On the week my father Gary would be celebrating his 73rd birthday (he died in 1998 at age 52), the Lester-Worth family arrived at a beachfront paradise on the south shore of Turkey. Two weeks ago we returned to the Arabian desert for work, but the Islamic holiday week opposite Ramadan called Eid is upon us, and that means the Middle East grinds to a halt, which is OK with us since the high temperature consistently reaches 110 degrees there right now.

During the last few years of my father’s life, my mom and dad jettisoned Minnesota for yearly winter respites to various beachfront vistas in Mexico. While I don’t remember ever discussing this with him, the fact that they returned for a few years in a row allows me to deduce that he must have enjoyed the relaxing nature of a beachside resort. He was particular about how he spent his hard-earned money.

After experiencing Sri Lanka last December, I think my parents and I share this form of relaxation. Well, I know for certain my mom does, since she joined us in Sri Lanka, and was by our side for our daily beach excursions. Tonight, just prior to writing this, my sons and I dipped our toes in the Mediterranean Sea, which abuts our resort, Asteria Belek, in Antalya, Turkey. It’s my goal, to write something each evening about our Turkey beach holiday.

But I thought of my father as the three of us felt the cool evening breeze on our faces. One of my sons said “Mediterranean and meditate sound similar,” which led him to receive an unrequested lesson on prefixes from his English teacher father, but in reality I was the one receiving the lesson. We learn so much from our children. They remind us often with their keen recollections from our trips, and in those reflective moments they calm my anxieties about them being too deep in their make-believe worlds of Five Nights At Freddy’s and Pokemon and EvanTube to truly experience the amazing places we have taken them in recent years since this overseas adventure began.

Initial impressions: Turkey is stuck in the 1980s, which isn’t usually a negative statement from me. The ’80s were a good era, especially for hair. (Yes, I proudly sported a mullet and have a school picture to prove it.) But in this case I am being a bit disparaging in my ’80 referencing, as the ’80s I am referring to are the return of jean shorts (affectionately called jorts) on men, and smoking. As in cigarettes. Smoking seems much more popular in Europe than in the U.S. I am too lazy to look up statistics to prove this. Just an observation.

And jorts? Just. Just no.