Sunday, December 5, 2010
This Thanksgiving we decided to be thankful for the opportunity to celebrate the annual American feast with a bit of irony. We went to Turkey, specifically Istanbul, for 4 days. We LOVED it.
Istanbul is one of my favorite cities I've ever been too (just below Florence, but just a touch above London. Sorry London but you're expensive and you kicked Q and I out of Westminster.) It really is a perfect mix of Europe and the Middle East. It manages to find that balance of being tourist friendly without being over-run with tourists. Great history. Great culture. Great public transportation. Great cafes. Great people. Great city.
I've never been to a more child friendly place in my life. EVERYONE we came in contact with fauned over the boys. At one point we stopped into a United Colors of Benetton store and Kate and I probably could have left for a few hours without anyone caring. The boys were running, wrestling, and playing with all the clerks like they were all their best friends. At cafes, waiters were constantly giving the boys free treats, candy, toys, and trinkets.
It was amazing how so many of the people we met over those few days made us feel so at home and welcome. Which I have to say is about the complete opposite of what Israel does. Our very nice hotel, located right in the center of the historical part of the city and 50 yards from a tram stop, had fantastic staff and even served a turkey dinner the evening of Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie and a glass of Baileys for dessert.