We woke up later than we had wanted and then began arguing with Peyton about getting dressed. She refused to get dressed and she didn't want to leave the boat. Then we got clothes on her and she complained about how the shirt didn't match the shorts (they did) and how she wanted something else and wanted to put together this ridiculous looking outfit which in hindsight I should have just let her wear and not made it into such a battle because there were many more battles that day and the clothes was the smallest of them.
We finally got off the boat and met our guide. I booked a private tour through Kusadasi Tours instead of going through the cruise ship excursion. We had a guide, a private van, with car seats for the kids and a driver for the day. Our original plan was to do Ephesus, a small temple and then a village tour with lunch at the village. The guide was great, very informative, helpful and had lived in the area for 50 years. Our day was made better by having them and the freedom to do our own tour as opposed to the bus.
We made it to Ephesus and that is where the trouble started. Peyton had fallen asleep in the car. Graham fell asleep as well. Ugh! So we put Peyton in the stroller to help her sleep and since Graham woke up as soon as we opened the car door we put him in the carrier. It was hot, busy and hard to take in with the stroller and carrying Graham. We walked around, listened to the tour and right about where the below picture was taken our crew was getting tired.
We made it to right in front of the library and Graham started screaming. Crying and screaming. I took him out of the carrier to walk, tried to give him water, play with him...anything and nothing worked. Meanwhile several people would come up and offer suggestions and try to help and it was not helping. I was tired, hot and overwhelmed and started to cry in frustration at not knowing what to do. Finally, one tour guide came over and started to pour water over him and I think the shock of it and the cooling effect stopped his crying. He then walked to the stroller, pulled out Peyton's lovey and tried to go to sleep on the ground and started sobbing. We worked on trying to convince Peyton to get out of the stroller which started her crying. Then she saw Graham holding her lovey, screamed and pulled it away from him which made him cry. And I just looked at John and told him we needed to leave NOW! We got Graham in the stroller finally, either gave him Peyton's lovey or something to mimic it...I don't remember and started walking to the exit. As I walking away and trying to keep it together I remember looking back for John and seeing him attempting to take a picture...conversation went something like this...
Che: "John, please tell me that you are NOT taking a picture right now...?
John: looking like a deer caught in the headlights..."ummm, nope, I don't know what I was thinking."
Puts camera away and off we go.
We quickly walked past the amphitheater, Graham stopped screaming but was still awake so we stopped and took a picture of the amphitheater, went to the gate and made it out.
Once in the car, the kids settled down, Graham went to sleep and John and I made the decision to call it a day and go back to the boat. We had made an agreement before the trip that we wouldn't push ourselves and if it was a bad day we would just call it quits and be thankful for what we did see that day. The rest of the afternoon was rough since Graham never really napped long enough on the way back to the boat but we finally got him to sleep that afternoon and after a long nap for everyone we were all in a much better mood.
Our thoughts on Ephesus...the tour made it so much more interesting and I would highly recommend doing one as we learned things that I don't think we would have known walking on our own or even with a book. We were both a little disappointed in how little was excavated and how they did not seem to be in any rush to excavate any more despite some findings of a palace above the theatre and other finds. I also found it interesting at how many temples, statues to gods and goddesses there were and how little signs of Christianity I saw. I know it was a Roman town but I guess in my mind I imagined so much more signs of Paul's work there. I loved that we walked where Paul and Apostle John walked and taught and where such an important early church was founded.
A place that we are glad we went and saw but overall....a crummy day! Next stop was Athens which we were hoping would go much better!