The Med.

Doesn’t that sound smarmy? One of the best parts of visiting İçmeler is being about a mile from the Mediterranean.

My in-laws summer house is snuggled up against the mountains that surround the village. While it would be nice to be closer to the water, it is kind of an either/or situation. The summers are really hot here, and you need to either be right on the water to get the sea breeze, or back by the mountains to get the winds that roll down from the higher altitudes. The center of town that is closer to the beach but not right on the water actually suffer from the heat more. So while we are in the part of the village that is farthest from the water, it is still only a 20 minute walk, and we are surrounded by green mountains and chickens run around the parks wandering loose from the village houses that have livestock and fields in the middle of a vacation town.

View of İçmeler from the mountains. Our house is in the section closest to the forefront.

Kayra’s first glimpse of the sea!

Kayra was almost two when we got here but we hadn’t brought him to the ocean yet. There are beaches on the Texas coast, but for the the quality of the beach vs the length of the drive we hadn’t bothered. So his first sea/ocean swim was in the Med. The water is cool, and clean and the beach filled with a mix of Turkish and international tourists. Despite the coolness of the water, he absolutely loves it. The water is so so salty that he is incredibly buoyant and can practically float on his own. He is working hard on swimming and paddles his little legs and arms all on his own, with just a little support from us. We chose not to bring his floaties to help him learn how to swim without being distracted or a false sense of safety. He will swim for so long that his lips turn blue and he shivers. At that point I try to get him out of the water, but only get as far as the beach because then he wants to play with the sand and stones. There are also little fish that play in the shallows, so that gives us endless reason to run in the waves and splash into the water trying to catch them.

Unfortunately we have not been able to go every day because I am working full time remotely while I am here and have to overlap my afternoon/evening hours with East Coast time. With only three weeks left I am going to make an effort to go after breakfast each day before my work day starts and get as much beach time and play time as possible!