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Turkey, October 27 – November 3, 2014

Many are probably wondering what our traveling life really looks like.  Are we stopping to smell the roses?  Seeing everything there is to see in each country or city we visit?   Tasting the local foods and drinks?  Are we staying in glamorous places?  Are we sitting on a white sandy beach watching the waves roll in?

To give you a real glimpse of our life on the road I thought I would document a week of our life for you to see just how wonderful and exciting our travels really are?  So sit back and enjoy the ride with us.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Our alarm goes off at 5:45am signaling us to get moving.  We only have 45 minutes before our tour bus arrives.  Luckily I packed the bags last night leaving out only our clothes for today and our toothbrushes.  I rolled over, turned off the alarm, grabbed my phone and checked for any return emails from the lady whom we are renting the apartment from later this week.  No emails.  Len and I get up and get dressed.  Now it is 6am and I wake the kids.  Grudgingly, they get up without too much complaining, rub the sleep from their eyes, get dressed, lace up their shoes and start carrying bags to the front door.  Our driver is at the door waiting for us (they are always so prompt).  The tour bus can’t make it down the narrow street so we walk, carrying our bags, to the bus.  Once on the bus we get the Wi-Fi access code and everyone is happy for the 4 hour ride.  We are lucky with this bus, most of our pervious buses have not had Wi-Fi.  With heads down in our tablets, playing games, reading or watching reruns of the Simpsons no one notices the rain. Or maybe they just don’t care.

After driving for a few hours we stop for breakfast, which is already prepared and waiting for us on the table.   Breakfast, which was included in our trip consisted of boiled eggs, slices of bologna, cheese, tomato, cucumber, fresh bread and topped off with Turkish tea (which no one really likes).  I look over and I see Len adding a few teaspoons of sugar to make the tea taste a little better.  We had 30 minutes to eat, use the washroom and get back on the bus.  We enjoyed our quick breakfast, chat with fellow travelers before running back to the bus.  It was getting colder and rainier.  I heard people talking about the cold coming down from Russia.  At that moment I was thankful that we crossed Russia off our list.  I mentioned to Noah that we will need to get mitts and toques and we are laughing about that.

Its 9:30 and we’re back on the bus.  The kids move to the back row of seats so they can stretch out and watch more episodes of the Simpsons.  Len is reading the guide book and I watch the world zoom by and continue documenting our day as we bump along the highway.  It is raining harder now, and I begin to wonder how we are going to see anything in Troy.  Sure glad we have our rain gear easily accessible.

We have been traveling for 3 and a half hours and the rain is coming down harder now.  Roads are wet and under construction.  Our bus was just about hit by a little blue car that decided to change lanes without looking first or signaling.  Bus swerves on the wet road and fishtails a bit.  The bus driver keeps the bus under control and the driver and guide are now having a loud, emotional discussion about what has just occurred.  All are safe and sound on the bus, but I don’t think anyone (including all the other tourists) really noticed what just happened.  Still hoping the rain stops and the sun peeks out from behind those heavy grey clouds.

11:45 am: We’ve passed through the rain and now can see through the windows. Driving along the Aegean sea.  Fall has arrived in Turkey; the leaves are brown and fallen to the ground.  Fields are bare.

Rolled into Canakkale shortly after noon and were met by our next tour guide. We quickly grabbed our bags from the belly of the bus, crossed the street, walked about half a block down an alley to a hotel where we would be leaving our bags for the day.  From there we walked around the corner to a restaurant where we had about 40 minutes to eat our lunch.  It was cold and windy, reminding us of a cold Saskatchewan fall day.  Truthfully, we were hating the weather and we were not prepared for it.  We quickly ate and ran down the street to buy toques and mitts.  We had seven minutes until we had to be back.   We ran to the first store, nothing but food.  We ran further down the street and found a little boutique.  Spotted some toques, Noah quickly found one he liked then found one for Aurora.  We each got mitts and I grabbed a scarf too.  This all for 30 Liras (about $15 CAD).  We ran back to the hotel then made our way to the ferry.

