~ Morocco - Fes 2015 ~

on
Sunday, September 18, 2016
My short stay in Fes was magical but much too short. I had an amazing time exploring the city and the goodies it had to offer.

I had written a lot of extensive notes into my phone while I was on the trip but unfortunately my phone screen had shattered (when I got home, not on the trip) which required me to get a new phone. So sadly all the information is lost. I'm writing now from just the hazy memory of what I remember I learned while I was there.

I had asked the stall owner for permission to take this photo of his lovely store. The variety of colours is amazing and I'm sure you've noticed that olives are very, very popular here.


A peek at my camel burger! We had this at a small local shop that split up into two stores, one across from the other. When we arrived there were two local gentlemen finishing up their meal and once they did they washed their hands in a small sink that jutted out into the dining area. 


Another shop with gorgeous goodies. If you look a bit to the left, the store next to it are snacks that are smothered in honey. There were many of these stores around and bees absolutely flocked to them! Luckily they are so enticed by the honeyed goods that they take no interest in people. From memory these snacks might have had some relation to Ramadan that was happening during the time I was there.


One of the main highlights of this day was visiting the leather tannery. Yes, it is the one you see plastered all over postcards and is often one of the iconic images of Morocco. The shop/tannery was fairly large, there were several balconies from which you can see the dye vats and we also had guides that explained the process and what goes into making the leather goods which are available in the store.

I must say that the smell was unbearable for some. Before you go in, you will be handed mint leaves to help with the smell while you're inside. Some of our group had to leave because they couldn't handle the smell.

















The store offered a large array of leather goods from shoes to bags to belts to wallets and so on. I didn't buy anything but in hindsight I wish I did. There were some adorable air pillows that can also flatten out to be stored. Since I had only traveled with carry on luggage I didn't put much thought into making larger purchases (which I eventually did and thus I wish I had bought it regardless, lesson learned).


Afterwards we visited a beautiful store selling bronze products among other intricate things. There was a person there working away at a very large bronze plate, hammering in patterns and the store owner gave us a detailed description of the history of his shop as well as how the products are made.

At this point in the day I caved and started to shop. I bought a beautiful silver plated teapot and an intricate silver plate for it to sit upon. The teapots had two different styles, one is flat on the bottom so that it can be used on flat top stoves while the other is "camel" style, that have feet and are suited for gas stoves and open flames. I loved the look of the camel feet more but eventually chose the flat bottom one as I don't have a gas stove at home but in hindsight I could've just boiled water and poured it in. While I do really like the one I have now I definitely regret not getting the camel style one!


We spent quite a bit of time in this store as nearly everyone in my small group had bought something. Prices were in Euros but negotiable and they accepted credit cards as well.


.The medinas can be very busy with open shops and people bustling everywhere and other times it goes quite. There are small hallways that may be only about a foot in width and you are walking alongside mud brick walls and dirt paths but only to turn a corner or into an unsuspecting doorway and enter to see something like this.

Photos could not show all the gorgeous detailing of this building which was open to the beautiful blue sky and sunbeams. 


We visited a handful of carpet/rug stores and I always had a fun time looking at the goodies. The sales people were not overly pushy but I had to mentally talk myself out of  buying anything. At the end of the trip I came home with two rugs that are still rolled up as I have not had a use for them yet BUT there are no regrets in buying them (okay maybe for one I have an inkling of buyers remorse).

I really loved this small table in the photo above and if I could go back, I would try to order one home for myself! Also in the top of the photo you can see some of the rugs that the owner has laid out on display for us to see.


At this viewpoint we were told to notice how quiet and uninhabited the city looked.The hustle and bustle of the city lives within the small streets, the medinas, homes, schools, mosques, and the rest of the labyrinth that is the city. I really loved this contradiction of the view and the vibrant city that it held.



~ Mashup at the Vancouver Art Gallery ~

on
Sunday, April 17, 2016
The Vancouver Art Gallery's current exhibit, Mashup: The Birth of Modern Culture. It boasts to be the gallery's largest exhibit yet and covers all four floors, with each floor dedicated to a time period. I spent a good three hours touring the exhibit, taking my time to relish all the works I didn't think I would be able to view right in my home city! The exhibit would also be fun for those who are not art enthusiasts because some of the installations were entertaining to see. Also it's a good idea to pick up a map at the beginning of the gallery.














If this seems familiar it's because it is. Two years ago I went to VSO Disney Pixar concert and went again this year! They introduced some new songs from the more recent films but still played the classics.


Got to try Shishinori! It wasn't bad but there is limited seating, we got here right about lunch time and manged to snag a seat before it got pretty busy. I still prefer Basho.


