Istanbul & Camp Gramp: Days 5 & 6

August 5 – back in the States (I was too lazy to write home)
Today was Museum of Science day. It had been steadly growing hotter since we got here and today — oh my. This morning Baz noted that he couldn’t get his shirt off. It was so warm and humid. A place with air conditioning, we thought. That is an awesome museum. Thane loved the discovery center — water and balls, how can it get any better. So did Kay who loves to dress up and made a wonderful coffee filter butterfly there. Baz and I want the electricity show in our living room. The worlds largest Vandegraph generator — and we are talking 40 ft. high or so. It was awesome. Grey liked the whales exhibit and the dinosaurs. They had this astonishing replica of a whale heart there — easily 6 feet high lying on its side. The kids could crawl in it. While we were there, it rained and cool off the land. Still muggy, but not so hot,which is good.

We returned all the children to the car, tired by happy. Then we started to get out of the garage. 35 minutes to get out of the garage. 35 minutes! After that, piece of cake. I had been dreading rush hour, but it was speed limit the whole way home. The other direction, however, into town was stop and go almost to home. I wonder what was up.

When we got home, we ate and I gave Thane a bath. I have never seen a child who loved baths as much as he does. The older kids and the adults then watched “Up”. The evening ended with glow sticks. Very nice day.

Your children are all fine. Dad and I are still alive. I hope you are all having a great time.!

Love, Grandmama

August 6

We began our anniversary day (editor’s note: August 5) with a trip to the Church of Cora, which, rumor had it, still had intact mosaics. And so it did. They were quite splendid, and we spent a happy hour twisting our necks and guessing at Bible stories. (The genealogy of Christ had us flummoxed for a while, I confess.)

The Church of Chora - mosaics & frescoes
The Church of Chora - mosaics & frescoes

From there we took a death defying taxi trip across the Golden Horn to the Fortress of Europe. It was every 12 year olds dream of a fortress! There were battlements and high walls and precarious staircases and murder holes and high towers. It was extremely cool. After a much more sedate return taxi trip, we went again to the
Turkish baths, because they are extremely awesome.
The Fortress of Europe was SO COOL. Bring your walking shoes.
The Fortress of Europe was SO COOL. Bring your walking shoes.

Today we slept in again. Ambition has been replaced by a certain degree of lethargy. We went to this really cool museum of Islamic scientific contributions from 900 to 1600. (Note: The Islamic Scientific and Technology Museum in lovely Gulhane Park. By far the best interpreted museum in Istanbul and completely worth a visit.) It was awesome. We spent about four hours there, reading about everything from seige machines to astrolabes to optics. Our only regret was lacking the classical scientific background to understand it all, especially the math and navigation sections.
I want a book called "Astrolabe for Idiots"
The last remaining goal for our last remaining day is to touch Asian soil. We see it across the water, but it is a residential, not tourist area. So we will probably go tomorrow only to have gone.

It has been a spectacular and outstanding trip… One of the finest. We have had good luck, good food, good weather and good company. We only hope you all are doing as well!


Meanwhile, back in the States

Today was lovely. We stayed home most of the day. In the morning we went to the used book store and the park to play. While Thane napped, we made Shrinky Dinks. Then we played in the back yard for a while. Adam and Brenda, about the orange ball. Do you know how long that takes to pump up! But having gotten it pumped up, it is a real hit. They are rolling all over the yard. Dinner and a walk to the ice cream place to get dessert.

This may not sound perfect to you. What was perfect was the weather. High 70s, low humidity, nice breeze. It was awesome

The bad news is, we can’t find the camera (editor’s note: TRAGEDY!). We think we had it at the Museum of Science, but we can’t find it anywhere. This is very sad. It has the trip to see my mom and the Camp Gramp pictures on it. We will continue to look.


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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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