My family’s first visit to Morocco!

Salaam alaikum dear readers!

I know you were probably wondering where I had disappear to right for all of January?  Well never fear my family had come to visit me in Morocco!!!  SO I was busy helping them have a positive and wonderful trip – and stressing out for them 😀

It was an epic success that I finally got my family to cross the ocean to Morocco.  They both had worries such as dealing with harassment, language difficulties and if there would be western toilets.  However with some pre planning and a lot of flying by the seat of my pants – it was a successful trip.   SO successful – that they are now remembering their trip to Morocco fondly and wanting to come for another trip!

I, my husband’s best friend Hisham and my sister in law Narjiss traveled overnight via train from Taza to the airport in Casablanca.  There was a lot of waiting – such as the wait for 3 hours in the Casa Vogagers station with no seats for the train to the airport and then waiting another 2-3 hours for my family to make it through customs and collect their luggage.

However I was never so happy as when I hugged my mom and Judith at the airport.  A little bit of home had come to Morocco.

My mom and Judith at the garden of the stairs between upper and lower TazaI was anxious to make sure they travelled where they wanted to go and ironically – they just wanted to hangout with me and my in laws 🙂  Because as my mom said, “We came to see you!”

So I showed them around my site – Taza that I have been living in for the last 2 1/2 and counting years.  We toured upper and lower Taza.  Took photos in front of our zween color changing musical fountain in the garden next to the fire station and ate at one of the two nice places to eat out in Taza.

Then my family rented a car and we took them on a lunch trip to Oued Amhlil where my husband works and because its also famous for its grilled meat places.

We ordered a selection of beef, sheep and turkey and everyone stuffed themselves silly!

Lunch in Oued Amhlil

We also drove my family up to Bab Boudir and the local waterfall although the nicer one is a 1 1/2 hike into the woods and my family wasn’t physically up to it.  Although they enjoyed the nature and wonderful views of Taza – it gave them a better idea of just how big Taza actually is!

We also were invited to tea at my husband’s friend’s Faroukh’s house.  It was there my family got to tour a traditional Riad and enjoy a traditional “snack” time with a level of hospitality I have only experienced in Morocco.

We took my family to souk on Sunday!  They got to see how Moroccan’s do their weekly shopping and check out all the used items from Europe that get resold here in Morocco.

Next we traveled to Meknes, Morocco and to look at the Old Medina but it started raining and we arrived at the wrong time of day – lunch time – when everything closes.  So we ate at a tourist trap of a restaurant – the owner tried to give my husband a kick back on any money my mother would spend at either his rug shop or this store that was a collection of random craft items – it was over priced and not as good as my mother in laws cooking.

Once the tomb of Moulay Ismail opened – we walked over in the rain to the tomb and took photos – I went inside but wasn’t allow to photograph the interior of the tomb even though I am Muslim.

Then we asked if they wanted to brave the interior of the Medina of Meknes and the answer was no.  SO we loaded up in the car and headed back to Taza.

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The next day was my mom’s birthday!  My husband Omar and his family planned a big birthday celebration for my mother’s 53rd birthday.  I baked two cakes from scratch and unknown to me – Omar and his family – bought cakes and gifts for my mother and invited friends to the party – that would happen later in the evening.

I gifted my mom with a Jaliabya that I had made a year ago but was to big for me –

P1040794We went that day in the afternoon we to eat at Omar’s friends Nouradinne’s family’s house for lunch as we had been invited the day before to do so.  Now the danger in eating at a Moroccan’s house for lunch is that you never know how many courses their might be!  So I was excited for the dish Sifha – and ate my fill.  My husband only told me to late – after I was fill – there was a second course of beef and prunes coming next!

It was also great because my mother could see yet another from of architecture and ask questions about Moroccan culture etc.

We then had the birthday party!

P1040809Where we all sang Happy Birthday to my mom in Arabic and English and then took tons of photos as she opened her presents and enjoyed cake and soda.

That night we were invited to the local Burdah!  It was loud, held late at night and it was excellent to share with my family a bit of the religious culture of Morocco to.

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We returned my family to the hotel to pack for the next day – to head to Casablanca because their flight was the day after that in the early afternoon.

I was relieved and sad to see my family leave.  My mom couldn’t fight back the tears.  I had to work hard to fight back my own.  The good news is they are planning when they can to come visit Morocco again!

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