Sunday, January 26, 2014

Beach Babe

We took advantage of the beautiful weather this morning and made the 10 minute walk from our house to the beach to play. It is still cool here in the mornings and evenings so the water was too cold, but the sand was perfect. Lily had the best time playing in the sand and digging for rocks.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

The First Week

We are one week into our Moroccan life and so far, so good! Danny went back to work on Monday. I am not really super comfortable going out and about alone yet so Lily and I really didn't do much during the week besides play outside in the garden.

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We have a driver (Ahmed) and a house helper (Omar) who are really great. Ahmed speaks really great english, so he is able to translate everything for us. He doesn't think his english is good enough so he wants me to teach him english and he will teach me french. I feel like we have already learned so much french just in the one week we have been here. It is so nice to be able to learn from him! Omar doesn't speak much english so we mostly communicate with hand signals. He is at the house all day with Lily and I and takes care of the pool and all the other outside stuff. He is such a nice guy. At 5 pm he washes up and puts all his tools away and picks flowers for Lily and walks around the garden with her. She has him wrapped around her little finger! Also, between 4-5 everyday, two guys riding camels walk down our street on the way to the beach. Lily and I were outside on Tuesday when we saw it for the first time and then Danny and I saw them again today. They try and make it down to the beach so tourists can ride the camels at sunset like Danny and I did on our first trip here. I love seeing them walk down our street! I will try and get some pictures of them soon.

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Danny stayed home from work on Friday morning so we could go to the souk (the outdoor market) on a weekday when it isn't so busy. The first place we stopped was to look at rugs. We just wanted to look and see what they had but those Moroccans like to make a deal so we ended up walking out with a new rug for our bedroom! They probably pulled out 20 rugs for me to look at and once I found the one I liked best they haggled with Danny for at least 20 minutes. Situations like that literally make me start sweating but Danny did a great job and talked them down to a reasonable price. We have been assured that Moroccans like to haggle and they aren't offended when you try and negotiate the price down. At the end of the purchase, they even threw in a little carpet square for Lily, haha! Hopefully they will remember us the next time we go look for a rug and just give us a low price right off the bat.

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Today Ahmed came to pick us up and took us up in the mountains to a village called Immouzer where there is a little waterfall and a place to eat lunch. While we were there, an old Berber man who works for tips at the waterfall decided to show off for us by jumping from a rock into the freezing cold water.

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We stayed to have a lamb tagine for lunch at the waterfall restaurant. A tagine is a Moroccan clay pot that you put either chicken, lamb, or goat and vegetables in and then cook it over coals. It is what Moroccans typically cook their meals in.

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 We got back home around 3pm and had some moroccan tea out on the patio and enjoyed the perfect weather here. I am pretty sure we are going to be spending a lot of our time at home out on the patio. Lily wakes up from her afternoon nap, goes to sliding door and says,  "side, peas", which translates to outside, please.

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She seems pretty happy here!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Family Pictures

The weekend before we moved, Ash came into town for a quick goodbye visit. While she was here we snuck in a 10 minute photo session before brunch one day. I am so glad we have these pictures to document such a special time in our lives. Thanks so much Ash!!!

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

I Need New Travel Companions

Haha, kidding…sort of. Our trip to Morocco was crazy and exhausting.  These two knuckleheads are not the easiest people to travel with.

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Our journey started in Dallas on Thursday afternoon. We cleaned up the apartment and packed up the last of the bags. My dad (aka Granpy) flew in for the day to see us off so we spent the morning with him and then went to lunch with all of Lily's grandparents before we all headed to the airport.

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The flight from Dallas to London was an overnight flight and Lily actually did pretty well on it. She played and whined a little bit for the first couple of hours but then fell asleep around what would have been her normal bed time. She had her own seat on the plane which we put her carseat in so she slept in that. About an hour and a half into her sleeping, the flight attendant came up to me and said we were about to have some bad turbulence so I needed to take her out of her carseat and put her on my lap. It was a risky move because we still had about 4 hours left of flying time and you are rolling the dice when you move a sleeping baby, but luckily Lily fell right back to sleep on my lap. Unfortunately for me, I was forced to stay in the same position for the remainder of the flight since I had a sleeping baby on my lap that could erupt in anger at any time.

