Last August, we hugged our families goodbye and boarded a plane to Turkey. I'll never forget that surreal, lump-in-my-throat, uneasy stomach feeling as we walked through the airport security and waved goodbye one last time. A few weeks later, my family had already applied for their passports and were planning their trip to visit us. It was never even a question.
I went out-of-state for college, but have never been away from my family for more than a couple of months. My family is very close and I knew the hardest part of being in Turkey would be the distance from our loved ones. So, every day since that monumental goodbye last August, I've anticipated their visit. Literally...every day. I imagined what it would be like to pick them up from the airport, to give them a tour of our home, to introduce them to local sights and cuisine. Those daydreams kept me going through my first holidays away from home and the days when a phone call home just didn't feel like enough.
On a humid, sticky night in July (July 8th...my mom's birthday!) Dan, Peter and I waited anxiously at the Adana airport for their plane to land. The plane was delayed about an hour, so I had to dig deep to find even more patience to wait for their long-awaited arrival. Finally, we caught a glance of my brother Ryan and my dad! I felt a tidal wave of emotions rush over me. It was just as I'd imagined.
We tried to fill their two week visit with as many trips and new experiences as we could. We took them to all of our favorite local spots: Tarsus, Snake Castle, Anavarza Castle, the Adana Mosque, a local produce market, and the Mediterranean Sea. We also enjoyed hanging out on Base, including a Sesame Street Live concert and lots of pool time! We took a weekend trip up to the mountains of Cappadocia. The cool, mountain air was such a refreshing break from the 100 + degree heat in Adana! Here are some fun photos from our adventures in Cappadocia!
Dan, Mom, and Ryan waiting for our lunch
The Seib family (Dad, Mom, Ryan, and Greg) in front of Cappadocia's fairy chimneys
My brother, Ryan, has a fun, adventurous, carefree spirit.
He didn't think twice before jumping on that camel! I love that kid.
Fairy Chimneys in Goreme, Turkey (Cappadocia)
Breakfast at our Cave Hotel!
We had a traditional Turkish breakfast of veggies, cheeses, crusty bread, jam, hard boiled eggs, and tea. We ate outside overlooking the beautiful mountains and fairy chimneys!
We stopped by Avanos, Turkey; a region famous for beautiful handmade pottery.
We each got to try making our own! It was so messy and fun!
Me, Peter, and my Mom enjoying lunch in Cappadocia
Cappadocia is famous for "pottery kabobs"; a vegetable and meat stew that is slow cooked all day in a little pottery container. When it's ready to eat, the waiter breaks it open with a hammer! Delicious!
(Note the Fanta in the background. My brothers were on a mission to try as many different flavors of Fanta as possible while in Turkey. According to my brothers, Turkey and Europe's Fanta tastes better than America's...and they have lots of fun flavors too!)
My Family! I love them so much!
Less than a year until we're back in the States with them again! I can't wait!
By the end of our two weeks, Peter had nicknames for everyone: Ryan (R), Greg (G), Grandma (Mama...yes, that gets very confusing : ) ), Grandpa (Bop Bop).
Peter was so sad to see them go. My brothers are AWESOME uncles and Peter looks up to them so much! Peter still talks about them constantly! Thank goodness for Skype and phone calls! Peter is always asking to call Grandma and Bop Bop! Thank you, Mom, Dad, Greg, and Ry, for flying all the way to Turkey to see us! It meant the world to us!