Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sydney Turns 13

Sydney did the unthinkable and turned 13 on April 28. We celebrated a week later with her friends, Chloe Youtsey...

...and Kerstin Wallace. Good times.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Boob Tube

It's been awhile since I blogged, so here I am. I hate to blog without pictures so I am adding these of Dinah that Sydney took. Isn't she just chuck full of kitteny cuteness? We are calling her "The Rogue Kitten" these days because every so often, at least once a day she walks around yodeling at the top of her lungs. I think she is calling for her sister. Sad, isn't it? We all miss little Abby.
On a happier (?) note...Sydney turned teenager 2 weeks ago. I am having a tough time thinking of my baby as 13. She had a slumber party and they played a version of American Idol in which everyone takes turns being either the contestant, Paula, Randy, or Simon. Ryan Seacrest, if you have enough people. They had a blast. Good times.

Since we have been here we have really come to appreciate TV on DVD. We rent from Netflix, check things out of the library, and make way too many purchases from Amazon. I love that my kids love shows like "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "Welcome Back, Kotter". You should hear Meghann's impression of Arnold Horshack. Sydney does a great Vinnie Barbarino, too. We own such series as "Perfect Strangers", "Newhart", "The Simpsons", "Reba", "X-Files", and "King of the Hill." I miss regular TV, but I am totally hooked on TV on DVD, the lack of commercials is fabu.
We definitely have to look into TiVo when we get back.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Izmir, The Last One

Our hotel was a few blocks from this bay or harbor or waterfront or what have you.

What we saw of Izmir the city, it was pretty similar to Adana. A little cleaner, and much bigger. But we are not city people, so lots of tall buildings and bad traffic doesn't really impress us.
In biblical times Izmir was called Smyrna, for all you historical types.
Alas, with all our walking around this big city, we ended up eating at the BK out of sheer frustration and extreme hunger. (We have a BK here on base, so it's no treat....AT ALL.)
The first night we had wandered into a really nice Chinese restaurant, but after spending WAY too much for dinner, we knew we had to look for fast food. Our last night we ate at a Turkish pizza place. Note to self- Turkish pepperoni is not the same as American.
These are the Burger King cats. They live outside the joint and live off of chicken fingers and whoppers.

All in all, our trip was great and much needed. We saw a lot of incredible sights. Watched BBC, played Uno and Ligretto. Best part- we were together!

Izmir Part 7

Visiting the Sanctuary of Askeplios if you were sick went something like this:
On your way by, buy a symbol to sacrifice, such as, if your finger was broken, buy a finger made of clay to sacrifice.
Wash yourself in holy water. Take a relaxing mud bath. Then head to a sleep chamber. After a good snooze, wake up and have your dreams analyzed.

This tunnel led from the bath house to the examination rooms. The patients would walk through this tunnel lit by oil lamps and holes in the ceiling through which the doctors would speak words of encouragement to them.

An early symbol of medicine- two snakes drinking from the same dish of milk.

The spring that was considered holy, it is still alive today.
The Oracles of Askeplios.
OK, maybe not. Just two cute little puppies who guard the ruins.

Izmir Part 6

This is where The Great Alter once stood. It was a huge marble alter built to the god Zeus. The alter itself is now in Berlin. Because it was used for hundreds of years as a place to make sacrifices to "heathen" gods, when Christianity came to Pergamum, they started calling it the "Seat of Satan."

Sydney and I find Zeus irresistible.
The road leading to the Sanctuary of Askeplios. It dates back to the 4th century B.C.
This road is known as the Sacred Way.
This was a major medical center, at the time medicine and religion were very much intertwined.

Izmir Part 5

Sydney looking good with a series of beautiful arches. These went around the bottom of the temple. They could be sealed and filled with water in times of siege.

Doug and the girls hiked to the bottom of the theater. They had to be able to say they climbed possibly the steepest theater of the ancient world.
I stayed at the top to document their historical climb, well, someone had to.
When they got back to the top, Doug said he must have thought he was younger. The girls, who ARE young, looked like this.

Izmir Part 4

The second day of our trip we drove the hilltop city of Pergamum.
This is the Temple of the Emperor Trajan. It is said that when asked if the people of Pergamum could a temple for him, Trajan answered only if it could be seen from everywhere in the city. He must have been very humble. Since the emperors were worshipped as gods, I guess humility was a non-issue.
This is the theater. It is known as one of the steepest theaters in the ancient world. It was probably built in 157 B.C. Wow.
The ruins of the Temple of Dionysus.
View of the Temple of Trajan and the theater from below. I would say that Trajan got his wish that the temple be vi sable from anywhere in the city.
View from the theater.