New Orleans was good. Not our ultimate fav but nearly good. We dined at many highly rated and recommended restaurants, but never felt the food was at the level we expected, and we are not huge foodies.
The infrastructure in the city is falling apart and many sidewalks were dangerous to walk on. It is also very dirty.
Now on the good side, amazing architecture! Cool places to see, some things that you can’t do anywhere else. So we have mixed feelings. We are glad we came and had the experience, the music was the best part! ... See MoreSee Less
Visited for Mardi Gras, another time for the Sugar Bowl and last time visited the sites. They have one of the most interesting cemeteries of all things.
My sister and I visited NO before she passed. It was on both of our bucket lists to go there.
Dale and I did a little exploring today via the Trolleys. We finally made it... with a few mishaps to one of their beautiful parks then we took a bike ride around the lake and more. We felt like we were melting and this cooled us down a bit... 💦 yay!
We talked about taking a little river cruise but didn't have enough time before needing to leave the hotel for the airport.
Good-Bye New Orleans... until???!!!
#neworleans ... See MoreSee Less
Two 'Leo's started the day with our 'guy' here!👆
We decided to meander through the French Market Area and found all sorts of hidden adventures. Plus there was tons of LIVE music everywhere we went.
Our waiter kept dancing through her work day, it was fun to see her awesome attitude. She even jumped into our photo!
That evening I took Dale back to The French Market Restaurant for dinner and entertainment abounded while walking.
#neworleans ... See MoreSee Less
What a great start to our mini-vaca/work for Dale ....vacation!
How did we look so awake the first night after going to bed at 1:30 am... I am not sure but it was a beautiful evening! Great music at Preservation Hall, friends, yummy food and walking the song 🎶 filled streets was invigorating.
#neworleansculture ... See MoreSee Less
An evening walk through New Orleans. What a beautiful city by night. Just a quick getaway for the two of us. ... See MoreSee Less
2 weeks ago
And... we are back for our last two days!
Upon arrival back to Istanbul we explored this great city known as ancient Constantinople. We will visit the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Basilica Cisterns.
A visit to the Hagia Sophia is a must. It had been the greatest church when constructed in 6th century and the name means divined wisdom.
In the afternoon we will visit the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market where grandma made a 'friend'😜! And received a few kisses... Oh my!
As we made our way to dinner, we never could have imagined the party they planned to celebrate our Anniversary 🎉! We were so surprised!!!
Decorations, a yummy meal, baklava, handwritten notes, a gift from Dagon and one of the yummiest chocolate cakes ever!! ... See MoreSee Less
Day 7: You guessed it ... an early departure for Ephesus (to miss out on the extreme heat), visiting highlights of the ancient city; Agora, Odeon, Fountains, Temples, the very famous Ephesus Library and the Great Theater.
For us this was one of the big highlights from this trip, we read much in the bible that talk about Paul and John, and their adventures here... many were very hard but no matter the challenge they kept their faith!
After we took a 10 minutes drive to the basilica of Saint John (Gospel Writer) followed by lunch in a local restaurant - we enjoyed such a diverse palette of food and goodies throughout our trip.
After lunch we took off towards Mary's House up on the Coressoshh mountain. It has been rumored that when Christ was on the cross he asked John to take care of her, so of course, with John living the rest of his life here, it would make sense that Mary would have been here too. Of course, what really happened to John the beloved?
Brianne and I had a Spa date back at the hotel along with a massage, foam and bubble scrub, face scrub and more... we were feeling refreshed and ready for another fun dinner out!
Dogan planned a beautiful meal by the sea in his hometown. We felt pampered with the olive oil he brought our group from his family's Olive Gardens here In Kusadasi. He took us to see his grade school that is across the street from the Aegean Sea. What a magical place to grow up! ... See MoreSee Less
Day 6- from Pamukkale to Kusadasi: another early departure for the ancient city of Laodicea, (one of seven churches in Revelation) famous in ancient times for wool products and eye drops); Roman street,temple, church, theater and fountains on the Main Street. The history on this tour was so amazing along with much from biblical times.
