Many of you have heard of "Extreme Sports." My subject today is "Extreme Resorts" (all the clever titles are thought up by Ross). Those of you who have known me for awhile and read our newsletter know that we once ventured to a thermal resort here in Turkey as our winter family vacation spot. For those of you who don't remember, it was new and had been advertised well. Great winter rate. Indoor pool heated by the natural springs here. We drove up, all the while commenting on how rural it was..."Hey, this is cool. It's in a village." "This is off the beaten path." "Wow, is this even on the map?" We soon discovered just how rural it was. We had only been there about a 1/2 hour when we realized that the swimming in this little resort was segregated. So, that would put me on the side with 3 little girls and a baby girl. And that would put Ross on the other side. By himself. Swimming quietly. None of the girls knew how to swim at this point. Just envision it....a baby in a car seat fussing off and on...2 girls clinging to the side, "Can it be my turn soon?"...and one girl on my hip splashing, clinging to my swimsuit, with me dutifully watching the clock to see when her turn was up. It was really fun. So we learned if we want to swim in the winter, we need to head to coastal areas which are European tourist spots. There we can all swim together. And we also got the girls in swim lessons the next summer.
This year we headed to Ephesus. Of all things for me to post about regarding this city rich in Biblical history and full of artifacts, I am going to post about swimming instead and save the rest for later. We went down to the hotel pool and it was almost warm (they are all like this, we are used to it). After a time of swimming, we went as a family into the hotel's hamam. Mmmm. Wonderful. Ross and I lay on the heated marble slab, Benaiah was snug in his car seat enjoying the steamy room, all our 4 daughters were pouring hot water all over us. We felt very spoiled. The next day, Ross sent Mary Erin to check the hamam to see if it was empty. We wanted to have our private family hamam experience again. She came back and said, "Just one man in there. I peeked through the steamed up door. It looks like he has a skin colored swimsuit on." hmm. I had seen lots of speedos (not a big fan of those). Must be a beige speedo. Out of the pool we marched, all my shivering little ducks behind me. I peered in the hamam. No, it wasn't skin colored, it was skin!!! Yes. He was nude. I marched all my shivering little ducks right back out and asked the attendant to ask him to clothe himself! She said, "I can't. He is German. This is what they do." I said, "But I have children here!!!" She asked the male attendant (who had impressed me all week), who quickly handed him a towel and shooed him out of there. We couldn't get over it, nude?!
Then Ross, one of the purist men on the earth, went into the sauna. There were 10 nude men already there. He took a deep breath and said, "Ok, we are guys, I can be cool. I am just going to sit down here and be cool." He did, by the way, keep on his swimsuit. Then in walked a lady in a towel. Surely she is not... surely so. He exited as soon as possible. Later I ventured to ask him, "Ummm. Well was she...you know...old? or young?" He said, "Honey, I don't know. I stared at her toenails, which were red, by the way." I love that man!
From here on out my Ephesus posts will be cultured, for the most part. But I did have to tell you about our Extreme Resort experience first. No pictures will be posted. None were taken. :)