So Much More

I do, I really do have so much more to tell you.  To share.  To laugh at.  Like the 6 of us walking through International airports with 10 pieces of luggage, each toting a back pack stuffed full of comforts from home, trying to decipher the next destination and plan of attack.  Now that is a sight.  "Monkeys" if you will.  That is what we call ourselves.  Amidst stairs and chuckles and covered mouths, amongst "oohs and aahs" and "would you look at that's", and of course the occasional, "are they all yours?", here we are.  Embarking on this next journey.  Together.  As a family.  A united 6.  Pardon the reference all you football fans, I couldn't resist. 

It all began with a canceled flight.  Three hours before departure and a phone call to inform us that the first flight of the excursion was canceled due to the weather in Chicago.  Oh my.  An hour worth of phone calls later and we were scheduled with a different airline and on our way.  We passed through security, check in and all the rig-amoral.  We were on our way.  And then from Chicago and a late arrival we were racing to our gate with 4 hungry Things and two weary yet determined parents.  After being separated on the tram to our International terminal we successfully boarded for our 10 hour and 15 minute flight to Istanbul.  The Things were completely enamored with the large aircraft.  Leather seats, blankets, pillows, a video screen and gaming control for every seat.  Impressive.  Thing 1 and Thing 2 sat in a row all to themselves and not once did they call on their Mama for help.  Husband Jared and I were so proud. The Things slept most of the way and we have officially decided that the over night flights may be the best thing going.  Well that and of course flying business class, if we could.  Thing 4 inspected and took detailed notes of all the differences between coach and business class.  Someday Thing 4, someday. 

At 5pm local time we landed in Istanbul.  We made it through more lines for Visas and the such. The Things were ecstatic about having their passports stamped.  Now on to baggage claim.  Nine out of ten suitcases arrived.  The tenth one being Thing 2's.  She was not too thrilled about that.  Of course she rolled with it.  We arrived at the hotel, checked in enjoyed snacks on the Executive floor and ate dinner.  The Things were relieved to see that the menu consisted of recognizable food.  Our waiter embraced the Things and even brought Turkish delights and baklava to our table for dessert.  Not to mention the doner and butter rice he had shared with Thing 4.  Delish. 

Day 2 in country and we were preparing to depart for Izmir.  Breakfast brought an entire new gastronomical adventure.  Olives, cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes and yogurt so very different from what we are used to.  The Things tried new chocolate croissant, and various breads, or "ekmek" that they loved, even with kiwi preserves.  The flight to Izmir was uneventful, with exception to the meal we received (for an hour flight) and had to hold onto while we landed.  Turkish airlines is defnitely a full service airline. 

We decided after a day of traveling that we would stay close to the hotel for the evening.  Although we did manage a quick trip out to our new home.  The Things toured bedrooms, checked out the pool and Husband Jared and I received the stamp of approval from the harshest critics.  Thing 2 still did not have her luggage and not knowing when it would arrive we decided that her and Daddy would do some shopping.  Sound familar?  Well she handled it much better than her Mama for certain.  She also experienced her first taxi ride.  The shopping was, "dificult", in her words, albeit successful.  More firsts and learning opportunities.  We dined at the hotel restaurant once again and the Things were feeling rather brave.  Husband Jared was sharing some phrases in Turkish and the Things were trying their hand at the language.  The watiers were more than patient and impressed with their skills.  I, as Mama, was relieved to see the Things embracing this new culture.

The Things seemed to have been experiencing jet lag and confusion because their bodies were not ready to sleep at 13:00 local time.  Another adjustment for us, military time and the metric system.  So needless to say we slept in rather late Wednesday and then hit the ground running.  Lunch at the hotel, we missed breakfast, and then off to the house to take window measurements and make lists.  Things 2, 3 and 4 swam for the first time in our pool!  They loved it and I must say to hear their happy screams and laughter made my heart smile.  Husband Jared had a conference call with the States and so Thing 1 and measured windows.  And oh the windows.  There are too many to count.  We are grateful though because of those windows we have an amazing view of the sea and our Things when they are playing in the pool.  The day was not over.  We made a family field trip to Ikea.  Wandering through the aisles, reading labels in foreign languages, not understanding a word and feeling slightly overwhelmed at the daunting task in front of us we survived.  Another first.  We even managed to take care of the bedroom's windows.  No small feat.  And to celebrate, as mentioned in other posts, we walked to the Konak pier and celebrated with dinner.  The most notable experience for this night was the Movenpick icecream the Things devoured after dinner.  By far the best.  Their words, not mine.  The debate after dinner was whether to walk back to the hotel or take a taxi.  Thing 1 and Thing 4 rode in a taxi with me for the first time.  Amusing.  And then bed at 13:30 this time. 

Just a side note, it is after noon here and the Things are still sleeping.  It might take them a while to adjust to their new time zone.  All in all the first few days in country have been memorable.  Last night we met another American who is here teaching at a private school not far from Urla, where we will be living.  We exchanged information and are looking forward to connecting here soon.  Now that was a treat. 

I think that covers the "so much more".  I am convinced that there will still be so much more to share.  As in photos and stories and blunders.  I can't wait!

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