Howdy! Apparently I have neglected this blogging thing for some time now, but I am back, and for good. Ha. Anyways, the holiday season was quite busy for me this year. I was flying back and forth from SF to SD, managing my wedding dress alterations, trying to wrap up my clients before my vacation, and traveling. Dalga and I had our wedding December 27th in Azerbaijan, but we decided to do some light traveling before heading to Baku. I figured, hey it’s self-care and I need it. We all need it realistically, so make sure to put those PTO hours to use. It is important to avoid burn-out at all costs, and I feel any profession can cause this to happen.

The few days before my vacation, I was already feeling like I was in “vacation mode” and ready to hit the road! We planned to travel to Istanbul for a week, then travel to Baku for another week, and end the week of New Year back in Istanbul before we traveled back to America. And so we booked our Airbnb’s and left for 3 weeks.

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We arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday, December 16th , and stayed in a 3 bedroom house near Taksim Square. It was me, my husband, his best friend, my sister in law, her husband, and his brother. This picture depicts the view from our balcony. 🙂 During the week we were there, we tried cramming in as much as sight-seeing as possible, while trying to fight jet lag. Below are pictures of some of the places we visited during our stay.

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 Grand Bazaar

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque

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Ayasofya Mosque

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Breakfast at Limonlu Bahce

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Istanbul 360 Restaurant

Exploring the City

Me and My Sister-In-Law Daniz on Our Way Out

Ali Baba Nargile

Turkish Coffee

Once our time was up in Turkey, we took off to Baku, Azerbaijan. When we arrived, “traditionally” I stayed with my grandparents and my side of the family and my husband and his family (who later flew in as well) stayed in a different house. It was great catching up with family who I have not seen for many years. When I moved to America, I was 8 years old. Since then I have only traveled back home once, and only for a week. Only one time in 18 years! During our stay in Baku, I visited relatives, and met with my husband and our friends/family, and got a little acquainted with the city before the wedding. Here are a few pictures from Baku.

View of the City From the Flame Tower Hotel

Giz Galasi

Jazz Bar on My Birthday

The day of the wedding felt rushed! I left to get my hair done in the early afternoon in hopes of getting back home in time to do my own makeup. Long story short, the hair appointment took longer than usual and I somehow was stranded in the city. I ended up getting into a cab and heading home in a rush. The taxi guy was creepy and insisted that he was going to “steal me” instead of taking me home. I played like I was not scared and “gangsterish,” when deep inside I was thinking, “Damn this would be such a perfect plot for a murder mystery.” Anyways, he ended taking me home, and I ran up stairs scattering my things to get ready and do my makeup. Before I knew it, the groom, a band, and his family were right outside my door playing traditional music. My heart was about to rip out of my chest from anxiousness. Not to mention, my corset was tight as hell and I couldn’t breathe. We then drove off to the wedding with several cars behind us honking all the way to the venue. Once we got to the venue, me and Dalga had to wait in the car for a while until everyone gathered (so we can arrive fashionably late). We eventually entered the wedding, did our traditional dance, and sat down. The wedding was amazing, and we danced, ate (somewhat), drank (somewhat), and truly enjoyed ourselves in the presence of loved ones.

Neon Palace Restaurant

Flame Towers on Our Wedding Night

After the wedding, we stayed in Baku for a few more days. We celebrated my birthday there, and soon after took off back to Istanbul. By this time we were over traveling and dying to get back home to our bed, and daily routines. When we tried changing our flights, they were all booked and there was no room available. So we celebrated New Years in Taksim Square, and explored the city some more for the next couple of days. Before flying back to San Francisco, we flew to San Diego, and spent some time with my parents. When I finally came home, I felt that my self-care was truly fulfilled to its maximum, and I was ready to go back to work and see my clients. Me and Dalga plan to put in our all at work until our Honeymoon in St. Lucia this March. We also made a promise to ourselves to plan a trip, big or small, at least every 3 to 4 months, in order to prevent burn out from work, our daily lives, and to also make life more exciting by having something to look forward to. I highly suggest everyone to do the same. 🙂

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