Because of the graciousness of our families taking care of our kids, Ian and I were able to take the trip of a lifetime to visit my sister and brother in law serving in Istanbul, Turkey. I still haven't fully been able to put our trip into words, so for now, I will share it part by part through photos, and then, I will begin to try to write about the impact this trip had on us.
We flew out of LAX and had a quick layover in Paris before heading to Istanbul. The 14 hours of travel didn't bother us because it felt like a day date! We watched movies, raced at Sudoku (our favorite thing to do together while traveling!), and had all meals cooked for us on the plane.
When we finally arrived in Istanbul it really didn't feel that far away. I know that sounds absurd because it is literally on the other side of the globe and I saw many a continent under us… however, God was kind to allow us to feel very comfortable there and seeing their two beaming faces made it that much better!
We spent 4 full days in Istanbul. We took one full day of sightseeing and spent the other days just enjoying learning about this city, their local spots, their favorite restaurants and parks. It was joyous. Though the food is different, it didn't matter… we were with them! Ian was more adventurous than I, but I did try a little of almost everything and was pleasantly surprised by a few.
We are on a ferry (a main mode of transportation in Istanbul! - Half of Istanbul is on the European continent and the other half is on the Asian continent! connected by a few bridges and lots of boats…)
Most of the touristy stuff is on the western European side, but they live on the eastern Asian side, so lots of ferry rides!
Dinner at Shake Shack! Yummy Burgers and Fries.
We saw an American movie! Most movies show in English but have Turkish subtitles.
I wasn't sure what was in my "hamburger" but Ian was excited about his "burrito"
The latte man himself making Ian a yummy latte!
We brought three suitcases with goodies from friends and family back home!
Intense Real Madrid game viewing party. They invited neighbors and the other members of their team, and it was a really neat time to see them all interact.
our first meal in Istanbul. We were so tired and hungry, anything sounded good! But this was really yummy.
Walking in their neighborhood. Burger King, Popeyes and KFC. No thanks!
We tried all their favorite local restaurants and this was a favorite. I don't remember what it was called but it had all fresh food from the local village farm. Delicious meats, egg dishes and fresh juices.
Farm fresh eggs and cool tiles- and our shoes.
Hagia Sophia! A Christian church build in 537AD. So old!
It was a mouse for 400 years but then changed back into a church and restored to its original beauty. The massive Muslim circular signs were too big to move out of the doors, so they stayed.
We went shopping for the kids
Little Caesars in Turkey is quite the treat! It tasted so good!!! Way different than American Little Caesars!
We had game nights with their team. Amy won.
Making us Mochas and Breakfast! They were wonderful hosts.
22 weeks pregnant with baby boy!!!
Turkish delight around every corner!
We got to sit in on their language lesson tutoring session. So fun to hear them all talk with each other.
So many modes of public transportation! This is the Dolmus line. Dolmus literally means "squished" so ya, that wasn't the most comfortable ride :)
The boys went to a turkish bath/spa and we shopped and explored!
Coldstones and Starbucks (Don't worry, we didn't go there… we tried to stick with all Turkish food and coffee :)
Their language tutor has become a great friend of theirs and is a believer!
More game nights! Our favorite game : 7 wonders!
Oh what a wonderful week it was!!! We then all 4 of us, jetted off to Paris for a 3/5 day whirlwind trip that I will save for the next post.
We can't wait to go back! We will bring a kid or two next time, so we are very excited to broaden our kids eyes to God's purpose and plan for the whole world in a new way.