It was a short 15 minute ferry ride across the straight and then onward by van to the legendary city of Troy.  When we arrived at the site, it was hard to miss seeing the replica of the Trojan horse.  The kids (and Len) climbed up the stairs and into the horse, to peer out the little windows to get a bird’s eye view of the area and of course get photos (we can’t pass up a great photo op).  Bundled up in our mitts and toques we were off on our tour.  Learning about Helen of Troy and one of the most epic battles in the history of man.  Visiting the site of the Trojan war, the sacrificial alters, the fortification walls of Troy Vl with its tower and gateway entrance, Temple of Athena and the entrance ramp to Troy ll.  We enjoyed our tour and found it very informative. It was interesting to see how the cities of Troy were built on top of each other as each new ruling group made the city their own.  Archaeologists have discovered 13 different layers of Troy, each belonging to a different group of people.

In all honesty, it was so cold and windy that we were glad when the tour guide cut our tour short so we could get back to the van and warm up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe made one more stop to see the replica of the Trojan horse used in the movie “Troy”. The Trojan Horse can be seen from the ferry when crossing the straight as it sits at the waterfront in Canakkale.  Len and I got out to see it while the kids stayed in the van.  This horse was made of plastic wood and in all honestly, looked much nicer and realistic than the one in Troy.

The van sits in line waiting to get on the ferry.  Once on the ferry we (and all the other tourists) decided to stay in the van as we crossed the straight… so much warmer that way.

Returned to hotel, took a quick look to ensure our bags were still there (leaving our bags unattended in a hotel lobby where the staff tell us not to  worry, does not stop us from worrying!!).  We were dreading coming back because we were taking an overnight bus to Selcuk which was leaving at 11:30pm.  We had about 6 hours to kill before our bus was leaving.  I knew that running for supper would eat up some of that time, but not all of it.   Luck and generosity was on our side today, because one of the tour guides informed us that the hotel was giving us a room so we could have a sleep and rest before catching the bus.  We were not expecting such generosity, but were so excited not to have to sit in the lobby all evening.  We quickly grabbed the keys and went to our room to warm up.  We hung out for an hour or so before the kids began crying for supper.   We decided to run out for a bit to eat, but found few places still open.  We walked for a few blocks before spotting an open restaurant.  We went in, ordered from a leftover buffet counter, took our plates back to the table and ate our cold and bad tasting supper.

After eating we ran back to the hotel, crawled under the comforters and fell asleep for a few hours.  Len woke the kids and me up at 11pm.  We didn’t want to leave the warmth of our blankets, but got up, put our shoes on and went down stairs to get our bags.  Once down we handed the keys back, thanked them for the room and made our way to the bus depot across the street.  Promptly at 11:30 the bus rolls in, we toss our bags into the belly of the bus and hop on.  We settle into our seats, the kids sit together so they can play video games.  It doesn’t take Len long to fall asleep.  The kids and I are awake most of the trip because we had such a good sleep earlier at the hotel.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The bus makes many, many stops along the way; picking up people, packages and even letters.  We arrive into Selcuk at 7:20am.  As we get off the bus we are greeted by men who are trying to get you to say at their hotel.  We tell them we have a hotel booked and one man asks which hotel.  He dials a number and then claims he called the hotel, but there was no answer.  Len goes to flag down a taxi.  Our taxi ride was less than 7 minutes from the bus station to hotel.   Once at the hotel we check in; take our bags to our room and go for a little walk before returning for breakfast.  After breakfast we return to our room and jump into bed.  We sleep until midafternoon, thus wasting most of our free day.  Oops, we should have known better.

