with Tea + Honest + timi & leslie
PLEASE REVIEW THESE OFFICIAL RULES BEFORE ENTERING THE SWEEPSTAKES. NO PAYMENT OR PURCHASE IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PAYMENT OR PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
- GENERAL CONDITIONS: The “Welcome Baby” Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by Tea Collection, 1 Arkansas Street, Studio B, San Francisco, CA 94107,The Honest Company, 1550 17th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404, and timi & leslie, c/o Essentials Brands, Inc. 154 East Central Street, Suite 202, Natick, MA 01760 (together, the “Sponsors”) and administered by Offerpop, 25 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018(“Administrator”). By entering the Sweepstakes, each entrant agrees to abide by the terms of these Official Rules (the “Rules”) and by the decisions of the Sponsors and Administrator, which shall be made in their sole and absolute discretion and are final and binding on all matters relating to the Sweepstakes. The Sweepstakes is governed by the laws of the State of California and applicable U.S. federal law, without regard to any conflicts of laws principles. The Sweepstakes is void where prohibited by law. The Sweepstakes is also governed by the privacy policies of Tea Collection (http://www.teacollection.com/static/privacy-policy.html), The Honest Company (https://www.honest.com/privacy), and timi & leslie (http://www.shoptimiandleslie.com/privacy-policy.aspx) (the “Privacy Policies”), although the Rules will govern in the event of any conflict between the Privacy Policies and the Rules.
- ELIGIBILITY: The Sweepstakes is open to natural persons who, as of September 27, 2012, are legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, have a Facebook account, are at least 18 years of age, and have internet access. Employees, officers, and directors of Sponsors and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, dealerships (including retail stores), suppliers, and advertising, promotion and fulfillment agencies are not eligible to enter or win, nor are immediate family members or household members. “Immediate family members” means parents, step-parents, legal guardians, children, step-children, siblings, step-siblings, and spouses. “Household members” means those people who share the same residence at least three months a year.
- HOW TO ENTER: No payment or purchase is necessary, and a payment or purchase will not increase your chances of winning. The Sweepstakes begins at 12:01 am PT on Thursday, September 27, 2012. To enter, go to http://www.facebook.com/teacollection (the “Application) and click on the Facebook tab that reads “Baby Sweeps.” Then choose the bundle of your choice. Once you choose a bundle, you will be directed to a sign up page where you will be asked to enter your first name, last name, and email address and agree to the Official Rules. Once you sign up, you will be directed to a “Thank you” page. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PT on October 8, 2012 (the “Deadline”). Proof of submission is not proof of receipt, and the Administrator’s designated computer is the only valid official time-keeping devices for the Sweepstakes.
For each bundle, there is a limit of one (1) entry per person and one (1) entry per email address. Multiple entries received from any person or email address after the first entry received from that person or email address will be void. Entries without all of the required information will be disqualified. In addition, Sponsors and Administrator will have no responsibility for, and will have the right to refuse in their sole and complete discretion, any mass entries or reproductions, any entries that have been tampered with, and any entries that are late, lost, stolen, illegible, misdirected, damaged, inaccurate, or incomplete, whether due to Internet or email server failure or otherwise. Sponsors, Administrator and their agents are not responsible for lost, late, or misdirected entries, for technical, hardware or software failures of any kind, for lost or unavailable network connections, or for failed, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions or any human error which may occur in the receipt or processing of the entries. Sponsor reserves the right to modify the scheduling of the Sweepstakes without prior notification. Any attempt at entry except as above stated is void. All entries become the property of the Sponsors and will not be acknowledged or returned. The Administrator has the right to disqualify any entry that is not in compliance with these Rules, including all eligibility requirements.