Drive to Afrodisias(ancient city dedicated to goddess Afrodite and one of our guides favorite architectural sites @doganakten ), a visit to the Temple, Stadium, Odeon, Sculptors School, Roman Baths, Roman Forum and Theater.
Then a little free time for sculptors exhibition. Many which were amazingly preserved and beautiful.
We stopped on the drive out at a local house where we had lunch. It was a beautiful outdoor eating area built next to their house. The ambiance of this outdoor refuge to eat our lunch was perfect!
Then off to Kusadasi and our hotel, Ramada. It was beautiful and each room was part of a time share so we enjoyed a bigger room (for Europes size rooms).
Some of our group spoiled themself with spa services while we took a walk down to the sea. It was hot and humid so a few jumped into this little cove with some advice from the locals.
We were planning to join everyone for dinner but Lufi @bestturkeytravel and his beautiful wife, Pelin surprised us with a dinner at a local restaurant that looked over the Aegean Sea. We had never met Pelin but what a wonderful reunion of old and new friendships rekindled. A perfect evening!! We love and appreciate their friendship!❤️ ... See MoreSee Less
Day 5 we traveled by bus from Konya to Pamukkale. Along the way we had local yogurt with honey and poppy seeds which was nothing but delicious and entertaining.
We also stopped at a local restaurant for lunch where we had pide (pita pizza) and salad. After lunch we drove to Pamukkale to visit the ancient city (Hierapolis ruins), Roman cemetery, Main Street, Porticoes and theater.
We then had some free time to swim in Cleopatra's pool that is amongst the ruins. We even swam over a few in the pool.
Then we checked into our amazing hotel. We had no idea what feast was waiting for us that night. We will post a video in the comments, but it doesn’t begin to capture the amount and types of foods served. It would take weeks to try all the different foods served. For dessert we took about 5 plates with various gorgeous delights and shared them amongst our group.. that we could try more!
Later on we jumped into the thermal pool at the hotel for a wonderful evening visiting with our new friends. ... See MoreSee Less
The Cappadocia Home Cooking deserves it's own post!
We took a scenic drive to through the countryside to the home of this sweet family that invited us into their home, taught us to prepare and cook some traditional Turkish dishes, told us stories from their family, shared historical info., asked about recipes we use, Dale got a tour of their old tractor that the 16 year old keeps running, a tour of their property and garden, we had fun conversations that kept us laughing and more...
Thanks @bestturkeytravel for setting up such a great experience and thanks to @doganakten for accompanying us!! ... See MoreSee Less
Day 4 - Today is a mix of travel and a few adventures. We left our hotel early and started our drive to Konya.
Along the way we stopped at Pigeon valley for some scenic picture of where they collect and sell very expensive pigeon poop. Afterwards, we made our way to Avanos, a small town to discover the art of pottery making.
We arrived in Konya which is the home of the whirling dervishes and was also visited by Paul on his journeys back when the city was known as the ancient Iconium. Upon arrival, we visited visit the Rumi Museum and had an interesting discussion about the whirling dervishes.
Konya was the first Turks capital during the 11th to 13th centuries. ... See MoreSee Less
Here is a much better recap of our day 3 in Cappadocia. The highlight of the day was the hot air balloon flight. Even though we had to wake up at 4am, it was well worth the loss of sleep. Nothing could prepare you for this magnificent adventure. The view of this beautiful country was breathtaking.
After the balloon ride we headed back to hotel for breakfast. Afterwards we began our sightseeing for the day, beginning with an entertaining demonstration of a Turkish rug exhibition.
The second highlight of the day was a Turkish cooking class in a traditional village called Ayvali with a local family who welcomed us with amazing hospitality, incredible food, and new friendships. We cooked with them in their kitchen, toured their garden, ate with them at their table, talked about life in their 6 generation home amongst a small town, shared a bit of our life with them and so much more!
After lunch we drove to Devrent valley for a photo stop of camel rock and other unique formations.
Our last stop was at the Goreme open air museum the home of some of the earliest Christians who built their homes and churches into the rocks with beautiful paintings in rocks from 10.-12th centuries. You can still see the beautiful paintings depicting Jesus's lifetime and Saints.