We had read that Selcuk is a nice little town that shouldn’t be missed.  When out walking earlier this morning we noticed ancient ruins that needed to be explored.  So we decided to pay the 10 Liras each to see it.  Well worth the money.   We had so much fun exploring and playing in the ruins that once were a Byzantine citadel up on the hill.  At the foot of the hill is the ruins of the Basilica of St John.  It is believed that it contains the tomb of St. John, and that he lived in the Citadel, and wrote some of his Gospel while living there.  It was amazing and surreal to be walking around in an area where someone such as St. John lived out the remainder of his life.

We were having so much fun, almost alone within the ruins that we didn’t want to leave, but it was getting dark fast.  So fast, that by the time we left it was dark and making it hard to see as we walked down the hill.

We decided to eat at the hotel tonight.  Partly because it makes things easy, but mostly because the hotel manager stopped us in the morning asking if we had planned to have supper at the hotel.   Being caught off guard, we agreed to return for supper.

We went down for supper at around 7pm.  We were served the chicken stew that is so popular (I think this is the third time I had this in the past 4 days).  The host’s 4 year old son was helping his dad with serving the patrons.   He was a cute little guy that was going out of his way to make up happy; so much so that he put his own candy in a bowl and gave it to us.

Another early day tomorrow, so we returned to our room, packed our bags and crawled into bed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

There is no sleeping in when the curtains are so sheer, so we were awake early and downstairs to the restaurant.  I enjoyed a relaxing breakfast, and talked with a woman who was traveling through Turkey alone.   We are so glad our room included breakfasts.  The breakfasts here have been great in comparison to the sweet buns and breakfasts that we have been served at other places.  Yesterday we were served crepes; today it was an omelet along with the buffet of breads, cereal, fruit, cheese and fresh juice.

Once in the van we stopped to pick up a few more people before leaving town.  Today we were heading out to see Ephesus, but were told we were going to make a few more sightseeing stops before that.   As we drove along our guide was providing history on Ephesus and the area.  We passed the parking lot of Ephesus.  It was filled with buses.  Our guide said that they are from the cruise line, and that we would be coming back in a short while.  I wasn’t really sure where we were heading for the longest time.  Maybe I wasn’t really paying attention, or maybe, I just didn’t understand what she was saying, or maybe, I was skeptical.  Anyway a few minutes later we pulled into another parking lot, were told that if we leave the group just to meet back at the bus.

In front of the Mary's house

In front of the Mary’s house

Off we went, passing down a little paved path passing a few trinket stands and a few food carts selling fresh juice and bagels/doughnuts. We continue walking until we stop at the top of a little hill and read the signs that provided a good explanation in about 6 to 8 languages.  I stood there reading it, still a little skeptical, a little nervous, and a little excited. Was it really the Virgin Mary’s house from over 2000 years ago?  We heard the stories of how it was found and is now a holy placed that is visited by Popes.  We were told there is usually a lineup so long that it takes up to 45 minutes to get in, but today we walked right up path to the little stone house.  We were not permitted to take pictures of the inside so took a few pictures of the outside before venturing in.  I will have to be honest; standing in the house was a very humbling experience for me.  We were told that there are usually so many people in the house that it is impossible to move, but today we freely moved around looking at the gifts given the previous Popes; pictures on the wall.

Drinking from fountain

Drinking from fountain

Once outside we walked down a slope to the Fountain of St. Mary where it is believed that the Virgin Mary got her drinking water and that the water had healing qualities.  On the side of the hill there are three fountains in a row.  It is said that many people, including locals, have experienced miracles (Vatican verified miracles following  drinking from these fountains some of which include being cured of cancer; cripples leaving their crutches behind as they walk away; couples wanting to start a family return home only to find out they are expecting; people looking for love find love…and the list goes on.

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There is usually a 20-30 minute wait to get to the fountains, but today we were one of a handful of people.   It is said that the three fountains are for love, health and wealth.  We didn’t know which fountain was which so we drank from all three fountains just for good measure.  I have to say, there are not any reported miracles for us (or have there been?)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was so enjoyable having the place almost to ourselves, taking our time and leaving when we were ready.  Before leaving the kids ran back to empty their water bottles and fill them up with the water from the fountains.  When Len heard what they were doing he joined them in filling his bottle as well.

