Friday, January 29, 2016

OOPS! Never a Dull Moment...

This is what 4 AM
 at the Rabat Airport looks like.
I can cross sitting in a dark airport alone in Morocco off my bucket list, since that's where I am as I write this.
After a fabulous, nearly flawless week in Morocco with our daughter celebrating our January birthdays, I apparently needed a dramatic finale.  My birthday was yesterday and we celebrated all day—it was great. The morning started with crepes and hot chocolate, followed by a massage for me at a fabulous spa (thank you, Kelsey!) and then a beautiful lunch in a garden at a French Café. Next some minty Moroccan hot tea at a hotel and some shopping. We later took a walk and then showered and went out to a yummy Moroccan dinner. Cake and champagne followed in the apartment that Kelsey shares with Laziza.  I packed my suitcase and got everything ready for an early departure to the airport. Kelsey had thoughtfully arranged a taxi ride with a driver she knows and trusts. He was scheduled to pick me up at 5 AM. The plan was to sleep a couple of hours and then head to the airport.
Celebrating Kelsey's birthday.
Well…that would have lacked a certain level of drama that I apparently crave. Around 1:30 AM, I decided to glance at my itinerary for the first time since arriving in Morocco. I read it to say that my flight was leaving at 6:40 AM, not 7:55 AM.
PANIC ensued!  What to do?? I would never arrive on time if the taxi picked me up at 5 AM.  Unfortunately, the driver was apparently sleeping (as most folks are after 1 AM) and did not answer the multiple calls made to his phone. So, Kelsey was sweet enough to call another driver she knew of and ask him to come early. He said he would (for double the price), so it was arranged. Laziza was awakened more than once to speak in French to the driver. He needed extra help finding the apartment.
Cheers to me...
just hours before my panicked
and unnecessary early trip to the airport.
I got scooped up by 3:15 AM and arrived at the airport at 3:40 AM—after asking the driver to stop looking at his Facebook as we sped through the mostly empty streets of Rabat. When we pulled in front of the airport, it looked suspiciously dark. Amazingly, a porter ran out to get my bags (and garner a tip). Once inside the completely dark airport, I realized the schedule in my backpack was wrong (or I was sadly mistaken). My flight actually does leave at 7:55 AM. The airport opens at 5 AM.  Luckily, a security guard told me to have a seat and wait…
So that’s how I find myself sitting in a dark, empty airport in Morocco. Sleep is overrated anyway. And besides, this will make a much better story to tell…later…much later!
My apologies to my awesome hosts, Kelsey and Laziza. I had a fabulous time in your beautiful city and it looks like I will get to enjoy one more sunrise from my perch in the airport. I hope you both get a few hours’ rest.
But wait, there’s more…
Unfortunately, the airport internet would not let me post this, so I am posting it after landing at Dulles International Airport, where I watched the sunset as we deplaned. What perfect symmetry...a sunrise in Morocco and hours later in Virginia, a sunset.
I am often accused of being a little Pollyanna about things. Despite my natural tendency to look on the bright side of situations, sometimes finding that shiny side can be a challenge. But, this crazy departure story already has me giggling. There are a couple lessons for me here:  check and double check my itinerary early and often and don’t create panic until double checking the airline schedule online, but where would be the drama in that?


  1. How so very Judy!

    Glad it all turned out okay, and that you had a great time.