Doors of Tangier

20181002_110743I’ve always thought my passion for old doors was a little weird, an odd personality quirk best not discussed in polite company. I’ve gotten used to it over the years, and so have my friends. “Wait,” they say screeching to an exaggerated halt. “Geanie’s taking another picture of a door.”

I love doors. Unusual doors, battered doors, doors that look like they’ve been around since the beginning of time.

An open door is an invitation into someone’s home, their life, and their story. A closed door is the opposite, but I find them equally intriguing especially in an exotic place like Tangier.

We’d signed up for a last-minute day trip from Malaga Spain to Tangier Morocco. I hadn’t had time to do my research so didn’t know what to expect. I was in for a nice surprise.

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Questionable Food?

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I am a voice in the wilderness, a lonely tree falling in the forest, a distant bell tolling in the wind – oh, sorry, I got a little carried away. What I  meant to say is this: I am one of the few people I know who will admit to liking airplane food. There I said it.

Just look at that picture. What’s not to like? I wish the food that came out of my kitchen looked half as good. To be perfectly honest, since my kids are mostly gone, I rarely even cook anymore and if someone wants to hand me a plate of attractively presented, yummy, hot food, that’s usually O.K. by me.

But on our last plane excursion, there was a bit of a hitch.

My husband and I were traveling to Norway, and it was approximately Three A.M. my time –  heaven only knows what time it was by the airplane clock, but it was dark and everyone else was asleep. Since I have yet to master the art of sleeping on a plane, I’d been sitting for hours, reading, knitting, and doing crossword puzzles until my eyeballs were fried.  Out of the darkness loomed a stewardess who handed me a tray, presumably breakfast, and I mindlessly began to consume the pocket bread sandwich thing which was offered.  As I slowly came to my senses, I turned to my husband who was looking at me.

“What is this?” he said, mid chew.

I consider what I’m swallowing. “I don’t know.”  I scrabble through the litter on the floor and come up with the wrapper. “It says, Cheese Salad – shredded cheese mixed with mayonnaise and onions.”

We exchange a dubious look and threw away the remains of our sandwiches. Have you ever eaten something where the taste just won’t go away, no matter how much gum you chew? This was one of those times.

After disembarking and meeting up with our friends who were also on the flight, we began to compare notes.

“Did you eat that sandwich thing they brought us?” said my friend.

“Kind of,” I replied, ” It was gross.”

“I know, cheese salad.  Eeeew.”

I still like airplane food but,  wiser now, I carefully examine all offerings before eating.  Cheese salad, it’s out there.  Beware.

Do you love airplane food, or am I the only one?

Travel Blunders

Uber Blunder

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It was September 2018.  My husband and I were looking forward to a dream trip to Spain but we almost missed our flight. Here’s why:
We’d decided to be cool and trendy and book an Uber for the drive to the airport. This was a new experience for us, as we’d previously relied on kids, or friends and neighbors for transport, but this time we had to leave at 5:00 A.M. and hated to bother anyone.
uber photo“Uber’s a great idea.” said our kids.  “Here – we’ll help you set it up.”
After a group effort, (John and I require help with this kind of thing) we were able to download the app and even schedule an early morning ride. We felt very high-tech.
Fast forward to the day before our departure. My husband was chatting with our good friend and across-the-street neighbor, Paul. When he found out we were paying someone to take us to the airport, he said, “You should have asked me.  I’d take you.”
“No no,” my husband assured him. “It’s all set up. We’re good.”

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The next morning we sat outside waiting for our ride. It was cold and dark and very lonely. 5:00 A.M. came and went with no sight of an Uber. Concerned, John double-checked the reservation and to our horror, we discovered our ride was scheduled for 5 P.M.!
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Adventures in Oregon

 I live in Oregon, Oregon’s my home. I love the trees the hills,
the places I have roamed . . .
    Song by Black Hawk County                                                                

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I’ve never stopped missing Oregon. My husband and I who hail from Portland, have just returned from our annual pilgrimage there to visit friends and family. John and I are both from NE Portland and love to spend time revisiting our former haunts. It’s always fun to wander the halls of the old schools – Madison Hgh, Clackamas, and Jason Lee Elementary – which played such a huge part in our lives at the time but now seem tiny and insignificant. Old neighborhoods are familiar yet different, not to mention the weirdness of driving past childhood homes now occupied by strangers.
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The Mysterious Caves of Drach

 

I was sitting in a cave. It was dark and quiet except for the murmur of lake water lapping against the shore.  Limestone stalactites dripped from the ceiling in fantastic shapes, and a slight breeze stirred the humid air. So far this had been a travel experience I wouldn’t soon forget . . .

Published on My Itchy Travel Feet. For the rest of this Library Lady article click here.

 

Women Dancing!

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Pictures by PIXABAY

What brings people of different cultures together? How does a roomful of strangers from countries as diverse as India, England, Ghana, Spain, and the US form a bond? Would your first guess be women dancing? Not mine, but let me tell you why it’s true.

 

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I recently had the opportunity to go on an international cruise and was fascinated by the variety of dress, language, and culture on board. I’ve always been a people person, but while I love making new friends, I’m a little hesitant to reach out when the cultural differences are so strong. Thanks to the language barrier, conversation isn’t always an option and you never know how this person with completely different life experiences might react to your overtures of friendship. So I continued to enjoy the diversity from afar.
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Spain – Lovely Palma De Mallorca

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Published on My Itchy Travel Feet

Seeing the three major sites of Palma de Mallorca in one day is like trying to sample all 20 flavors at the gelato stand – a bit of a challenge, but we did it and so can you. Read about our amazing day at My Itchy Travel Feet.

Paris – Sainte Chapelle’s, a Mideavil Masterpiece

Published on GoNomad

The architecture of this ancient gothic structure is astounding on its own, but when you add dazzling stained-glass windows, a violin concert, and a shimmering sunset, you’ve got the recipe for a magical evening. Read about it at GoNomad Travel.

Spectacular Libraries of Paris

Most people don’t go to Paris to see the libraries . . . but maybe they should.

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The Mazarine

When you think of Paris, what comes to mind? Is it Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre  . . .  the libraries? If that last one wasn’t at the top of your list, maybe you should think again. The City of Lights is home to some of the most spectacular libraries in the world, and the fact that they’re all packed into a relatively small area makes library hopping a fun and unusual way to experience this amazing city.

For an interesting glimpse into Parisian culture and history, try touring some of these monuments to creativity and architectural genius.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Bibliothèque de la Sorbonne

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Sorbonne University maintains one of the most beautiful libraries in Paris. Located in the 5th arrondissement, the Sorbonne Library is known for its stunning architecture and elegant décor. The result is a peaceful atmosphere, the perfect place for reading and study.

Visiting hours are Monday-Friday and one Saturday per month
17 rue de la Sorbonne 75005
Check out the website here

St. Genevieve Library

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This amazing space was created by French architect, Henri Labrouste.  Known for its light and airy feel, its delicate iron arches give it a French Quarter, New Orleans feel. St Geneviève is a public, and university library which inherited much of its collection from St. Genevieve Abby. The building was completed in December 1850 and opened to the public on February 4, 1851.

Location:10 Place du Panthéon,
75005 Paris, France

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Tallin Estonia

Traveling in Tallinn, Estonia

Published on Best Single Travel
We felt like we’d stepped back in time when we toured this ancient walled city. Tallinn, Estonia – pronounced Talleen by our guide – is a place of contrasts, with a bustling city center, and an old town which recent restoration has only improved.  Our focus this day was on the cultural and historical gold mine of “Old Town”.
Continue Reading at Best Single Travel