Back on the bus and off to Ephesus which is only a few kilometers away.  We arrived at the parking lot, it was full; there white buses and vans everywhere (all the tourist vehicles are standard white).  People were walking in every direction looking for their bus or getting off their bus; people were standing in the middle of the road taking pictures of themselves in the parking lot (I’m not kidding here).  This was a busy place.

How do I sum up Ephesus?  It is one of Turkey’s busiest tourist destinations because there is so much to see there.  Ephesus began as a city in the 10th Century BC by the Greeks, and remained as a city of significance until it was abandoned in the 15th Century AD.  As a city it was under the rule of many different ruling groups including the Roman Empire, and the archeological ruins that have been excavated are absolutely amazing.  We saw so much and heard so much history at Ephesus I couldn’t even begin to tell you about it all.  I will highlight a few things for you.

My favorite site from Ephesus was the Library of Celsius. It was built in 117 AD as a monumental tomb for the Governor Gaius Julius Celcus  Polemaeanus, and as a immense library for over 12,000 scrolls at the time.  The original statues that are from the façade are now in a museum and the current statues are replicas.   As you can see from the photos below the ruins that remain show some incredible ancient architecture.  Imagining the goings on that occurred in such a building over two thousand years ago and imagining the knowledge that was stored in that building just blows my mind.

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Some other sites I really enjoyed at Ephesus included seeing the ruins of terraced housing on the side of a hill with incredible tile mosaics inside many of the homes.  We also got to see what is believed to be the world’s first advertisement sign carved into the rocks.  It was designed to tell visitors to the city directions to the world’s first brothel (which happened to be linked by underground tunnel to the library).  Now on polar opposites we also got to see the ruins of the first church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  So much history occurred in this city, you could spend days as a tourist seeing it and having it interpreted by a guide and you would only have seen some of it.  We got to see a portion of this history this afternoon and were happy to have seen and heard what we did.  It was definitely a highlight for all of us.

OOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnce our tour of Ephesus was complete our guide offered to take us to a few other stops.  In what seems to be standard procedure (from our experience of group tours) tour guides work them into or end the tour with stops to see shops where you can buy things ranging from gaudy souvenirs to expensive hand made carpets.  We knew this was coming, so were ready for it and agreed to go with the plan that we would not buy anything.  We stopped at a carpet co-operative shop and saw how they make silk for the carpets and how they weave carpets.  In the below photo we are holding a handmade silk carpet that would sell for $125,000 USD (it took about 2 years to make by hand with the weaver only being able to work on it for a few hours each day, because long duration daily work on it would cause the weaver to possibly go color blind or have some other sort of sight problems

We stopped at a well known leather factory (I cannot recall the brand name,) that supplies leather for Gucci, but makes their own line of leather products (everything you can imagine).  We also were treated to apple tea and a glamorous fashion show (the first time Noah and Aurora have seen a live fashion show).   We also stopped at a Precious Gemstone Co-operative, to see how jewelry is made, and of course see the show room. We ended our tour with a stop at a ceramic co-operative where we saw ceramic methods and some of the finest ceramics I have seen in my life.  We stuck to our plan of not buying, but it was really hard.  We could have easily filled a truck up with carpets, leather coats, purses, jewelry and of course beautiful pottery and ceramics.

It was a very long day of touring. We were dropped off at our hotel at around 6:30.  Our hotel manager was very surprised to see us returning so late.  We ran upstairs, rested for a bit before heading out for supper.

