Some discoveries from our 6-day beachfront vacation:
On day 1, we discovered Europeans eat dinner late. Unfortunately, we didn’t discover until day 4 that around 5 p.m. they serve yummy grilled filler foods, like burritos and corn on the cob. Now that’s more in the Lester-Worth dinner time.
On day 1, we discovered Asteria Hotels has its only “jingle,” except that it’s an entire cheesy song, not just a 5-second clip, and they play it numerous times per day on their ample sound system. So, yes, we have “the sun is rising, so there is time yet, to do your dreams, at Asteria Hotels,” stuck in our heads (link provided to full jingle, and you know you want to). If you see us next week, ask us to sing it. It’ll still be stuck in the deep recesses of our brains.
On day 1, we discovered we love “Non-Agenda” vacations, including day 2, in which I, for the first time in years, never knew what time it was for one entire day.
On day 1, we discovered that Turkish Baths are a bit more “European” than we’re used to. As a friend pointed out, our “American Puritanical roots” must be embedded deeply, as the things that happen in a Turkish bath felt a bit too personal for both Amanda and me. But with that said, we both enjoyed it.
On day 2, we discovered a pool that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. BONUS: It had a bar attached to it.
On day 2, we discovered the arcade, which was way too early in the week for such a discovery to be made, especially since each game cost 1.5 Euros ($2). But their games were age appropriate for our 5-to-7 year olds, so kudos to Asteria for that.
On day 2, we discovered our double room had a second deck, which was much roomier than the one we’d discovered on day 1. After putting the children to bed we spent each evening there watching a hedgehog scurry around under the cover of night. The Hedgehog basically went from hedge to hedge, so now, for the first time ever, I understand from whence the name originates.
On day 3, we discovered the downfall of a truly non-agenda vacay, that being when your five-year-old daughter misses the one hour each day when they serve cotton candy (5 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and your seven-year-old sons miss the daily popcorn treat right out of the old-school popcorn machine (imagine the machines at your high school basketball games), which is only served from 4 to 5 p.m. daily. Serious meltdowns ensued.
On day 3, we also discovered a “adults only” pool, with its own bar … located about 100 meters from our room. This place is so big they can hide pools and poolside bars from me!
On day 3, we discovered the Asteria Mini-Club has Playstation and Movie Rooms (which played Shrek on an endless loop.) Elsa felt free to make the movie room her personal napping room one afternoon.
On day 4, we discovered that Turkish hair cuts, at least for men, are a bit different experience than in the USA. This video link shows what happens at the end of Turkish haircuts to men who have unwanted ear hair, and by definition I mean ALL ear hair must be unwanted, as I did not request this procedure be done. It came standard with the “just a trim” request. After watching this, you’ll know why I had to go to YouTube to find proof instead of having filmed it happening to me.
On day 5, we discovered a Baguette Bar overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Amazingly, it was included in our all-inclusive package. Which is inclusive and including some flaky, cinnamon sugar pastries that Elsa believes is made of “sweet cheese”. (NOTE: Not everything is included in all-inclusive packages.)
On day 5, we discovered we can go in all four “pools” in one day, but, to be clear, I am not including the Adults Only pool, and I am including in our list of pools a super tiny one they refer to as the Mediterranean Sea.
On day 5, we discovered they have kids drinks called Pokemon, a word that has been on the minds of our two seven-year-olds for all but approximately 27 minutes of the last three months. So that’s serendipitous.
On day 5, we discovered you can eat indoors, not just poolside as we’d done on the previous 4 days. Of course, eating indoors for lunch meant putting on more than just a swimsuit, and clothes just didn’t seem worth it. So we continued eating lunch poolside for the last few days.
On day NEVER, we figured out the Asteria “Towel Game”. OK, on day 5, we thought we’d figured it out. You see, people wake up at some hour earlier than 7:30 (when we did), to set out towels on chairs around the pools to save their spots. But when we got there at 7:30 all the prime spots were already taken, so we decided to get up earlier on day 6 to get a good spot. But then we spent too much time with the hedgehog on the sweet back deck (see previous “we discovered”), soooooo … we didn’t wake up until 9 a.m.
On day 6, we discovered we are big fans of Asteria Club Belek on the south Turkey shore, along the Mediterranean Sea. Beach vacations with little or no agendas are good for Lester-Worth souls. I definitely see us returning. Who wants to accompany us?
UPDATE: In a previous day’s blog about our south Turkey beach trip, we talked about the lack of English-speaking people at this resort. Two stories we forgot, both involving shy, five-year-old Elsa and the language barrier. One time she needed napkins, so she went to to the ice cream stand and asked for “3 napkins, please”. She came back with a quizzical look upon her face and an ice cream cone with three scoops adorning it. “I don’t know what just happened,” she said. Another time we sent her to the bar to get a Sprite. The bar has children’s stairs, so Littles can order their own drinks. She asked for a Sprite, and returned, face again contorted, with two “Kiddie Cocktails”. Elsa being Elsa, neither time did she utter a word to the server about the mistake.
Final trip note: Our family has now traveled to 10 countries together – U.S., Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Sri Lanka, Oman, Turkey – and our kids still retain the title of “World’s Loudest Children”. Love it.