Monday, July 4, 2011

Wedding Crashers

Our weekend was planned. We were staying here at home in Rabat to welcome a new family moving here from the states. And we were going to have a 4th of July party to celebrate their arrival. That was until the family's plans changed. And then so did ours. Now we have a free 3 day weekend. Ok, quick. Where are we going?

The answer. Ceuta. Because nothing says 4th of July weekend more than going to a Spanish city on the Northern most coast of Morocco and eating salami and drinking cheap wine. It is all about the food and drinks on the 4th anyway right? I can even eat salami and drink cheap wine in a tank top. Or with no top at all. More about that later. It doesn't get anymore independent for a woman living in an Islamic country on Independence Day.

It's about a 3 hour drive from Rabat to Ceuta. And when we arrive it is 18 clean and tidy square kilometers of church bells, scantily clad Spanish women, Spanish men cruising the strip blaring loud music looking for the scantily clad Spanish women, salami, tapas and Rioja. It's Europe right here on the continent of Africa. And right now it's heaven.

First stop, the grocery store. My kids hate the grocery store. Except in Spain. In their salami deprived state they were salivating all the way to the store. They couldn't wait to see the store and how clean it was and to pick out food that wasn't Moroccan food. I've never seen the kids more polite or grateful for food or anything else for that matter. Proving a little deprevation goes a long way.

What else does the grocery store have here? Ridiculously cheap bottles of wine. I mean check the price....2 Euro. That's less than 3 USD with the exchange rate on any given day. Cha-ching! Even if it's crap wine I can make lemonade from these lemons. Or sangria from this wine. Even better!

The belt at the checkout seemed almost as long as Ceuta itself and was crammed with our stuff. Yes, we're hoarding.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the pool in the warm Spanish sun. Wait, where am I? I guess it really was the warm Moroccan sun because we're still on the continent of Africa. Then it was time for dinner. Well, it was time for dinner for us Americans, but not for the Spanish who eat at around 9pm or so. The only open restaurant we can find that's open (besides Mc Donalds) is Chinese and it's open all day. After we eat I know why. Their lure unsuspecting tourists in with their convenient hours and then overcharge them for the massive amounts of sodium drenched dishes. I didn't even think it was possible to make bad Chinese food. Well, I was wrong.

When we got back to the hotel there was a wedding at the adjacent church. We had a birdseye view from the balcony of the room. Jade was enthralled. So we watched and waited hoping to get a glimpse of the bride.

And since we didn't exactly see the bride, we ran down the stairs of the hotel to stalk her. I mean see her. The reception was in the hotel courtyard. We could have been totally inconspicuous if I wasn't so over dressed for the occassion. But seeing as I was in my ripped jeans, t-shirt and flip flops, you know, the American uniform. Wait, that would probably be sweatpants actually. Anyway, we would have been near invisible if I were half naked in stilettos. You can take the American out of America, but please god don't make me wear a stiletto. God bless America where comfort reigns!

The next day we went to the Mediterranean Maritime Park. It boasts 3 intertwined salt water pools. Now we're not in Morocco anymore where women go swimming in all their clothes. No, we're in Europe now. So you know what's coming next right? Of course. Toplessness. And who in our family had overactive boob-dar? Jade. Yes, Jade. Not that they boys didn't notice mind you. Cause believe me they did. They've just gotten a tad bit more subtle than last year where they would stare, point, shout and laugh. I imagine there will be a day when they stop laughing. But do boys ever stop staring, pointing and shouting about boobs? No,maybe they just learn to use their peripheral vision. And maybe not. But Jade? Well she's worried. She's 10 and soon she'll get her own twin set. She doesn't want them, but if she has to she's requested small ones. I mean now that she's seen so many old large breasted topless women and she knows what gravity has in store for her. And it's not pretty.

After the pool it's time for dinner. I'm dreading finding a place and we're not going back for Chinese. Oh the luck, there's a pizza place open. The kids play with their new water gun swords to pass the time. And that will be the best thing about dinner. Because Ceuta is home to both the worst Chinese food AND the worst pizza in the whole world.

I mean what are the odds right?

The next morning after a bit of shopping at Zara to get the kids some much needed clothes, we pile into the minivan for the ride home. We stop at the beach right after we cross the border and back into Morocco. We eat our salami sandwiches with a view. See the peninsula right next to Craig in the photo, that's Ceuta. All of it.

The night we get home it seems like it's time to tell them. We're going to crash another wedding this summer...


Doug Downs said...

Ok ... so my two favorite lines from this weeks post are; "Proving a little deprevation goes a long way." and "she's totally naked underneath that dress" ... Marie ... you are so incredibly astute it's scary! Hugs to all! - Doug

Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA said...

Hmmm- looks to me you failed to crash the wedding (thank Gd), but managed to crash the party!
Great story.

hayley j said...

Ironic that I am watching Wedding Crashers as I read this? Sounds so fun, I've always wanted to crash a wedding...and how glorious it must have been to be able to wear a tank top, or nothing at all :)

A Brilliant Life said...

Did you get peanut butter? It is cheaper there. Thanks for this post Cueta has been like a question mark to me and I had this crazy vision of it as just a big a souk. So it is good to hear that it has some different cultural stuff and luxury stuff as well. I will put it on my list now. And your hook line is killing me! Who's wedding? Are you springing a surprise state side trip on the kids? How did they react?

marieclv54 said...

Great story, I could use a free vacation. I remember the days of Yago Sangria. Stop by and share with us; I invite you to share your page with us at;
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