Category Archives: Africa

Coasting Casablanca

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Our transportation.. I think this came from the 80's...

Our transportation.. I think this came from the 80’s…

I’ve just come back from Casablanca last week, and we hired a driver to take us around the city.It’s a top spot for many crew to purchase the ever popular argan oil – which is great to use for skin and hair, but tends to be fairly expensive. I like to use it as a moisterizer myself.  Many crew boast about the hammam – Moroccan bath, but I just have a weird thing against people bathing me.. so I opted for a tour of the city instead. Unfortunately, the timing and length of the flight left all the crew very exhausted, so after arriving at the hotel in the early afternoon, we agreed to take the tour but wanted to be back for an early night in bed, so we didn’t want to spend too much time out and about.

I made a friend!

Our first stop was to the city’s famous Hassan II Grande Mosque. While it is the only mosque that allows non-Muslim visitors, we opted not to enter, and just enjoy the beautiful and traditionally Moroccan architecture from outside.

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Next stop, our driver took us to what seemed like a boardwalk (unfortunately, he didn’t speak any English, but we hired him through our crew transportation guy). It was unexpectedly windy and chilly, so we didn’t stay too long.

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Our last stop before dinner was a little market for some shopping. I absolutely love Moroccan style lamps and decorations, and always manage to find some sort of bauble to give as a gift. The beautiful hanging candle holders and colorful perfume bottles are my favorites to give to family and friends.

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Our final stop on the tour was dinner at a traditional Moroccan restaurant, Le Fleurs. The signature dish of Morocco is lamb tangine – a dish cooked in rich juices in a clay pot. I’d had tangine on a previous trip to Casablanca but was very disappointed – however it was from a small time cafe, so the quality probably wasn’t their main goal. This time, with suggestions from fellow crew, I ordered the lamb tangine with prunes, almonds and boiled eggs with a side of couscous – and, oh my god, it was delicious!

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While lamb is recognized as the typical tangine, it can also be made with other meats and a variety of sides, like vegetables. We also savored a pot of yummy local Moroccan tea.

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Hopefully on my next trip to Casablanca, I’ll have my rest and energy better prepared and can spend more time exploring this beautiful city. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid!

No? Too lame?

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My Favorites Photos of 2013

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It’s that time of the year! The time of reflection and celebration of the good times over the past 12 months. Here are my favorite snaps from 2013.

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Mauritius – we encountered these guys when we had hired a boat to take us out and about. They ate up the bread we gave them and they politely posed for my photo!

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Santa Monica Pier, California, USA – There’s not much I really like about California, actually.. ok, that’s a lie, but because I used to live to close to it its appeal has lost on me. Alan had to remind me that he’d never set foot in California so we took him to all the typical tourist spots. But one thing I do love is street art and public works. This one is beautiful. For more pictures from this trip, click here.

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Castellorizo, Greece – This tiny little island boasted delicious fresh fish at the many restaurants that lined the marina. For more photos from this trip, click here.

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Warsaw, Poland – Loved this shot I caught at just the right moment of a peacock chasing off some pigeons stealing its spotlight. More photos from this trip coming soon.

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Absinthe, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – Our first Las Vegas show was amazing – Alan wanted David Copperfield but I wanted Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace. The sexy show was like a mix of burlesque under the big top with amazing acts like these Russian acrobats. Loved it!

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Casablanca, Morocco – The famous Hassan II Grande Mosque. More photos from this trip coming soon.

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Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA – I hadn’t visited this wonder of the world that sat in my backyard for almost my whole life since I was about 5 years old, so I figured it was a good time to revisit when I showed Alan around my home. It is truly a breathtaking and unbelievable sight. See more photos from this trip here!

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Barasti Beach, Dubai, UAE – One of my usual spots in Dubai is Barasti Beach, a little beach bar that provides a chill layout during the day and dance party and DJs at night.

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Nuri’s Beach, Turkey – Nuri’s Beach was my favorite little spot on our Turkish sailing holiday with Alan’s parents. It was laidback, and not very crowded like a typical beach bar. I love this shot of Alan against the little bay of Nuri’s beach, with our boat in the background of the small marina.

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Legoland, California, USA/Tatooine – Say whaaaaat? Mixing two great universal loves into one – Lego and Star Wars. Check out this awesome lego model of the Mos Eisley Cantina.

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Venice, Italy – My first time in Venice this year. I was completely amazed at how water taxis and use of the canals basically keeps the city alive.

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Mauritius – I hadn’t planned on going parasailing (which I’d never done before) when we hired a boat for a tour, but everyone was so hyped to try it. Here’s a picture of some of my colleagues while they parasailed against the beautiful surroundings of Mauritius.

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Mekong River, Vietnam – The communities all along the Mekong River rely on it for their daily lives. These boats were used for the tour, but they resemble the boats locals use in everyday life. See more photos from beautiful Vietnam here.

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Kalekoy, Turkey – Kalekoy is a tiny town only accessible by boat.

