Pat's Birthday at Casablanca,
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Day 02 Casablanca
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Morocco tour itinerary
Welcome to Casablanca
We have been talking about the tour of Morocco since, Carole, Marilyn, Pat, and Elisabeth had been touring Syria and Jordan with MELITOUR in 2011. When all of us were ready to commit the time, we have decided that we will have a small group, and have a great time in Morocco. We even planned all to arrive in Casablanca a day before the tour starts on November 01, 2014. We wanted to celebrate Pat's birthday with a dinner at "RICK'S CAFÉ" to really feel that we were in legendary, famous Casablanca.
Unfortunately, the first bad news came from France where Marilyn and Pat were at their home before they flew in to Morocco. Pat was hospitalized and he had a surgery for his appendicitis. Marilyn and Pat are still planning to catch up with us somewhere in Morocco, whether in the Sahara Desert or by the Atlantic Ocean in Agadir, they will try to make it.
The second bad news came only three days before we arrived in Casablanca, Elisabeth's doctor found a heart condition with Elisabeth and she was strongly banned from flying. She is expecting a surgery as well.
So here we are, missing three of our friends. But we are determined to look at the positive side. What if all this had happened while we were touring. We are all wishing Pat and Elisabeth a quick recovery.
The meeting at Casablanca airport was smooth. Coleen flying from Canada, Carole flying in from Marseille, Caroline from the USA and I flying in from Istanbul had arrived at the Casablanca Airport with in minutes of each other. Our guide Idris in his green Jalaba met us all with a great enthusiasm.
The temperature was 80 F. The sky was clear blue, and spotless. We were in a black Mercedes Van with Wi-Fi. All four of us immediately got connected and send our loved ones our "safe arrival" messages as we were driving through the heavy traffic of Casablanca.
It took us a little more than half an hour to get to our hotel. The lobby was quite crowded with new arrivals. Our guide Idris and Adel, the owner of the company that I work with in Morocco, invited us to the beautifully designed sitting area of the breakfast hall. Away from the noise of the lobby, we filled in very thorough papers where we even had to identify whether or not we were married or single. We set the meeting time. We are going to celebrate Pat's birthday anyway. We are going to Rick's Cafe tonight.
We got two taxis. The traffic was like one would expect in a big city. Down the road, at the harbor there was a cruise ship getting to sail to the darkness of the Atlantic. At the train station we started driving along the water. Obviously, the construction mania was here in Casablanca as well. Dubai like sea front was being built up for high rises and shopping malls. I was happy to be here before the shore was lit with the usual bright lights of huge buildings.
Carole, Caroline and Coleen were in one taxi. Their driver suggested that they would not pay until he gave them a ride back to the hotel after dinner. He is going to pick them up at 09:30 PM. He certainly was there on time after we left the Rick's Cafe.
The ambiance of the restaurant
was exquisite. Since our reservation was originally made for 9 people,
we got served in a private room. The dominant color was green and
everything was very tastefully coordinated. The green leather couches,
the green walls and a marvelous fireplace. We asked for separate bills.
They would not do it. So we decided we can calculate each person's bill
ourselves. The food was wonderful. Rosé Voliboulis wine was
"interesting" according Caroline. We toasted for Pat's Birthday and
wished quick recovery for Pat and Elisabeth.