It was after 7 when we when out looking for a restaurant and a belly dancers hat for Aurora.  She wanted one for Halloween, even though they do not celebrate Halloween in Turkey.  We headed to the more touristy area, looked in all the open shops for a hat and came up empty.  We found a quaint little indoor restaurant.  Enjoyed our meal while the kids fed the cats that hang out around the restaurants looking for scraps.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I had a strange feeling that our tour time had changed, and sure enough it had, they just didn’t tell us.  We were barely finished our breakfast when our tour bus arrived a few minutes past 9am.  Glad we hauled our bags down before breakfast.

Again today we had to stop to pick up more people from the bus station.  There was a group of Asians and a couple from Australia.  As it turned out they were only going as far as the gates of Pamukkale; meaning we would have a private tour, which was perfectly fine with us.  Getting to Pamukkale was a long drive, over 3 1/2 hours.

After we arrived at Pamukkale (which means “cotton castle” in Turkish) we had our buffet lunch.  After lunch our day tour began with a tour of the Hierapolis outside the ancient ruins of Pamukkale.  It was not what I expected at all.  The area was huge with ruins of I’m gonna guess thousands of ancient tombs and graves.  It was a somber experience, but interesting to see.  We toured a little around the ancient city and saw archeological ruins much like we saw in Ephesus.

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The part we were looking forward to the most was our chance to swim around in Cleopatra’s Pool, which is a mineral hotsprings that was used by Cleopatra and was believed to have healing qualities for skin conditions.  The pool was great and we got to swim around and relax in the pool and sit on and step over ancient columns, and pieces of ancient buildings that have fallen into the pool.  The Romans also used this pool as a spa back in ancient times and people have been coming to it since back then.

After our relaxing swim in the hot springs, we continued on to see and play in the amazing white calcified terraces that have formed from the runoff from Cleopatra’s Pool.  Best way to describe them is to show you a photo.  We were required to walk barefoot through the terraces in order to do no harm nor track in dirt to these amazing natural wonders.  It was almost like seeing and being on glaciers, except they and the water were warm.  Only regret not having more time there.  Maybe next time.

We ended our tour after reaching the bottom of the terraces and walking into town.  While waiting for our van to transport us to our night bus, we tried for the very first time some unique Turkish ice cream that has the texture of bubblegum.  It is unique in how it is served, the servers are constantly “packing” and compressing the ice cream into the buckets, then taking out a scoop on a large long spoon and waving it around to advertise the ice cream to tourists.  You expect the ice cream to melt and fall off the spoons as they are waving it around, but it does not.  Before they scoop the ice cream to the cone they do the packing and compressing of the ice cream in the bucket again.  We’ve never seen anything like it other than in Turkey.  It tastes good too.

Waiting for our bus was a bit of an anxiety provoking experience.  We were supposed to get a transfer van to the bus station in order to catch our 5:00 pm bus and it was about a quarter to five and none of the tourist staff, including our guide had a clue which van or bus we were scheduled to catch.  There were other tourists in the same boat with flights to catch and time was counting down really fast.  We finally got moving on a van at 4:55 pm for a fifteen minute drive to the bus station for the 5:00 departure of our bus.  See where this is going?  We are all in the van telling the van driver we have missed our bus and the other tourists have missed their flights and the driver speaks no English and keeps telling everyone to “not worry”.  We are on our way and the driver gets a call that he has to turn back to pick up someone else.  There was mutiny in the van.  We convinced the driver not to turn back but he stopped on the shoulder to wait for the additional passenger to get dropped off by another driver.  We get going again, and he keeps stopping to drop off everyone or picking people up, telling us not to worry.  Finally, he pulls over on the busy highway and motions us to get out, we are about to lose our minds.  He begin to pull our bags out from the belly of the bus and toss them onto the side of the road.  A woman from the bus manages to convey to us that our bus is going to pick us up on the side of the highway.  I think this is a joke.  We are not feeling so sure this is going to happen, but we have no choice but to wait and see what is going to happen.  It seems like forever, but our bus finally comes and pulls over on the side of the highway to pick us up.  We finally stop to breathe and feel OK that we have not missed our night bus to our next destination.