Thanks for taking a look at some of my favorite shots from the past year! For me it’s not always the best shot, but sometimes it evokes an emotion or a memory. I live my life through photos and love sharing and seeing other peoples’ photos!

Nifty Nairobi

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Hello everyone! Unfortunately, I’ve been battling a nasty stomach bug (now on the 3rd day) that had me deadheading (for you non-airline people, this is a term used for crew members who travel as passengers but for a duty, or illness) back home to Dubai from Copenhagen (in business class, at least!) and postponing my 16 hour flight back to the US. Ugh. While I’m sllloooowwwly improving, I’ve rebooked for tomorrow (well, actually in a few hours) and will hopefully have a decent flight considering my condition! In the mean time, here’s a blog!

I finally landed the coveted Nairobi layover (our airline has two trips, one is a turnaround and the other is a layover) in May 2012 and was so excited because Kenya is one of the countries I really wanted to visit. I’d heard many stories from crew that you can easily visit nearby animal parks and interact with the animals. When we landed into the hotel, the crew immediately started making plans to venture out into the city the following morning. We hired a driver from the hotel for the day and set out to visit as many parks as we could.

Random monkey on the roadside

Random monkey on the roadside

Our first stop was the elephant orphanage, since they were only open to the public for a short period of time in the late morning. Unfortunately, elephants are still being attacked and poached in Africa for their ivory tusks, and this orphanage protects and raises these young elephants until they are strong enough to be released back into the wild. Baby elephants are very dependent on their mothers and must be fed every two hours  until they are roughly two years old (and when they start growing tusks) so keepers actually sleep inside their stable and get up to feed them every 2 hours.

You can see the keeper's bunk above the elephant's bed.

You can see the keeper’s bunk above the elephant’s bed.

The orphanage does a short demonstration and visit with the orphans, as well as invite nearby schools to learn about the elephants.

These are the elephants under 2 years old

These are the elephants under 2 years old

These little ones, I think under 1 year old, don't produce enough of their own body heat, so they must be constantly wrapped in a blanket

These little ones, I think under 1 year old, don’t produce enough of their own body heat, so they must be constantly wrapped in a blanket

Look at this guy!

Look at this guy!

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Our next stop was to the Giraffe Center. They give you a handful of food and you can feed the giraffe’s at their height. Amazing!

Giraffe hugs!

Giraffe hugs!

Our last stop was to the crocodile zoo, but since I’d had a bit too much crocodile on my layovers in Bangkok, I opted to hang around the outside of the park and take various snaps of the residents and other surroundings:

Like this guy...

Like this guy…

... or this guy.

… or this guy.

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And of course, on our way out, we encountered a familiar face…

Jolling in Jo’burg

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If you couldn’t tell by now, I have a thing for alliteration. And if you’re a Facebook friend who’s followed the links from my page, you’ll see I just lifted these titles from my existing albums. And if you’re not, well then, I hope I have charmed you with my witty titles! And (and yes, I know starting sentences with “and” is not proper grammar) FYI, going for a “jol” in South Africa means you are going out for a good time.


Johannesburg, South Africa, was my second ever layover in October 2010. At the time I was dating a guy from Joburg who later went back home, and so I have spent a lot of time there.  I averaged about 3 trips to Joburg a month and also spent a 10 day vacation there as well. I was lucky to have a personal tour guide during my time there, and although things ended in July of 2011, I still have fond memories of good ol’ Joburg.

These apparently you do not want to use as a tourist in the city.

During my 10 day vacation in January 2011, I got to experience Johannesburg more like the locals do. I visited a braai (i.e. barbecue for you non-South Africans) where the game of choice was cricket and in addition to the variety of meats on the grill, homemade pizza was baking in the oven. We checked out local comics at a Cool Runnings, where I was picked on (or more like praised) for being a flight attendant. I barhopped in Greenside on a Saturday night with all the kiddies, and danced in the hottest nightclub in the city (which, to be honest, is much like a mediocre one in Dubai or even back home in Phoenix.. and I honestly can’t remember the name. Fellow crew reading or Joburg locals, it’s located in the shopping center next to the old hotel, Indaba). I even came home with battle scars to prove it – I’d been standing around, minding my own business when a busboy with a bag of trash walks by, and a piece of glass jumps out and attacked my leg!

And yes, there is still a nasty scar left today. 😦

Unfortunately, because we’d all been drinking, a trip to the hospital would have proved useless, since drunkards are usually waved off to the side. Instead, I got patched up by our friend who’s father is a doctor.. who unfortunately was out of town for the weekend.

I finally made it out to the Lion Park on one of my layovers. We were lucky to be visiting on a Sunday, as it was feeding day.

After witnessing lion lunch time, we took our own scenic drive around the park and inside as well, with some play to play with the cubbies.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a proper trip to South Africa without a taste of the local steak. I’ve actually never been a fan of steak, and that could possibly be for the reason that the steak I’ve had was never really that good. I fell in love with steak in Johannesburg at the good ol’ Meat Company, and in fact, Joburg is just about the only place I will eat steak these days.