Friday, September 21, 2012

Days 17-19

Day 17 was Gracie's birthday!!!!!

Can you believe she's 3?

I can not. If she wasn't such a steam-roller of energy, I may have gotten a bit misty :)

We had a good time celebrating. I can say that now that a few days have passed... Unfortunately, that also happened to be our 'bad experience' travel day. Nothing serious. Just a cabbie ripped us off and wouldn't change his mind and the lady who was supposed to let us into our apartment was MIA for about an hour. All in all, the cabbie went home with ten extra Euros (and a guilty conscience?) and we spent an hour in a park, across from our apartment, on a sunny day in Seville.

Now, skip back to the celebrating.

We let Gracie loose in a fantastic toy store called the Imaginarium, that had me making a wish list, and told her she could pick one thing to celebrate. After much deliberation, we caved and let her get 2 gifts... A bouncy ball and a wooden caterpillar. Costing us a grand total of €2.90. She did make a note that the ride-on moped was definitely on her Christmas list. We'll see about that one.

Afterward, we went out for tapas and treats and had one of my favourite meals of the trip. I love the Spanish way of eating. Tapas are like appetizers, but they have tons at each restaurant. You just sit and keep sampling. Yum! Or as Gracie would say, 'Fantastico!' I won't list everything we tried, but there was homemade pastas, mushroom and ricotta flan, gazpacho, flank steak, and who can remember what else?! We stopped for birthday pastries on our way home.

Pretty good celebration. Throw in a few choruses of 'Happy Birthday to Myself' and you've got the soundtrack, too.

Day 18:
We spent another day wandering Seville's streets. The atmosphere is so nice here, I feel like we're experiencing as much in our rambling walks as we would visiting monuments. Of course, we saw our share of those as well. We walked by the Cathedral, which is beautiful and impressively huge. We checked out the Alcazar, a mosque built with Moorish architecture, and we sampled chocolate con churros, a Spanish specialty. Quite divine, it's a churro, or a long, deep fried chunk of dough, that you dip in hot, bubbly chocolate. 

How are we ever going to adjust to our normal life?

Day 19: 
We flew to Marrakesh today. It is scorching hot here, and I'm trying to respect the Muslim tradition of keeping covered, but I desperately want to wear my swimsuit all day... But I'm working on it. We were met at the airport by our shuttle driver, who took us to Jemaa El Fna square, where a porter with  essentially a wheelbarrow carted our luggage through the souks (vendors carts and sellers of all kinds of things) to our Riad, which is beautiful. They served us tea and cookies, set up our room, and settled us in.
We headed out for supper and had a three course meal that could've fed at least four adults. Couscous cooked in a tagine (clay pot with a cylindrical lid), beef satay, Moroccan soup and salad, delicious bread, olives, and tapenades, and oranges dusted with cinnamon and yogourt for dessert. Yum! Gracie came home with couscous everywhere, but happy and full.
Everyone loves her here. The hotel staff all ready know her name and people in the streets just smile when they see her.
Typing this, I'm listening to muffled street noise and can hear goats, children, and what sounds like cheerleaders, it will be interesting to get a full day of exploring in tomorrow.

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