Finally, we headed Back to the hotel for much needed rest.... to say we were exhausted is an understatement. ... See MoreSee Less
Turkey is amazing!
That’s how we started our day here in Jordan!
Wow that’s incredible time you are having
What a special place!
Day 2 started with an early morning flight to Cappadocia to the Kayseri airport. This region is a much higher elevation with high mountains and dormant volcanoes which at one point gave this region its unique formations.
Along the way, we stoped for a delicious lunch break in a local restaurant. Then began our sightseeing of the Fairy Chimneys(Zelve Pasabag),with gigantic mushroom looking rock formations.
We made a quick stop at Love Valley and then on the way we made a quick photo stop at Uchisar castle where we had to switch our mode of transportation to camels, even though it was more of a photo op.
Our last stop of the day was the underground city of Kaymakli where they lived as much as 8 stories below ground when their enemies attacked.
We ended the day at our hotel in the small town of Ortahisar After dinner we drove to Red Valley for a breathtaking view of the sunset. ... See MoreSee Less
Yesterday we learned more about the Whirling Dervishes on our way to Konya where we stayed the night. I also met this amazing interesting man. Michelle teases me that I don’t like people in pictures, but I tell her I do when the people are the picture. You can see the years of life in his face and I was so honored he allowed me to photograph him. ... See MoreSee Less
We have had spotty internet while in Cappadocia. We will do a full write up when we can, but for now, here are a few pictures. One of our favorite activities was the cooking class with a traditional village family who welcomed us into their home. ... See MoreSee Less
We arrived a day early to be ready for the tour along with another couple. So much to explore in this amazing city!
Here are just a few pictures from todays walk around Istanbul. From the beautiful Masques to the old city wall.
We enjoyed a scrumptiously wonderful Welcome dinner with the rest of our group! So yummy!!!
Dale could eat this food all day long!!
University of Istanbul
Ancient city walls(gate of conquest) ... See MoreSee Less
We’ve landed in Frankfurt. A bit late with a short connection. All fingers crossed! ... See MoreSee Less
We made the last leg!!! Istanbul in 3 hours.
We are on our way to Istanbul with a stop in Denver and Frankfurt Germany. We are trying something new for Jetlag. We will let you know how well it works when we land tomorrow!!! We got them on Amazon. ... See MoreSee Less
I ❤️ what this nation was founded on and God has always played the biggest part in our freedom!!
Let us not only celebrate what we have but thanks those who gave their lives on our behalf.
We honor you!🇺🇸🙏❤️ ... See MoreSee Less
Happy Independence Day 🇺🇸
We are excited for this epic adventure coming up!
Turkey is steeped in culture, history, gorgeous beaches to cleopatras baths and off to Ephesus... plus so much more. ... See MoreSee Less
We have 2 extra spots because one couple isn't able to go... let us know ASAP and I can send you the dets!
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all those amazing Dads, Grandfathers, Uncles, Brothers, Husbands, Friends -past and present... that make a difference for the people in their lives! We honor you this day!
Please tell someone who has made a difference in your life how much he is appreciated and loved..... esp. today!
#fathersday ... See MoreSee Less
And back to Mexico.... again:
Our last morning here Grandpa took the kids pool hopping for 2 hours (they were trying to hit all the pools in the resort) while Brianne and I packed to go home.
🦎 We shook out all our clothes from outside to make sure no more lizards made their way into our clothes again. Yes that was a surprise!😜
Then we went to enjoy our last meal and say goodbye to some of our favs!
Nate had his 'Mango' friend who would bring him unlimited Mangos throughout our trip, Mango drinks.... just all things Mango! We love this guy.
Ellie started out the trip trying starfish and had to end trying it one more time... she still wasn't convinced.
As a celebratory move we had to order one last drink on our way out!
Adios to Mexico! ... See MoreSee Less
Redhead Festival,Dublin Ireland
A lot of people gather in this place,United only by the fact that they have orange hair. ... See MoreSee Less
Just another day exploring by the sea!💦
Muin Ruins on a little island that is part of the resort (Nate peeked inside)!
