Morocco, Music, and Magic Carpets
When I finally made it to Fez, Volubilis, Marrakech, and the Atlas Mountains, the music wafting everywhere still sends shivers through my spine. I love New Orleans jazz, Paul Simon, and Wynton Marsalis. Moroccan musicians played from every nook, and I captured one playful shot of pointed toes tapping. I could hear the sounds of Africa, the deep South, and East Coast folk music in their notes.
The Morocco was everything I dreamed and then some. Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains, a short trip from Marrakech, was stunning – even in the dead of winter. In the Fez souk, where the 750 year old streets are so narrow, only donkeys and humans are allowed, having no intention of buying any carpets, I, too, melted before the charms of a carpet merchant-and I am so glad I did. Gorgeous hotels and riads, warm hospitality, fantastic shopping, great scenery, and hypnotic music put Morocco at the top of my list! I look forward to
A Night in the Museum – Almost an “Overnight” at the Vatican
Somehow I often end up going to the Vatican “one more time,” because my traveling companions haven’t been, so I was sure that being in the Vatican at night with a small group of friends and a Vaticanista – or Vatican specialist would be one sure way to experience it newly. The experience was better than I expected, being so intimate and personal. With skill, knowledge, and humor of our host, I felt like it was a night in the museum, where every work of art spoke a story. The Sistine Chapel was the grand finale, silent, majestic, and awesome. I’ll never forget the experience, and list it as among the best of the best.
Speaking of bests, I stayed at the Hotel de Russie for the first time last year, one of my mother’s favorites. Besides its understated elegance, spacious rooms, and beautiful gardens, the staff were superb – charmingly plugged in to our needs. I wanted to grab the door handle or a pillow when it was time to leave for the airport and shout, “No, I’m staying!”
Les Baux, Province, and Driving the Cote d’Azur
Beaulieu-sur-Mer, the quiet seaside village between Monte Carlo and Nice, suits me to a “t.” It is beautiful, peaceful, and romantic. Mother introduced me to the area. About the fifth time I was there traveling with my great friend Cynthia Stewart and Mother, we dressed to the nine’s – feeling like Grace Kelly (although not exactly looking like her) and headed to the Casino at Beaulieu, where we enjoyed a few games and much champagne. The next few days we drove up and down the coast, eventually heading to the multi-layered hill town of Les Baux, where we stayed and dined at La Cabro d’Or & l’Oustau de Baumanière. Every moment was a sparking view, carefully prepared food, and rich conversation. There are few places where I feel more at home than in this beautiful area of the Mediterranean.