Staying in a Cave Hotel

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Upon arriving in Cappadocia, our hotel, Esbelli Evi, arranged for a shuttle to pick us up from the airport. Buses run into the city, but if you can find a shuttle that will take you directly to your hotel - it'll cut out the frustration of getting lost in a foreign city with your luggage. The shuttle took awhile as we waiting for everyone to load in, (probably a solid 45 minutes) but once we got on our way - anticipation and excitement set in, and also a bit of dread. Dread - because we began to … [Read more...]

Back Lot Tour in Cappadocia

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In travel, and in life, one has to learn to go with the flow and things don't always work out as planned. Sometimes it's better to go in without expectations, that way one doesn't miss out on the present moment by comparing to what it could have been. Keeping this in mind, we tried to let go of the dream of flying over Cappadocia via hot air balloon and just go with it. Still in a bit of a stupor and researching where to go and what to see, we received a call from the staff letting us know … [Read more...]

Good Eats in Cappadocia

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As we headed out for dinner, we ran into our new friend - Tom Brosnahan, whom we had met earlier in the day. Tom, an American, who spends a good portion of his time in Turkey now, is a travel writer, guidebook author, photographer, website developer, and consultant on travel information -- so I was extremely excited to pick his brain. Tom arrived in Turkey as a Peace Corps Volunteer at the beginning of the 1970's and fell in love with the country. Through his adventures there, he authored one of … [Read more...]

Istanbul: Old City

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A swirling labyrinth of streets, vendors beckoning to come hither, sparkling lanterns lining shop fronts and the smell of roasting meats and spices wafting through the air; we've arrived in Istanbul. Making our way from the Ataturk airport (IST), we took 2 metros to the Sirkeci station and then attempted to navigate to our hotel. Walking down the surprisingly bustling street (for a Wednesday night at almost 10pm), we heard calls from every which way like "Hello Charlie's Angels!" or "Deal, … [Read more...]

Best ‘Home-Cooked’ Meal in Istanbul

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Food has become an ever-increasingly important aspect of travel and it's hard to deny that a country's cuisine has as much to say about itself as any historical site or museum. Istanbul is no exception to this as every restaurant, dish and delectable bit creates a beautiful tapestry that illustrates the soul of the people. After watching Anthony Bourdain's version of Istanbul, Kelsey and I were craving for an authentic and home-cooked meal, to dine with locals and really dig deep into the … [Read more...]

Sirkeci Mansion – Istanbul

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Staying at the Sirkeci Mansion was like staying at a palace, a really, really friendly palace that smelled like a spa. Everywhere we turned, the staff was there to greet us with a genuinely friendly smiles. From the first point of communication by e-mail - I was sent a detailed description of ideas for possible itineraries and offerings, which only made me more excited for the trip to Istanbul. Getting there: Upon arriving in Istanbul, Kelsey and I had a slight idea of which direction we … [Read more...]

Istanbul Inspiration

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Growing up, whenever August would roll around and the promise of the new school year was just around the corner, I would become giddy with excitement and start planning out every little thing. What would I wear the first day of school? Which Jansport backpack should I get that I would still like by Spring? How many folders and notebooks should I get (and realistically actually carry with me)? Those pre-school jitters that began to rush in and become the focal point of my attention have yet to … [Read more...]

Secrets to the Best Gelato

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Are gelato withdrawals a real thing? Because I certainly think I am going through them. A couple of weeks ago, I took a petite holiday with some dear friends to Firenze, Italy (aka Florence). And of course, when in Rome, do as the Romans do (okay, maybe not Rome, but close). So we indulged, we ate, we drank, we ate some more... and when we weren't having pizza for breakfast, we were having gelato. While some might consider 6 cups of gelato in the span of 3 1/2 days complete gluttony, I'm … [Read more...]

The Most Instagrammable Spots in Paris

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Every day here in Paris that passes by is a reminder of the history that hangs in the air and I am constantly inspired, renewed and overjoyed to be living in a place with such possibilities. Daily, I find myself thinking, "I wonder if Hemingway once walked this street or could this boulangerie have been a favourite of Monet and his cohorts?" Enchanted by the cobblestone streets, the lacy-iron work lining the windowsills, the brilliant gold that decorates architectural feats like the Palais … [Read more...]

Déjà Vu

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Last week, one of my dearest friends came to visit me in Paris. We toured the city and relished in each other’s company as I showed her my favorite places, those well known and those that are the best kept secrets of my adopted city. As we walked around the old streets of Montmartre, the air was filled with the buttery scent of freshly baked croissants and we pondered life aloud to each other. Not necessarily searching for answers, but it was almost as if each thought became more profound, … [Read more...]