A glance back at summer.

“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather And autumn’s best of cheer.”

 — Helen Hunt Jackson

It hit me today that summer has come to an end when I had to wear a jacket outside.  It was, to my surprise, chilly.  It is interesting how the sun shines differently in the summer, as opposed to in the fall and winter.  You can just see that it is cold, even before you step outdoors.

As I bid a farewell to the summer of 2014, I can’t help but remember all of the great memories.  I was in Russia visiting family from the end of May until the beginning of August.  Before returning back to the States, we decided to take a family vacation to Antalya, Turkey.   We spent two years in Turkey when I was a baby, and my parents have always reminisced what a beautiful country Turkey is.  I have been dying to go back, and was very excited for this trip.

It was one of the best vacations of my life.

photo 1
This shot was taken on the drive up to our hotel. The mountains are breathtaking!

We were greeted at the airport by our tour company’s bus, and driven directly to our hotel.  We stayed at the Vogue Avantgarde, a 5 star resort.   The view of the mountains is amazing, and it was interesting to drive through Turkish towns.  I could sense the beautiful culture even out of the car window.

The view from our room.
The view from our room.

After checking into reception, we dropped our bags in our room.  Everything was very luxurious, although we did have issues with the air conditioner and shower not working properly.  The problems were immediately fixed when we called the front desk.  It was, however, very amusing when my mom was attempting to explain in Turkish what the issues were.  I always joke that Mom thinks she speaks Turkish from the two years she lived in Istanbul almost eighteen years ago… but she really doesn’t…

I’m just kidding, Mom!

photo 4
Dinner on the patio.

Oh, my goodness, I can not talk enough about the food.  The resort we stayed at was all-inclusive, but I have never experienced such high quality food in my life.  First off, there were so many choices,  I didn’t know where to start.  My eyes would get really big, and I felt like a deer caught in headlights.  After the first day I quickly adjusted, and there was NO STOPPING ME.  Everything was set up lavishly, and there was everything ranging from fish to chicken, to lamb and beef.   You had table after table of vegetables and salad bars, dressings and spices.  My favorite part were the desserts.  I have never eaten so much baklava in my life!

The servers work hard to make your stay pleasant by adding sweet touches like this dolphin.  I didn't want to drink the smoothie! It was too pretty!
The servers work hard to make your stay pleasant by adding sweet touches like this dolphin. I didn’t want to drink the smoothie! It was too pretty!

The ocean water was so warm and clean.  I’m usually not a big fan of salt water, but I couldn’t make myself come out!  The best part was that the waves were very gentle the whole time we were there, and it felt as if you were floating around.

THEY HAD FLAMINGOS AT THE RESORT!
THEY HAD FLAMINGOS AT THE RESORT!

Another great thing was that they had a lot of activities for kids.   Every night we would take my niece to the children’s disco party.  It was so fun, even I joined in and danced!  They also had a petting zoo, and a lot of kiddie slides and pools.

Our last night in Antalya.  The moon took my breath away.
Our last night in Antalya. The moon took my breath away.

I don’t get to spend a lot of time with my mom and sisters, because we live on opposite sides of the planet.  This can be very hard, as I am very close to them.  My favorite part of the vacation was the many laughs we shared, and the memories we created.  I will carry those with me forever.

I hope you had a great summer as well.

All my love,

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