Branson, Beldi, and a Birthday

Before moving abroad, my friend, Dana, told me how important–how vital–my expat community would be.  She and I were part of the same school family  in the US, and she had a network of close friends at church.  Still, having already taught in Morocco and having lived in France, she said the way friends live…

Four Seasons Marrakech: Pool Days for Tourists and Expats

  Last Monday the temperature in Marrakech reached 108 Fahrenheit/42 Celsius making it the hottest day so far this year. Here pools can be enjoyed year round, but in May when temps typically range in the 80s and low 90s, the burning question expats and tourists are asking is where to find a cool pool….

Jazzed about Josephine and Riad Star

Play Me When people ask How? Why? I moved to Morocco sight unseen, I think to myself, I didn’t.  Though I’d never been to Africa, my soul brimmed with vivid images from exotic Arabian tales my grandmother read to me from my dad’s childhood book. I was lured by sultry desert tents, regal riads, and secret gardens where princes…

A Typical Saturday in Marrakesh

My Saturdays in Marrakesh are spent hunting and gathering, hanging out and sometimes haggling.  Though I may have errands to run,  there’s no yard to keep, house to clean, or car to wash.  Shopping in stores, on the street, and in the market followed by lunch in the mix or above it is a time…

Gallery in the Sky: MB6 Street Art

Some use walls to keep people out. Others use them to invite people in.   “Inclusion rather than exclusion is the driving force behind the festival,” says MB6: Street Art Curator Vestalia Chilton of ATTOLLO.  Responsible for a myriad of murals in the medina created for the Marrakesh Biennale Edition 6, Chilton said the global collaboration began…

Dream Riad in Marrakech for Weddings, Writing, Wellness

Making a grand entrance must have originated in Marrakech. Crossing that first threshold from the manic Medina into a roofless riad respite– blue skies or stars above—is a moment no one ever forgets. I am still thrilled every time I follow surreptitious streets snaking through the medieval city… duck archways and dodge motorbikes, donkey carts,…

Amazing Animal Sanctuary outside Marrakesh

Since meeting Charles Hantom and Susan Machin, Directors and Founders of Jarjeer Mules, last year at Café du Livre, I have wanted to see their sanctuary– a retirement home and nursery for aged, abandoned, and disabled equines and a learning center for visitors of all ages.  See their story below of how stray dogs changed…

January in Marrakesh

  “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” –Percy Bysshe Shelley It’s January, and my Facebook feed is a flurry.  A snowstorm has hit the US–including my home in the south– leaving all covered in white.  Here temps have been in the 70s and climbed to the 80s this weekend.  The Atlas Mountains that…

Pepe Nero: A Place to Celebrate

When my niece, Emily, and her boyfriend, Andres, said they’d be visiting me in Marrakesh, I wanted a perfect place to take them for dinner our last night together. I sought somewhere signature Moroccan– mysterious, exotic, and beautiful. A place that practices hospitality and serves a mix of traditional and European delicious dishes. Pepe Nero,…