Sunday, October 19, 2008

GET AWAY video

Still missing the boat... :) Yesterday I was in a liquor store picking up some wine for a dinner at my dad's house, saw some Metaxa brandy and boom! Flashback to the boat and John making us brandy and coffee every night!

Jill and I were asked by our coworkers to give a little presentation of some of our holiday pictures at one of our team meetings. Since I've spent the afternoon working on it (its pretty lame, I blame it on my junky old Windows 2000 work computer!), I thought I would post it here. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

PVD still in effect, and more blog updates

We've been home for almost a week now, and we are still suffering the effects of some Post Vacation Depression. We've been waking up in the middle of the night for bathroom breaks (guess our bodies still think it is daytime pee-time!) and are lucky to get five hours of sleep consecutively. Work had been a challenge after about 1:00 in the afternoon, as this is about the time we fall head-first into daydreams about being on the boat. I was rudely awakened in a meeting the other day while I was midnight cliff-jumping in Lorymar, Turkiye. Huh.

We also arrived home to the news that our work contracts won't be extended past this coming March, which has prompted us to explore our options of running away to live on boats. We've got a little work to do, but we are definitely plotting ways to get to use our sea legs more than once every few years. We'll keep ya posted on plans of escape!

I've went back and added some photos to old blog posts, and also added some new posts that go into more details about certain experiences and events on the trip, so please continue to check back on the old blog every once in awhile! I hope to continue updating even now that we're back, we don't have any huge trips planned right away (we have to go on the possible-no-job budget!) but we DO have an Idaho road trip and Rock the Rockies coming up, and perhaps some other potential update-worthy events, so stay tuned :) I've also added a Subscribe function to the blog, but I'm not sure exactly how it works, so feel free to check it out if you'd like to be informed of updates, and leave a comment letting me know how it works!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Who says you can't go home? Well, sometimes you just have to...

Hello from Canada! I actually can't believe we are home, and that we've been gone for a month. In some ways it seems like minutes, but in others a lifetime. Getting off the plane to chilly 8C weather was also not the best welcome we could have hoped for!

Our last day in Istanbul was anticlimactic. After waking up and having Turkish breakfast (bread, jam, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and hard boiled egg) on the roof terrace of our hotel we headed down to the Basilica Cistern. It was a little creepy, made more so by the spooky music playing in the underground cavern, but really pretty cool. Not entirely sure it was worth the 10YTL entrance fee, however perhaps I am just getting a little tired of touristy things and having to pay to see history.

We braved a monsoon to walk with our leaky umbrellas to Topkapi Palace (jeans wet to the knees) only to decide that we just didn't have it in us to do any more touristy things for pricey rates. So we headed off for some retail therapy in the form of the Grand Bazaar. This is possibly the loudest place in the world. There are men and women lining the streets selling you things, trying to get you to come into their shops. Also IN the street are people with little carts on wheels that move out of the way for cars and then immediately return to the street to resume commerce. Often the carts are selling things like spiro-sketch toys that remind you of when you were 8 and make you wonder who would ever buy one! The Grand Bazaar proved to be a little to much for us when not at top form, so after haggling for a few items (pillow cases for Jill and tea cups for me) we headed to the less busy and much more interesting (to us) Spice Bazaar. Yum yum yum. Spices and sweets and nuts and other goodies. We were much cheered up after leaving here. We stopped at a little supermarket to buy some food type items (olives, etc.) that we wanted and also purchased a lovely new suitcase to haul back all our goodies.

This was another day of fending off Turkish men. It is really hard not to be rude sometimes, and it takes a lot to make me that way, however by the end of the day it was getting really tiresome. Jill had no problem being rude to the guy that asked her if she was my mom though! By late afternoon we were ready to drink and headed off to a pub (playing Nickleback of all things... can't escape them even in Turkey!) for some 8 YTL VERY strong vodka tonics. I decided that the best cure for the end of a vacation was to get drunk, with Jill's still somewhat sick body doing the supervising. Early night of packing up the bags for the last time for our early flight the next morning.
This morning we were up and at em' at 4:30 am to get to the airport, only to find our flight from Istanbul had been delayed by 3 hours. After a couple of dicey moments and some running down the concourse, we made it to our connection in London (with enough time to enjoy one last Magners before hopping on the plane!). A loooong flight later (made longer with no sleeping and no personal TV's on the plane!) we are back on home turf. We are tired and in need of showers and a lot of photo editing! We plan on going back and updating some of the blog entries with pictures and elaborating on some of our experiences that were only briefly mentioned, so stay tuned for that.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Its Raining Hairy Men in Istanbul

Nothing like easing into life away from sailing by heading off to rainy Istanbul. Land of hairy men... 'Hello, how are you, where you from?? I give you my business card..' are echoed as you walk down the streets of the Sultanahmet area. Forget being traded for boat goats and having your skipper rescue you... here you better have a husband (or at least a pretend one that you are meeting in mere minutes!). Istanbul is huge. Pretty too, at least the small area that we have seen so far. We got to our hotel late Thursday night after a LONG travel day and immediately collapsed.

