Road trip begins tomorrow monring at 8:00 am...Atlas Mountains...Sahara Desert...Time change in Morocco...No clue...

The pointy toed shoes remind us of magic carpets and flowing gowns typical of the perception of Morocco which is not too far from reality...minus the flying carpet, of course.
This morning, Samir stopped by to discuss our upcoming trip.  As a matter of fact, he asked if we knew there had been a time change by one hour, four days ago.  We did not know!  We wondered why we were called to dinner at 5:30 last night, an hour earlier than our usual 6:30 PM.  We proceed to go to the table on several occasions mentioning how nice it was to eat while it was still so light!
Go figure.  How would we have known?

Tomorrow morning at 8:00 am, Adil will come get us to lead us through the shortcut to Mohamed's awaiting new white SUV who will be our driver over the next three days as we explore the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert.

These shoes looked comfy in a soft leather, particularly the rounded toes styles.  I'd certainly buy a pair if I had room.
For two nights we'll be staying in two different hotels, at varying elevations in the mountains.  Although I have no interest in going to the highest points in the mountains at over 13,000 feet, we'll certainly be at higher elevations than either of have traveled in many years.

Our hope is that we'll have no trouble adapting to the elevation.  But,"they" say the elevation randomly has an effect on people, some with little consequence and others who become very ill with AMS (acute mountain sickness) when reaching altitudes above 8000 feet, 2400 meters.
This was the pile of belts from which I selected the black one on the top.  The shop owner installed a buckle that I'd chosen from a bag full of buckles.  You'll see me wearing this belt in future photos.  I've found that a belt and a little costume jewelry can dress up an otherwise boring outfit.
At this point, with Samir making all the arrangements, we have no clue how high up we'll be traveling.  Tomorrow, we'll find out how high up we are able to travel.  We've decided it we become ill, we'll immediately return to a lower elevation.
 
This morning, it took me all of 10 minutes to pack with only the necessity to add the toiletries I'll use in the morning. My current minimal wardrobe makes packing easier than ever for such a short trip.  The same goes for Tom who is also down to a skeleton clothing supply.
This style of shoe is commonly worn by the locals, ideal for slippers but, there are very thin for walking any distances.
Getting away for a few days will serve us well, as we're almost halfway through our time in Morocco, a time in all of our two to three months stays, that we decide its time to get away. This is no different than the vast population who live in their permanent home most of the year, occasionally deciding to go away for a few days.

Over the past week or so we've begun booking flights for our 13 family members meeting us in Hawaii in December in less than eight months.  With holiday season airline tickets selling quickly, we've worked fast and furiously to lock in the flights.  So far, we've purchased nine tickets with four more to go.  It will be a huge relief to have this part out of the way. 
These colorful bowls are often used for serving food.  One might be concerned about lead content when unsure of the materials used in making these.
Next week, we'll book our flights to Madeira only a month away and also a rental car for our 75 days on the island.  With "island" rates comparable to Hawaii (for which we'll also book a rental car next week), we'll pay a premium.  The house in the hills of the mountainous island of Madeira would make using taxis impractical and cumbersome. 

Right now, we're experiencing huge expenses:  upcoming flights, cars, rental fees and our trip away for a few days, all of which add up quickly.  No less than three or fours times a day, we consult our budget, adding new expenses as the occur, checking and rechecking. 
Outside the Medina, in the new city, we encountered many ice cream shops.  The flavors are appealing to me (viewing purposes only).  If Tom were to order some, most likely, he'd choose boring vanilla.
Traveling as we do requires constant diligence in planning and documenting expenses, never for a moment feeling we don't have a handle on our current financial situation. This is not unlike those budget minded individuals, that may be in the minority, that keep track of expenses in their daily lives.
These creamy swirls made my mouth water.  Tom reminds me that I'm a food voyeur.
Honestly, in our old lives, I didn't keep track of our day to day expenses on a separate spreadsheet, documenting every dollar spent in every category.  I'd set up our bank account to record expenses but not to the finite detail we do now. 

Although, at many times in our old lives, I'd promised myself I would create a budget and stick to it.  Ha!  How many of us have thought about doing that?  Many.  How many have actually done it?  Few. Very few.
Back at the Medina we made our way to the souks for our return walk. 
We usually upload a post by noon, our time here in Morocco which may reach you in the morning, depending on your current location. While we're away, you should be able to see a post by Thursday evening.

In the event there is no post on Thursday, please understand that it may be due to a poor or non-existent WiFi signal at the hotel.  We've been told the signal will be fine but as we know from experience, it may not be able to upload our site with photos.  Even in the remote Masai Mara while on safari all day we were able to post with photos in the evening.

Hopefully, we'll "see" you tomorrow!  Until then...
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Photo from one year ago, April, 2013:

No photos were posted from one year ago today, April 9, 2013, our travel day from Belize to the cruise ship. Instead we're posting a photo from March 8, 2013 which we'd yet to repost. 
Gosh, we were tan!  Now, we're pasty white without a single sunning day in months. This photo is from March 8, 2013 when we'd been in Placencia, Belize for over a month, after spending one hour in the warmth of the sun each day.   For details of that date, please click here.

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