayed up late watching Doctor Who. But we won't quibble about the why.

We needed to start moving or we would have slothed out all day long. When we're only in a city this far away from home for three whole days, we can't afford to sloth at all. So showers were had and breakfast was found.

Next to the tram station, we pass by a breakfast joint. Simit Sarayi. The simit is a circular bread covered in sesame seeds. Kind of like a bagel, but lighter. Simit Sarayi is one of the first Turkish fast food restaurants. The restaurant has locations spread around the world. The Internet calls it the Turkish McDonalds. I think it seems more like the Turkish Panera. It was nice. The counter ladies may not have liked us too much because we didn…

Four Continents Down - Turkish Thanksgiving Day 4

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November 24, 2012

The first thought on our mind this morning was breakfast. Actually, the first thought on my mind was, "How in the holy hell do we figure out how to turn the heat off in this apartment??" Really. It's a sauna in here. So the second thought was about breakfast.

There was a fantastic website we used to plan out the trip. Istanbuleats.com. It was here that one of us read about brunch in Istanbul. It's a big deal. And the list of foods was epic. Gloriously epic. The phrase, "I want to go to there" was used multiple times. (The phrase "I want to go to there" is used a lot of times for various things. And not all food-based.) we had decided, based on the joy of our first dinner, that we would go back to Akdeniz Hatay Sofrasi for an encore of breakfast.

We ended up there at a decent enough time. Not too early, but there also wasn't a huge crowd yet. The spread was immense. Nothing was in English (why should it be??) s…

Turkish Hospitality - Turkish Thanksgiving Day 3

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November 23, 2012

Well, we burned thought Thanksgiving without thinking too much about it on this side of the globe. I saw the Facebook posts wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We haven't found Turkey (the food) over here yet. Then again, we've only been to one place so far.

I don't know about Adele, but I slept well last night. It sounds like a no brainer after a full day of travel, but usually I'm one of those who toss and turn on the first night of a hotel stay. This time, I was out cold. Maybe it was because we are not actually in a hotel, but in an apartment.

Sophie was the first to bring up the idea of an apartment instead of a hotel. I think we saw the comment and didn't think too much about it at first. But as we kept seeing hotels we like not be available and as we kept thinking about the idea, it began to grow on us. We'd have room to spread out. The apartments would be near the action, but a little more off the beaten path. We coul…

Hollywood Studios: Our Final Day - WDW 2012 Day 6 (and 7)

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Saturday, October 27th

I'm not sure why Hollywood Studios is always the last day of the trip. No matter what we do, we always end up being here on the last day. So every picture ever taken of me at Hollywood Studios is a picture of exhaustion. Maybe that's why we didn't take any pictures of ourselves at this park today.
We didn't start out the day at the opening ceremony at the park. Nope. Today, we opted for breakfast "out." Which basically meant, we didn't eat breakfast at our hotel. We went to the Polynesian Hotel and Kona Cafe. I've seen this restaurant for years and have heard nothing but raves for their food. There was this thing called Tonga Toast which was French Toast-y, but rolled in cinnamon and sugar. It was almost a mandatory order, except that the toast was stuffed with bananas. Grr!! Not cool. But I did end up with Pineapple Pancakes with Macadamia Nut butter. Totally loved the choice. Plus, I was able to have tea for the …

The Day We've All Been Waiting For...Food and Wine Fest!! - WDW 2012 Day 5

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Friday, October 26th

Sure, it's Scott's birthday too, but no one cares about that. It's Food and Wine Festival Day!!


We had grand plans for today. We had to start at Soarin' (as everyone seems to do). We had to wander the World Showcase and eat around the world. Then we had the Dessert Party. And finally, Illuminations. We got close to achieving all of those goals. But we did have one small issue. The weather.

For the last several days, we had been tracking Hurricane Sandy. It was too far away from Orlando to do any real damage, but it did cause quite a bit of bluster. The wind just kept whipping around and causing damage to my hair. And, I'm sure other things. Not like it's all about my hair...

We headed over to The Land Pavilion where we ended up with Fast Passes in the 10a hour. This was...well, pretty perfect. We had enough time to see Figment in the Imagination Pavilion, then head to see Nemo and the Manatees in the Living Seas Pavilion. I m…

And Then...We Got to See New Fantasyland - WDW 2012 Day 4

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Thursday, October 25th

Sleep continues to be rather elusive. But that's life. I can sleep later. Right?? RIGHT??

After getting stalked by Nosferatu last night, we decided to take it much easier today. It was our waterpark day. Now I love me a good waterpark. I don't need to go on the insanely vertical slides (No. Way.). But I do love getting in a flotation device and hurdling down a fiberglass slide at high speeds (spoiler alert - first slide down and I also had water hurdling down my nose at high speeds. BOO!!). I also love the wave pool and the lazy river and the smell of sunscreen and...all the things with waterparks. I also love the people.

People at the waterparks are fascinating. When you think about it, people are nearly naked and flaunting their bodies for the world to see. That's why I give anyone who decides to go to a waterpark tons of credit. I also go to a waterpark and instantly get a boost to my self-esteem. What?? I am very aware I could los…