What you’re about to see is real.  I couldn’t believe it myself when we arrived.  We left Istanbul, caught a flight to Dalaman, hopped on a bus and landed in Fethiye on the most incredible farm, Pastoral Vadi, where the wedding was to take place.  We had been hearing about the farm for months, starting from when Dano & Ayse fell in love with it on a weekend getaway from the city a while back.  Words do not do this place justice.  I was captivated and happy to know that something as meaningful and pure and magnificent as this existed in my world, even if it was just for 4 days. It was painful to leave.  Hopefully you can get a sense of the experience below.

The house far back is where the owner, Ahmet, and his staff live.

We stayed in one of these.  Along the way were several cabins tucked away in the wilderness…

A treehouse…

A swing…

A seesaw…

A man made spring…

And pure, natural beauty all around.

The farm was located next to a river, and all along the river were little pagodas with blankets and pillows…

For maximum chill time.  This photo is post two-hour nap.  It was the most peaceful sleep right next to the river.

It’s all about nature

And animals, of course

These cuties slept next to this window each night.

Clearly I spent a lot of time here.  Book, beer, and chocolate.

My father-in-law taking an afternoon nap on a hammock.  Life is perfect when you’re here.

Ayse’s aunts relaxing

This is the entryway to one of the cabins.  Each had it’s own porch, secluded by nature.

The pathway that lead to the sheep and horses

Awesome.

Our other friend Sara feeding a sheep

Turtles are a favorite of mine

FOOD.  It was all about the food (after the wedding, that is).  Next to the man made spring was a communal eating area where the village women would serve up some serious food.  This was breakfast every morning:  3 or 4 varieties of cheese, 3 varieties of olives, boiled eggs, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, fresh bread, honey, homemade jams, FRESH BUTTER that was hands down the best butter I think anyone there had ever tasted.  It was a unanimous decision.  All of this accompanied by tea and fresh, unpasteurized milk.

The cooks would bring out a steaming pot of fresh milk that was heated using coals.  The real deal.

My first serving

This was what we had for lunch one day.  White beans over an orzo pasta topped with sumac (a yummy spice) and served alongside a pickled salad.  It was so satisfying.

It was always nice to eat with everyone for each meal.  This is Tunjal, a friend of Dano’s who just moved back to Istanbul from San Francisco.  He rules.

Ayse’s adorable aunts enjoying a meal

We did leave the farm once or twice, this time to spend the day at Oludeniz, also known as the Dead Sea for it’s calm and salty waters.  It’s a blue lagoon with spectacular surroundings.  Check out that platform in the middle of the water.  You could swim to it and just hang out in peace.  The water felt amazing.

I was mesmerized.

Evren, Pete, and Sara hanging out.