A Turkish Adventure: The Wedding in Istanbul
Merhaba, it’s me, beezy b. I just spent the last 10 days abroad, in Turkey!
I don’t even know where to start in writing this post. It was such an amazing trip. I have SO many photos and SO many stories to share. Turkey was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Simply guzel [beautiful]. You see that?! I even picked up a few Turkish words along the way ;)
My boyfriend is Turkish and a good portion of his extended family lives in Turkey. One of his cousins was getting married in Istanbul so we attended the wedding and then spent the following week at the family's summer home in Cesme. Sounds too good to be true, right?
So, here begins the great Turkish adventure to Istanbul! We'll chat Cesme in a future post.
We left Chicago on Thursday night. [ORD --> LHR]. Zoom zoom. Keaton surprised me with biz class tickets. Say what?! This b is still getting accustomed to the finer life of TSA pre-check and complimentary wine in the lounge. Now, biz class?! Sesh. I had no idea what to expect but when I laid eyes upon my reclining, personal seat pod, and then the flight attendant asked if wanted a glass of champs before departure, I knew I was in for a pretty special experience. Spoiled. Such a posh b!
Cheers to the start of our Turkish adventure! See those TWO glasses of red wine?! Yolo. Vacation mode is on.
After a comfy in-air snooze, we landed in London for a brief layover. Perfect. This gave us just enough time to browse the Harry Potter tourist goodies [just jokes], and enjoy some lounge snacks before our next flight to Istanbul. I give the lounge porridge 2 thumbs up ;)
Soon we were up in the air again and zooming along. No troubles. Once we arrived in Istanbul, we checked into our hotel - the Wyndham Grand Istanbul - freshened up, and then went to meet Keaton's family for dinner. No time to waste!
We gathered at his Grandma’s place nearby and I met the whole gang - Keaton’s grandmother, brother, sister-in-law, nephew, sister, uncle, aunts, dad, and step-mom. So welcoming, and such a lovely crew!
The next day we had coffee and tea on the roof top of our hotel with Keaton’s brother and nephew before leaving to catch a ferry to Besiktas.
We explored for a bit [saw so many wild cats!] and grabbed a bite to eat before getting ready for the wedding that night.
Oh wow, time for the BIG wedding extravaganza!
I've never been to a Turkish wedding, and neither had Keaton, so I was eager to see how the night would unfold.
We danced, we drank, we ate! The music started off with some familiar western songs and later turned into more traditional Turkish tunes. At one point we all joined hands to form a circle and did a synchronized dance [someone said it was comparable to the Turkish macarena; right on!]. I stepped on a man’s foot behind me, and kicked Keaton in the shin. It was fab and fun. I also tried raki for the first time - lion's milk [rawr!]. It was strong, and tasted like black licorice. Different, but I didn’t hate it! And, lastly the food. Yum. We enjoyed various mezze before the main course. I tired them all, and the dolma [stuffed grape leaves] was my favorite.
Without a doubt, the entire wedding was a blast. Throughout the night there was even a lil drone buzzing around catching footage from the crowd below dancing the night away. The bride and groom were such celebs for the night!
The next morning we woke for an early Turkish brunch. We then packed our bags to prepare for the next leg of our trip, a brief flight to Izmir to stay the week at the summer home in Cesme.
Cesme was a dream. So beautiful. Pictures and videos simply don’t do it justice!
I’m going to write a few separate posts, detailing the week's adventures. For a quick sneak peak of what's to come, we kicked off the week with a delicious traditional Turkish breakfast at Bazlama [oh my!], swam at a number of beautiful Turkish beaches, went sailing for a day, explored a local bazar for fresh goodies, and I even experienced my first Turkish bath. My skin has never been so soft!
Stay tuned, people!