Istanbul was one of our favorite stops. It is so different from anywhere else. It felt like we were walking through the Disney movie Aladdin at some points. There were golden lamps and Sultan's palaces. As we were pulling out of the port, the coastline was covered with Islamic mosques.
The Blue Mosque.
Rob making friends with some local boys outside the Blue Mosque. They are all doing their best "hang loose" faces.
Rob and I in front of the Blue Mosque - you can see the mosque through the archway right behind us.
A glimpse inside the Blue Mosque - beautiful tile mosaics and stained glass windows.
After the Blue Mosque we headed over to the Topkapi palace where the Ottoman Sultans lived for hundreds of years.
Outside Cinderella's... er... the Topkapi palace
View from one of the residences inside the palace grounds
Um... a living lounge?
The circumcision room... eek!
Some of the palace grounds...
Glimpse of one of the ceilings inside the palace...
A visit to Istanbul would not be complete without a visit to the Hagia Sophia.
Izmir was a little scary at first, but turned out to have some pretty cool sights. We stopped at a castle, the old Agora (marketplace), an old elevator that gave us views of the city, and did a little shopping. To finish it off, what trip to Turkey wouldn't be complete with a cab driver trying to double his original quote for the trip? Learning quick that cab drivers are not your friends. "Special price" does not mean a "low price". :)
We only had one day in Athens and decided to spend it at the Acropolis. It was surreal to look at the buildings I had seen in so many text books.
We made it!! The Acropolis sits on top a high hill above Athens. We were very happy to reach the top!
Athena's Olive tree - and the only source of shade
The temple of Zeus - there was also a vending machine with Coke!
At the Acropolis museum
Rob could always make friends with the locals. This lady had painted thousands of canvas paintings. We bought one of Mykanos, Greece from her. We are glad we did since we were unable to port at Mykanos due to high winds.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was renting a car and driving through the Alps up to Lake Como. The Alps really take your breath away. We got a good view of them from the plane flying into Venice, but driving through them was awesome. We even ran into a little thunder storm, something rarely seem in the bay area.
First picture - our little rental car. They rip on this car like crazy on Top Gear so you can imagine Rob's excitement to drive it around. It treated us pretty well.
We all know how horribly I failed at trying to blog about our Japan trip. I really want to share our recent trip with everyone, so in order to help with my blog posting ADD, I've decided to post just a few pics at each location of our trip with a short (emphasis on short) description of each pic. If I make it through the entire trip and still feel inspired to write, I'll add more. Hopefully this will help you all get a glimpse of our trip - here we go!
First picture - Saint Mark's Square at night - wow!
We're here! And ready to be tourists - fanny pack and all!
At the Peggy Guggenheim house in Venice admiring her collection of art. Some of the art was cool, but I'd recommend not looking at art right after a 15 hour flight and 2 hour commute to Venice.
For my mom.
The Grand Canal
Gondola rides - not as romantic as in the movies. They are rarely ever alone and we only heard one singing.
Hello - I know it looks like I may have already failed at my New Years Resolution, but nope! Rob and I took a little vacation this weekend and went up to Northstar ski resort (Tahoe). We left late Friday evening, snowboarded on Saturday, and walked around the resort Sunday. There was hardly any snow on the slopes. A lot of runs were closed and some had grass coming through the snow - but the view at the top was amazing and the weather was great. Here are some pictures. The pictures don't do the view justice. We could see the lake.
Oh and in case everyone is wondering. The other girl in the picture is our friend Corrine - She goes to Stanford law school with Rob, plays co-ed soccer with us, and has a season pass to the resort. The guy in the picture is Rob's friend Brian. He also goes to Stanford law school. The Stanford law school tries to make a "ski" trip once every year.
Much of Rob and my dating life was spent watching Utah football games as part of the MUSS. The first year Rob and I were part of the MUSS was the last year Alex Smith played and took the Utes to the Fiesta bowl. Since Alex Smith left the University of Utah, Rob has faithfully watched the drama that has been the 49ers. Though Rob's never been upset over each 49ers loss, I've watched him become...disheartened - almost like watching your kid get picked last to play kick ball...every week... for 7 years. You know he can play well. You've seen him play well. But no one else has. Moving out to the bay area hasn't helped either. People out here hate Alex Smith. They won't even sell his jersey. But this weekend, all of that changed. I'm not a Sports Analyst, or an expert on football, so I won't attempt to give you a play by play. I will just say this - Saturday afternoon we all sat down to watch what Rob has been waiting for for 7 years. Alex Smith led the 49ers to the NFC championship game. And what made the moment more perfect - Rob's friend of 25+ years that he spent watching every Utah football game while he was at school and that have spent the last 3 years watching the games together via twitter was in our living room. We are so happy to have Jim and Kathie Gwilliam living so close to us now. The game couldn't have been more fun. And in true fashion - I didn't take a picture. So this one from some website will have to do. This just means that we'll have to re-create the moment next week! Go 9ers!