Taking Off for Istanbul And the Central Asia Tour

The dogs know something is going on. They've been sniffing at the suitcases since I got them out two days ago. Nuala, the Irish Terrier, keeps close by me, closer than she usually does Tonii, the collie, whines whenever I go near the luggage the way she whines when I get the car out for all of us to go to Galena. As if she's afraid I may leave her behind. Two graduate students will house and dog sit for me, one of the perks in college teaching.

Everything is packed. I ended up with 34.2 pounds. And the confirmation for reservations for our dinner on Monday night finally came through. The Ottoman Feast that Context Tours had advertised and we had originally requested was cancelled because the tour guide would not be in town. I had requested that the company make the reservations at the restaurant for us anyway. They agreed, even selecting the menu for us. It took a week of emailing back and forth and, since Marty had cancelled the reservations he had made at a restaurant he knew from a previous visit to Istanbul. I was worried. But everything worked out.

That was the final item on my to do list. I'm ready to travel. The limousine picks me up at 7:30 tonight. Whatever I didn't get done will have to wait. Whatever I didn't pack won't get used or worn. I plan to sit back, take a deep breath, and enjoy.

I'll be back blogging on Monday.

Filed under: Central Asia, Istanbul

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    Carolyn Boiarsky

    " I am an American," but not "Chicago born" like Augie March. Only Chicago aged. I'd like to think that if Henry Louis Gates were to investigate my geneology, he would discover in my past three women who traveled around the globe, chronicling their adventures. Sarah Kemble Knight traveled 112 miles by carriage from Boston to New York in 1704, a journey most women did not embark on alone (and men did so only with some trepidation). In fact, women were only just beginning to exercise their independence in the 1920's when Emily Kimbrough took off with her friend, Cornelia Otis Skinner, to explore Europe. But it is Auntie Mame, transforming herself from a New Yorker to the wife of an Austrian Baron and climbing the Matterhorn, whose mantra I have adopted. "LIFE IS A BANQUET...LIVE!" I began travelling in the 1960's when I traveled around western Europe between graduating from the Univiersity of Pennsylvania and my first job as a statehouse correspondent for UPI (United Press International) in Charleston, West Virginia, which was about as foreign a place as Europe was to someone who grew up in the environs of Philadelphia. Since then, I've also traveled to Kaunas, Lithuania, to teach at Vytautus Magnus University and to Sheffield, England, to present a paper at an engineering conference. I've been to the Alps and seen Auntie Mame's Matterhorn while climbing, by a series of cable cars rather than by foot, toward the peak of Mont Blanc. For 10 years my husband and traveled to unique places: a sheep farm during lambing season in England's Lake Country, a hotel on one of the Barromeo Islands in the middle of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, and a cottage in Dun Quin on the Dingle Peninsula which the Irish claim is the last parish before Boston. Between excursions, I'm a professor in the Department of English at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana,. My husband passed away recently and, Auntie Mame-style, I am in the process of transforming myself. I've joined a tour to Central Asia and traveled to China to work with the pandas. This year I'm on my way back to Europe--Inreland, England, and France--to present a paper at a Conference and then visit friends. A new adventure. Old friends. Another banquet.

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