- WINNER SELECTION AND NOTIFICATION: Potential winners (“Potential Winners”) will be selected in a random drawing by the Administrator or its designee. Drawings will happen on or about October 9, 2012. Each Potential Winner will be notified by email using the email address provided in the Sweepstakes entry (“Prize Notification”) and each Potential Winner must respond by email within seven (7) calendar days of the date of the Prize Notification (the “Prize Deadline”), with Potential Winner’s full name and a mailing address (“Mailing Information”) where Sponsor can send his/her Prize (if warranted), and a Declaration or Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release in a form acceptable to the Administrator (collectively, the “Sweepstakes Documents”). The mailing address must be a street address (no P.O. Boxes). If any Potential Winner does not respond to the Prize Notification by the Prize Deadline, such Potential Winner will be disqualified and an alternate Potential Winner (for each unclaimed Prize) will be selected from all remaining eligible entries received for the original drawing. Sponsors and Administrator are not responsible for the failure for any reason whatsoever of Potential Winners’ to receive their Prize Notification or for Sponsors or Administrator to receive Potential Winners’ response and/or Sweepstakes Documents. Return of any Prize Notification or Sweepstakes Documents as undeliverable, the inability of Sponsor or Administrator to contact a Potential Winner, the failure of a Potential Winner to contact Sponsor or Administrator in a timely manner, the inability of a Potential Winner to accept or receive the Prize for any reason, and/or the non-acceptance by a Potential Winner of any Prize for any reason will result in disqualification of such Potential Winner, and alternate Potential Winner(s) will be selected randomly from all remaining eligible entries received. Potential Winners who receive Prizes are known as the “Winners”.
Bundle One Prize: One (1) Bundle One Prize Winner will receive (1) of each clothing item featured in the bundle of their choice from teacollection.com (clothing approximately valued at $74 total) , (1) diaper bag from timiandleslie.com approximately valued at $159.99 and (1) Honest Diaper Bundle approximately valued at $79.95. (Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of Bundle One Prize: $313.94). Bundle One Prize Winner will be responsible for any and all local, state and/or federal taxes, as well as any other any costs and expenses associated with acceptance and use of the prize not included in the Bundle One Prize package. All prize details will be at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.
Bundle Two Prize: One (1) Bundle Two Prize Winner will receive (1) of each clothing item featured in bundle of their choice from teacollection.com (clothing approximately valued at $72 total), (1) diaper bag from timiandleslie.com approximately valued at $169.99, and (2) Honest Family Essentials Bundles, together valued at $71.90 (Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of Bundle Two Prize: $313.89). Bundle Two Prize Winner will be responsible for any and all local, state and/or federal taxes, as well as any other any costs and expenses associated with acceptance and use of the prize not included in the Bundle Two Prize package. All prize details will be at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.
Bundle Three Prize: One (1) Bundle Three Prize Winner will receive (1) of each clothing item featured in bundle of their choice from teacollection.com (clothing approximately valued at $74 total), (1) diaper bag from timiandleslie.com approximately valued at $169.99, and (1) Honest Diaper Bundle approximately valued at $79.95. (Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of Bundle Three Prize: $323.94). Bundle Three Prize Winner will be responsible for any and all local, state and/or federal taxes, as well as any other any costs and expenses associated with acceptance and use of the prize not included in the Bundle Three Prize package. All prize details will be at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.
Bundle Four Prize: One (1) Bundle Four Prize Winner will receive (1) of each clothing item featured in bundle of their choice from teacollection.com (clothing approximately valued at $74 total), (1) diaper bag from timiandleslie.com approximately valued at $149.99, and (2) Honest Family Essentials Bundles, together valued at $71.90 (Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of Bundle Four Prize: $295.89). Bundle Four Prize Winner will be responsible for any and all local, state and/or federal taxes, as well as any other any costs and expenses associated with acceptance and use of the prize not included in the Bundle Four Prize package. All prize details will be at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.
Bundle Five Prize: One (1) Bundle Five Prize Winner will receive (1) of each clothing item featured in bundle of their choice from teacollection.com (clothing approximately valued at $86 total), (1) diaper bag from timiandleslie.com approximately valued at $169.99, and (1) Honest Diaper Bundle approximately valued at $79.95. (Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of Bundle Three Prize: $335.94). Bundle Five Prize Winner will be responsible for any and all local, state and/or federal taxes, as well as any other any costs and expenses associated with acceptance and use of the prize not included in the Bundle Five Prize package. All prize details will be at the sole discretion of the Sponsor.