Sea creatures galore, snorkeling, fish, and glorious ☀️sand.
PS. Can you guess what the bright red fruit is at the right of the photo? ... See MoreSee Less
We started out our day with a long, long, (did I mention😜) very long walk through the entire resort and back to their thick lush jungle paths on a hot 🥵 and humid day. Grandpa was determined to show this kids the amazing Lagoon with a plethora of colorful fish and cool fresh water.
The inlet is where the sea water meets fresh water.
By the last maze through dense vines, bushes and a rocky path, one of the kids kept saying, "This is not worth it!!".
As soon as she jumped in the water, she shouted, "This was totally worth it!"
They fed fish with their hands, snorkeled all over, sqeeled with delight at all the colorful and beautiful fish.
The incredible moment was worth the long walk!
#day6 ... See MoreSee Less
You probably walked past my villa. If I knew you were going that directions, I would have had my daughter there to show your family what happens when you build on a cavern cenote. It's lot 73. If you happen to walk back in that area, let me know and I can have my daughter take your family in the back to see it. National Geographic may be coming to do a story on our villa and under ground river systems. Your family can say they been there and saw it.
Expedition thru the jungle. Yes, it's quite the walk, but worth it.
Meet our fellow room companion! The kids just chuckled as they woke up the next morning and he was still drinking from the coconut 🥥!
Did I mention that we took a little drive to the Coba Ruins?
We decided this would be a perfect spot for a little Sunday FHE spiritual message with the kids. It lead to many good discussions throughout the day as well.
Did we also mention that we might have 'cheated' a little by hiring a little bike buggy (Do they call them tuk tuks here? We must find out!)?
Last time Dale and I rode bikes but this time everyone but Dale hitched a ride.
Then we ended at the beach... again! Why not?!
#day5 ... See MoreSee Less
"Grandma... why do they keep spoiling us?!?"
A side note... we had a downpour of rain while we were in the restaurant and the Coffee shop that houses the restrooms flooded over a foot. So grandpa and Nate had to 'swim' to the restrooms.
Never ending entertainment! ... See MoreSee Less
Grandma and Ellie date with breakfast by the pool then a little 🧘♂️ yoga. She is my other yoga buddy!
Lots of playing, water, and more sun! Sun...sun... sun!!
The best part is the memories we are making! Some crazy and wild, some super wet during a few of downpours, but never to be forgot!
#day4 ... See MoreSee Less
We woke up to sun so we jumped out of bed to get ready for 'fun in the sun'!
Dale and I both looked at each other at breakfast and almost at the same time said, "I prayed for sun!"
Breakfast by the pool, lots of swimming, Ellie even pulled me down the Lazy River... they don't know how to be slow 😜, and so much more.
We apparently didn't learn our lessons from the friendly animals that roam the resort. A Coati enjoyed our breakfast and a huge iguana quickly ran up Brianne's body to grab her chicken and was gone, just as fast!
#day3 ... See MoreSee Less
Who doesn't have practice 'Dancing in the rain' in life but we literally had to do this our first day in Mexico!
First, Ellie had been talking about trying a star fruit for days because the 'adventure girls' said they are yummy. You can see the look on her face, she didn't agree!😂
We just enjoyed the rain no matter what we were doing. The lazy River, indoor games, pool time in the rain, lunch in the storm, but then we ended with the Japanese grill!
Afterwards Grandpa took the kids for a drink while Eliie and a lots of other kids danced on stage. She was born for this!
Grandma and Ellie stayed for the dancing show... date night with the kiddos is the best!
#rainrainrain #dancingingintherain intherain ... See MoreSee Less
As we're standing just outside the airport in Mexico waiting for the shuttle, I commented to Brianne, "Wow, today was a pretty seamless travel day."
Breakfast at the sky club (You can see that Nate gave it a thumbs up), the plane left on time🙌, Nate wanted to sit by Ellie but he also wanted to be with his Mom... so he would reach back and rub her hands often (be still my ❤️), we got to Mexico early, we had dinner reservations at the resort. It had been a good day!
