For Ryan’s birthday I surprised him with a Turkish Dinner, Turkish music, belly dancing and a trip to Istanbul!
While he was away for a few days on a work-related trip, I learned some belly dancing from a website and YouTube and managed to find a belly dancing outfit from a nearby Turkish shop. A friend recommended the song Istanbul not Constantinople, which was just perfect for this. It was fun to practice and it was a good workout! I also found some yummy recipes. I made Zucchini fritters and a curried chickpea salad with hummus and pita bread. This was the most fun I think I’ve ever had planning a birthday gift. Since we decided that our gifts to each other while we are living in Germany would be trips and experiences rather than physical gifts, we’ve had to be creative.
On the day of Ryan’s birthday, we decided to go to a wine fest so I had to wait yet another day. The suspense was killing me! The next night, the meal turned out perfect and I finally managed to surprise Ryan. This is no easy task. He can read me like a book and always knows what I am up to.
But this time, this time I did it! He was surprised and happy. I LOVE seeing him smile the way he smiled that day. I need to find a way to make that happen every day! While we were enjoying our fantastic Turkish meal, I showed Ryan a few video clips from Istanbul tourism websites and pictures of the hotel I picked and the sites we were going to see.
We had such a great night. It turned out much like I expected… better than I expected because he was actually surprised. The meal turned out well for my first shot at Turkish cuisine. After telling Ryan how much fun it was to make, I think he’ll be cooking with me next time. That certainly will not be our last Turkish meal!
Istanbul was at the top of the original travel list that we made together so we were both excited for this trip. It would have to wait until after Ryan’s work-related travel was over and after my mother’s visit.