Time to join the group (March 12, 2018)

The problem with buying rugs is getting them home. Since our tour ends at this hotel in two weeks we decided to leave them here and pick them up on our way home. Dan and Barb took care of that while Cyd and I enjoyed breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast: it’s set up as a buffet with multiple station. The unanticipated station is the one with tossed salad fixings. The cabbage is diced so small it looks like shredded coconut. Each day I’ve brought a plate of pastries to our table so we could sample them all; today was no exception. Pistachio has been a common ingredient.

Our only goal today was meeting the remaining members of the tour group upon their arrival at the airport. We checked out of the hotel and took a hotel shuttle to the airport, a 40-minute ride for 600 dirhams (9.2 dirhams = $1). A Gate 1 Discovery representative and Jim and Nancy, a fun couple from Houston who had just arrived, were at the curb to meet us. The Gate 1 rep asked if we would just as soon go ahead to Rabat as a group of six and settle in at the hotel rather than wait for the rest of the group. Hell yeah!

The hour and a half drive passed quickly. We enjoyed seeing the countryside and before we knew it we were pulling into La Villa Mandarine, our hotel for the next two nights. It oozes charm is the best way to describe it! Pool, spa, hot tub, beautiful courtyard and grounds, orange and grapefruit trees brimming with fruit … wow! We have a charming room with a small private balcony. All the floors are colorful tile much of which is covered with Moroccan rugs of various sizes, colors, and styles.

Barb, Dan, and I enjoyed a quick swim and Cyd enjoyed the sun (hats provided) in our free time. Once everyone in the tour had arrived, we gathered for a briefing and then headed to the dining room for a fabulous three course meal, the highlight of which was a Niçoise salad served in a lacy, thin pastry bowl.

We have found the Moroccans to be very friendly, funny, and helpful. We anticipated being besieged by folks on the streets and in the markets trying to hock their wares or sell their service, but we have not been hassled at all  (so far anyway) to shop, buy, or eat.

Beautiful sunny day! High of 67 / low 52.

During the 1950s and ‘60s, Morocco served as a literary sanctuary for many foreign writers including Americans William S. Burroughs, Paul Bowles, Brion Gysin, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg, and Tennessee Williams. Perhaps the most famous of them, Paul Bowles, made his home in Morocco for more than 50 years.

No surprise after passing so many sheep today, lamb is the cornerstone
of Moroccan cooking. I chose it for my entree tonight.


4 thoughts on “Time to join the group (March 12, 2018)

  1. So sorry about your credit card mom—so glad you stopped it fast!!

    Matt Mongeon | Senior Business Analyst
    PMP, ITIL Foundation, RCV, OSA, SOA, PPO
    Technology Team – Cox California
    5159 Federal Blvd., San Diego, CA 92105
    • 619.266.5675 (ex. 55675) |( 619.822.4661 | • matt.mongeon@cox.com

    Liked by 1 person

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