06/21/13
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Travelling to Manchester

On June 21, 2013, we woke up at 5:40 am.  We left the hotel at 6 am via taxi.

We had breakfast at the airport.  Our first Ryanair flight from Marrakesh to Paris left at 7:45 am.  Our plane arrived at 11:40 am.  The customs looked like a prison.

Paris Beauvais Tillé airport was really small.  I think the airport was named after Beauvais who is Beavis’ French cousin.

We grabbed our bags since our flights weren’t connecting and walked to Terminal 1.  Check-in wasn’t open yet, so Ivan grabbed food at Paul.

Ivan and I ate our tasty tuna baguettes while trying to use the internet.  It was a poor connection.

We checked in and waited in the super long Security line which was annoying.  I’m not sure how the line is so long and slow.  They need more x-ray machines at the Paris Beauvais Tillé airport.

We walked to our gate and found out that our flight was delayed for 30 minutes.  Not too long of a delay at least.

Getting on the Ryanair plane

The Ryanair plane left Paris at 3:55 pm and started heading to Manchester, England.  We arrived in England at 5 pm.

Ivan and I got a shuttle to the car rental village where we picked up our car since we’ll soon be off on a road trip through England and Wales.

Ivan drove us to the Airbnb place.  We were greeted by Laura.  She made us tea and we talked about our trip, Las Vegas and Manchester.  She was very sweet.

We chilled in our room and took showers.  Lil Dave decided to stay in – he wanted to jump on the bed and Skype with his dad.

Ivan drove us and parked in a car park near The Comedy Store.

The Comedy Store clocks

We ordered a vegetarian saag curry and a vegetarian hot pot at The Comedy Store.  The food was good.  The saag didn’t have much spinach like it should have.

We tried to find a bar for an espresso, but each bar was busy and the service was slow.

The Comedy Store bar

Instead, we each got a Red Bull at the Comedy Store bar.  We also grabbed our bottle of white wine that we bought earlier.

It was time to laugh.  The compère (MC) was Alex Boardman.  He looked like an American actor, but I couldn’t think of his name.  He was really funny as the host.

There were 4 comedians on and they were ALL really good. It was great to hear some English comedians again – always so much funnier than American ones. We particularly liked Ian Stone who we have seen multiple times before..he’s the kind of comedian who you just feel like you could watch for hours and hours because he’s so funny and just such a natural on the stage.

We were surprised how quiet it was in there – in London on a Friday night at The Comedy Store it always sells out and is packed – here in Manchester it was less than half full. Also the crowd seemed a lot less drunk (and thus quieter) than they would be in London.

Ivan drove us back and we called it a night since we had a long day of travelling.

06/11/13
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Off to Fez

On June 11, 2013, we all woke up at 8:30 am.  There was breakfast by Denise which was fruit, cheese and boiled eggs.

Ivan and I packed everything up.

We walked to the post office to mail off a lot of postcards.

Everybody piled into a taxi at 11:30 am.  There was some traffic, but it moved along quickly.

The taxi dropped us off at our terminal at noon.  Denise and Ken were off to their terminal to head back to England.

Ivan went to ask the Last Minute line if we could go in that line.  Ivan told me I needed to go to the Visa Check line.

I waited in the Visa Check line and it went by slowly since there was only one person working at the desk.

I joined Ivan in the Last Minute queue and checked our bags in.

Security was really lax since they didn’t see Ivan’s toiletries which contained liquid.

We rushed to get a tuna & Spanish omelet sandwich and went to our gate.

Our plane left Barcelona and started going towards Fez, Morocco.  I worked on the blog on the plane ride while Ivan read Lee Mack’s book Mack the Life and slept.

The plane above Morocco

The plane got really bumpy at the end.  I think the pilot had too many sangrias.

People clapped when the plane landed probably since they were scared from the bumpiness at the end of the two hour flight.

We got picked up at the airport from the transfer Ivan set up through the hotel.  I had no idea what our taxi driver was saying since he was speaking French.  Ivan took French in school, but he doesn’t remember that much. I barely know any French.

We were met by Bernard outside of the Medina.  Porters took our big luggage and went off.  Bernard led us through the streets of the Medina to Dar Melody.  We saw four newborn kitties before reaching the hotel. They were so cute. We didn’t see any sign of the mother.

He told us that his wife would explain everything to us.  Laurence showed us things on the map.  I paid attention, but knew I’d probably forget most of the things she told us.  I could tell that I would get lost in the medina and there’s no GPS maps of it.  Thank goodness, Ivan is good with maps.  I have no sense of direction.

The dining room of Dar Melody from above

Dar Melody is beautiful inside.  We were taken to our room which was also quite pretty.  The shower was gorgeous.

Lovely tiled shower

What a lovely place!  We got Moroccan cookies to eat in our room.

