Wednesday, March 25, 2015

a photo a day

Because I work at an awesome school, on Monday morning we had a choice between normal professional development sessions or just fun workshops. I clearly signed up as soon as possible so I could get a spot in jewelry making, and I made these earrings!!! They are silver, made from a malleable clay made of silver, water, and chemicals. You shape it, then blow torch it, and the water and chemicals disappear and you're left with 99% silver! My colleague who taught the class made me feel so competent and confident and I looooove the earrings. Art class = awesome.

Pre-blow torching (I rolled out, cut, and stamped the clay with a pattern):

Post-blow torching and post-sanding/scrubbing/buffing:


I can tell if I'm early or late to work by where a certain runner is on the main road near school. Do I see him as I wait to turn into school? Then I'm on time. Is he further down the road? Then I'm a little late. He's not a small guy, and the story I've concocted in my head is that he has committed himself to getting in shape. Every day I cheer him on (silently) from my car. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

a photo a day

Tulips at the Dallas Arboretum, where we had brunch on Sunday. I hope it looks this beautiful in three weeks for Becky's wedding!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

a ruby a day

"Scratch my chin some more and I'll forgive you for leaving me for ten days."

Saturday, March 21, 2015

some photos I haven't shared yet, part II

Istanbul pictures I didn't post yet!

Looking up into the dome of the German Fountain in one of the main squares - so beautiful! There are lots of public fountains in Turkey - that are still in use! We saw several people filling up jugs with water while we were there. 

Selfie with Jenny in the Hagia Sophia!

The entrance from the Bosphorus Strait into the Black Sea, taken from the ruined castle we went to on our Bosphorus cruise. Can you guess what those structures are on either side?

Ferry ride back to Istanbul. 

At Topkapi Palace in Istanbul there were four little animal statues in a row. So of course we had a German tourist take this picture of us. 

The dome and the ceiling of the Blue Mosque. 

The Blue Mosque. I was initially surprised not to see any benches on the floor - but of course not, right?  This is where the men pray. Don't get me started on where the women pray. 

Selfie outside the Blue Mosque! Carrie Mathison is my muse. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit that a fair bit of what I know about Muslim culture came from Homeland. 

Up next: Observations by Miss Claire. 

some photos I haven't shared yet, part I

I love this picture from our hot air balloon day, taken from the ground, of another balloon headed up!

Hiking in Goreme on our first day! 

I didn't blog about going to an underground city near Goreme, but here are some pictures of that. The first two levels below ground were dug using bronze tools 4,000 years ago! Then six levels below that were dug more like 2,000 years ago. The people in the area would hide in these caves when enemy tribes invaded every few years. They would stay underground for up to six months at a time! They stored grain and animals in the caves, too, and made wine there, too. So cool.

This is a ramp between levels, showing how short these people were! We REALLY had to squat down to move between floors. 

Okay, this is incredibly cool. The people who lived here carved huge circular stones when they were digging out the caves and then placed them near all the exits. If enemies attacked, 8 or 10 strong men could roll the stone in front of the exits, protecting the people inside. Amazing!

Part II to come!

Friday, March 20, 2015

I am in the Toronto airport's border control waiting area, also known as airport purgatory. 

I am not on the plane anymore. 
There is free wifi. 
I am not on the plane anymore. 

They release you out of purgatory and into the border control line by flight. The Istanbul flight has been "processing" for half an hour. 
There is basketball on and I am not watching it. 
I will miss the Duke game while on my flight to Dallas. 
I already ate my emergency toblerone, because yes, I had an emergency toblerone in my bag. 
I have now resorted to talking to the TV screen THAT WILL NOT SHOW ISTANBUL AS COMPLETE. I am the crazy lady at this airport. I just want to enter your country, Canada!

There is a baby who is more sad than me. I will shut up now. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

a photo a day

Our last meal in Turkey was the best Italian food of my life, in a five table restaurant where the owner was born on the bottom floor, cooks on the third floor, and serves food on the fourth. Thank you, Trip Advisor! And only in Istanbul will the owner's cat be roaming the restaurant and it isn't weird when he comes by to be petted and then jumps up on your lap. This was what I had to reach over to eat my tiramisu. Zorro, you sweetheart!

(Only one of my three friends thought I was weird for allowing/enjoying this. I'd say I have some excellent friends.)

a photo a day

Last day in Istanbul! We went to the Topkapi Palace this morning, which the Ottomans built in the 15th century and is where the sultans lived until the 19th century. It is known for its tile work, which was incredible!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

a photo a day

Today's adventure: a Bosphorus cruise! That sounds fancier than it was...we took the ferry north up the Bosphorus Strait to the little fishing village at the point where it meets the Black Sea, ate lunch (fish sandwiches for the others, roasted eggplant and bread for me) and explored a ruined castle at the top of a hill (excellent lookout point for bad guys coming in from the Black Sea), and then took the ferry back to central Istanbul. All told, it took about 5 hours and was time very well spent. (I love little adventures like finding this castle - when the ferry landed, the other tourists began hiking up a hill, so we followed them. Castle at the top! Victory!)

Here's the four of us at the top of the hill - there was a conveniently placed cafe right below the ruins where we stopped for a cup of cay (c makes a "ch" sound and changes the vowel after it from a short vowel to a long vowel - say it out loud, and you'll understand why "cay" is Turkish for "tea"!).

Another great day! Tomorrow is our last day in Istanbul (frowny face), so we have a lot we want to see before we leave!