Overall today, the bus ride from Elmira to Newark, NJ was good. People got to exchange phone numbers and got to know each other a little better. Once everyone got to the airport, and security had checked us in, we boarded the flight to Istanbul which took around 9 hours, so a very long time to remain seated. However, there were many food and beverages that were handed out. One that made memory records will forever be the hot plate of the airline food. Not too great in my opinion but I heard some people really liked it; there was a choice between beef and chicken. I heard more people like the beef. After we landed, we all got through visas and passports fairly quickly and made it to the baggage claim in time for our entire group's luggage to still be there. So that was a big relief from the group that our baggage made it. We then walked out and met the awesome tour guides Selcuk and his wife today. They seem like very lively people who love their job and like to have fun. Selcuk did tell us some safety rules and what to look for on the way to the hotel. The drive was about 30 minutes with light traffic. We passed 4th Century A.D. City walls that were built and are still standing today, which look really neat. Along with a beautiful Mosque that is right across from the hotel, this is simply breath taking; the architecture of that building was beautifully done. Istanbul reminds me of New York City, just a tad. Some of us in the afternoon took a break and rested or went to explore the streets nearby. There are photos that were uploaded previously about some of the monumrnts. Dinner was at the hotel and we celebrated Dan’s 21st Birthday with a cake! Happy Birthday Dan! The evening consisted of the students getting to hang out with each other and really start to connect and have fun together. Tomorrow is the first big day for us, for traveling around and sightseeing so stay tuned in to see what we all see.