These bunny chocolates remind me of the Happy Labbits from Kid Robot. The first time I had the cream puffs at Beta 5 was a few years ago but I had good memories of them. Surprisingly they weren't as good this time round but perhaps it was the flavor we had picked.


Tried the pina colada from Rajio! There wasn't a lot of beverage but quit era few pieces of sweet pineapple. Over priced? For sure, it was a one time deal but I would still go back to try the watermelon fruit bunch housed in a mini watermelon. (They were out of watermelon so we picked the pina colada)

~ iphone photos - March 2016 ~

on
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Technically these photos aren't all from March, they actually range from the end of 2015 till now. Since then I've upgraded to an Iphone 6 so hopefully the quality of the photos are a smidge better. I feel like doing a blog post now so I'm just going to throw it out there, hopefully I can manage to write one of these a month. I notice I take a lot less photos with my phone so I'm going to try and be more conscious of that now.

I'm also currently thinking of changing blogging platforms and am also experimenting with my blog layout so I apologize for the width of this text or any other technical issues that may arise in the next few months.


A cute macaron I bought from a supermarket. I had a cleaning appointment later on so I saved it to eat afterwards....



What it looked like when I actually ate it. Smushed in my bag.


I've been looking for a new fragrance lately and randomly stumbled upon this one at Anthropologie. I only have one perfume I use consistently now which is the Miss Dior EDT. I'm looking for a clean floral scent that isn't sweet. I really liked Marc Jacobs Daisy but it doesn't match with my body chemistry and fades far too quickly. Hopefully I can pop into the store soon and give it another test run.


Annual visit to the temple. I think the rain enhances the ambiance.



Watched my first opera! Attending an opera has always been something I've wanted to do but there hasn't been one that's intrigued me till Madama Butterfly came into town! I loved it and am looking forward to attending more operas in the future.

It was a good length, about 2hrs and 40mins with one intermission. I know there are many operas that are far longer in length but I thought this one was perfect for a first timer. One thing I would suggest is to not sit too close to the stage, I sat in row 7 but I wish I sat in at least row 10 or 12 because it was hard to read the captions above the stage.





They allow you to take photographs at the end when all the stage members come up for their applause.



For my fathers birthday we took him to Top of Vancouver since it's a place he's been wanting to try for many years. The view is spectacular but the food is only subpar.





~ Disney Cruise 2013 - Atlantis Resort at Nassau ~

on
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
I guess this is a bit of a throwback post, all the way back to 2013. I had a chance to visit Atlantis Paradise Island Resort on my Disney Cruise and it was beautiful. We had a dolphin interaction excursion there but also got a chance to wander around the resort.


























































Refreshments were welcomed on such a hot day.



Looking back, I'm not sure how I was able to snap a photo without anyone in it but I'm glad I did. From memory there were many groups there taking turns with the dolphins.

The weather at home is a bit dreary at the moment and writing this post makes me miss the sunshine and warmth even more!


~ Morocco- Chefchaouen 2015 ~

on
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
In June of 2015 I had the opportunity to go to Morocco for 18 days and I had one of the most amazing times of my life. Our small tour group consisted of only 10 people with the best and most flexible tour guide. In this post I will focus on one of the highlights of my trip, that is visiting the charming city of Chefchaouen. 





Our group unanimously decided to eat here for our first night. The view was spectacular, the food was delicious and prices reasonable.




We got there just in time to watch the sun set over the whole city, the restaurant is located in the heart of the city center.
































     





Breakfast often consisted of mostly bread with various kinds of condiments although our guide told us that he typically eats a plain piece of bread and some tea.








A view of the city after a short 30 hike, afterwards there was a choice to continue the hike which was 3 hours there and back or explore the town on our own. I opted for the second option.








I ate so much on this trip and most of my meals consisted of three courses with a drink.
Here I had shrimp tagine, oranges dusted with cinnamon (a common dessert), nutella banana crepe, and a coke.



While exploring around we discovered this charming looking store which turned out to be a soap and beauty store.








These were pieces of solid perfume. I bought two moisturizers as well as a hair serum. The gentleman who ran the store packaged our items in lovely clear cellophane bags and also placed dried flowers into it as well. It reminded of me the scene in Love Actually! He also explained that no water is used in the process of making the moisturizers and when the bottle is left too long, the oils and cream will separate, this requiring a bit of a shake to mix them up again.

This city was fascinating to explore and I would not think twice about coming back if I'm ever in Morocco again, it's as beautiful as I imagined it to be.