May 23:  Selçuk to Ayvalık

Up 8:30am.  Camera lens is stuck open.  It's dead.  :(

Left 9:30am on the minibus.  Way too much political echolalia on the bus.  I'm burned out from political talk back home.  Aren't we all?  Vacation is supposed to be a vacation from that stuff.  Also, if you're offering a political viewpoint, make sure it's one that has never been offered before.  Be brilliant and original.  Don't be the The Greg Wilson of politics.

We drove through what appeared to be a big city.  Ibo said it was Izmir, the 3rd-largest city in Turkey, population 3 million.

Arrived in Ayvalık at 12:45pm after Şucru deftly manœuvred around some asshole's van that was blocking the driveway to to carpark.  [I had to go to Character Map for the Ş, so while I was there I got the œ as well.]  We had to wait 10 minutes for a few people to get stuff out of their big bags, because they didn't heed Ibo's instruction to prepare a day pack because the cobblestone labyrinth to the hotel was ill-suited to wheeling big bags.  After that delay, we arrived at Taksiyarhis Pension, an Ottoman Mansion 150-200 years old.  My Own Room wasn't guaranteed here, but I lucked out because there were enough room, and I wouldn't have to share with a snorer.  WHEW.  It was like in Orchha 2 years ago when the place was empty.  The mansion is run by a family, and the chick who seemed to be running things was very MILFy.  I played with the family dog, who loved to bite, but when I raised my foot he freaked out and started stampeding like Chester used to do.  And then he hated me for the rest of the stay.  Aw.  Sorry!

We (8 of us) had lunch at a Greek/Turkish place.  I had beans and sujuk.

We were going to cook our own dinner at Taksiyarhis.  Ibo divided us up into 3 groups:  meat, salad and veggie.  I was in the meat group, and Ibo took care of buying the meat for us.  I went shopping with the salad people.

Ayvalık is windy!  I'm surprised that cats weren't circling above in a screeching tempest!

At the supermarket I bought a regular Efes and an unfiltered Efes.  Ultimately when I drank the unfiltered one it tasted the same.

5 of us stopped for ice cream.  TL 3 for 2 scoops of çikolati (a rare time I ordered something in the local language).  Best meal of the trip.  First ice cream cone ever where the ice cream went all the way to the bottom of the cone!  Fortunately my tongue is long and dexterous enough to reach down there.  Ladies?

Back to the hotel at 3:30pm.  We were all supposed to pitch in on dinner, so Michelle and I volunteered to wash the dishes afterward.  (But in my drunkenness I lost track of that and never washed.  Sorry!)  This reminded me of my first Contiki tour when we had to rotate being cookies and dishies, and then in Amsterdam when we had choppies and rollies.

Free Wi-Fi here (zengibar!) but it didn't reach into the rooms, or even out to the patio.  So I sat in an odd location at the top of the steps near the kitchen to do some Internet stuff.  Found Ibo on Facebook.  Two minutes later he came down the steps and said "you found me", and continued walking.

We all gradually moved to the patio and then the upstairs area for dinner and drinks.

Aegean sea from the patio.

First batch of food was bruschetta.  Andrew deemed it "good stuff".  Me:  "The B-52s can't handle this good stuff!"  Because, they had a song called Good Stuff.  I will totally play it at Wiffleball 16.  People will be begging for Love Shack after that.

Dinner was very, very good.  Chicken, köfte, pasta, etc.  Adrian and Şucru were off in the corner playing backgammon.  Talked to Michelle a while...she thought I was her age.  I surprise a lot of people with my lack of kids and drugs and cigarette damage.  Sucks that my youth is a dating liability.

I figure I had ~8 drinks (beer, wine, vodka), plus Michelle let me have the last bit of vodka in the fridge (I think it was Katie's) after we all split up.  Everyone was done by 10:30pm.

I researched cameras in my room.  Decided that zoom and Wi-Fi are more important than megapixels (which aren't useful past about 8 MP).  Bed 12:05am.