- PRIZE CONDITIONS: Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible Entries received during the Sweepstakes Period. All prize values are stated in United States dollars. Selection and specifics of all prizes will be determined at the Sponsors’ and Administrator’s sole discretion. If a stated prize is unavailable, Sponsors and Administrator have the right to substitute one or more items of equal or greater value, in their sole and absolute discretion. Winners are not entitled to any surplus between the actual retail value of his/her prize and its stated ARV. No cash redemption or prize substitution or exchange allowed. All prizes are non-transferable. Winners will be solely responsible for complying with any and all applicable federal, state, provincial, local or other statutes, regulations, and other laws and for bearing any VAT, withholding taxes, personal income taxes, customs duties or other taxes, fees, insurance, surcharges or other costs relating to any prize.
ALL PRIZES, AND ALL PRODUCTS, SERVICES, OR ITEMS PURCHASED WITH ANY PRIZE, ARE PROVIDED AND AWARDED “AS IS” AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. SPONSORS AND ADMINISTRATOR DO NOT MAKE, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM, ANY WARRANTY, WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR STATUTORY, REGARDING ANY PRIZE OR ANY PORTION THEREOF, OR ANY PRODUCT, SERVICE OR ITEM PURCHASED WITH ANY PRIZE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY IMPLIED OR STATUTORY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. Acceptance, participation in and/or use of the prizes, and any products, services or items purchased with the prizes, are at the Winners’ sole risk and Sponsors and Administrator are not responsible for any damages whatsoever, including special, indirect, or consequential damages, arising out of or in connection with the use and/or misuse of any of the prizes or any products, services or items purchased with the prizes. Prizes will be awarded by email, U.S. Mail, Federal Express, UPS and/or other shipping method, in Administrator’s and/or its prize suppliers’ sole discretion, using the information provided in the Sweepstakes Entry.
- REPRESENTATIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, each entrant represents and warrants that: (a) the entrant meets all eligibility requirements of the Sweepstakes; (b) in entering and participating in the Sweepstakes, the entrant has complied with and will comply in all respects with these Rules and all applicable statutes, regulations and other laws; and (c) the information provided in the entrant’s entry, including without limitation all contact information, is true, accurate and complete in all respects.
- GRANT OF RIGHTS: By accepting a prize, each Winner consents to the use of his/her name and/or likeness (voice, biographical information, city and state of residence, statements, photograph, and recording) for advertising and promotional purposes (including, but not limited to, use on Sponsors’ web site and/or Facebook pages without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law).
- RELEASE: All decisions of Sponsors and Administrator are final and binding; and entrants agree to waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Sweepstakes or these Official Rules, except where prohibited by law. To the maximum extent permitted by law, by entering the Sweepstakes, each entrant releases and holds harmless the Sponsors, Administrator, the prize manufacturers or suppliers, any other entities involved in the administration of the Sweepstakes, each of their respective parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (the “Sponsor Parties“) from any and all responsibility, liability, damages (including without limitation direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive, statutory and other damages), losses, costs, or expenses of any kind arising out of or relating to: (a) the Sweepstakes and participation in the Sweepstakes by the entrant; (b) any violation by the entrant of these Rules or applicable laws; (c) the acceptance, possession, receipt, or use of any prize or any product, service, or item purchased with any prize; (d) any entries that have been tampered with or that are misdirected, incomplete, non-conforming, corrupt, lost, late, or ineligible; (e) any problems or technical malfunctions (including but not limited to errors, omissions, interruptions, deletions, defects, or delays in operation or transmission) of any computer, telephone, modem, cable, satellite, network, hardware, online system, server, software, or other equipment or provider, including any incorrect, incomplete, garbled or jumbled information resulting therefrom; (f) any Internet traffic congestion or website accessibility or delays; (g) printing or typographical errors in any Sweepstakes-related materials; or (h) any other technical or human error that may occur in connection with the Sweepstakes (the “Causes“). If anyone makes any claim against any of the Sponsor Parties arising out of or relating to any of the Causes attributable to the entrant, the entrant will pay for any damages, losses, liabilities, costs, penalties, and expenses, including without limitation attorneys’ and experts’ fees and costs, incurred in connection with such claim. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, THE SPONSOR PARTIES SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOST PROFITS OR ANY SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE SWEEPSTAKES, HOWSOEVER CAUSED, WHETHER ARISING IN STATUTE, TORT, CONTRACT, OR OTHER LEGAL THEORY, AND ALL SUCH DAMAGES ARE HEREBY DISCLAIMED AND EXCLUDED.
10. USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION: In order to participate in this Sweepstakes, participants will be required to supply certain information about themselves. Sponsors have specified which information is mandatory in order to participate in the Sweepstakes. By entering the Sweepstakes, each participant agrees that such information can be used (a) by Administrator in connection with administering the Sweepstakes and (b) by Sponsors as set forth in the Privacy Policies.
11. CHANGES; TERMINATION: Sponsors reserve the right to make changes or additions to these Rules and/or extend the dates of this Sweepstakes for any reason at any time. Sponsors’ and/or Administrator’s failure to enforce any term of these Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. Sponsors reserve the right to suspend, modify or terminate the Sweepstakes at any time and for any reason their its sole discretion, including without limitation in the event of fraud, abuse, tampering, or technical, administrative, financial or other difficulties. In such cases, Administrator will post notice on the Web Site. Should the Sweepstakes terminate prior to selection of a winner, an alternate means of awarding the prizes will be announced on the Web Site.
12. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY ALTER OR DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATIONS OF THE SWEEPSTAKES MAY BE A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR AND ADMINISTRATOR RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
13. DISPUTES: Each entrant agrees that (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Sweepstakes, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and any judicial proceeding shall take place in a federal or state court in San Francisco, California; (2) any and all claims, judgments, and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys fees and (3) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, and consequential damages, and any other damages (other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses), and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased.
14. MISCELLANEOUS: If any part of these Rules is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal, or otherwise unenforceable, such part will be modified by such court to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable while preserving to the maximum extent possible the original intent of Sponsor, and the remaining parts of these Rules will remain in full force and effect. Nothing contained herein or in any of the Contest related materials should be construed as an endorsement by Sponsors of any third party, product or service.
15. WINNER’S LIST/OFFICIAL RULES: For a list of Winners or a copy of the Official Rules, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Tea Collection “Welcome Baby,” Winner’s List/Official Rules, to be received no later than October 15, 2012. Winners’ lists will be sent once all Winners have been verified and Prizes have been awarded.
Sponsored by Tea Collection, 1 Arkansas Street, Studio B, San Francisco, CA 94107 The Honest Company 1550 17th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 and timi & leslie c/o Essentials Brands, Inc. 154 East Central Street, Suite 202, Natick, MA 01760
Every Monday at Studio T we showcase fashion and art projects we find inspiring. Have a look at our previous Random Acts of Inspiration here.
These doves are from our Mexico trip pics. Aren’t they fabulous?
Behind the Design Wednesdays: Every week Tea writes about our designers’ inspiration for our current collection of clothing. For more Behind the Designs click here.
Talavera pottery was brought to Mexico by the Spanish during colonial times. The craft technique flourished in Mexico because of the wide availability of clay in some areas. The pottery we see today is a unique marriage of traditional Spanish techniques and indigenous ceramic techniques. The pictures above depict some of the pottery we saw on our Mexico trip. Make sure to check out all of our beautiful Talavera inspired pieces.
Every year Tea employees receive a dividend from Tea to use towards international travel. On Studio T we’ll be sharing travel stories of our employees as they travel around the world. This post is by Eva, who traveled to Australia with her family.
You can’t miss the marsupials, birds, reptiles, insects, and aboriginal art when you go to Australia. The country’s ecosystem supports a wide variety of wildlife, and Eva committed herself to photographing as many animals as she could on her vacation. Most of these photos were taken at the Wild Life Park on the Gold Coast, which is located on the Eastern side of the continent.
We love sharing our travel stories with you. Learn more about our journeys by reading about Ana and Nuala’s recent vacations. Interested in sharing your travel stories with us? Learn about becoming a Foreign Correspondent.
Every Monday at Studio T we showcase fashion and art projects we find inspiring. Have a look at our previous Random Acts of Inspiration here.
It’s no secret that the inner obsessive-compulsive in me loves order (as evidenced by our previous post on Things Organized Neatly). My latest obsessions are created by Ursus Wehrli.
More images can be found at NPR here.
Our second Foreign Correspondent has returned from her travels! Stacy, her husband, and her two children traveled to Istanbul and Jerusalem this summer. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is the final part 5 of their adventure.
The best part of our trip is being reunited with our family and friends. Of course, my husband was born and raised in Jerusalem, so his ties run deep. And I worked in Gaza and the West Bank and lived Ramallah for several years, so it’s a bit of a coming home for me too.
