And We’re Off!

There was so much excitement in anticipation of leaving the morning of January 9th.  Olivia and Eliana were up at the crack of dawn sitting by the door even though we didn’t need to leave the house till 9:30am.  When we arrived at the airport other cast members were checking in. Olivia was so happy to see everyone.  We were told that we had two seats in the middle isle and one the other side. Olivia and Eliana had their usual fight about who would sit on their own. However, it wasn’t the usual not wanting to sit on their own.  They both wanted to sit with someone in the cast. Of course I decided Olivia would win this one, since she is the one who is playing Young Fiona and had spent time with everyone.  Unfortunately, she found that the person sitting next to her wasn’t someone from the cast at all. She was a little upset for about 2 minutes.

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The flight was so enjoyable. We were surrounded by the cast. They both chatted happily.  Neither one of them slept or complained of boredom.  We arrived at the hotel around 8:30am (1:30am NY time) and went for breakfast while rooms were being allocated.  By the time we were given our room they only had smoking and a room with two single beds. They said we would be able to swap the room when other guests had checked out. I realized immediately walking in the room there was no way we could even nap for a little while in there. The room was disgusting and smelly.  We came downstairs and told the front desk we would wait right there until one became available.  I was so miserable and very tired. Eliana was still full of energy and wanted to go to the gym.  By this time is was 11:30pm, 4:30am EST and the girls had been awake since 6:30am EST the previous day.  Fortunately for us, the tour had hired a really wonderful British man as security.  He decided it was definitely not acceptable us waiting.  Eliana had now fallen asleep on me.  He spoke to management and of course we had a room immediately following,  The manager personally escorted us to our new room and helped with our bags.  He commented on how beautiful my girls were and stroked Eliana’s hair. This was to become a continuing theme for our first day.  Thank goodness, we were able to take a lovely long nap.  Four hours, I felt confident we could turn our clocks around now.

We decided to go for dinner.  We asked the front desk for a recommendation.  The Concierge couldn’t have been nicer.  He fussed all over us and while we were waiting for the free shuttle he had ordered he chatted away asking us questions.  The drive was about 10 minutes.  I knew from the brochure the restaurant wasn’t going to be cheap, but by NY standards it wouldn’t be expensive either.  Olivia & Eliana had really wanted good Lamb Shish in Turkey and this restaurant looked like we would get that.  As we walked in we were treated like royalty.  The manager took us to our table and sat us down.  He commented on how beautiful we were.  He said to the girls “you know why you’re so beautiful?” and whispered in Olivia’s ear, cause your “mother is” and stroked her hair.  he then came over and sprinkled flower petals on them.  We’re definitely seeing how much they love both children and blondes here.  They brought out a whole bunch of food that we really didn’t know what it was.  The girls were good, they tried most of it.  We noticed a playroom on the TV screen. I asked what is was, so they took us there to show us.  It turns out, the restaurant have a play center with a ball pit, arcade games and child care. The kids played for a little while. You can come to the restaurant and leave your kids while you enjoy a meal with adults. They bring the kids food to the playroom and you can monitor them on the screen.  What a great idea! Of course I wasn’t going to leave them there and eat on my own.  We did have some lamb shish.  The girls were happy. I didn’t think it was as good as our local Turkish restaurant, but still very good.  We came back to the hotel, sat with the other cast members in the hotel bar/restaurant for maybe fifteen minutes and headed to the room for the night.

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