Category Archives: Travel

Morocco–Part 2

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Once our time in Marrakech was complete, we drove to Rabat, with a stop in Casablanca on the way… including a drive-by of Rick’s Café.  In Rabat, we ate dinner THREE times at Dar Naji, a restaurant recommended by our Riad, because it was that amazing.  I also ate my weight in olives while we were in Morocco; best I’ve ever had.

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After a restful night in our Rabat hotel, Riad Kalaa, we had a half-day tour of the city.  Rabat is where the King’s main palace and all administrative buildings reside, so it was a bit of a political tour, too.  Also, in Rabat, outside of the main Medina there are many agricultural gardens and thousands and thousands of storks.  Yes, storks.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen any in person and certainly not without the magical blanket with a new baby inside, so it was really neat to see their extensive (read: freaking HUGE) nests surrounding us.  We also saw the Mausoleum for King Mohammed V.

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The next day, we headed to Fes, stopping in Meknès and Volubulis on our way.  In Fes, we stayed at Riad Fes, which was another incredible place.

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The following day we had a tour of Fes.  Including a mosaic factory and the largest UNESCO Chouara Tannery in the world.  We spent two additional days in Fes, exploring the narrow corridors of the Medina and relaxing at our resort-like Riad – complete with vacation massages for the adults and naps for Wyatt.  What an incredible experience this trip was and we’re especially grateful we could bring Wyatt along for the journey.

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Where should we go next?!?

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Morocco–Part 1

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In mid-April, we started our two week journey to Morocco!!  We began in Marrakesh, spent a few days in Rabat (seeing Casablanca on the way), and ended in Fes.  It was a trip full of cultural emersion, which I will not do justice to in our photos, but I will certainly try.  And all this “we” talk.. yes, we took Wyatt.  What an amazing experience to see the country through a toddlers eyes.  We stopped often, met many locals, and relaxed as best you can with an energetic and curious 2 year old in tow.

First, we flew to the east coast, then an 8 hour flight to Madrid, a 4 hour layover, and then a 1.5 hour flight into Marrakesh.  Even with our joy of a child who did AMAZING on the flight(s), that was a LONG trip and the use of the word tired doesn’t really capture how we felt by the end.  The layover in Madrid was actually the most challenging part, because we just wanted to get there already.  But, when we did arrive, what a worth-while trip it was.  Also, iPad for the win!!

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Even our room at Les Jardins De La Koutoubia greeted us with rose pedals… in Wyatt’s pack ‘n play.  As soon as we were settled, we headed to the center of the Medina market in the old city for a traditional dinner of meat, vegetables, and cous-cous (Tanjine).  We relaxed and began to take it all in as we had our first taste of the amazing Moroccan mint tea – something we enjoyed several times a day the rest of the trip.

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The following day, we slept in, had breakfast in bed and spent the rest of the morning on the rooftop of our hotel enjoying the view from the pool.

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After nap, we went back into the Medina and started our tour of the souk (huge market full of negotiating opportunities and kitties).  As luck would have it, we stumbled upon “the shop” for our purchases to begin and ended up falling IN LOVE with a hand carved wood and metal mirror and wool rug.  Turns out we’ve still got it in the negotiating world and can’t wait until the pieces arrive in 4-5 weeks, hopefully.  We had another traditional dinner, this time with Wyatt awake, and then danced to some music before heading to bed.

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The next day, we had a tour of the old city and ended the day with a swim and a sunset.

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Next, hiking the Atlas Mountains, trekking and lunch next to the Ouzoud Falls, feeding monkeys, and then one more relaxing day in the Medina complete with Henna.

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Next up: Casablanca, Rabat, and Fes!!!

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Brides, Babies, Brunch, and Bon Voyage

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If that flag isn’t big enough to visually make your heart jump.. I’m not sure what I can do for you.

WE’RE MOVING TO DENVER!!!

I’ve had this blog post drafted in my mind for years. What would I say? How would I announce it? And I realized, there’s no fancy writing necessary. If you know me… You know what this means. Where I’ve always considered home, will now also be where I live.

Our decision to make the leap occurred with the help of every little duck lining up even better than we could’ve planned for. And I’m an expert planner.

So with Arion landing a FANTASTIC job and our lease ending, we looked at each other in bed one night and said, “so, we’re moving, right?” That spiraled into phone calls, moving plans, and a one-way ticket for two adults, one infant-in-arms, and two cats, just a few weeks later.

And now we’re here. Moving two weeks from today. And it’s so bittersweet.

People may think I should only have feelings of joy, but there is sadness, too. And at the top of that list: we’re going to be farther away from Arion’s family. Our incredible support system on the east coast. Thank god for Skype, FaceTime, and Southwest Airlines, because we’ll need it. Next up, our friends – who are also family. I’ve been here more than 9 years and Arion more than 7. We have met some of the most amazing people here and have grown even stronger with the ones we knew even before this zip code. We’re really going to miss our people, our community, and the food. Which brings me to number 3. We’ve traveled a lot. And NYC just knows how to fill the belly the best. From gourmet to street cart, our taste buds will be in mourning. And number 4, the people watching. When my sister left NYC 4 years ago, she said she would catch herself staring at people in their cars on her way to work in CO. The judging here is one-in-a-million awesome and will really be missed.

