Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Chuck!

By Claire
We woke to sprinkles that gradually escalated to a downpour. Our wonderful Dutch neighbors came over to visit and talk about camping and campsites and generously gave us maps and campground recommendations throughout Turkey. They also copied a disk for us of campgrounds that we can use throughout Europe! What a sweet young couple traveling in a camper with 3 kids for one year! I took this picture of them with only their youngest, 2 year old Sterre. Jesse, 8, and Ninka, 5 were back in their camper playing their Nintendo. He is named Robert John F. after the Kennedy brothers.

Robert John, Sterre and Amber

We had decided to go out for a birthday lunch for Chuck and were trying to find a place to get authentic, traditional Turkish food. As we were walking home yesterday, a man at a café we have admired called to us and told us it was a good place for a snack. We were anxious to get home at that point but looked the place over and decided to come back today.

We walked in and were seated on sofas with a large coffee table between us. We told the man we wanted lunch and much scurrying around commenced. After a few minutes he told us that they had notified the woman down the street to prepare lunch for us. In the meantime, we were served apple tea, a new favorite for us. It’s almost like drinking hot apple cider. It was a charming little place that included one 13 year old dog and two adult cats plus a kitten. It was the first intact male cat I’ve seen in many years.

The first course was the best tomato-based soup I’ve ever had. I wish I knew what herbs she used. Of course we also had a basket of wonderful Turkish bread.

The second course was vegetables and rice with asparagus, leeks and carrots in a broth.

Next came a yogurt and cucumber cold soup with a dollop of olive oil on top.

The finale was beans in a sauce and pilaf. I mixed mine together a bit and forgot to take the picture until I’d consumed some of it.

It was a fun meal and we talked with the man who owned the café in between watching an old, dubbed movie on the ever present TV. He had a girl light the stove and it was very cozy inside while the rain poured outside. While we were there, we spotted David and Sue’s van drive by. We assumed we would run into them back at the campground.

We made our way to the museum where we found them both. They will free camp tonight since they can’t justify the 39 TL price of the campground. For us, it’s €12.90. For them, it is 39 Australian dollars.

We said our goodbyes to David and Sue once again and made our way through the downpour to the produce stand and the cake shop. It’s nice to be cozy inside Homer celebrating Chuck’s birthday.

In the meantime, we received a lovely note from Chuck’s Mom:

Dear Chuck, Happy Birthday! Hope I hit it one way or another. Can't wait to receive your next chronicle of your journey in Europe. Birthday wishes and greetings from all of us. Can't wait! No, I didn't forget you Claire. Some of the same to you. Lots of love from all of us. Mom


paroshep said...

Happy Birthday, Chuck! How nice to spend your special day in Sel"chuk"! One of my favourite places! If you are interested in seeing carpets go to the Bella Hotel on the road that goes up to the ruins at St. John Basilica. He has a carpet shop next to the Hotel. If you do, tell the man there that a very happy couple (who bought a small carpet from him)remembers him and his hotel and lovely staff!
If you get a chance, and if it is open, go to the Seven Sleeper Caves and there is a wonderful and unique restaurant. They sell "pancakes"....

Enjoy Selcuk.....Karin from Paros

Tai and Letha said...

Yes, Chuck, Happy Birthday! We got behind a bit on the blog with our timeout from electronics during our 'sun break'. It is raining here now so is the perfect time to read about being "cozy in Homer". Anyway, we hope your birthday was as special as it looked on the blog. And, please, keep us posted on the pastries.

Paul King said...

Belated Happy Birthday Chuck.

That was a great looking lunch and cake!

Good vibes in Turkey.