Yesterday we took a ferry ride up the Bosphorous river (we thought that getting on another boat might cure some of our boat-sickness), to see some of the sights and get an impression of the city, to the suburb of Sariyer. We ate at a small seafood restaurant on the river, but it was rainy and cold so we decided to forgo figuring out the bus and take a Taksi back to Istanbul (yay me for figuring out what was being said and being able to communicate a rate!). Forget traffic in Calgary, if I had to drive in Istanbul there would be some serious road rage! Every three seconds it was slamming on the breaks with horns honking! In the afternoon we were proper tourists, checking out the Blue Mosque (amazing) and Aya Sofia. We probably didn't get as much out of Aya Sofia as we could have, as we were both tired and suffering from some major boat withdrawl, and Jill was getting really sick and we needed to just go have a nap. We ate dinner out last night but it was interupted by a torrential downpour, and Jill's guts calling her back to the hotel.
Still rainy out today, but we will actually bring the umbrellas (ella) with us this time! Today we hope to see Topkapi Palace, the Basillica Cistern and then spend the majority of the day SHOPPING!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sailing Detox

Week three on the boat was fabulous. Jill and I found out that we are the only people in Seascape history that booked on for a two week trip and then decided to stay on for a third. Well, that is how we roll I guess... go big or go home! Week three was great because we were in the sailing groove and had perfected all the things that needed to be done on the boat (besides actually steering under sail or anything technical like that!). Skipper John called us part of the crew, and we actually took over the cooking, supply purchasing and teaching of skills to the newbies. We also got to perfect (well Danni at least) the tentative grasp we had on the Turkish language... Danni learned 19 words in one day and Jill still mispronounces thank-you every time she attempts it. This week those girls learned the secret to dealing with Turkish men - if you do not say that you have a boyfriend you will either need to be rescued by your skipper or face being traded for varios farm animals as currency! Jill would also like to report that she has smoked a hookah with two young Australian boys. Two step lessons were also held this week in Bozburan for the boat crew, as led by Danni and one smelly German. Look out ladies who will be attending Rock the Rockies this year, as there is also a new dance routine in store for everyone!

Today is a travel day and we are heading to Istanbul. We are updating from Dalaman, where a very kind Turkish gentleman escorted us to his friend,s ınternet cafe from the bus station. Once we arrıved we had to climb over about 15 Turkish boys to get to our computers... why are they not ın school?? We will be in Istanbul until Sunday so hopefully another update then. We are already planning on the new suitcases we will buy to bring back all of our yummy Turkish goodies!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sailıng Addiction... blame it on the drink!

Week two on the boat has come and gone.. if possible it was even better than week one! We have fallen into a sailıng groove where we feel like we know what we are doing. The people on our boat week 2 were also great, Erika ıs an unoffıcial honorary those girl, and Richard had really good boat tunes! Erica will actually be joining us ın Barbados for the those girls reunion next year!This week we left Greece and entered Turkey, which has complicated blog posting wıth the presence of a Turkish keyboard with new letters (forgive all misuses of i wıth the letter ı) and keys ın odd places. İ am actually a little frustrated wıth typing thıs rıght now!

Turkey brought warmer weather, greener scenery, much smaller ports and (completely unexpectedly!), better sailıng! We got to sail 4 out of 5 days thıs past week. Jill and I both agree that the food ın Greece was a lıttle more to our liking however, and thank goodness that Kevin and Pickle from the other boat were able to fillet and de-head our fısh meals for us many a night! We feel we are eating too much bread still with our reduction ın activıty, so will be implementing yet another food strategy of only ordering main courses to share instead of sharing both mezes (appetizers) and mains. This ıs the third food strategy of the trip though, so it may or may not work out for us!
Little change in plans... it was put out to us the possibilıty of stayıng on the boat another week (reverse trip back to Greece) so the universe worked itself out for us and we wıll be continuing to sail for one more week. We will still be goıng to İstanbul at the end of the trip and returning to Canada as planned. We just could not pass up this opportunity to continue sailıng and have made plans with our skipper to be able to reverse park the boat by the end of the week... or at least steer whıle under sail without stressing ourselves out!