Monday, November 21, 2016

Turkish Delight.

During our visit, one of my favorite things Randy would say 
was something like this: "Don't get that here, 
I know the best the place to get( fill in the blank )"
He was never wrong. 
Not wrong about baklava, not wrong about doners, 
 and not wrong about Turkish Delight. 
Monday afternoon, he took us to another great little neighborhood to taste his favorite, authentic, hand-rolled, Turkish Delight. 
To sum it up once again: he was not wrong
It was lovely. 
We had a delicious pomegranate and cream variety. 
Ugh- my mouth is watering right now. SO delish!!!

We had to restrain ourselves because we knew that 
authentic Turkish deliciousness awaited us for dinner.

 Cute neighborhood, cute family!

A little Istanbul artwork...

 And so, after a packed day of touring, a little bit of eating, and a lot of foot work, we were so ready for an evening of relaxing with family and food.
But first, a word about Randy and Bahar's apartment.
Really, it's all about their view...
It's stunning to say the least.

The very cool back story about this view is that Randy works with Richard Engel, an NBC news correspondent. So most of the time when you see a live report
 from Turkey with Richard,
 he is standing on Randy's balcony--
'cause really, it's the best view in Istanbul. :) 

I kind of think Ashley has star quality as well, right? 
She certainly makes the view look even better :)
Bahar's mom and sisters spent the whole day cooking and preparing for our visit. We truly felt so honored. Not only had they prepared food, but also gift bags for each of us. Looking back, it is hard to say that there was a language barrier at all. There was such a feeling of love, even as Bahar and her little sister did much of the translating.
Bahar's father summed it up by saying something like this:
"The world tells us that we are not supposed to be even friends. 
But tonight, there are no politics. We are family."
 Can you feel the love? :)

Sadly, as someone who loves to take pictures of food, I took none.
Bleh. Take my word for it: it was wonderful. Love in every bite!
 Bahar's mom.

 Bahar's dad.

And holy hallelujah, it was Angie's birthday...

 ...and so we celebrated!

 Bahar's sister made these delicious cookies-- that were more like our cake balls.
She is drizzling extra chocolate on top. OH MY!

 Gifts were exchanged...

...and more gifts.

It's really kind of hard to put into words the feeling we all felt that night. If I had to sum it up in just one word, it would be joy.

It was a joyful celebration of the union of two families.
We may never all be in the same room ever again, but the feeling felt enduring enough to last a life time. 

So grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity.