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I'm baaack ...

I'm finally beginning to settle down and get back to a normal life after being on the road for 40 days. We had an awesome time in Spain and Morocco and I really enjoyed my stay in Venice, especially the time spent with Anne. The mother-daughter road trip to California was wonderful and we got to drink some great wines in Paso Robles and ride the cable cars in San Francisco.

I have about 1200 pictures that need to be classified and identified before I start forgetting all the details. I'd like to write a review of each hotel we stayed in but with a total of 10 hotels it'll probably take me a while to write them all. I loved my apartment in Venice and had to leave just as I was beginning to settle and live like a Venetian but my husband was already in Madrid waiting at the airport for my arrival. We both fell in love with Spain again after a 27 year absence. Copious amounts of wine, Jerez and tapas were consumed from noon until very late at night. Our Moroccan adventure was cut short because we both got sick after eating some bad dried fruit but we did manage to spend six exciting days in Fez and Marrakech and I can't wait to share the stories and photos.

I'll start posting some of my photos as soon as I get organized but first I need to shake off a cold that I caught in California and has me moving very slowly.

In the meantime here's something you will only see in my hometown: a Christmas tree made with tumbleweeds. I took this photo today as I was coming home. It's almost complete and will be ready to be lit up on Saturday.

tumbleweed.jpg

Annie asked what does the tumbleweed tree look like with lights and here's the answer.

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Comments (9)

Welcome back! I was so happy to see your name in my email this morning! Can't wait to hear more about all your travels. Where were you when you got the news about Obama? Isn't it the best?!!! I am still smiling about that one.

I leave on Wed. and will be gone for ten days. Not a long trip at all but I'm really excited!

That tree is hilarious! What does it look like with lights? Love it!

Glad you are back!

Welcome home!! I can't wait to hear about your trip! So sorry to hear that you got sick during your travels. That tree is very funny!!

Annie, on November 4 we were still in Morocco. We had just left Marrakech and were driving to Tangier where we were to spend the night and take the first ferry to Spain the following day. We purposely stayed in an American hotel chain to guarantee access to CNN International. We were glued to the TV through the night and it was around 5:00 am local time (midnight EST) that we saw CNN announce Obama the winner. It was very exciting for us to hear the news and at that time we wished we were back home to celebrate with our friends. I'm still very excited about his victory and can't wait for January 20. I wish I could be there.

Oh you're leaving soon. Have a wonderful trip (how can you not, right?) ! I'm so excited for you and I'm looking forward to your future posts with your new discoveries and some of your old favorites.

I'm editing my post to add a picture from Dec. 2006 of the tumbleweed tree after the lighting ceremony.


Girasoli, thank you for the welcoming. I'll be sharing my photos and stories as soon as I get rid of this awful cold.

The bad fruit we ate put a small damper on our vacation but we managed to enjoy Morocco and the hospitality of the locals. It was our very first time in an Arab country and it was fascinating and very enlightening.

The tumbleweed tree is quite unique. I remember when my kids were little they loved to go and check it out. Lots of paint and glitter on the tree, and thorns too!

Anne:

Dearest María, how wonderful to have you back! I laughed at your "photo envy" comment on my blog. My old beat off camera does take wonderful nighttime photos though, so perhaps I'll hold off on replacing it for a while yet. (Not too long though...the casing really did take a beating when it flew out of my hands onto the pavement in Florence!)

Can't wait to see your photos and hear more about your travels in Spain and Morocco.

That tumbleweed tree is too funny, but lovely all lit up!

I am hoping Annie's trip is not too affected by the severe flooding I read about today. I'm saying prayers for a wonderful journey!

That is the funkiest Xmas tree I've ever seen! Thanks for the photo with the lights! I think it's so cool-looking.

The most exciting thing that happened to me while you were gone was getting to see Obama live and in person when he was campaigning in NC the week before the election. I blogged about it here - it was wonderful!

http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/annienc/2008/10/brighter_days_are_coming.html

I can't wait to hear more about Morocco - I've always been intrigued by that country. And of course, I can't wait to hear all about Venice and Spain! I think Kathy gets home from Spain today.

I'm thinking that the flood waters will be gone by Thursday, but I'm going to email the B&B tonight to make sure it's still safe to come.

Hope you feel better soon!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Maria, welcome home! I'm really looking forwarding to seeing all you photos and reading about your trip in all three countries.

I love your tumbleweed Christmas tree photos.

Glad your mother/daughter trip went well but sorry about you catching that cold.

Get well soon!

BTW, Los Gallos in Sevilla... Awesome! Thanks so much again.

The photo with lights is sooo cool!! Much cooler than a palm tree with lights!

Carissima Anna ;-), I'm thrilled to be back and looking forward to slowly catching up with everyone. I have a few pictures for you and as soon as I get organized, I'll email them.

I'm also praying and hoping for the water level to recede and for Annie to have a wonderful and dry journey.

¡Hola Kathy! It is so good to hear from you. ¡Bienvenida a casa! I'm so eager to read all the blog posts you wrote from Spain. I'm going to wait until the weekend when I have the house to myself and grab a big glass of tinto de verano and read about your adventures.

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the flamenco show at Los Gallos. We went by one night with the intention of seeing the late night show but we got distracted by a group of college kids that belonged to a Tuna (university musical group). I'll be blogging about it with a video because it was an amazing serendipitous experience.

Take care and rest up! I know very well that jet lag is no fun for us in western USA.

sandrac:

Maria, I love that tumbleweed Christmas tree -- almost more without the lights than when it is lit up. Very funky, indeed.

Welcome home -- your trip sounds so wonderful. Other than the tainted fruit in Morocco. Despite that, I'm very envious -- I've always wanted to visit Morocco (along with Spain.) I find the Moorish influence fascinating. I loved Turkey and Istanbul in particular, which is Muslim but of course, a secular state.

I'm really looking forward to seeing your photos and hearing your tales from the road.

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