Lil Dave went to meet up with a family member’s cousin (no relation to Lil Dave) named Abu for a monkey dinner.  Ivan already had plans for our dinner.  We tried to find the restaurant, but nobody seemed to know where it was.  Lawrence advised us against paying people to lead you to a destination.  Ivan did pay somebody since we were really clueless as to where it actually was… it was only €3.

We walked inside the Restaurant Andalib, but it wasn’t open until 7:30 pm.  We walked across the street and had sweet Moroccan mint tea.

At 7:35 pm, we walked back to Restaurant Andalib.  A lady asked if we wanted to sit on the terrace and we said yes.  We didn’t know there was a terrace.

The view was beautiful on the terrace.

Moroccan sunset

The meal comes with free starters and bread.  Ivan and I shared the harrissa soup which comes with dates and almond pastries.  You eat the dates and almond pastries while eating the great soup.

On the terrace of Restaurant Andalib

Our main dishes were vegetarian cous cous and a chicken tangine.  The food was quite tasty with a refreshing French white wine.

We were really stuffed and walked back to the hotel and used the free internet.

05/25/13
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Mallorca

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had to wake up early at 11:40 am on May 25, 2013.  We packed up really fast before leaving the great Airbnb apartment. 

We walked outside of Dalt Vila Castle to look for a taxicab.  We got lucky and found one shortly in the street. 

The driver took us to the airport which is only a 10 minute ride away.

The plane arrived late, so Ivan and I played our Candy Crush Saga game on our phones.  There was a beautiful view from the airport of the sea.

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We walked to the runway to the small Iberia plane.  Ivan and I noticed that we could see the men putting on the luggage onto the plane. 

Our plane left at 2:25 pm.  We arrived at 3:05 pm in Mallorca, Spain. 

We got a taxi to Puerto Portals which is located in Palma de Mallorca. It’s a beautiful place with lots of pretty big boats and yachts.  Ivan and I wanted to grab a bite to eat before meeting Lee and Louise. 

Ivan checked out the restaurants Flanigan and Wellie’s.  He thought Wellie’s looked too English and decided that we should go to Flanigan instead.  Lil Dave got a few banana tapas..  Ivan and I shared a few tapas: fried eggs with fried squids on top, squid croquettes and anchovies and tomatoes on bread.  We also pre-ordered the apple pie which takes 30 minutes to cook.  It looks like it’s one of their specialties.  Ivan thinks this because it’s the only dessert listed on the menu.  It better be good for 11 Euros! 

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I’m not really sure why the menu said that the use of mobile phones compromises the preparation of the apple pie.  I thought maybe they were using a special oven that is interrupted by cell phone signals.  But, I thought more about it and thought it was just to stop annoying people from having loud conversations that nobody wants to listen to.

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The food was so tasty.  The apple pie came and It looked more like a crepe than a pie. 

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It was simply delicious.

At 5 pm, we walked along the port to find Lee’s boat.  A few months ago, Ivan’s friend Lee invited us to stay on his big boat for a few nights.  Louise waved to us when we were near the Lee’s boat which is named Encore. 

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Lee’s big boat is beautiful.  It has 3 bedrooms and a BBQ on the sun deck.  It looks brand new!  Lee really keeps the boat super clean.  Lee showed us around the boat and our room. 

Ivan thought it was a yacht, but apparently it’s a big boat.  I’m not sure what the definition of a yacht is.  But, according to The Free Dictionary website, a yacht is “Any of various relatively small sailing or motor-driven vessels, generally with smart graceful lines, used for pleasure cruises or racing.”  It sure sounds like it would be a yacht. 

It’s so surreal to be staying on this cool big boat or yacht… just so freaking cool really. 

Lee and Louise served up champagne with raspberries and we made a toast.  The champagne tasted lovely while sitting on the top deck of the boat.  It was great to catch up with Lee and Louise.  Louise is Lee’s ex-girlfriend.  She’s such a sweetheart and very pretty.

Ivan was talking about Magaluf which is a tourist area on the island of Mallorca.  It’s a place that’s well known for young British kids to go party.  It has gained the nickname Shagaluf – I’m sure you can figure out why.  I’m was definitely curious to see it since the closest I’ve seen would be West End in San Antonio, Ibiza. 

Lil Dave made friends with a little bear named Encore in our room.  The bear’s real name is Reggie, but Lee insists it’s Encore since it matches the boat name.  We even got towels with Encore stitched in them.  Cool!

We chilled out on the boat for awhile.  Ivan and I bought some pirate gear and even bought rum (since pirates LOVE rum!) for Lee. 

