Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Trip to Essaouira

This past weekend we made a quick trip to Essaouira. Essaouira is a small town on the west coast of Morocco a little over 2 hours north of Agadir and is really beautiful.

In the old days, the entire city was completely walled in and every night at 8 pm the gates would close and if you weren't inside the walls you were stuck outside until the next morning! Now, the city has grown and the old city within the walls is called the Medina and the new part of Essaouira is called The New City.

People still live inside the Medina but now it also has hotels, restaurants and shops selling all kinds of artisan things for tourists like me. I loved all the colors and smells that were around every corner. Essaouira is not super crowded and the vendors at the little shops are not pushy or in your face so it was a really nice and relaxing experience.

We were there for less than 36 hours but ended up with hundreds of pictures. It is really nice to have a personal photographer with us at all times! Ahmed loves to take pictures so he normally takes the camera the minute we get somewhere and is on picture duty.

Day 1:

On the road to Essaouira we ran into some goats hanging out in the argan trees eating some nuts.

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Who needs Paris when you can get crepes with Nutella and banana here in Morocco!

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Lunch time! You just walk up to the little restaurants and pick what you want them to cook for you.

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After lunch we went to look at carpets and put Lily to work testing them out.

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Ahmed loves taking pictures of birds so we always find random pictures on our camera. I thought this one was actually really beautiful!

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Uncooperative child…

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Book exchange. This pic is for you, Katie!

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My treasures from day one were a pair of boots and a purse. They are made with leather and old rugs which I thought was so neat!

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After a full day walking around the Medina, we finally went to check into our hotel for the night. Danny continued the Valentine celebration by requesting our room be decorated with flowers. Lily loved it and made a mess with those rose petals!

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We stayed at a golf resort and had a great view of the golf course and the ocean. Maybe seeing pictures of golf courses will get my dad to come visit us soon!

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Day Two:

We took our time at the hotel in the morning before heading back to the Medina to walk around and do a little more shopping and exploring.

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I am kind of obsessed with looking in rug shops here. We ended up getting another big rug at this last shop. It was too good of a price to pass up!

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At this point in the day, I had spent all the money we had brought with us so it was time to head back to Agadir.

Essaouira is definitely a place we will be visiting again!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day

Today was a really sweet day.

Lily and I woke up to presents that daddy left out for us before he left to work. He made us homemade cards and got us flowers and chocolates. Considering this is the guy who didn't get me anything for my first mother's day (holidays and gifts are not his specialty), I was pretty shocked that he was able to do anything for Valentine's Day especially since it isn't a holiday that is celebrated in Morocco. Such a sweetie!

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Danny leaves for work way before Lily and I even wake up so he didn't get to join us for our special breakfast. We made my favorite pancakes and strawberry smoothies with fun heart shaped straws. Lily was a fan!

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Danny came home from work a little earlier than usual this evening so we got to make a quick trip out to the beach to watch the sunset. It was so nice and peaceful out there! There were very few people out and it was low tide so there was plenty of sand for Lily to run around on. She always has the best time at the beach.

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After the beach we came back home to make a yummy lamb chop dinner. We had never made them before but I found this recipe that uses harrisa which is a really common spicy spread/marinade type thing here in Morocco. I decided to try it out to make our Valentine's Day dinner a little bit more special than my normal 5 ingredient meals (cooking is not my specialty). They ended up being so easy to make and Danny devoured them.

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Dinner was followed by a little Beauty and the Beast movie watching and snuggles with my sweeties.
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Monday, February 10, 2014

Relaxing Weekend

Another week has come and gone. I can't believe we have been living here for almost a month! This weekend was the most relaxing one we have had yet. Our air shipment came a couple of weeks ago so now that we have most of our kitchen supplies, bedding, and Lily necessities this place is starting to feel a little more like home.

Saturday morning we woke up and made the most delicious pancakes I have ever eaten in my entire life! I am no wizard in the kitchen so in America the pancakes I made were from a mix. I never attempted to make homemade ones because it was so easy to just pick up some shake and pour bisquick  and syrup from the grocery store. Here, I don't have that luxury so I had to find a recipe with ingredients that are available. I found this recipe for Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes on Pinterest. I figured it would work since I can find ricotta at the grocery store and strawberries are in season in Morocco right now and you make your own sauce to top them with so I wouldn't need syrup which they don't sell here.

AMAZING! These may be the best things I have ever eaten in my life. Danny doesn't even like breakfast food and he thought they were amazing too so I don't think it was just that I was craving american breakfast food. We made them again for breakfast on Sunday morning!

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The pancakes really were the highlight of my weekend, but we did some other fun stuff too.

After breakfast we walked to the beach.

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We walked down the boardwalk for quite a bit and then turned around and walked back towards home on the sand. It was a pretty great workout pushing that jogging stroller  in the wet sand. When we got back to the part of the beach closest to our house we let Lily out of her stroller so she could do her favorite thing, play in the sand.

Danny tried to build a sandcastle for Lily, but she was way more interested in smashing the towers as soon as Danny would get one up. So he moved on to burying Lily in the sand.

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We came home for a quick nap and showers before Ahmed picked us up to take us to his family's house for dinner. They live in a village about 20 minutes away from Agadir and made us some traditional Moroccan tangines for dinner. Ahmed's mom made a chicken tagine and a lamb one and they were by far the best we have had since we have lived here!

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Sunday morning we all slept in, ate more pancakes for breakfast and then Lily and I played outside when Danny left to work. She was really into the pebbles in the flower beds and walked back and forth from the flower beds to where I was sitting to hand me all the rocks she was collecting for about 45 minutes. It was a pretty nice way to keep her entertained while I worked on my tan.

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Lily and I have some more beach trips planned for this week and possibly a play date with a little friend for Lily and then a Valentine's weekend getaway to Essaouira!

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