Of course, there are things I won’t miss (the sirens, honking, and jack-hammering that always startle Wyatt from a nap) and am ready to say goodbye to (overpriced everything, rudeness, and the ever competitive and elitist pace). But, it’s still the best city on earth.

I can’t even get into the amazing family and friends that are ready to welcome us with squeals and jumps and hugs in our new zip code. And we are really looking forward to the new lifestyle and outdoor activities and especially the ski season (Arion bought his season pass the day the move was official). To say we are overjoyed would be an understatement.

So with excitement, ski poles, and heavy hearts, we begin our journey as Coloradans, whose household will still root for the Eagles (when the Broncos aren’t on).

Wish us luck!!

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Babymoon – Me in a bikini

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This takes guts people.  So be nice and extra flattering with your comments.

We went on a babymoon last weekend!!!

There will be more pictures, keep reading.

Last weekend, we headed to Punta Cana, DR, for 4 days of relaxation and indulgence.  We stayed at the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar.  To read more about how we picked the resort, click hereReview: Resort was perfect for what we needed, adults only.  It was also clean, the staff was friendly, they had a huge variety of food, and we didn’t need to go anywhere.  That said, the food wasn’t gourmet – except for the ice cream, I could eat that by the tub, pregnancy aside – but we didn’t expect it to be (how many times do I need to admit how spoiled we are in the food department in NYC!?), so we were two (three?) happy happy people.  In fact, I think the motto of the trip was “I’m so glad we did this”.  It also didn’t hurt that it was a direct flight, under 4 hours, and we were sitting by the pool by lunchtime the first day and throughout the afternoon on the last day.  Go DR Go.

Like I said, it was a perfect long weekend where we did absolutely nothing.  We didn’t wear our watches, so we just read by the pool until we were hot (jumped in the water), hungry (headed to the buffet), or thirsty (flagged down the waitress for another Bahama Mama, for baby, no alcohol).  Oh and then when the sun went down we cleaned up and went to one of their many restaurants for dinner.  Since that was all we did, I don’t have very many exciting photos, but I do have more of my belly, so for your reading pleasure…

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Last Minute December Happenings

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There were some last minute happenings in December that I managed to capture via photo, so to the blogosphere they go!!

Our friends/newlyweds Noah and Vaneeta that we traveled to Seattle for their wedding in July, were in NYC to celebrate the holidays.  We successfully managed to get in a brunch at The Smith.  The Vanilla Bean French Toast with caramelized bananas, delicious.  Oh, and there was also so bump lovin’.

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Then that night, we headed to Stand Up – NY to see our cousin, Brian, do a comedy bit!  We were 26 people that night, sure to give him the laughing he deserved, and then we all headed to Delicatessen to continue the evening and celebrate Uncle Ned’s 60th Birthday.  All this planned, by the very talented, cousin Amy.  Moriah came in from NJ for the events, as well, since we were also celebrating her birthday!!  So many things!!!

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Also, in December, there was a lot of this.  But in order to not have proof on the internet that I’m a cat-lady (although, I can’t really hide it), I’ll only put up one photo… for now.

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The night after the comedy show and dinner, we headed to ABC Kitchen for brunch, the Jean-Georges restaurant, with Brett and Moriah. YUM. (side note: Brett is a hipster)

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Brunch was followed by a quick visit from our friends Craig and Bonnie who were in the city from Boston, to do some last minute Christmas shopping.

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Ok, so I originally said no more cats in this post, but look at these two?!  We finally cleared off the changing table and Lady settled right in.

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And to round things up on the last weekend of 2012, Arion went to the Phish concert at MSG, we celebrated Henry’s 1st Birthday, and Arion went to the Eagles/Giants game on Sunday.  Sad Sad Eagles, but he had incredible seats.  But enough about concerts and sporting events… the real party-planning win goes to Bana.  Henry’s 1st birthday party was incredible (I know, no one is shocked).  Bana’s attention to detail from each table setting, to the authentic German food, to the apple soda flown in from Germany, caused me to step into the corner for a moment and tell Tuk Tuk to take a good look, because mama’s not this talented.  For example, in the smash cake photos, you’ll see a map.  What you won’t realize is that Bana specifically found it from 1981, the closest year to when both her and Matt were born, and then painted on top for Henry.  Keepsake much?!  Also, the dessert bar was outfitted with little suitcases, airplanes, and all within the blue/red color scheme.  Bana can plan.  On second thought for Tuk Tuk, maybe we’ll hire her to help us out.  You available, Bana?  Anyway, it was more than worth the 2.5 hour blizzardy (new word?) drive each way to celebrate, as we wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  Henry, you have some unbelievable parents; never forget how lucky you are.

And now the photos.

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So now we head into 2013.  I always love reading everyone’s resolutions for the new year, large aspirational goals and agendas.  For me, I don’t think I’ll make any resolutions this year.  I think Tuk Tuk arriving in March will provide more than enough amazingness than could ever be wished for, so we’re all set.  For the rest of you Smile with tongue out, good luck with those resolutions.  I wish each of you a healthy and happy 2013.  Happy New Year!!!

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