Thursday, September 23, 2010

Your gift to me: restoring The Wonder.

I was blessed with a little stream of visitors these past few weeks, which- besides allowing me time to re-connect with friends and family- allowed me to see and do things that I’ve never explored. That’s the perk of having guests to my homes abroad: seeing the country through their eyes renews my sense of Wonder about the place, and I appreciate it again in a different way.   

First, my dear old friend Maria came with her mom Joan riiiiiight at the end of Ramadan. So they got to experience the difficulty of finding a meal during daylight hours, a legit iftar meal, and the quietness-slash-rowdyness that is t Eid Al-Fitr on the very last day of their visit. Let’s call it an “authentic” Moroccan experience. 

Some highlights:
-hamam in Tetouan = non-stop giggles and deep exfoliation
-Going to Assilah, a lovely blue-and-white beach town just south of Tangier. I’ve never been there, and it is a really chill vacation space with art all over the medina.
-Riding a hilariously bumpy horse cart down to the beach and back
-visiting my old ‘hood in Fes. Staying at the gorgeous Dar Bouanania. Seeing Hassan the Hanout Guy again and getting a big hug from him. Fessi fruit salad, of course.

Then came the Mom & Pop for a 30th Wedding Anniversary Vacation…to visit me! (Congrats, Parents!) Highlights of their sejour include:
-Showing them my apartment in Rabat, of which I am so proud
-A tea party with Mrs. Ambasador Sylvia at the Ambassador's Residence, just the four of us…and one enormous rat.
-visiting the Chellah and touristy sights in Rabat that I take for granted
-Dar Fes Medina, with its welcoming staff and incredible breakfasts

-Dinner on the town with Caitlyn
-A winery tour/wine tasting at Les Celliers de Meknes. Yes indeed, I will write more about this soon. In a phrase: surprisingly legit and deliciously hashuma.
-having my parents meet Lalla Fatima, my adopted granny here
-The Blue Parrot/Rick’s Café and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca…is there anything else?

Of course, my favorite moments were spent over amazing meals and conversation. Laughing and mourning and learning with my guests. Now I’m feeling refreshed and ready to be rooted in Rabat, at least for a bit, while this research takes more shape. Only 3 months left! Yikes!

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