Friday, August 22, 2008

The Papa in Istanbul!

A few months ago we were driving down one of the popular streets in our area when I spotted a "Coming Soon" sign and at the bottom I saw a very familiar emblem which read "Papa John's Pizza". Needless to say I was very excited since it is the pizza I grew up on. Since then every time we drove by I would eagerly look to see if it was open, and this Sunday Tim and I saw that the sign had been lifted, and it was open!! It is actually a sit-down-and-eat restaurant, which I don't think there are any in America. Anyways, as we were eating one of the managers heard us speaking English and asked us if we had ever had Papa John's. Of course I explained that Papa John's started in Louisville, my home-town. I all of the suddenI felt like some kind of expert on the subject. His eyes lit up and he told us that he had just recently visited Louisville, Kentucky to visit the Papa John's headquarters. Being that it had just opened he wanted our American opinion right away. Let's just say it was good pizza, but, not enough sauce. I guess that is an American thing, but there is barely ever any tomato sauce on the pizza here. But other than that, it was great, and it was very exciting to see such a familiar place from home.

Can you see the Papa??? He is smiling pretty in the bottom left corner.

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Turkish Wedding

Wow! I just saw that my last blog was July 15th, pretty sad. I know when the baby comes I am probably going to overload yall with pictures, so lets just say that I'm pacing myself. That's my excuse for now at least. This month has been somewhat uneventful except for this past weekend.

Since we got to Istanbul one of Tim's football players and his family has really "adopted" us and taken us in when we definitely needed a surrogate family so far from home. They even helped me celebrate my birthday and made me a beautiful cake. This past weekend one of the uncles and his wife decided to celebrate their wedding in Istanbul since they had originally been married in her home country. It was such a privilege to get a little taste of a Turkish wedding. When we arrived at the house all the women were looking fabulous, looking like they all had had a day at the salon.

We hung out for awhile as they were putting on the finishing touches. Tim was actually shooting the breeze a little with one of the men in the family, in Turkish, I was so proud! Finally the groom arrived, and a very anticipatory moment occurred and the the bride was "revealed"!!! It was so cute! Tim's football player explained that it symbolized that he was coming to take her from her home to their new home together. As we left the bride and groom got in a decorated car with a beautiful flower bouquet adorning the hood and the rest of us caravanned behind. Driving through the traffic of Istanbul we got lots of honks and cheers for the wedding, a really neat tradition I think.

We drove to a beautiful restaurant on the sea and were served a full course, delicious meal. Since the couple had already been married awhile they didn't actually do a ceremony, however, there was a wedding party below us, so we got to witness a real ceremony. Honestly there wasn't much to it, short and sweet. The bride and groom are introduced with some fancy music, they walk in and are seated at a large table with two witness and a man from the government. The man then proceeds to read the marriage vows, and they sign the document along with the witnesses and then they are married. A large party proceeds the ceremony, but there definitely wasn't much to the ceremony, compared to some of our long American weddings.

The other bride and groom getting married (a little dark)

After we ate, the dancing began as the party below us had two live bands. One was an traditional Anatolian Rock Band, lets just say not my favorite. But we had a blast watching everyone kick up their heels and have a wonderful time. This family has been such a blessing to us and they continue to help make Istanbul feel more like a home.

Tim and I, and the bump (large and in-charge)

Our view for the evening

The family

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