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He loved the pirate gear which included a pirate’s hat, sword, telescope, earring, eye patch and a bag with rum inside.  Ivan and Lee are alike in many ways since they’re both really immature and love to play jokes.  I found out later that people called them the Terrible Twins on their African Oasis trip a few years ago which is very fitting.  I was thinking Double Trouble.. but the Terrible Twins has a ring to it.  The fake clip-on earring made Lee look gay… so it’s probably not best to wear that out unless he wants some unwanted attention from gay guys. 

Everybody got ready to head out to Magaluf.  Ivan, Lee, Louise and I left in a taxi around 11:15 pm.  We dropped off Lil Dave and Reggie to the monkey area in Magaluf.  I hope Reggie keeps an eye on Lil Dave. 

Lee and Louise said it was a lot busier in Magaluf last weekend.  We got drinks at Stereo.  in Stereo, you buy one drink which gives you a free drink, a WKD drink and a shot.  The drinks were very watered down – no wonder it was so cheap! 

The WKD drink was a nice Smurf blue color. 

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If you want to know what the color blue tastes like, drink a WKD.

I saw a few hen parties (bachelorette parties) getting drinks at the bar and groups of British guys having fun. 

We headed up the street and it reminded me of a carnival since I saw a carnival ride up ahead. 

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It kind of looks like a poor man’s Vegas with the neon lights everywhere on the bars.. 

We ended up at Alex’s Bar which had go-go dancers.  I’m not sure how they dance outside in those skimpy outfits – it was so chilly out. 

There was a boxing match on against a British guy vs. a Finnish guy.  I think that’s why it was so quiet in Magaluf. 

I really liked the décor in the bar area.  It was very colorful and unique. 

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One British guy kept patting me on my head because he thought I was cute.  I do seem to attract attention since I’m super short (not even 5 feet tall!) and Asian.  There are not many Asian tourists in Spain. 

Ivan, Louise and I were hungry since we only had some chips earlier for a snack.  Lee wasn’t hungry for some reason.  Lee went to go visit his friends at the bar while we went to KFC for some grub.  Ivan and I each got a chicken wrap.  We definitely needed that.

A few minutes later, we got a taxi cab to Puerto Portales.  Lee went to go change.  He changes more than any girl I know.  Wow, it’s like he’s changing outfits for the Miss America pageant.  Lee said the bar we’re going to, everybody dresses up. 

We walked to Ritzi Bar Lounge.  Louise was right that it was pretentious in there.  Most people were dressed like they were headed to the nightclub.  The music was decent dance music. 

Ivan wanted to head back to the boat to get changed since he felt way underdressed.  He put on a nice dress shirt and I changed into a black v-neck.  Ivan thought my white t-shirt was too bright.  I wasn’t too bothered about what people thought about my outfit. 

We chatted, danced and had more drinks.  The DJ was drunk or something… he played the new Daft Punk song three times.  That’s not right!!  He did play most of REM’s song Losing My Religion.  I was happy since I remembered all the words (How does our brain keep all our favorite song lyrics?) and it reminded me of high school. 

Louise and I wanted to head back to the boat.  We all walked back to the boat at 4 am.  We had a great day, but now it was time to get some sleep.  Ivan and I watched a cheesy episode of The Wright Way before heading to sleep.

05/20/13
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Off to Ibiza via London

I did sleep for many hours on our plane ride from San Diego to London… really not sure how long though. I kept waking up because my butt hurt. It’s hard to get comfortable in a seat on a plane. I woke up 2 1/2 hours before we were due to land on May 20, 2013. My eyes were really dry. I put my eye drops in and tried to go back to sleep, but couldn’t. I just rested with my eyes closed.  I was jealous because Ivan was happily sleeping next to me.

It was time for breakfast about an hour before we were about to land.  We got a muffin, yogurt, raisins and a little cookie.  It was strange that we didn’t get a spoon for the yogurt.  I’ve never had to drink my yogurt before. 

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Ivan, Lil Dave and I arrived at 2:40 pm at London Heathrow.  I was feeling jetlagged and felt like a zombie.  I’m glad I didn’t have the sudden urge to start eating brains.

I was thinking positive thoughts since I had to deal with Immigration.  I usually get mean people at the Immigration counters.  I had Ivan’s green card and his driver’s license so I could prove that we were married.  He’s English and I’m American.. but we live in the USA.  I put on the landing card that I was in transit to Spain and I was going to be in London for only 5 hours.

I waited for about 15 minutes in line.  I went to the counter and it was a man.  I said Hello to be polite.  I saw him yawn and he smiled at me, so I smiled back.  He said you’ll only be in London for 6 hours.  I said 5 hours.. I’m flying to Ibiza.  He said that’s fine.  He stamped it and I was on my way.  I don’t know how I got so lucky.  Usually they ask for a flight ticket which I did have handy in case.  I think it was because he was tired or he just wanted get through the rest of the Non EU passengers… or maybe he had to use the loo and he just wanted to get rid of me as soon as possible.

