29.03.2014 - 04.05.2015
Hey, where did the blog go? Half way into your trip and you guys just stop blogging all of a sudden. What did somebody die or something?
Well, actually yes. My dad, Jim McMillan passed away at the end of March and within 12 hrs of getting the call we we on a boat off of Koh Phagnan making our way back to Edmonton. After 27 hrs of travel we had a tearful reunion with my mom and the rest of the family. The last month has been a blur of writing the eulogy, preparing for the funeral, cleaning up the house, helping mom and planning the next leg of our trip. In a very sad way, it was great to spend so much time with family; there is nothing like a death to bring everyone close together.
We decided to spend a month in Edmonton and head to Morocco, Spain and Frannoonather than going back to Asia. Audrey went first to Toronto with the kids where she spent 4 nights visiting family and we flew separately to Madrid where we met yesterday morning.
Illusionists in Madrid
After some sightseeing in the afternoon we all crashed from jet lag shortly after 7. Audrey and I both opted not to set our alarms since we needed to leave at 11am what were the chances all 5 of us would sleep in? Fortunately I awoke at 10.30, got everyone up and rushed out the door for our afternoon flight. We got to the airport 2.5 hrs ahead of time got in line to check in for our Ryanair flight to Fez, Morocco. After standing in line to check in we were told we needed to check in online at least 2 hrs ahead of time so we scrambled to do this on our phones and missed the deadline by mere seconds. The fee for a late check in was 45€ per person; a non trivial amount considering the cost of the flight was 15€ each. 220€ and some vocabulary expansions for our children later and we were checked in and ready to board. A little reminder to always read the fine print, especially for no frills airlines.
So we are now on the plane to Fez where we plan to spend 3 weeks going from central Morocco through Spain to southern France where we will meet Audrey's English cousins. Just to add an extra challenge, this time around we decided to do it all with carry on luggage instead of our big bags so we have taken the pack light philosophy to new levels and really stripped things down. No more travel "luxuries" like shoes and a big fancy camera; we are down to flip flops and a point and shoot.
Welcome to Morocco
Audrey and the kids have never been to Africa before and this is my first time in the west. It is, after a bleary eyed month in Edmonton, good to be on the road again.