|Pools from the lobby|
The long haul from Seattle to Amsterdam was not bad at all. I watched two movies (The Judge and Lucy) during my flight. It took nine hours instead of ten, since the jet stream was pushing us so fast, it didn't matter that the flight had been delayed by one hour. We arrived on time, and my bags were checked through to Istanbul. I enjoyed the Amsterdam airport very much, and the three hours that I spent there went quickly, as I sat with my iPad and enjoyed a nice frosty beer (Heinekin) while catching up on my blogs. The internet connection wasn't great, but it worked well enough, as long as I wasn't trying to post anything. And then it was time to fly to Istanbul.
That three-hour flight wasn't nearly as comfortable, as the seats didn't recline and by this time I was getting very tired. I couldn't sleep well (I never do on planes) but napped a bit. When I arrived in Istanbul, it was late afternoon and it was raining as if I were back in Seattle! I had a couple of hours before my plane would leave for Antalya, but things never happen as they are supposed to. I was to pick up my bags and take them to the domestic terminal, since I was flying from Istanbul to Antalya. However, when I went to get a seat assignment, the plane I was scheduled to fly on was overbooked, and I had no seat. Well, by this time I was so tired and stressed that I began to cry. I couldn't help it, the tears just streamed from my eyes. I was given a standby boarding pass, and then I had to wait until everyone boarded before it would be possible to see if I could get a seat.
It was because I must have garnered some sympathy that one of the ticket agents took me (and two young men from Norway) to the boarding area and waited with us, hoping that there would be some people who didn't make the connection, and sure enough, at the very last minute I got a seat. Although the flight is only an hour, I felt as though I had been wrung through a wringer by the time I got off the plane. I stood with all the other people as bag after bag came off the conveyor, but mine wasn't there. I went to Lost and Found and was told that my bag would be in the domestic area, not the international area. Well, by 8:30pm I was reunited with my checked bag and went outside to find the purported ride to the hotel. Nobody. I ended up taking a taxi for the 25-minute ride and arrived after 9:00pm.
When I walked into the hotel lobby, I felt like a half-drowned cat. I probably looked like one, too. I registered for the conference, paid for my six nights and learned that Mickey and his wife Karen had already arrived and were in the dining room. I went to say hello and ended up having a glass of wine and spending an hour visiting with them before I went up to my room.
To say that I was overwhelmed by the room is an understatement. It is the nicest room I have ever stayed in, and I was dirty and exhausted and should have taken a shower, I just climbed into the comfy bed and lost consciousness. Several times during the night I woke but just turned over and went back to sleep. At about 5:00am Turkey time, I woke as usual and went right to my computer, but I found that the connection wasn't wonderful, so I went down to the lobby and called Smart Guy on FaceTime to let him know I am okay.
Now I am in the dining room eating a wonderful breakfast of fabulous foods, and soon I will finish this post and go walking around the hotel to see what it's like. The conference starts tomorrow, so I hope I'll be completely over my jet lag by morning. I also hope I have a chance to swim in one of those fantastic pools; there seem to be several, and boy am I glad I brought my swim suit!
By the time I went to sleep last night, I had a raging headache that I attributed to the stress of the day, but after a good night's sleep it was worse than ever. I found out why: I had not had any coffee or caffeine during the trip, hoping that I would be able to sleep on the plane. If I ever needed anything to remind me that I am addicted to caffeine, that was all I needed. A cup of coffee this morning, and the headache vanished.
Now I am rested, well fed, and posting my Sunday Eye on the Edge post, just a little late. It's Monday here, but it's still Sunday evening back home. I've connected with my guy, and now I am relieved that he knows I'm here safely, and it's time to explore my surroundings. I hope you will all stay safe and sound until we meet again, hopefully not so late next week. I'll he in Istanbul next week at another hotel, but I have five more nights at this one, and I'm not at all unhappy about it.