But first a little disclaimer. While we were using our lousy point-and-shoot camera, we would both take pictures and the quality was nothing to get all excited about. But when we were in Finland, Tim got a REALLY nice birthday present: A new DSLR. And since then, all of our collective photos are actually his of quite a good artistic quality. Sooooo, you should just understand that from now on, unless Tim is in the picture or I say I took it, that all photos posted on my blog are the artistic property of Timothy C. Henkels and may not be reused or reposted or filched in any way shape or form without explicit permission from the artist himself. Okay?
Now, where was I? Oh yes, we returned to Ankara from Finland and began the preparations to move to our summer house in the mountains. Now, we've been to the Aladaglar before: click here to go back to our pics from last September. So we knew where we were heading and had the guy who owns the campsite to broker a deal for us with the homeowner next door. We decided to rent the house so we could take Bali with us and so we could stay longer. 3 weeks on the ground in a hot tent is just no longer kosher, now that I'm in my 30s and seem a lot more sensitive to that stuff these days.
We spent the weeks climbing, just the two of us or with our friends from Ankara who came to visit on the weekends. Mostly, we were sport climbing, but Tim managed an ascent of Turkey's most prominent and famous rock formation. Click here to read about that adventure. We had a great time climbing. We both pushed the limits of our ability and Tim was even moving into grades he hasn't climbed since college. We were both a bit proud. But pride goeth before a fall: Tim popped a finger pulley our last day of climbing. So he's out of comission for the fall, but will be back at it hardcore come spring. I have never spent that much time climbing before and now that we're back home, I'm really missing it. Tim got to work on his future Climbing magazine artwork as well:
In addition to the great climbing, we had some beautiful hikes and mountain scrambles. It was a bit too hot for peak-bagging, okay, way too hot---but we still got in some nice strolls.
Our weeks in the mountains were SWEET! We got in great shape, were in the middle of nowhere surrounded by beautiful mountains, and we got a lot closer to the local climbing community. We also managed to narrowly avoid the hottest summer in the city in recent memory.
What's even better, is that when we returned home, the summer was hardly over! We instantly joined the pool down the road and spent our last week of vacation there (and continue to go there for the afternoons).
And while we've been at work now for a couple of weeks, summer seems to continue. This past weekend we went camping on the Black Sea with friends. It has been the most tranquilo summer to work transition I've ever experienced:
"Get back to work!" you yell at me. Well, not quite yet. After a week of school with the students, we head to Istanbul to see U2 in concert, and Tim's sister is here. We have a week of vacation already so we'll be taking her down to the Mediterranean. We'll have a bit more summer yet! Then I swear, I'll try to get back to work.