When we visit now, because they are older, our kids can play with their new cousins (more and more every year) and our friends’ kids. It’s fun to watch their friendships deepen each year. It’s also a great opportunity for them to work on their Arabic.
There is so much joy as we travel and spend time with our family. But there are difficulties. I would be remiss to not mention them too. One of the more difficult aspects of our trip is now that our son is seven, he is aware of the situation around us. He can’t help but notice the deteriorating political conditions and occupation surrounding him. It’s difficult to explain to him why we are pulled to the side at the airport for exhaustive questioning, why soldiers took his cousins – the bride and groom in full wedding attire – to a police station on the way to their own wedding, why there is a 25 foot high wall separating long standing Palestinian neighborhoods in half and long detours to get to a checkpoint to wait in line to be allowed to cross through. And then he asks why we can cross through the wall but so many of our friends and family cannot (we can because of our US passports but some of our friends and family cannot because they hold West Bank IDs which does not allow crossing from one side of the wall to the other). It’s difficult for an adult to comprehend this, but it is impossible for the children.
One evening, we were driving, and we heard the adhan, or Muslim call to prayer, over a loudspeaker. It’s beautiful and haunting at the same time. Our son asked about it, and I explained that many people say a prayer when they hear this call each day. He asked what they pray for. I sat kind of bewildered, trying to think of something to say and, before I had a chance, he answered his own question, “Maybe they’re praying for freedom and justice and friendship.” I think he’s exactly right.
It’s interesting and sad (and inevitable) to see the time your child first becomes aware that not everyone lives a carefree life. This is true for many, many people wherever you live, of course. But for him to not just see but to also feel such glaring disparity and question it at such a young age makes me sad for him because a piece of his innocence is lost, but proud too because he is an aware and sensitive and thinking person.
Our hope for tomorrow is a more just and livable life for the entire region. It will take leadership and bold steps and pragmatism which has been sorely lacking for decades. In the meantime, we will savor our lasting memories of the good times had, the love of our family, and the eager anticipation of next summer’s adventures.
Our Foreign Correspondent program is ongoing. If you’re interested in sharing your family’s international adventures with us you can find out more here.
Our second Foreign Correspondent has returned from her travels! Stacy, her husband, and her two children traveled to Istanbul and Jerusalem this summer. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part 4 of their adventure.
To say that we ate well while vacationing this summer would be a gross understatement. What can I say? The food was amazing. My husband waits all year in great anticipation to return home and eat his mother’s cooking.
My husband’s top three Palestinian meals are:
- Maklouba – “upside down” rice with veggies (cauliflower, carrots or, my personal favorite, EGGPLANT) and chicken or meat. After a number of steps (!), the ingredients are cooked in one pot, allowed to cool, then flipped over onto a serving platter and garnished with toasted pine nuts. Served with plain yogurt on top.
- 2. Waraq Dawali – stuffed grape leaves. This meal is a true labor of love. It’s not that it’s particularly complicated, but it is incredibly time consuming to make. Small bits of lamb meat and rice are placed on a grape leaf, rolled up tightly and then cooked in tomato juice stovetop. We prefer to eat this only in Jerusalem with either my husband’s mom or one of his aunts preparing it because, for some reason, the grape leaves just never seem to taste quite as delicious at a restaurant here.
- Mujaderra – rice, lentils, caramelized onions, cumin, and cinnamon. This is a very, very popular vegetarian dish. It’s more often made in the chilly winter months, but my husband and the kids can eat this for breakfast, lunch or dinner twelve months a year. They absolutely love it.
We had a number of incredible meals throughout our trip – In Istanbul, lamb and tomatoes served over taboon-baked bread and yogurt and a sandwich/wrap called doner (usually lamb or chicken cooked on a vertical spit and sliced off to order). In Jerusalem, we enjoyed going out for meshawwi, or barbeque. Favorites are ground meat mixed with onions and parsley skewered , cubed chicken marinated in lemon, olive oil and garlic and then skewered, lamb chops, and fresh tomatoes, onions, and peppers. One night, we sat under a Bedouin tent in a lovely garden, sipping tea, eating a wonderful barbeque meal with my husband’s parents, two of his brothers and their families, and our kids. The kids ran around and we just ate and ate. It was such a perfect night.
