Friday, September 19, 2014

Around the World Oregano (AKA I feel like an idiot)

I like oregano, especially on pizza and fresh tomatoes.  But I found it hard to find oregano here in Turkey.  We could easily find thyme, but they just aren't the same.  

So I asked Mel's mom to bring some when she came to visit this week.  At first I was so excited -   real oregano from Canada, and a whole giant container of it.  Yes!

But then I felt like a real idiot when I read the label on the back. . . . .

. . . .product of Turkey.  Doh!

Clearly I need to look harder to find the oregano here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

More from Grandma W's visit

Mike didn't have that many photos of Grandma's visit so I wanted to post some more. . .
Everyone had a great time and we were able to share some special moments together. There was some hiking, swimming, boat tripping, exploring and sewing!

We sure miss you!!

Patiently waiting at the airport for Grandma to arrive.

Sewing project with Grandma

Nope it's not a beaver dam! It's how they make charcoal here in Turkey.

Hiking in Agva

Oscar with a little friend hiking his own mountain.

Our guide dog for the day. He followed us out of the village and stuck with us the whole day. Almost took him home. .

Can you see it?

Grandma and Libby in front of the many water fall pools.

Mike swimming in the pool while Grandma and Libby look on.

Isaköy- translates into english/turkish- Is a village!

Libby in the new mosque in Ortaköy with a view of the 1st bridge in the background.

Grandma giving Mike his 40th Birthday present early. When you come and visit you can experience. So clever!

On our Bosphorus Boat cruise for the day.

Mike and Grandma W watching the storm roll in.

Mike and his ladies!

Weee we love boats!

Hardship on the boat. Champagne!!

3rd Bridge construction. . .yowzers!

Oscar rescuing Mike.


My not-so-little man Oscar.

Libby hamming it up. .

Happy kiddos!!

This photo really gives you an idea of how big the third bridge is.


View of Beykoz from the water. Beautiful!

Adventure with Grandma to Kadiköy.

Libby and Grandma on the boat.

Sewing bags for the Canadian Table and International Day.

New park near our house with a suspended bridge hiking trail. Fun!

Grandma with her biggest fans.

What do you do on a hot day after a hike? Jump in the pool in your underwear!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hockey Legends

In August I visited Finland and Sweden on business.  These are two places that love hockey almost as much as Canada, so it's fun to be able to talk about Scandinavian hockey players (and get the pronunciations right) with friends and business associates.

Some familiar faces great you at the Stockholm airport - great for a Leafs fan!

Actually I have had the pleasure of working with a Finnish Olympian over the last couple of years. Kirsi Hanninen (pictured below) played on the Finnish national team for a number of years, including as an Assistant Captain in Nagano ('98) where they won a Bronze Medal.   In addition to being a top athlete, she's also great fun and started a company we are now partnering with in Scandinavia.

I mentioned that I'd like to get one of her jerseys and I was delighted when she brought me one of her game-worn jerseys from Nagano!  Of course I got it autographed - I'm honoured to own it and am looking forward to wearing it at a suitable occasion.

The kids modeled the jersey as soon as I got home.  Hopefully we can all make a trip to Finland together one day so they can meet her in person!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Istanbul Mud Run

This weekend we all headed to Dalia Beach on the Black Sea (near Kilyos) for a "Mud Run".  These things are apparently getting quite popular around the world and I think this is the second annual here in Istanbul.  The event was very well organized and the nice weather really helped with a great atmosphere around the race.

There were different time slots and even shorter races for the kids, so Oscar and Lucy also got in on the fun.  Libby was happy to play in the sand.

The 5km course for the adults was tough with lots of uphill but Mel and I both did pretty well "for our age". Having the sea right there was fantastic to cool and clean off after the run.

The start of Mel's heat

Mel and her friend Jessica after their run.

Lucy crawling under the last obstacle

Oscar won his age category

The kids with their buddy Jordan all smiles after the race.  Everybody gets a medal!

I got really muddy in one of the last pits.  Like I said, jumping into the sea was great.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Summer List

When the kids first got out of school this summer we made a "BIG" list of all the things they wanted to do:
Remi Koç Museum
Polenezköy Zoo
Beach at the Black Sea
Rainbow stairs
Istanbul Modern
Pera Museum
Boat Ride
Family Bike Ride
Double Decker Bus Tour
Turkish Bath
Swimming in the Bosphorus

We pretty much did everything on the list except for the Double Decker Bus and the Pera Museum. . .
Here are some photos of our adventures!!

Tea outside on our holiday

Listening to buskers on the ferryboat to Kadiköy.

Ice cream treat after biking while I ran.

Great t-shirts!

Libby wearing a touque to the pool at 38 degrees!

We entered in a fun race at Belgrade Forest.

Oscar ran the whole 6 km in 51 minutes!!

Helping Dad make Banana Bread.

Our new piano!

Decorating t-shirts

The finished product.

The rainbow stairs!

Huge cruiseship outside of Istanbul Modern Art Museum.

So tired she fell asleep on the floor.

Polenezköy Zoo.

They actually do have "wild" animals in Turkey other then squirrels.

Kids at a Green Runners camp.

Oscar and I on top of the Grand Bazaar.

Site words master!!

A great visit from friends!

Summer is not complete without roasting marshmallows!

Building and sleeping in a big Fort.

Giant bubbles at the Remi Koç museum. So fun!

Sunshine and rest. . . and POP! They grow up so fast!!

Libby climbing the train at the Remi Koç Museum

Lucy enjoying the museum.

In front of the Harry Potter car.

Lucy is the pancake making master!