A reason to celebrate...Spending our anniversary in a foreign land...Life is different for us now...

Yesterday, we dined at Le Jardin, a lovely restaurant which had good reviews.  The food and ambiance was excellent in this "riad," a building with an open air, center courtyard, as is the design of our current home. Tonight, for our anniversary dinner, Madame Zahra will prepare and serve yet another fabulous meal which we'll savor by candlelight in one of the most romantic settings in town, Dar Aicha, our home for the next 10 weeks.
Spending 24 hours a day with another human being could be challenging, whether a spouse, partner, child or family member, business associate, roommate or friend. 
Seated next to a bird cage with two parakeets, Tom got a kick out of their playful antics.

When there are no giraffes, kudus or warthogs to watch, birds can be fun!
Retirement often brings couples together around the clock, creating an environment for stress and disharmony. We're not totally retired, spending half of each day researching, writing, taking and posting photos, in the ongoing documentation on our website keeping both of us busy half of each day.
No more than two minutes after we were seated, we noticed this turtle on the floor, on a mission. In search of crumbs, he moved rapidly.

Later, during our meal, these two turtles were hanging out together.

Later, they basked in the sun in close proximity to one another.
Although Tom doesn't write here, he is actively involved in researching information about the city and country in which we're currently living and the research as to where we'll live in the future. 
Few Moroccan citizens own dogs, perceiving them as unclean.  But, a foreign customer allowed her Jack Russell Terrier to wander about while she dined.  Oddly, his name was Jack. 
Together, we research through 1000's of future possible vacation homes in many countries, available transportation, cost of living, while continually checking on activities available in our current country. 
These common Tibbit birds frequent the riads in search of food, as they do in our home.
One huge benefit of our daily postings is the manner in which it inspires us to get out and about in order to explore the area in which we're currently living, taking photos along the way, while soaking in the glory of the experiences. 
Fresh produce from the farm, used in the menu items, were freely on display in the restaurant.
It would be easy to fall back into the "staying in" mode we thoroughly enjoyed in our old lives.  But, we get out, as we doing here in Morocco with the colorful culture at our fingertips, a few steps from the door of Dar Aicha.  We've been out almost everyday.
This was Tom's lunch, Moroccan seasoned penne and meat sauce.  Asking for half as much spices as usually prepared, he liked this dish. No comment from me on him eating pasta.
In Marloth Park, South Africa, most of the entertainment came to us.  Although, we regularly went out.  We took a separate three day trip to Blyde River Canyon, several outings in Kruger National Park, attended game drives/bush braais, dined out three times per week, spent a night in a tent on the Crocodile River and spent many days and evenings in the company of friends all while living in three different houses.
My dinner, was this mouth watering Moroccan seasoned chicken Caesar salad, minus the croutons. The black items are dried black olives which I can eat. The homemade salad dressing was on the side. 
Here in Morocco, we're busy researching possible overnight trips in order to experience the desert and mountains, further away from the city.  Samir is organizing possibilities as we also research online what may appeal to us the most. 
After our meal, we explored new other areas of the Medina and the souks, discovering more interesting items along the way.  The huge maze-like Medina can present difficulty in
finding one's way back. Tom's good sense of direction once again served us well when it was time to return home.
Each time we go out, we find ourselves in situations that we find "photo worthy" inspiring our daily stories.  How amazing that years from now, that we, as well our grandchildren and great grandchildren, will be able to look back at our worldwide travels in stories and photos, let alone the joy we feel in sharing it with our worldwide readers as we post each and every day.   
The top of this mosque in the background serves as a landmark for finding one's way to through the Medina.
Some have said that we should "get out more."  But, this is not a "vacation" or "holiday." This is our daily life.  Who amongst us, went sightseeing every day in the city, town or village in which we lived?  We shopped, we dined out, we saw a movie.  We attended a sporting event, a wedding, a birthday or a retirement party. 
Did you ever have a fantasy as a child of riding a magic carpet?
We spent time with our family and friends either in their homes or ours. We attended a grandchild's soccer, football or softball game. We attended doctor and dentist appointments.  We had a medical test, anxiously awaiting the results.
Vendors sit on the ground as they await their next customer.
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Had we been cooking our food while here, it would have been fun to shop from these vendors.
All of this is different for us now.  Neither of us has seen a doctor or dentist since December 2012.  Fortunately we feel well, energized, rested and healthy.  If we felt otherwise, we'd see a doctor. In seven months, we'll be in the US, in Hawaii, where we'll see a dentist, a doctor if need be, or have a test if warranted.
Finally, we found our way back to familiar territory to begin the trek through the busy souks to return to our home. We were never concerned about being lost.  Its best not to ask passersby for directions to avoid paying for an answer.

In nine months, we'll be together with our family during the holiday season.  Of course, we can hardly wait to see each and every one of them. But, life is different for us now.
When my eye caught this Chameleon , the friendly shop owner noticed my camera, offering a "free" photo.  Some shop owners won't allow photos without paying a fee which we discovered when we tried to take a photo of a meat market.

 Samir suggested one only buy spices at "certified" shops to ensure quality and freshness.

 These similar items are offered in one spice after another, all with prices subject to negotiation.

The shop owner gave me this palm sized clay holder.  The color in it is actually a Moroccan lipstick made from poppy seed flour, activated when water is added.  We offered a tip but he refused, hoping we'd return another day.
 
After they fly away, we'll continue on our worldwide travels, living our lives to the fullest, exploring that which we find most interesting, trying that which we may never have imagined, in places we'd never expected to see.
Pashmina scarfs, popular in the US years ago.

 Sandals in many styles and sizes, tempting to me in my old life, not at all now.
 
Lighting fixtures galore.

Bean pods, herbs and carrots for sale in the souk.
As we celebrate this 19th wedding anniversary (23 years together), we celebrate with love, with gratitude and with passion for our lives, for each other and for living life to the fullest.

Happy anniversary to my husband, lover and friend for sharing this outrageous adventure with me; for your continued optimism, your cheerfulness, your humor and for most of all your love.

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