Right after making that comment to Brianne we stepped into the rental car shuttle, after almost an hour of Dale navigating that situation (they wanted thousands to 'hold' in case of an accident... that was not what was in the contract when we bought it). Never rent from FOX!
The kids were sports while we waited... they twirled on the chairs. Finally Dale got things settled but the car wasn't as big as we ordered, then we realized that one bag was missing (with all the meds and Dale's tech stuff). When the shuttle picked us up, that bag was missed. We did a Spellbreaker (thanks Jeff) and said a few prayers. We drove back to the airport and another long story BUT Dale finally found the person who had it. Miracle... it was found all intact over an hour from loosing it! Crazy Miracle!
But by the time we got to the resort a couple hours later, did the check-in process... the kids were so exhausted this overran their complete hunger. We had tears and finally all fell in bed.
#day1 #cancun #theadventurestarts ... See MoreSee Less
What are some of your favorite travel moments?
Almost taking this Gladiator down was definitely on the top of my list!
*Please share here ... with photos! We can't wait to see them! ... See MoreSee Less
Try something new today!
Would you call this adventurous? 😳😉
What can you try in your next travel adventure that will stretch you?
Something that is new and exciting?!
For me it will be a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia! Though there could be something else fun in between.
Stay tuned! Since we are off to Cancun next week.
#lifeadventures #trysomethingnew ... See MoreSee Less
A baby sloth for a win!❤️
We were deep in the Amazon jungle visiting a little village and this cute boy shared his pet sloth with Marissa. I am not sure who screeched louder... Marissa or the sloth?!😂
#amazonjungle #AMAZONJUNGLETOURS #alanmckaytours ... See MoreSee Less
To be back in Amsterdam! 🌷
The culture, food, flowers, landscapes, people and so much more make this a magical place to visit.
I can taste the food already!!
We learned how to make STROOPWAFEL, which is usually what the poor people ate years ago because that is all they could afford. Who knew they would be a national favorite today!
And don't get me started on the Chocolate 🍫 !!! 😜YUM!
#amsterdam #thenetherlands #zaanseschans ... See MoreSee Less
This is just one photo from our Greek cooking class! We literally indulged in an in-depth lesson of many Greek foods. The dinner afterwards was like visiting your Greek grandmother at her house for dinner.
We will be doing something similar for our Turkish cooking class in July!
Don't miss out on this and other adventures from this once in a lifetime experience!
#turkey ... See MoreSee Less
This is one of my favorite packing photos! Who's been your little helper when heading out of town?This little guy was helping me pack for an Amazonian hosting adventure! 🐊 ... See MoreSee Less
Sometimes we just want to travel with our furry friends!
Here are a few ideas in Texas to travel to with your dogs.
#furryfriends #dogtravels #dogstravelling #travelingdog ... See MoreSee Less
We have had this Turkey trip planned since before Covid and it has been postponed a couple times ...until now. We would normally go in the Fall but with the uncertainty of so much, we felt it was important to do it sooner than later.
We will be reassessing future trips in the Fall to see what will be best for next year. We believe there are going to be some places that we may not be able to get to easily in future years.
Turkey is an amazing country with incredible people and culture. It plays such an important role in early chrisianity and many other world events.
#Turkey2022 ... See MoreSee Less
We need cheaper passports to encourage more people to change their lives through travel! ... See MoreSee Less
-Hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia
-Turkish cooking class
-Bathing in Cleopatras Baths and Hot Springs
-A complete emersion of Ephesus... not just a couple hours off a cruise ship
-Rich amazing history throughout the entire trip
-And so much more...
These are just a few of the adventures that is apart of our tour in July!
Check out this amazing itinerary:
travelingu.com/latest-tour/ ... See MoreSee Less
Memories Day #2:
Today we visited the Hagia Sophia. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome. It was the world's largest building and an engineering marvel of its time. Amazingly, it only took 5 years to build. For nearly 1000 years it served as a Orthodox and Catholic Cathedral.
