Sunday was our last day in Izmir. We decided to not try and do any additional touring. I haven't been feeling fantastic and the boys were worn out from the time in Ephesus the day before. So we opted to stay close to the hotel.
We got up leisurely and went downstairs for another fantastic morning buffet. It is nice that most times, food in Turkey bears enough similarity to food in the U.S. that I can try a few new things and also enjoy some familiarity. They made pancakes and french toast and eggs and had fresh fruit and yogurts and juices (although Orange Juice here continues to be fairly watered down for my liking.) However, there is also a wide assortment of meats and cheeses that do not interest me very much. There is also often salad things out for breakfast. Lots of olives and tomatoes. Not something I really want in the morning. And then breads. Tons of breads and most of them very dry. I am just not a fan of dry bread.
After a fantastic breakfast, JB took the boys to the play room in the hotel while I got a little alone time with the TV and my computer back in our room. After that, the boys and I took naps while JB went to eat at a Sushi place around the corner that had come highly recommended. The verdict? Still not as good as Eglin's Sushi joints but adequate, albeit expensive. He stopped at a convenience store to pick up some drinks and snacks for the boys on the way home and also ordered me some Chinese food. It was different from the Chinese back in the States but fun to eat something a bit different. Around Adana, it is difficult to find anything aside from Turkish food. So I enjoyed the change.
We had secured a late check-out: 3pm. Wonderful! So at 3pm we headed outside for the shuttle bus that runs from the hotel to the airport. It is $10TL a person (boys, as usual in Turkey, are free). Very reasonable.
We had an opportunity to redeem ourselves and practice not getting taken advantage of again. A taxi driver approached us. He only spoke Turkish and so he and I communicated in Turkish that he would like to take us to the airport for the exact same amount that we would pay for the shuttle. I used my Turkish word "sadece" and "Yirmi" to assure that it would be "only" "twenty" lira. He assured me that this was the case.
He secured another rider, but once in the cab, he said he wanted to charge us thirty because while Elijah was sitting on my lap, Isaac was taking up a seat. I immediately responded in Turkish that this would not fly. We were paying "yirmi!" JB scooped Isaac up onto his lap and we told him that he could find another rider if he wanted. And he did. It felt good to know rules, play by the rules, and win as a foreigner! Especially after our tour experience the day prior.
The cab took us to the airport. There, we began to play with our options for flying home. I was booked on Pegasus airlines with both boys. Isaac had a seat for himself. Elijah was a lap child. JB was flying home an hour behind me on a different airline. After much talking and figuring (most people in the airport speak some English which is very helpful) we determined that for just an extra $10, we could take Elijah off of my ticket and put him on JB's. Hurrah that I wouldn't have to fly home outnumbered.
We separated the diaper bag out as much as we could and bargained for "goods." JB got the DVD player. I got the toy cars. JB got the stickers. I got the lollipops. That sort of thing.
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the next three hours. Just spending time with Isaac was delightful. And I was equally blessed, when we arrived, to find out that JB, despite a one hour delay, had enjoyed Elijah just as much (despite the fact that I realized we forgot to give him any pacifiers in the diaper bag split-up.) We both realized that because Isaac "prefers" JB over me and because Elijah "prefers" me over JB, we both naturally end up with that child most of the time. How wonderful to just have time to sit and talk to Isaac and enjoy his company. He told me many funny things, shared crazy ideas, and just jabbered away to me, as if he was so excited to have my undivided attention. And I was happy to give it to him.
We got back late on Sunday night. The boys slept until very early on Monday morning. JB returned to work, and I returned to life as I knew it as well. A wonderful trip!