A retreat on the Bosporus

Today is my birthday!

I woke up just after sunrise, in my own bed - looking around and exhaling, feeling my home hug me.

After 3 1/2 weeks of travel, we couldn't have planned this any better. Greeted with cards and a few gifts to open later today, we will BBQ and have a glass of wine for dinner as we adjust to life.

There's a lot to do today... unpack six bags, laundry, baking, settling back in.  I have so much to share with you but find myself overwhelmed by the events of the last month so I will let the photo's tell the story.

Let's start with part one... Istanbul.

Istanbul highlights:

Have you been to Istanbul? WT told me I would love it, he was right! This was the perfect way to begin our adventure.  A few days to adjust to the time zone while decompressing before heading to Tanzania.

14 million people, second largest city in the world, filled with religion, history... click here to learn more

Politics and Protests: Taksim Square (this is where the protests are happening).  Not to relive that night… just know our anniversary dinner ended with pepper spray, and firsthand experience with the fire hose ‘chemical spray’.  My legs were sprayed with ‘water’ that left my skin burning for a day. ~ more on this later, it deserves a separate post since it is easily one of the scariest moments of my life.

You can sit in Europe and look at Asia: We stayed on the Bosporus, dining just a few feet from tugs, cruise and cargo boats floating by as you take it all in.

A festival feel: The boardwalk, on the Bosporus, is the place to be. It's family friendly with cotton candy, games, food, and Chinese lanterns fill the sky creating a dreamy feel that keeps your eyes watching lanterns float until you can no longer see them in the skyline.

Can you think of a city with more history that Istanbul? We spent a day being tourists, visiting the Blue Mosque, walking the winding lanes of the Grand Bazaar, and seeking out the Constantinople marker designating the ‘center’ of the world. 

A slice of heaven:  We rented a scooter add drove up the coast and found a slice of heaven. Imagine Greece, with Caribbean colored waters on the Black Sea. A quiet vacation destination, just an hour outside the city. Divine!

Do you have any exciting plans today?  It's hot, humid, and muggy in New Jersey... exactly what the doctor is prescribing for my lungs (I have been sick since Jun 26). I'm off to find a recipe to bake today, sort our Kili gear, walk the dogs... slowly settling back in into life.  

Have a wonderful day, and remember... Life, it's happening!