Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Rome Through the Eyes of a Two Year Old

No, we did not go on Authorized Departure to Rome.  We are still kicking around Adana waiting for the next shoe to drop and wondering if it will actually drop.  But a couple weeks ago, we took a little vacay to Rome to celebrate a milestone birthday for S.  I won't tell you how old he is because he would likely kick my butt (hint: he does not look his age, IMO), but let's just say we had an awesome time. We spent 5 days walking around the city, eating all the pasta, pizza and gelato we could get our hands on, and taking in the numerous sites Rome has to offer.  S and I loved it.  E loved it as well, mostly because of the pizza and gelato, but since he's a toddler and has no appreciation for historic places and art, it was challenging to keep him entertained.  But he powered through it, so I'll just go ahead and let the pictures tell the story...

 "Oooh, is that a fountain behind me??  Let me down so I can play!"
(Trevi Fountain)

"Ahh, thank you!"

First gelato of the trip.  "Thanks Mom and Dad!"

"Mom, do I really have to smile?"
(at The Vatican)

"Hey Dad, check this out!"
(This was his favorite phrase of the trip.
S and I had to "check out" everything)


"Hey, they're taking their clothes off.  Can I take off mine?"

"Dad, just so you know, I'm bored."

"Dad, are you supposed to be putting holy water in your bottle?"
(The Vatican)
"Mommy, check this out!  Can I touch them?" Um, no.
(St. Peter's Basilica in the background)

"Is there a giant beer behind me?  Ok, just checking."

"Mmm, this is good pizza, Daddy!"

"I'm free!  I'm free!"

"Now let me see how much trouble I can get myself into..."

Any trouble this way?

Another fountain = Trouble

Umpteenth Gelato break: "Can I taste yours, Daddy?"
(E insisted on tasting everyone's gelato to determine the best one.)

"Let me outta here!" (Parthenon)

"Mom, seriously?  Let me climb the steps!"

"Finally. Thank you." (Spanish Steps)

"C'mon! What are you waiting for?"

"Yay! Finally something fun!" (Borghese Gardens)

"Can I play in the water?  Pretty please?"

"Never mind, I'll play with this cool toy instead."
"Daddy, are there monsters up there?"

"Look Mom, there's monsters up there!"

"You mean, people used to live here?" (Pompeii)

"Do you think they'll mind if I climb on their old stairs?"

This trip was seriously exhausting, guys.
Wake me when we're back in Adana."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Authorized Departure

So, this happened yesterday.  Yes, that means that we have been put on Authorized Departure here in Adana.  While we have no plans to leave as of right now, we are paying close attention to what is going on just across the border (in Syria) and we are weighing our options.  Of course, should the powers that be put us on Ordered Departure, as was the case in Beirut, we will have no choice but to leave.  But for now, we are laying low and crossing our fingers.  

Needless to say, this has been quite a memorable first post.  In the past eight months, we have seen 1.) numerous protests over Patriot Missiles located here in southeastern Turkey that resulted in the local air base being locked down for a short time and our movements restricted 2.) a crazy violent incident that resulted in the destruction of our diplomatic passports (still not allowed to blog about that one) 3.) nationwide Turkish government protests and riots that lasted for weeks and resulted in several deaths, including one here in Adana, and now this.  I feel like a life in the Foreign Service should share the same tag line as CBS's reality show Big Brother: Expect the Unexpected.  Because that has certainly been the case here in Adana.  

But, like I said, we are making the best of things and hoping that nothing escalates.  We really love it here and we don't want to disrupt our lives if we don't feel it is necessary.  Of course, I would never put my family in danger, so we will do whatever it takes to stay safe.  I really don't want to have to leave my husband behind, though (he is considered essential personnel) and the idea of leaving our pets makes my heart hurt. So I will try not to think about it for now.  Except that it's hard not to...

Positive thoughts and good vibes are welcome!