In 1453 it was converted to an Ottoman Mosque and remained so until 1931 when it was converted as a museum showing both the Christian mosaics combined with much of the Muslim characteristics.
#istanbul ... See MoreSee Less
Welcome to Travel Tip Friday!
These kind of tips are really helpful to make long flights not feel so exhausting! Dale has a very long flight to Beijing next week..... these will help take the 'bite' out of traveling long distances. ... See MoreSee Less
Our son was on a flight today with Delta when they announced it was now optional to wear a mask. The plane erupted in cheers! About half opted to stay masked, which is their right. The Delta crew played Martina McBride’s song, Independence Day as everyone exited the plane. ✈️ ... See MoreSee Less
It’s Martina McBride
In 2018 we hosted a tour to Greece and Istanbul. Many said Istanbul was their favorite part of their trip... even beyond Greece😳😜
Here is a couple memories from 2018:
Our first day in Istanbul. We visited the Chora Museum. They have peeled back the layers of this amazing Christian church, then Mosque built in the 6th century AD during the Byzantine era.
During the Muslim period all the Christian artwork was covered over.
They have now uncover much of it and it is breathtaking. It is a wonderful museum with both Christian and Muslim artworks.
Then to the Suleymaniye or Prince Mosque built for the Sultan Suleyman in 1550 and only took 7 years to build.
We also tried muscles with rice and sauce on the street but the ‘chef’ insisted on feeding us.
Dale and I both aren’t normally fans but this was pretty good! Brianne decided it would be better to just watch our reactions than to try it.
We also tried a traditional Muslim drink, Boza. We found out later It is made with fermented wheat and is said to be a cure for Cholera. So we have that going for us!
Lutfi truly planned a magical trip for all of us! ... See MoreSee Less
5 Reasons You Must Visit Turkey
#5 Re-opening of the Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque, known as the Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish, is a historical mosque built in Istanbul in the early 17th century. Known for the beautiful blue tiles lining its interior walls, it is both an active mosque and popular tourist attraction. The Blue Mosque was the grand project of Sultan Ahmed I and his tomb can still be found inside.
Much of the Blue Masque has been covered while it has gone through extensive restoration. It is to be done by May of this year baring any delays.
www.travelingu.com/tours-2/ ... See MoreSee Less
5 Reasons You Must Visit Turkey
#4 Ancient Ruins
Because Turkey has been the crossroads of civilizations for a millennia, it’s not surprising that the country is home to countless ancient ruins and landmarks.
One of the world’s greatest historic sites is the legendary Ephesus. This classical city dates to the Roman era when its 250,000 inhabitants revelled in prosperity from commerce and pilgrims visiting the Temple of Artemis – one of the world’s seven ancient wonders. Although little remains of the temple today, visitors can marvel at the Library of Celsus and the impressive Great Theatre.
www.travelingu.com/tours-2/ ... See MoreSee Less
5 Reasons You Must Visit Turkey
#3 Breathtaking Natural Attractions
Due to its active geological past, Turkey hosts a wealth of beautiful landscapes and scenery. The stunning beauty of this country’s natural heritage is well-worth exploring.
Situated in central Turkey is the otherworldly Cappadocia. A fascinating landscape consisting of thousands of bizarre, conical-shaped rocks with pointed tips. UNESCO World Heritage-listed Pamukkale is also unlike anything you will have witnessed before. This natural phenomenon features calcium-based white terraces filled with warm mineral water. This so-called ‘Cotton Castle’ is a stunning natural spa and one of Turkey’s most photographed attractions.
travelingu.com/tours-2/ ... See MoreSee Less
5 Reasons You Must Visit Turkey travelingu.com/turkey-tour-details/
#2 Turkish Cuisine
Turkish cuisine is often regarded as one of the world’s greatest. For over 1,300 years they have incorporated a delicious mix of Balkan, Middle Eastern and central Asian influences. (Dale could never get tired of their cuisine... never!)
And you can never have enough of their traditional desserts which include, Baklava – a sweet pastry, Turkish rice pudding known as Sutlac and, of course, the famous Turkish Delight. ... See MoreSee Less