|The open courtyard of our small palace (good grief!) in Marrakesh, Morocco.|
|View from upper level overlooking courtyard.|
It’s a “done deal,” our new vacation home named, Dar Aicha, the former residence and art studio owned by a renowned artist in the Medina district, walking distance to sites, smells, markets, and local entertainment.
|One of the dining areas.|
(This song is an “earworm” I can’t get out of my head. To listen, click here).
The documents are signed and returned to the owner using our portable Prinstix printer and Doxie scanner. Our deposit is paid via PayPal from which we’ve received a confirmation along with an email receipt from the manager of the property.
|The traditional meal prepared by Madame Zahra. An adjustment will be made to accommodate our diet, although, several items here will work for us.|
The dates booked: March 1, 2014, to May 15, 2014, a total of 2 1/2 months, a little over 11 months from now. We found the property at HomeAway, a vacation home rental site we’ve used for most of our bookings.
|Dining on the veranda.|
For the full listing on Homeaway, click here. Please note, pricing is “per person” on the website, not per couple. Although this pricing was higher than our vacation home rental average, we made adjustments in our budget. By flying as opposed to funds for cruising that we had already included in the budget, we were able to compensate for the difference, which ironically proved to be only an additional $150 total.
|The reading area overlooking the courtyard.|
Yesterday, we made a few adjustments, a day here and there, with property owners on either side, leaving us with flying time, but no lags in the schedule that subsequently could have required us to stay overnight in a hotel, an unnecessary added expense.
|This meal would work for us, minus the bread.|
We read all the reviews. They were some of the best we’ve seen so far. We checked the web for negative comments. There were none. Our minds are at ease.
|The TV lounge. We’re not anticipating many familiar TV shows, but on quiet nights we’ll use our movies we downloaded.
The salon/living room. We can each lounge on our own sofa.
We want to enmesh ourselves in new cultures. Well, we’re getting a full-blown dose of cultural differences which we’ll embrace, which we’ll welcome with open arms, willing to adapt, willing to accept and to try to blend in as much as possible respecting and observing their clothing morays and customs.
|The pink bedroom.|
No tank tops, no low cut bosom revealing tops, no legs showing above the knee. Thank goodness the weather will be in the ’60s during our visit. I’m your basis “cold a_ _ and won’t mind wearing skin covering clothing at that temperature.
Off we go to Marrakesh, Morocco, a city, a country rich in culture, history, winding streets with an endless array of colorful outdoor markets, shops, and vendors. Tripadvisor listed it as Travelers’ Choice®, 2012 Winner.
|The pink bedroom’s en-suite bath.|
Why did we choose Morocco? Note the proximity to Madeira, Portugal, our location after leaving Morocco. There are direct flights from Morocco to Madeira, making this an easy transition. The airport is a mere 2 miles from the property, with a staff member driving us each way.
The property which will be ours exclusively includes a full staff, house manager, and full-time cook, Madame Zahra. Speaking no English, the house manager, Samir, will translate our dietary needs to Madame Zahra. On average for the two meals we eat each day (breakfast and dinners) it will be roughly $38 per day.
|The turquoise bedroom.|
The many reviews indicated that MadameZahra’s cooking excelled as well as the local gourmet restaurants leaving many to prefer dining in rather than go out. This cost fits within our combined budget for dining in and dining out, still leaving us ample funds to dine out a few times per week to further add to our enjoyment.
Our laundry will be done for us, the property cleaned daily, towels and soaps provided and the utmost service at our disposal at any time. This will be interesting for us since neither Tom nor I are used to being waited upon, other than by one another. We will adapt.
|The turquoise bedroom’s en-suite bath.|
Due to Dar Aicha’s insurance regulations, we won’t be allowed to do our own cooking. Most likely, we’ll dine out a few times per week. We will be able to serve ourselves snacks, beverages, and prepared foods in the refrigerator as desired.
|The third bedroom with an en suite bathroom.|
As much as we enjoy our own home-cooked meals, this will be an enormous learning experience for us. Of course, we’ll share details and photos of the meals prepared for us.
|The third bedroom’s en-suite bath.|
The practicality of this location is only superseded by our excitement and enthusiasm for the opportunity to experience yet another culture so far removed from our way of life. Through this, we’ll learn and grow, sharing the stories along the way, enriching our travels, enriching our lives.