After about 4 hours on the bus we finally arrive in Fethiye at about 9:30pm.  Tired and hungry we grabbed a taxi to the villa we were staying at.  Turns out the taxi driver didn’t know how to get there.  Len pulls out his phone, Google mapped it and within 20 minutes we were there.  It was dark when we checked in and our villa was a bit difficult to find.  We were glad the concierge helped carry our bags. We had a three bedroom, two bathroom villa with a fully equipped kitchen and a deck off the living room.  Not bad for $40.  I was almost sorry we were not staying there our whole time in Fethiye.  There were no restaurants open and we were too tired to wait for delivery so we all just crawled into bed.

Friday, October 31, 2014

We had to check out by noon, so we had to get up early. The kids got up and ran out to check out their surroundings.  They came back to report that they found 4 swimming pools at the resort and a gym.

Aurora had to show me the gym and while were walking I noticed a sign for a market. We went in search of the market because she was still hoping to find a hat for Halloween. We found a market but there was little there.  We asked at the hotel about where we could buy a belly dancers hat and pumpkins and were told to walk down the main road for 10 minutes and there would be a market.  We went back to get Len and Noah and off we went searching for the market.  We walked for over 10 minutes and there was no market.  We passed many little stores, checking them all out and came up with nothing.  We did find one store with pumpkins, or something that looked like a pumpkin but it was too big for us to transport so we passed on it.  Knowing we were running out of time to check out we turned back.  We stopped at one store bought milk, juice and cereal for breakfast.  Since there would be no Halloweening we bought the kids a whole lot of candy to make up for missing it.  They were happy with their bag full of gummy candy, chocolate bars, gum, suckers and cookies.

We checked out, hailed a taxi and were off to our next place.  Again, the taxi driver didn’t know how to get there so he called the security guard at the condo and he came and met up with us showing our driver the way.  Our new home for the next two weeks was great. A two bedroom apartment with a pool less than about 30 feet from our door.  The kids were so excited to see the pool. It’s always exciting to see our new accommodations.  This place did not let us down.

The only thing it didn’t have was food, so Len and Noah went in search of a grocery store.

There was no way we could forget that today was Halloween.  The kids were so excited about it and also a little sad that they weren’t home trick or treating with their friends. Trying to make the best of things I downloaded a few Halloween movies so we could watch them in the evening.

While Len and Noah were shopping Aurora sews a costume for her bunny.  The cutest bunny ghost I’ve ever seen.

Hours later they show up with groceries; enough for a few days anyway. It turned out they got lost. This is not unusual for us, we often get lost.

We carved apples and drew scary faces on oranges because we didn’t have pumpkins to carve, had pasta for supper and watched some Halloween movies on a laptop.

 

Saturday November 1, 2014

Well today was to be the start of our two weeks of schoolwork and catchup.  We got up and enjoyed a coffee on the deck.  The kids had “sugar cereal”; you know the artificial flavored chocolate flakes that turns the milk into chocolate milk.

Started a load of laundry. We had a lot of it and each load takes almost 2 hours to wash and then we hang them to dry.

After breakfast the kids started homework.  They work for a few hours and before we know it its lunch time and they are whinny for food.

They make sandwiches, turn on the Simpsons, and have lunch.  But the pool keeps calling their names.  And the calls seem to get louder and louder.  We finally give in on the promise they will come back to do more school work.  They agree.  Off they run to change into their swimsuits.  Out the door they run, jumping into the pool.  There are a few other kids in the pool.  One girl around Aurora’s age.  We encourage her to go introduce herself.  After a little coaxing she runs off.  From our deck we watch as she nudges her way closer to the little girl and within minutes they are chatting.  The next thing we know they are inseparable.   Laughing, running around, and playing with the neighborhood kitten.

We don’t really see much of Aurora until around 6pm when she returns home happy and excited that she made a new friend.

