When I'm packing for a trip, I'm haunted by a dark thought: why bother?
Wouldn't it be easier to stay home, relax around the house and have nice meals at new restaurants I've heard about but never had time to visit? And what about the Stanley Kubrick retrospective at LACMA? I visited once but only had 45 minutes so I did a power walk through the many rooms, glancing at the memorability and curatorial notes. I could go back and take the time to focus on all the details of this amazing English director's life and work.
Global Entry pass so at many airports I breeze through domestic security (thank you TSA Pre) as well as international points of entry and that makes travel so much easier.
To get to our cooking lesson we walked underneath walnut trees up a steep dirt switch-back trail we shared with men riding side-saddle on donkeys. "Shared" isn't accurate. When the men on donkeys were on the trial, they would clearly have bumped us out of their way if we hadn't jogged quickly to the muddy area to the side of the trail.
Kasbah Toubkal where we were greeted with hot mint tea, Moroccan style--sweet and heavily caffeinated.
La Maison Arabe, an upscale inn next to Marrakech's souk or shopping bazar, Amaggie Waga and Dadas Ayada taught us about Moroccan spices and cooking traditions and how modern Moroccan cooking resulted from the many groups who came to call the area home--Berbers, Jewish spice merchants, invading Arab armies and French colonialists.
cooking workshop was a way to learn how to make Morocco's signature dishes, most importantly how to make preserved vegetable pickles, which now I serve at practically every meal, that's how much I think their briny-spicy crunch brightens almost any dish.
preserved lemons, another recipe learned at the Maison Arabe cooking school.
Insight Vacations. From Madrid we headed due north to San Sebastián and then rambled along the coast heading west through the cathedral town of Burgos, Bilbao to tour the Guggenheim, Oviedo, up into the mountains to visit the Cave of Covadonga and finally to Santiago de Compostela, where St. James' bones are said to reside.
Former French Colony of Morocco Has Much to Recommend
Spain's Northern Coast, Far from Madrid, Barcelona and Bullfighting, Has Enticements of Its Own