My Photography

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A very amusing park!

Othman and I live in an apartment complex that borders a mini theme park on one end. It's called Loupiland and though we've seen gobs of families go in and out of it throughout the years we never had a reason to go. The day before Othman's cousin Jessika and her family went back to France, Othman and I took Leny and the girls there for one last fun afternoon. We weren't sure what to expect, and went in with crossed fingers.

These chairs reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. 
Trying out the first ride...

Off to a good start!

Knowing it was going to be pretty cheap (for a whole afternoon including cotton candy, popcorn, coffee for the adults, tons of rides for the girls and a few for the grown ups too, we spent about 250dh-- only about $30!) we weren't sure about the cleanliness of the park, how new/safe/fun the rides would be, the employees, etc. Luckily we were all really pleasantly surprised! It was well staffed and the workers were attentive and kind, and easy to find. Though not everything was new, it was all clean and working well. You pay for the rides with a little credit card that you buy (for 5dh-- about 60 cents) fill up at the entrance, and if the child wants an adult with her, if the ride allows for it, they don't charge for the adult! 

We were the only ones who wanted to go on the carousel
but the attendant was totally fine with charging us one
admission and starting up the ride just for the two of us!

This little train just went in smooth circles and was
perfect for the littler kids, mimicking the larger rides.

Emma, at 5, is absolutely fearless and loved the most wild rides, having way too much fun with them. At one point Alyssa decided she was brave enough to go on one with me next to her, but once it started up it was too much for her and she started screaming bloody murder. The attendant immediately noticed and stopped the ride, let her calm down and led us off before restarting it for everyone. I was really impressed by that. To be fair, it was a boxing-Kangaroo ride that was really bumpy and even I was a bit scared, and happy to get off with her!

The slide was super tall and really slippery! She loved it.

There were lots of these little rides you find in malls
and supermarkets, which were more up Alyssa's alley.
Rides/attractions not pictured include an obstacle-course playground, the harness-trampoline things that bounce really high, mini pedal boats on the water, lots of big animals to pose with, and much more! I had my telephoto lens on my camera so I got lots of nice up-close shots but wasn't able to get a pictures that give an overall feel to the park. Though it looks small on the outside it really is a perfect size, and is neither over nor under whelming!

This ride was one we could all enjoy!
She was ecstatic the whole time.

Us grown-ups had fun with the bumper cars (but there are also mini bumper cars just for kiddos!) and with some of the other rides too. Everything is geared towards kids ages about 3 to 9 or so, and there are varying levels of thrill so everyone can have fun.

I know this one is blurry but the expression on Emma's face, her hair flying
around like that and Othman's hands holding her make for such a sweet pic.
They're on one of those viking boat rides that go really far up in both directions.

There were animatronic dinosaurs and large animals throughout that could either be for photo ops, or you could pay a bit for their heads to move and for them to make noises!

Alyssa, dinosaur tamer!


Pretty pretty girl.

Well that's just the obvious thing to do to a dinosaur nose, right?

If you're in Casa and have kids under 10, I'd definitely recommend heading there for an afternoon or morning. Everyone will have fun and it'll be a half day well spent!

What a great afternoon! Happily tired at the end.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A day at the beach

A couple days after my family left we had a nice afternoon at the beach with Othman's cousin and her family, and I got some really nice photos.

Emma surveying the beach.
Race time! Half the time she would let Alyssa win on purpose.

Othman started doing handstands...

Then Leny joined in... 

so the girls had to also of course!

Love this shot.

French cousin Robin did well too!

Sweet sweet girls.
His hair makes me swoon...

After the beach we had fun at the playground with the girls. They never stop!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bit and pieces of the fam's visit

After the celebrity status Othman and I enjoyed at the wedding, we were both thoroughly camera-ed out, so I didn't really take any pictures for a week or so... including the whole time my fam was here. Silly silly. So here are some shots from my phone, but stolen mostly from my mom's facebook of their visit! Thanks mom

The day after the wedding:

The day after the wedding there was a  big "lunch" for the
close  family and the out-of-town guests at the Berrada's beach
house. Most "lunches" ended up being around 5pm if not later,
much to the amusement of the American and French  visitors!

Boys at the beach! (Uncle Dave, my brother Thomas, Othman's cousin Kamal
and of course Othman. Thomas wasn't aware of the dress code it seems.)

Day 2 after the wedding: back to the beach house for a "lunch" of grilled sardines! They were a hit at the time, but left most of the Americans feeling queasy later on.

Heading up to see the sun set over the beach after "lunch".

My daddy and his sister!

I love my Alli. =]

Day 3 after the wedding was a laze-about-and-get-henna day at the Berrada's. I think everyone needed and appreciated the rest, especially due to the many upset tummies. See here for more on that.

On day 4 we took the family to Habbous, a market full of fun stuff to buy!! They had a great time and bought oodles of stuff, but we were all too busy shopping to take many pics.

At the olive/honey market.

Trying to keep track of everyone's purchases! I was the
pointer-outer and holder of stuff, Othman was the negotiator.

After the market we went to Bassidi's (Othman's grandpa) house for lunch.

We ate good food and everyone had a nice time talking!

Then we stopped by our apartment to show everyone!
As was noted, there have probably never been so many
people at once inside our little place. I loved showing it
off though, so now they can picture where I blog from!
Othman was sweet, as usual, and bought me this cute
little fishy plate from the market! Thanks lovey. 

My family's last day in Morocco:

Dad just chillin at the Berrada's, not wanting to go to...

Morocco Mall! We forgave him. ;D

We knew the girls would like the big aquarium it has in the middle.

Othman and I skipped out early on the mall trip to
take Tia Tete to the airport. We were so happy she
came! Here we are, with the King of Morocco! 

Back to the house for a couscous lunch!

After lunch it was wedding present time! We even had two little excited
elves to help us unwrap. Then it was time for my family to pack! They only
had to be at the airport around midnight so the pace of the day was leisurely.

In the car on the way to the airport, sad Claud, sad Tess,
but Bia was just being skeptical as usual.

More sorrow!

Ok that's a bit more normal.

Goodbye for now! Thanks for coming!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Henna and sunshine

The American and French family in town for the Moroccan wedding were very interested by the henna ceremony incorporated within it.  Because of all the interest my father-in-law was kind enough to get a woman to come to the house and do henna on all the girls visiting, Americans and French alike. It was a big hit with everyone!

Emma showing off her first hand finished!

Cousin Brenna's feet drying in the sunshine.

Henna is a plant that is dried, ground up, and traditionally mixed with orange-blossom water to make a paste, then applied on hands and feet with a syringe to form beautiful designs. Natural henna paste is brown, and applied wet. Once it dries you scrape it off and it leaves an orange stain on the skin which washes out after a few days. Nowadays the natural mixture is often mixed with additives like hair dye to change the color (often to black) and have it last longer, but can then cause allergic reactions so we steer clear of that. Henna is prevalent in many cultures and in Morocco you see women with henna decorating their hands all the time.

Tessie went first, and here she is playing with Alyssa who was 
waiting her turn! My sisters had all sorts of fun playing with the 
two little French cousins, despite the language barrier.

Bia being cute by the pool as she waits for her henna to dry.

Finally Alyssa's turn! 
They had to keep their hands outstretched while
 they were waiting for the henna to dry, and it was
 cute how serious they were about it.

I'm melting. My family had heard so much about
these girls, and they loved meeting them. Now
 they understand why I love them so much!

Cousin Brenna and friend Demi just chilling. You can 
see the orange henna tattoos on their hands!

While Bia naps in the sun...

...Tessie takes advantage of the backyard pool!