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We finally land in London, wheel our eighty million bags through the airport and make it to the airport hotel at 8 am London time. We went straight to our room and all fell asleep for about 4 hours before heading out to do a little exploring. Big mistake!

We were meeting our friend Jen at her office around 5 in central London so we could ride the train with her out to her and her fiancee's new house for dinner. It was only about 2 when we left the hotel so we had some time to kill. Mistake #1 - not looking at a map before we started our journey and assuming Danny had any sense of direction at all.

Danny and I have both been to London before so we know how to use the Undergound to get around but we didn't realize how long it would take us to get all the way from the airport to central London so we ended up being pretty rushed. Danny hates being rushed. We got off at our first destination and had to carry Lily's stroller up about 3 flights of stairs to get out of the Underground. Mistake #2 - bringing that dang stroller with us. I am going to be sore for days from carrying that stupid stroller up and down staircases.

Anyway, Danny took a quick look at the map outside the tube station on our way out and then proceeded to have us walk 15 minutes in the wrong direction. Super fun. Then he had to go the bathroom. We decided to just get back on the tube and get off at the stop that was where we actually wanted to end up since we had wasted time walking in the wrong direction and it was getting late. At this point Danny still has to go to the bathroom and he realizes he lost our tube tickets. Danny is not a happy camper. We find a bathroom and then walk back to the tube station to get new tickets. Danny puts his hand in his jacket pocket one last time and MIRACLE, finds our tube tickets in the same pocket he had emptied out 5 times already searching for those darn things.

Back on the tube, we go a couple stops down and get off at the Houses of Parliament to take a quick picture in front of Big Ben. We call Jen to tell her we are across the bridge from her office and will see her soon. Turns out we weren't by her office at all, we were a 30 minute walk away. Google maps was not our friend that day. Back on the tube, carry the stroller up and down more stairs, get off the tube, more stairs, finally get to Jen's office. We are with a familiar face and our day is looking up, or so we thought!

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We get on the train to go to Jen and Michaels new house and have an excellent home cooked dinner of fish and chips. Right before we were about to sit down to eat I asked Danny to get Lily's water out of his backpack. A few seconds later he says, "do you know where I put the backpack?" Turns out he took the backpack off at the EY building while we were waiting for Jen and left it there. This backpack had our camera, passports, my wallet and most importantly Lily's diapers and wipes. Mistake #3 - letting Danny be in charge of carrying anything important. It was just not our day!

Jen called the office to see if anyone had turned the backpack in. I was hopeful it would be turned in since when we were in the lobby it really was only working professionals going in and out who looked like they had better things to do that take a backpack full of cheerios and diapers. We didn't get to stay at Jen and Michael's very long since Lily was diaperless and it was only a matter of time before the diaper she had on reached maximum capacity. As we were getting ready to leave, Jen got a voicemail that our bag was at the reception desk. SUPER MIRACLE! That was one of the happiest moments of my life. A couple train rides, a stop at the EY office and million more stairs we had to carry that stupid stroller up and down and we finally made it back to the hotel.

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Danny and I were exhausted, but Lily was not. I think we got about 2 hours of sleep in before we had to get up for the flight to Agadir the next morning. That was a pretty brutal 3 hours on the plane. I was tired, Lily was tired, Danny was doing everything he could to pretend he was happy so Lily and I wouldn't melt down.  I kept my cool, Lily did not. She squirmed and whined and cried for the first 2 hours of the flight before she finally fell asleep on my lap, again. So there I sat sweaty and tired but unable to get in a comfortable position so I could fall asleep because I didn't want to wake the beast.

We finally made it to Morocco and all of our bags made it here also so I guess all is well that ends well.

I did learn two very important things in the past few days; traveling overseas with a toddler is really way more work than you even think it is going to be and never trust Danny to be in charge of carrying anything important!

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