We have arrived! The day has been long as we left Chicago at 10 p.m. on January 8 and arrived in our hotel here in Izmir at 10 p.m. on January 9. Of course, there was the loss of eight hours from Chicago time, but 18 hours is plenty of time to be in transit, that’s for sure. Our flight attendants took great care of us, providing Turkish delight, dried apricots and two full meals during our 10-hour flight.
There are 16 in our group, a small-size group for our intrepid leader, Jeff Weima, but we are already enjoying getting to know each other and sharing our origin stories. Tonight at dinner in the hotel dining room, we enjoyed hearing Rob and Sue talk about their four children; Hannah and Kendra provided humor and intrigue as they engaged with their tasty if somewhat unknown food items. Kendra offered to photograph us, so here we are just about to tuck into a wonderful dessert: Gerry and I are thrilled that Paul and Carol are on this trip with us; they seem to be enjoying getting to know the other folks in the group.
Tomorrow we begin the study part of this trip with a full day of bus touring and site visiting. Our tour guide Djenk is personable and determined we should gain all we can from our time here, so we’ll put ourselves in his trusted care.