Thought-about-work today meter: 99%

Thursday was a full day tying up loose ends with work and in general. At the airport in MSP there was a family sitting in the corner reading a thick book that looked Bible’ish to me. The father was reading to the family and they were reading the last chapter of this big book. Revelation? What else could it be? What a weird passage to be reading before boarding a plane, I thought! Then I heard him mention stuff that was completely NOT Revelation-related, rather it was sorcer’ish! A Harry Potter book. Made me laugh.

A First Class upgrade made me so happy until I realized that all that afforded me was free beverages and “fun sized” Twix bars and Sun Chips. But why do they call the little tiny Twix bars ‘fun size’? To me that’s the un-fun size! The big ones with 2 bars per package? Now we’re talking fun!

But back to my story: the plane left at 3p and landed 2.5 hours later at JFK where I had a complicated get-to for the outbound Madrid flight. It was the kind of complicated get-to one would expect in a foreign country, or at least a country where whatever language you speak is not spoken. I swear, I felt like I was in a different country: getting someone to tell me where to go was confusing and complicated, finding my way around was confusing, and understanding even where I was and where I was to go was confusing! Finally boarded a bus that took us to our Madrid-bound flight meandering behind jets with names on the sides like: Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore Air, SwissAir, and other names of places I want to go to. It was amazing to see the vast size of these airplanes; I have never had that perspective before! The flight to Madrid was a long one: 7 hours. Not long by standards of flying to Asia, but long because I could not get comfortable. It was painful. And worse, because of these fake eyelashes I’ve had installed (to save myself from wearing any makeup on this trip), I could not wear my eye mask to block out light (the lashes are too long and luxurious to risk bending w a mask so I choose to forfeit that luxury). So I suffered in silence – – and sleepless, besides. Landing in Madrid was another complicated situation but mostly due to customs and all that entailed. To this moment I have no idea how I knew what to do; I followed the masses and relied on the kindness of the Passport Control guys to point me in the right direction. Luckily there was a 3 hour layover so there was very little sense of urgency.

At or near the Marrakech departure gate I spotted two women I suspected to be Susan and Marianne, a part of my traveling ensemble. We struck up a conversation and I immediately felt comfortable with them! And it felt good to have someone else to travel with so I didn’t have to be completely vigilant and on-point! The flight to Marrakech, although just under 2 hours, was really enjoyable since I had an empty seat beside me and was able to sprawl out and even nap! Upon landing we cleared customs, grabbed our bags and went on to meet the rest of the party: my travel agent/friend of 20 years, Barbara and her husband Richard, Carolyn, our cooking instructor and her friend Catharine, and our guide Mokhtar and our driver, Achmed. Then outside in the 80-degree weather to begin our journey 4 hours southeast through the Atlas Mountains and to the town of Ouarzazate (pronounced: war-za-zat). A busy and long day full of beauty, which I will describe in another post. The day ended with check-in to our hotel, Hotel de Palmeraie, and then a subsequent dinner at 8:30 p.m. of soup, salad and wine, and now an evening of free WiFi in the lobby of the hotel! Sure the day was beautiful. And full of surprises and discoveries. But free WiFi?! Not sure it gets any better than that!