Where's the Bump?

I don't know about you but I noticed myself sporting an extra few love handles in my Istanbul pictures.. well guess what?

And as you can tell by the picture above, that is not me. :( I know.. I disappoint myself for not announcing it more creatively.. but i'm kind of tired.. spent the last week allergy ridden taking care of a toddler while my husband was away for a week.. But I have gone around the webesphere and collected for you other proud parents making adorable and creative announcements.. you are welcome

And one more big announcement... coming on Monday.. eek!

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Istanbul: Day Three

We had about half a day left in Istanbul before our flight.. and we had some visitors.
We were staying at the Hotel Armada in the Sultanahmet area.. it was the perfect choice. Everyone was so nice.. you can always tell by the way they treat your child. The rooms, the ambiance.. everything just right. But the best part of it all.. the breakfast. Delectable.

Squeeze your own orange juice.

and the view of the Bosphorous

and before I forget.. our not so surprise visitors. The Honeymooners! no I am not the weird sister in law who crashes her brothers honeymoon. The couple was so tired after planning the wedding that they came to me to plan the honeymoon.. I was already going to Turkey so my brother jumped on the Turkey bandwagon except his trip included Cappadocia and Antalya while we had to go home :( 

oh and did i mention the other stunning view from our hotel.. The Blue Mosque

The hotel also featured turtles

Vintage wooden bird cages

And a cool old shoe polishing station

Our last few hours went by in a blur.. our biggest regret... not being able to fit in the Topkapi Palace.. but we did have time for our last dessert :)

It was as beautiful as it was good.. M and I needed a minute just to figure out how and where to begin.. after that it didn't take us to long to finish.

And if this trip hadn't already been perfect it got even better when the airlines bumped us up to business class. I can never go back to coach.. Look at all the leg space.. and the meals never seemed to end.. 

Hope you enjoyed the trip. We sure did.

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Istanbul: Day Two

We started day two with a trip to the Spice Bazaar delightful place, delectable smells.. and even a few free samples nom nom.

and then made our way over the Galata Bridge.. not much to see there.. a lot of fishy smells and a pass if you don't want to catch fish or eat fish.

We grabbed a taxi to Taksim Square which was a let down. The whole place was under construction.. so D grabbed a quick snack and we had some cafe lattes to refuel..

We grabbed another taxi to Dombalache Palace.. nice grounds but not much too ooh and aah over after you've seen the garden's and grounds of Versailles (there is that whole we've become jaded story.. it's unfortunate but true) and we ended up not going inside the Palace as they was an almost two hour wait for a 45 minutes mandatory guided tour.. bummer.

this is what D did through most of our trip. Meaning everything took double the time.. he even insisted on carrying it up the stairs himself!

Another taxi ride to Ortakoy.. where we indulged in super super mutant sized kumpir.. in other words a super stuffed baked potato. Cheese, rice, pasta salad.. it had just about everything in it.. 

and while M and I shared one and struggled to finish we saw people devour them individually. It was an interesting eat but not something I would feel the need to repeat..

A few minutes away awaited our boat.. Bogaz Turlari which took us on a short tour along the Bosphorus. There was not much to see, nor was their a tour guide to inform us of what it was we were seeing but it was enjoyable nonetheless. The weather was perfect and the trip was refreshing..

Once off the boat we returned to the area we bought our kumpir's for dessert. Delectably warm and chocolaty waffles, stuffed with strawberries, banana's, sprinkles, nuts and more.. much much more.

Next stop.. Eyup. A long wait and then a quick cable car up to the Pierre Loti cafe and a view of the Golden Horn..

D gets a taste of his first cotton candy.. initially unimpressed.

Surprisingly enough, he didn't gobble it all up. He was over it after the first few sticky fist fulls.

After a long taxi ride back to the hotel, a bathroom break and a short walk back to the Sultanahmet Square
we found a place to eat.. I have forgotten the name of the place.. the meal was good but the service.. or at least the service given to us in particular left a lot to be desired. It almost felt discriminatory.. as we watched our server chit chat and joke with all the tables around us and didn't even bother asking us about dessert, something to drink, if everything was good.. etc.  WHATEVER!

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Istanbul: Day One

We arrived a little after noon and since it was time to check in just yet we decided to take a stroll and eat a light lunch. We found Albura Kathisma. The complimentary balloon like bread with olives, a grilled cheese salad for me and a spinach crepe for M. 

Then we continued our stroll headed towards the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia

Unfortunately, with the blessing of travel also comes the chance of becoming jaded.. and I am sad to say that we are jaded. Standing inside two of what are to be some of the most beautiful mosques in the world.. we looked at each other and thought.. hmm nice. Did You Know: The Blue Mosque was the inspiration for the building of Mohammad Ali's Mosque in Cairo. They were built by the same architect.

Next stop.. the Basilica Cistern

Followed by a dessert break.. how could we not? The beautiful and delicious, creamy white and green pistachio rice pudding.. We found this treat at the Hafiz Mustafa sweet shop on our way to the Grand Bazaar.

After perusing the many many pretty things.. we headed back towards the Blue Mosque area and slipped into one of the side streets for dinner. We ate at the Mozaik Restaurant.. a delectable lamb and vegetables cooked in parchment for me and a lamb and plum stew for M.

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My Little Brother's Wedding: The End

The Munchkin a Munckin no more.. 

M and I 

Shoes and once my mother's antique payal (an anklet that jiggles when you walk)

Rituals and Traditions.. the bride and groom eat a rice pudding of sorts and then all those single men and women looking to get married eat a spoonful too. Our version of catching the bouquet. 

Leaving the reception under the blessings and protection of the Holy Quran 


Saying Goodbye. 99.9% of girls (middle eastern, sub-continental etc) go from their parents home to their husbands home. So saying goodbye really is the hardest part.. 

I'm taking the next week off.. but when I come back I have 3 days of Istanbul to share with you and 2 BIG announcements! 

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