Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Beach Weekend in Mersin

This last week was pretty busy for us.  First there was a cocktail party at the principal officer's home on July 3rd which served as a more informal celebration of our nation's birthday.  It was the perfect opportunity for S and I to get time away from the kiddos, enjoy a couple of ice cold beers, and chat with good friends.  That was followed by a friend's family BBQ on July 4th.  S and I took the boys with us, and we all ate grilled burgers, hot dogs and drank more ice cold beer while E ran around with the other kids and D napped in his carrier on my chest.  Then on Saturday we hosted dinner for the new family who recently moved to post.  As the weekend progressed, we realized three straight days of parties, BBQs and dinner was a bit overwhelming, for us and our guests, but since the dinner had been scheduled way before the other two events were even on the radar, we had to go through with it.  In the end it was fun, low-key, and the food was delicious.  S cooked up an amazing Italian feast and our guests sat around our living room picnic-style, sipping wine and indulging in pizza and pasta.  

Having exhausted ourselves from socializing and partying, S and I decided it was time to get away.  We loaded the kids in the car, dropped the dog at the kennel, and drove the roughly 45 minutes to Mersin, a coastal town along the Mediterranean.  

We stayed two nights at the Hilton hotel with a fabulous view overlooking the water.  We spent a few hours at the pool the first day and returned back to the room that evening where we spoiled ourselves with room service.  

The view from our room

The next day we enjoyed a lovely Turkish breakfast then headed to the beach.  S and I took turns sitting in the shade with D and playing in the water or building sand castles with E. 

S and D at breakfast

Me with sweet E

S trying to coax E out into the water.

Building sand castles

It WAS a perfect day for the beach!

Attempting to take a selfie with D.

 After a long day of fun in the sun, we drove back to the hotel to prepare for dinner.  S and I were craving a nice fish dinner at one of the local restaurants, but that turned out to be a bust.  We set out on a walk at 5:30 p.m. in a quest to find a nearby restaurant.  Unfortunately, since it is currently Ramazan, all the restaurants were serving buffet-style Iftar dinners that didn't start until sundown.  That was it. No other options. Sundown is around 8:45 p.m. these days, and with a 2-month old and 3-year old, that was clearly too late to eat.  So, we trekked back to the hotel and dined in the Hilton restaurant.  We sat in the shade overlooking the water.  S ordered sea bass, I ordered chicken and shrimp, and E had pizza.  D chilled in his car seat discovering his hands and listening to the waves crashing on the shore.  E ate and played on his Leap Pad, while S and I enjoyed our food and good conversation.  We turned in early again that evening, and I enjoyed a solid 5 hours of sleep before D woke up demanding to be fed.  

Me with my boys

Dipping D's toes in the water.

Happy baby!

Dinner by the sea

Despite the fact that we were traveling with a newborn and a toddler, S and I both agreed that the weekend was perfectly relaxing.  I don't know what it is about the beach, but it seems to chill our entire family out.  Needless to say, there are many beach getaways in our future.  

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