Did anyone else blink and it was June?
This first half of the year has been quite an adventure in terms of travel. From celebrating a good friend’s birthday in San Diego, to the delicious island of Kauai and the fairytale streets of Barcelona, I’ve been a very lucky girl.
So, what’s next you ask?
Some exciting things are in store. I can’t wait to show you.
I have been dreaming of visiting the Pacific Northwest during the summer months (read: when it’s not constantly grey and rainy). Mustafa and I were originally thinking of going to Vancouver in July, but the plane ticket was a lot more expensive then Seattle. I can’t complain. Seattle is one of my favorite cities, where I would move to in a heartbeat if it didn’t rain for nine months straight.
Plan of action: While I’ve been a frequent visitor to the Emerald City, it will be Mustafa’s first time. I’m hoping to show him all the classic tourist places like Pike Place Market, but also explore neighborhoods further afield like Rainer Valley and the International District, not surprisingly for food-related reasons.
Local overnight trips near the Bay Area:
Monterey: An ideal weekend road trip destination near the Bay, that has many small towns to stop at on the way and pick up fresh fruit and homemade pie.
Calistoga: A small town in the middle of Napa Valley that is famous for its natural hot springs and where I have a lot of the best summertime memories from my childhood. Hopefully, I can fit in some shopping along Main Street as well.
Mustafa’s family lives in Izmir and we are planning to go back in August to visit them. I cannot wait to hang out in Bostanli sipping cocktails by the sea, spending time at the summer house eating elaborate home-cooked Turkish breakfasts on the back porch and cooling off in the salty Aegean Sea. For me Izmir is the definition of summer.
Plan of action: We will spend most of our time in Dikili, where Mustafa’s family spends their summers. A few days will be spent in Izmir, hanging out with friends. Lots of Efes beer will be involved, I’m sure. Also, lots of quality Sansli time (the youngest cat child of the family).
Whenever I go back to Turkey, I try to stop in Istanbul, even if it’s only for a few days. It seems like the more I familiarize myself with the city, the more I realize how little I really know about it. I was in love with the city long before I visited it and even now that love has not faded one bit. I cannot get enough.
Plan of action: The first time that I visited Istanbul, it was a blur of mosques and crowds (it was during the Ramazan holiday). Subsequent visits back have been more relaxed and I enjoyed getting to see the city from a more local perspective (including a bar called the Kara Kedi/Black Cat high in an apartment building). I would love to explore Karakoy on the Asian side more in-depth, eat kumpir in Ortakoy and go on a food tour.
Most of these trips are to places that I have been to before. While I love the thrill of exploring a new destination, I enjoy the familiarity that comes with revisiting a place and the ability to explore even deeper. Plus, I don’t have to feel guilty about setting aside time to see the major sights and can focus on more pressing matters, like eating. I cannot wait to share all my summertime adventures with you. Stay tuned!