Almost Fearless

A Snow Day in Istanbul

A snowstorm hit Istanbul, so I bundled up the kids and headed over to the Galata tower. It’s a tourist destination, but with the bad weather, the line that wrapped around the building the day before had disappeared. We walked up to the front door, paid the fee and took the elevator to the roof. It was VIP treatment for the price of braving the cold.


Of course the snow and wind was so intense that I couldn’t brave the thin balcony that runs along the edge, where you can view of the entire city. Instead I peaked out at the white-washed cityscape from behind glass and ordered tea.


The interior of the dome is beautiful too. It’s a lovely spot and I turned our quick visit into a full afternoon. We stretched out at a table, and settled in.


Stella entertained herself. And the waitstaff.


Cole dug into some good quality iPad time.


Occasionally, Stella would give up on life. Or she’s just trying to get a better look at the dome.


But ultimately I managed to spend a few hours writing. How did I do that? I have no idea. It was delicious and unexpected.


Note to self: Always pack a fully charged iPad. Could I be mastering the art of traveling with kids and still having some semblance of quality adult time? Yes. I am claiming it. Even undeserved victories when your kids somehow conspire to be happy and self-contained — at the same time — for no reason at all — well, those are still victories, too. So we celebrate them. Woo hoo.

When we got back to the hotel there was a thin coating of snow on our balcony and the kids let snowflakes melt on their tongues. For the first time. I’ve avoided the winter so long, I forgot how nice that first snow can be. Still, I packed us up and the next morning we took a bus to the coast.

“Where did the snow go?” Cole wanted to know.

“It melted. It’s warmer on the coast.”

“Oh.” He said, truly sad. Dejected. Good-bye snow. We loved you.

Christine Gilbert

I’ve been dragging my husband around the world since 2008 always with the promise that, “Yes, Drew there will definitely be hammocks there.”