The car ride took about an hour. It was relatively uneventful except for watching Karim rock out to Sara's I-pod.
This was Karim's face when he realized I was taking pictures of his car dancing.
But, he didn't let it faze him, and he went back to enjoying the music.
At one point during the ride, Loubna, Sara, and I were all listening to our I-pods. We switched earphones so that I was listening to one of mine and one of Loubna's. Loubna was listening to one of hers and one of Sara's. Sara was listening to one of hers and one of mine. It is kind of trippy to listen to different songs at the same time. We thought it was pretty funny and laughed a lot. Pretty much your basic family road trip (minus the fighting and frequent threats to "turn this car around and go back home").
According to my Lonely Planet book, Oukaimden is home to Africa's highest ski lift. That's right, you can ski in Morocco. Due to an extremely unfortunate incident trying to ski in Girdwood a couple of years ago, I didn't really feel like trying my hand (feet?) at African downhill skiing, but Loubna and I rode up the ski lift anyway.
This is Brahim watching us go up. He was hollering at Loubna to put her hat on (dads are the same the world over).
This is Loubna not wearing her hat (daughters are also the same the world over).
This is me. I didn't have a hat, but I wore my hood most of the way up. I just took it off for the picture. (Hey Loubna! Thanks for taking the picture!)
The Oukaimden ski lift is substantially less scary than many other ski lifts because it has a bar that can be pulled down in front of you. Nice to have because Brahim made me promise not to let his daughter fall out of the lift chair. It also let us relax and enjoy the scenery.
This is what greeted us when we got to the top. It was gorgeous. Incidentally, it may have produced the most stunning picture I have ever taken.
I took a picture of Loubna in front of the gorgeousness, even though she didn't want me to.
Then she took a picture of me...
and another one....
and another one...
I used this opportunity to act like my usual dramatic self and pose in front of the camera.
In order to establish a history of myself as the ultimate cheeseball and poser, I dug this old picture out. This picture was taken when I was about ten years old. It is a picture of my Grandma Slaughter with many (but not all) of her grandchildren. Our family had just experienced a baby burst (thanks in large part to my twin brothers). I am the oldest child in the picture.
Several interesting things are happening in this picture. Mandy is wearing tie-dyed stretch pants (Hey Mandy! Was it the nineties or something?). The baby on my lap is screaming. The next baby is throwing up. Joe (the baby in the middle) is about to fall off of Grandma's lap and is probably beginning to cry or at least grunt loudly. Baby Tom loooks like he either died or fell asleep.
As you can tell from the photo, I am oblivious to ALL OF THIS. I am posing and smiling for the camera despite the screaming, vomit, and babies in potentially dangerous situations. It's a talent I've had all my life. So, when you think about mocking me for my fake smiles and poses, consider that there is a lot of history to this behavior, and it's not something I'm going to be able to kick overnight. Thank you.
The ride down offered similarly stunning views.
It was about at this point in the ride that Loubna said, "Pleeeeeaaaaaaase stop taking pictures." So I did. For a few minutes.
We returned safely to the ground to find Brahim and Karim enjoying a donkey ride.
We also got to walk past these cute little mud houses by a creek on a hill!
I convinced the family to stand together for a picture. Unfortunately, The snow in the back got totally overexposed. Oops. I would have taken another shot, but Brahim decided he had enough of picture taking. ~~Shrug~~
We stopped at a little outdoor restaurant and shared a tajine.
And headed home into a beautiful sunset..
that just kept getting better. (Hey Loubna and Sara! Thanks for letting me lay across you in the car to take this picture out of the car window!)
It was a perfect family trip.