Our second Foreign Correspondent has returned from her travels! Stacy, her husband, and her two children traveled to Istanbul and Jerusalem this summer. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part 3 of their adventure.
After a quick flight, we arrived in Jerusalem to reunite with my husband’s family and friends. We had some excitement in that within the first three hours of arrival, we ended up in the ER. Our daughter was beyond overexcited and while playing broke her wrist. She had a cast on for the first eight days of the Jerusalem leg of the trip.
One of our favorite things to do in Jerusalem is to visit the Old City. This is the walled in city within a much larger city. I don’t think I can describe how special, how spectacular the Old City is. The view is breathtaking from nearly every corner of the city. It’s home to many very holy places for Muslims, Christians, and Jews, and people from all over the world travel here to pray, tour, and experience. It’s divided into four uneven quarters – Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian. Tens of thousands of people live, work, go to school, and play inside the walls of Jerusalem and, for the most part, things are fairly separate in that the Armenians live in the Armenian Quarter, the Christian Palestinians live in the Christian Quarter, etc. One can travel freely (for the most part) between the quarters, but there is a demarcation which is always interesting to observe from a tourist’s perspective.
Over the years, my husband and I have traveled up and down the winding alleys of each quarter – together and separately – my husband first as a child and me initially as a college student. Since the kids were born, however, our plans have been, shall we say, less ambitious. We want to show them the Old City, have them love the Old City and, eventually, be able to wander throughout the Old City. But for this trip, we kept it short and simple and entered through Bab al-Khalil (Jaffa Gate) and walked through just a few alleyways for some conversing, shopping, snacking, and observing.
We bought some beautiful traditional Palestinian pottery pieces for our house and some gifts for friends and family. We’ve been collecting it for years. The pottery is made and hand painted in the West Bank town of Hebron. The colors are bright, the patterns are cheerful, and it makes a lovely table setting.
We also stopped by a terrific place where we bought a side table years and years ago. The little shop sells furniture, chess tables, dressers, mirrors, chairs – all beautifully handcrafted in Syria from walnut with mother of pearl inlay. Our son sat right down and started playing with the chess boards. We picked up some pieces for him, and I have my eye on a stunning table/chess board that we will need to save for many, many years before we’re ready to bring that piece home with us.
Our second Foreign Correspondent has returned from her travels! Stacy, her husband, and her two children traveled to Istanbul and Jerusalem this summer. We outfitted them with a suitcase full of Tea before they left, asking them to share their adventures with us upon their return. Below is part 2 of their adventure.
We set an ambitious itinerary for the last full day in Istanbul before traveling to Jerusalem. It included the Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar.
We started at the Topkapi Palace and, I’ll be honest, I could have stayed there all day long but the kids burned out after the third hour. Basically, the Ottomans ruled the entire Empire from here for hundreds and hundreds of years. It was their cultural and political center – there’s a library, the treasury, a concubines courtyard, a kitchen that fed thousands of janissaries and soldiers, mosques, reading rooms just to name a few of the highlights in the sprawling compound. All of this plus incredibly ornate and intricate architecture and sweeping views of the water that can be seen from throughout the walled compound.
Unfortunately for us, the lines to enter the Hagia Sophia were just too long. We kept moving a short distance to the Basilica Cistern. Other than knowing that it is the largest of several hundred underground water systems in Istanbul, we had little idea what to expect. As it turns out, the kids loved it. First off, it’s dark, lit by candles and about 20 degrees cooler than above ground. It was built in the 6th century during the Byzantine Empire to supply water to the palace complex nearby. In fact, the water level is not very deep these days, but it is deep enough to house many fish which swim around and add to the atmosphere and the kids’ happiness.
We continued on to the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) which is truly a magnificent sight to behold – up close and throughout the city. We sat inside the courtyard and took in the beautiful prayer tiles written in Arabic calligraphy, the stained glass, minarets. Another cool and really helpful thing we noticed were tons of high school aged kids in blue shirts with something like, “can I help you?”, written on them. We saw them all over the tourist spots and eventually, I asked them what’s up. As it turns out, they are volunteers for the Istanbul municipality, tasked with helping tourists maneuver the city’s intricacies while receiving school credit and practicing their English. Such a clever idea, and they really were very helpful.