"We have one more stop before heading back to Izmir," said Ahmet, our tour guide.
I was surprised, because I was ready to go back to the hotel. We had been touring the Turkish countryside for 10 hours, and my sweaty clothes and the dirt between my toes were making me very cranky. A shower was calling me and I needed a tall glass of cold water. No historical site or shop could be worth visiting at this time of day.
I glanced at Amy, my college-age daughter sitting next to me in our chauffeur-driven car. I rolled my eyes, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to insult the driver and our guide with my refusal. So, we made one more stop - a stop I will never forget.
The black car turned off the highway and traveled down a gravel-covered lane. I began to have a sinking feeling in my stomach, hoping we hadn't made a big mistake by trusting these people. Would Amy and I ever be seen again?
We pulled up to several white warehouse buildings. The driver stopped the car and got out. He opened our car door and said, "We're here. Maybe you'll even get a chance to walk on the catwalk." Now I was extremely confused. What were we doing here, and what did he mean by the catwalk?
Ahmet escorted us into a large showroom, and I noticed a fashion runway and rows of chairs facing the raised platform. Slowly I was putting the clues together. I realized we were going to be clients for a private fashion show - the kind of fashion show reserved for rich folks. Looking down at my dust-covered tennis shoes, stinky T-shirt, and dirty fingernails, I knew I didn't belong in that group.
American rock music started blaring from speakers, and the room began to pulsate. A glamorous young woman strutted down the runway, displaying the leather jacket of the day. Model after model made the walk - twirling, swirling, and clapping with energy. I glanced at my daughter, and we both giggled.
"What do you think Dad would say about this adventure?" I asked.
Suddenly, one of the male models approached Amy, took her hand, and led her behind a curtain. The next time the models appeared, Amy was in the middle of the group. She strutted down the catwalk, showing a sleek tan leather jacket. Regrettably, I did not have a camera to capture this unforgettable moment.
After her catwalk stroll, she again disappeared behind the curtain. When she emerged, she had been transformed back - like Cinderella - to her tour-dusty appearance in wrinkled shorts and smudged tank top.
At the end of the show, we were allowed to browse row after row of leather jackets and coats for sale for $400 to $1,000. We decided that our memories would be the only souvenirs we needed from this unexpected but priceless fashion show.