Ivan was waiting for me at baggage claim since the EU line is always a lot faster. 

We grabbed our luggage and then exited the baggage claim.  Since we were in Terminal 5, we tried to find out where the Sofitel Hotel was.  Ivan got a letter delivered there, so he wanted to pick it up.

Ivan picked up his letter and sat down in the lobby.  I started working on the blog since there was free internet for 24 hours in the lobby.  Ivan called the car service to see if they could pick us up earlier. 

We waited for 20 minutes and were off in the car to London Luton Airport in North London. 

It was my first time at this airport and it wasn’t anything special since it seemed to have an industrial feel to it.

Ivan and I each had a healthy salad from M&S for lunch.  Lil Dave had a banana stir fry. 

I didn’t really think about what shirt I was wearing yesterday morning in San Diego.  I noticed that it was really bright and said Boobies on it. 

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It made me look like really American which I am.. just made me stand out a lot.  Plus, my blue and aqua highlights are pretty noticeable too. 

We tried to check in, but we were too early.  So, we had to wait an hour.  We checked in at 6 pm.

Unfortunately, London Luton Airport doesn’t have free wi-fi.  I’m glad I had my phone so I could play my Candy Crush Saga game.  Ivan bought some Boing internet and we used that while waiting in the lounge.  The flight gate doesn’t come up on the screen until an hour before your flight, so you have to wait in the lounge. 

Our Easyjet plane left London headed to Ibiza at 8:55 pm.  Ivan and I were so tired that we don’t remember taking off at all.  It was nice to get a good long nap.  We both needed it.  Most of the plane was filled with young Brits who are planning on working in Ibiza for the summer.  We arrived in Ibiza at 12:50 am.  A lot of people on the plane cheered when the plane hit the ground.  Not many people actually cheer when landing.. except sometimes when headed to Las Vegas or when that stupid horse finishing line music plays on Ryanair.

Ivan and I grabbed our luggage and headed out.  Gerard was waiting for us.  Ivan booked an apartment through Airbnb in Dalt Vila which is a castle in Ibiza.  Gerard stays at the apartment and takes care of the Airbnb guests.  He told us that the apartment is new and has a kitchen and a terrace. 

Gerard helped me with my luggage while we were walking up the stairs headed to the apartment.  He showed us our bedroom and around the apartment.  It has a nice terrace overlooking Dalt Vila.  The apartment is very clean and lovely.  It’s fairly new on Airbnb.  Ivan thinks once it gets more reviews, it will be a popular place with the great location and how lovely it is.

Ivan and I were really hungry.  Thank goodness we were in Ibiza.. since we figured we could find something open late.  We walked outside of Dalt Vila to Old Town to find a restaurant.  We found one, but Ivan thought we’d try another for more options.  He ran around and came back.  He only found one other restaurant and it was expensive.  I also noticed a pizza place open. 

We sat down at Il Gatto e la Volpe.  Ivan and I ordered fried octopus, Spanish omelet, artichokes in oil and bruschetta. 

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We enjoyed our meal with a glass of red wine.  Lil Dave got a banana pizza.  The food was tasty especially the bruschetta. 

It was time to head back to the apartment in Dalt Vila. 

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Dalt Vila is so pretty.  I’m glad Ivan picked this place to get over our jetlag and relax in Ibiza.

We used the internet for awhile.  So much for our plan.. Ivan, Lil Dave and I were still jetlagged.  Ivan and I watched an episode of the funny tv show Not Going Out before going to sleep at 5 am.

05/19/13
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Leaving San Diego

Ivan, Lil Dave and I were in California for a wedding in Temecula and then we spent a day and a half in San Diego since we were flying out today May 19, 2013. 

Ivan and I dropped the car off at Thrifty Car Rental and got their free shuttle to the San Diego International Airport.  We arrived at the airport at 6 pm.  Check-in and Security were relatively fast.

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We used their free wi-fi before our flight.  I think all major airports should have free wi-fi!  It just makes the time go by so much faster.  It’s definitely not much fun waiting for your flight.

Our flight left San Diego at 8:05 pm headed to London Heathrow.  Ivan and I got sun dried tomato pasta for dinner which came with a tasty Eli’s strawberry cheesecake for dessert.  Lil Dave didn’t get anything since he didn’t get his own seat (It cost way too many bananas for him!).. so, he just munched on a few bananas.  Ivan and I both watched The Guilt Trip movie with Seth Rogan.  It was alright – thought it would have been funnier. 

Our plan was to get as much sleep as possible since it was a night flight.  I’m glad that British Airways gives out blankets because it was cold and I was wearing shorts.  Probably best not to wear shorts on a flight if you get cold easily.  It was time for us to sleep, so hopefully we wouldn’t get jetlag the next few days.

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