Why oh why

May 13th, 2018

Why oh why did I change that default setting for photo uploads on my blog? Now none of my photos are showing up and I don’t know how to fix it! Note to self: don’t do that again. Until John has a chance to try to fix my problem, no more photos on the blog!

I spent the last week working in Georgetown, Guyana. While not exactly a garden spot, I enjoy going there. The Marriott where I stay is very nice and I can walk to the Embassy. I went to Marine “boot camp” workouts after work two evenings and went to an Embassy yoga class another day – lots of fun and a good workout. The consular chief had me over to his house for family dinner my last evening there and the junior officers took me out to a nice restaurant for my birthday dinner on Tuesday (happy birthday to me and thanks to everyone for the kind messages!).

We went to Doug and Val’s house last night for a fun get-together with them and Rick and Claire – we knew them in Pakistan. It was so nice to see them again and catch up!

 

 

 

So long, Morocco!

May 6th, 2018

John headed out Sunday morning, and I spent a fun afternoon with my friend Val from work. We went to the Habouss market and had lunch at the same nice spot where Julie and I ate the previous week. It was fun to have someone to pal around with after John left. She and I were on the same flight going back to DC Monday morning.

The week flew by! We had Rick and Claire over for dinner on Friday night – so nice to have good friends living here! And, before I knew it, I was on a plane heading back to Georgetown, Guyana, where I’m laying my head tonight!

 

Vacation Morocco

April 29th, 2018

John and I have had a wonderful week touring Morocco! We spent the first two nights in Marrakech, then we spent the next two nights at a wonderful little hotel in the mountains called Domaine de la Roseraie. It was so peaceful and the grounds were beautiful – lots of rose gardens, a nice walking trail, good food, and a great spa where I had a hammam treatment, a very Moroccan water bath of sorts.

Our drive out of the high Atlas Mountains was rainy and foggy but still spectacular. We ended at the Berbere Palace in Ouarzazate – they call Ouarzazate the Hollywood of Morocco because so many movies have been filmed there (as well as some “Game of Thrones” episodes). It’s sort of the gateway to the desert. We saw some of the historical sites there, namely Ait Ben Hammoud, an old Kasbah, where we walked up to the very windy top.

The next day we started our day-long drive to the Western Sahara, close to the Algiers border. It took all day, with a few stops along the way. In one small Berber village, we stopped at a carpet shop where I bought a Berber wedding blanket, something I had on my shopping list.

We finally arrived at Merzouga, where we transferred to a 4×4 truck to go out in the dunes. We stayed at a truly luxurious tent camp (electricity and indoor plumbing!) – it was so peaceful. We had one full day there (two nights) – we started the day with a camel ride to see the sunrise, and ended the day with another ride out to see the sunset – both beautiful. During the day, we had the entire camp all to ourselves, as the large group of Aussies left in the morning, and the new folks didn’t arrive until evening. It was wonderfully quiet and peaceful, and we read and played gin rummy in the shade. The weather was perfect with a nice cool breeze most of the time.

We made the 10-hour drive from the desert back to Casablanca yesterday – John flies out today and I will leave early tomorrow morning – back to the real world. I’m anxious to see Flavia – we’ve been getting emails from the pet service this week, so I know she is OK but will be happy to see us!

I’m having tech diffies with my photos, so I’ll update soon! In the meantime, here’s a link to all my photos.

 

 

Casablanca to Marrakech

April 22nd, 2018
Door

Door

Arch

After a lovely day at the mosque and the souk last Sunday, our group went out to dinner with the Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs – the venue was Rick’s Place, a play on the Humphrey Bogart movie, although, of course, it was not filmed in Morocco. It was, however, a beautiful old restored building and we enjoyed it very much.

The rest of the week was filled with our conference agenda, which included a tour of the Consulate on Monday, followed by a relaxing reception on the lawn of the Consul General’s house.

Tuesday, the regional consular officers (RCOs) met for the afternoon (we’re only all together twice per year), then we did an “escape room” where you solve a series of puzzles to get out. We always have a good time together. Other nights I had dinner with friends; our last night in town, some of the RCOs walked to a nice Moroccan restaurant for dinner.

Saturday the tour guide picked me up at the hotel, and we picked up John at the airport! We drove to Marrakech – about a three hour drive – had lunch, and got settled in our hotel. We were pooped.

Today we spent touring around the city with our guide. A lot of walking, a lot of pretty architecture, good food, crazy traffic, lots of other tourists – kind of a sensory overload, but fun!

Buying bread

Buying bread

Arch

Arch

Morocco!

April 15th, 2018

Olives!

Olives!

I arrived in Casablanca Saturday morning, connecting via Montreal. I’m here for a work conference – we’re staying at a lovely hotel on the beach, and lucky for me, it has the most comfy beds ever – I was wiped out when we landed (Casablanca is five hours ahead of Washington). A group of us went out for dinner at a nice little French restaurant.

Today my friend Julie and I went to the Hansen mosque to see the tallest minaret in the world – it’s beautiful, right on the water. Then we went shopping at a souk and had a delicious lunch. So far I love it here!

Garlic

Garlic

Rugs

Rugs