Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An Istanbul Mini-Moon

We finally did it.  This past weekend Glenn and I left Sidney in the very capable hands of the best nanny in Albania and flew off to Istanbul, Turkey.  We went under the auspices of an early anniversary gift to ourselves but in reality it was so much more.  This was the first time we both left Sidney and took a mini-vacation for just the two of us. (OK, for full disclosure, when he was just over a year we did leave him with my parents for a week while we went to a mandatory training.  I don't count that as a true get away since spending a week in the western Pennsylvania woods in December is not my idea of a good time).  So after 2 1/2 years we took the plunge and went on our first couples vacation since our Kauai baby-moon back in 2009.

Playing tourist in Istanbul
We chose Istanbul since it is one of the few places that is close by, we wanted to visit, and more importantly, we could fly to directly.  Packing for the trip was heaven since I didn't need to count out diapers, snacks, and travel toys.  Not having to carry matchbox cars, wet wipes and crayons with me, I was able to downsize to a cute purse of non-mommy-size proportions.  Away went my mommy clothes and out came my slightly more fashionable pre-pregnancy clothes that surprisingly enough, still fit.

So what did we do?  We had no schedule and it was heaven.  We stayed at an amazing boutique hotel that shared a wall with the Ayasofya.  We slept in, ate our meals when we wanted to, and strolled at a leisurely pace.  We chose restaurants based on their interesting cuisine rather than their child-friendly atmosphere.  We went to dinner late and my only responsibility during dinner was to feed myself.  We had that extra glass of wine after dinner since we didn't have a babysitter waiting up for us.  We were able to be a part of the vibrant city after dark instead of looking out at it from our dark hotel room window.  We visited many of Istanbul's top sights- the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and the Galata Tower. We partook in a traditional Turkish hamam, discovered just how cool the Yerebatan Cistern is, and browsed the Grand Bazaar.  I had my first cup of Starbucks coffee in ten months.

Most importantly, Glenn and I were able to reconnect.  We could carry on entire conversations without being interrupted.  (OK, there was the occasional call on Glenn's Blackberry but even those were kept to a minimum). There wasn't any talk of dinner menus, to-do lists or impending receptions.  We were silly and spontaneous and remembered why we had fallen in love in the first place. We were reminded that before we became three we were two.  Unfortunately, these are the simple things in life that so often escape us when we are caught up in the day-to-day activity of living our lives.

I'm now back in my Albanian reality.  I missed Sidney terribly while I was away but realize that taking the trip was the best thing we could have done.  Glenn and I have reconnected and I returned home to Sidney feeling refreshed.  Our next few trips will definitely be geared towards family time but Glenn and I must do more, non work related things as a couple.  In fact, we're already planning a Paris trip for our next anniversary.

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