We make supper, spaghetti again, and watch the Halloween movie again while we eat.

Aurora fulfills her promise and does another lesson in math before getting ready for bed.  So proud of her.

All tired and in bed early, partly because it gets so dark so fast here that it makes you think it is later than it really is.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The roosters woke me early. Tried to sleep, but unsuccessful.  Finally gave in and got up around 7am, made coffee and sat out on the deck and Skyped with a friend from home.  Always good to talk to friends back home.

View from the deck

Doing schoolwork on the deck

Kids were up shortly after 8, made their own breakfast (unhealthy chocolate ball cereal again).  After eating they started schoolwork.   Aurora was eager to get it done because her little friend was waiting for her at the pool.

Started another load of laundry.

The kids are finally done schoolwork at around 11:30 and in a flash they are one.  They played until around two when we left for the local market.

It was a 30 minute walk to the market,  had fun walking around looking at all the fresh produce, dollar store junk and knockoff clothing.  We bought fruit, veggies, eggs, chicken and a few treats for the week.  On the walk home stopped and bought fresh bread too.   This should hold us for a while.   Spent less than $50

Once home from the market Aurora ran off with her friend and Noah was back doing schoolwork leaving Len and I to clean all the fruit and veggies so they can be quickly grabbed when someone wanted a quick snack.

Len made chicken kabobs for supper (no pasta tonight).  I sat and worked on a few blog posts.

20141108_133653641_iOSNoah is in his room doing homework but I’m not sure how much he is getting done because I hear a lot of music coming from his room.

Kids have a shower and get ready for bed. Bedtime is always a challenge and tonight is no different.   A lot of horsing around, laughter and it ends in tears.  Someone always gets hurt.  That is the downfall of them having to share a room.

Its 11:30 and the kids finally fall asleep.  Len and I clean up a bit and go to bed too.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Normal morning routine: get up early, make coffee and start a load of laundry; all before anyone else gets up.  It’s good to have simple routines.  Just enjoying doing the mundane things.

I spend a few hours trying to figure out where we go when we leave Turkey in a few weeks.  I look at Mongolia, quickly rule that out when I check the weather…too cold.  Look at Sri Lanka.  Check out weather for Sri Lanka…weathers good.   Checkout flights. They are good.  Keep this as a possibility.  I keep looking and checkout Singapore.  It has nice weather and flights are comparable.   Another possibility.   I keep this up, looking at our world map that is spread out on the coffee table for inspiration.

The kids get up looking for food. Noah is growing so much, eating so much that we can’t keep enough groceries in the house.

Len finally gets out of bed at around noon.  By this time the kids have eaten, and started their homework.

Aurora works for about an hour before she asks for go play with her friend who is leaving today.

Aurora plays with her friend, they exchange contact information and say their goodbyes.  Aurora comes in sad because “this always happens”.   She makes a friend and then they leave.   She mopes for a bit before getting back to schoolwork.   I usually sit with her while she does her schoolwork.   Partly because even though the coursework is online, our Wi-Fi cuts in and out and sometimes it’s just easier to work on the files on the computer instead of logging in to the school.   But the files are hard to find and I usually help her out.   We work on homework for a couple of hours.

While Len and I make supper the kids are in their room playing Lego.  Building and rebuilding new creations.

We eat supper, I do dishes. Kids are back in their room playing.

Len and I sit down and discuss the possible options I came up with earlier.  He suggestions Maldives.  Ok, that’s an option I hadn’t thought of.   Will look at that tomorrow.

So, that is what one week in our life looks like.  Not always fun and glamorous, not always exciting.  We still make supper most nights, do laundry, grocery shop, celebrate holidays and other special days and hang out together watching a movie.  We just toss in a few bus trips, flights and interesting sights into our days.  I still want to pull out my hair out at times when the kids fight or Len almost makes us late for something, but in the end, I am so glad we are together exploring this big beautiful world.