The Lupers come to visit!

I was so excited that my family was coming I could hardly stand it.  They arrived on Aug. 5th late in the evening, so we came straight home and everybody went to sleep.  The next day in early afternoon we finally made it out the door (trying to get out the door with my family to go anywhere is like herding cats) and I took them grocery shopping.  It’s weird, but it is something we love to do as a family in foreign countries. (That is as a family, minus Scott.  He hates it.) Grocery shopping here in Morocco consists of going to the market, so that’s where I took them.  Most days I don’t really think about how different my life is from my friend’s lives back in America.  I think it’s because I’ve adjusted to what’s normal here.  One thing that always reminds me that my life is different though, is buying a chicken from the chicken man.  You go to this stall and there are all these clucking, wing flapping, very much alive chickens there.  You say the weight of the chicken you want, they find one and weigh her, then they kill her right there.  They then de-feather it, clean it, and hand it to you in a plastic bag.  The carcass is still warm as you carry it home.  I wanted my family to experience this so I brought them along.

We also tried some cactus fruit. 

And made a trip to the bakery.


The next day we got up a bit earlier to head into Casa to see the largest mosque in Morocco. 

We finished out the evening with spaghetti and a bonfire at our friends’ house.

The following morning we hit the road at 4am to go up to Costa Del Sol, Spain.  It was EARLY and a very long car ride!

We got the first ferry over and drove up to our rental apartment in Spain.

All was going well, but once we got there we found the apartment had TONS of ants as well as no A/C.  Note: It’s important when traveling in Europe to ask if there is A/C.  (We got some ant spray to get rid of the ants, and that solved that problem.)  Later though, Scott and my dad went for a drive around our apartment and got pulled over by 2 women cops.  They weren’t breaking any traffic infractions, however they looked suspicious being 2 white guys in a beat up car with Moroccan license plates.  They were detained for about an hour as Scott tried to explain all the paperwork we had for the car.  It didn’t go over so well, and we aren’t entirely sure what the problem was (either the fact that Scott did not have an international drivers permit or that they didn’t think our insurance was good), but we had to pay a big hefty fine.  Not. Cool.  We ended up having a delicious dinner though that evening, which lifted everyone’s spirits.

While in Spain we ate delicious food



went to the pool, and hung out at the beach. 




It was so relaxing.

One day we also went across the border to Gibralter. 

It was awesome being in an English speaking country.  First time in 8 months.  We took a gondala up to the top of the rock

and hung out with some monkeys.



One was even named Dana!


We then walked all the way back down, stopping to see all these sites on the way. 


We did a LOT of walking that day.

We finished the night off with fish and chips. 

As well as a trip to a public toilet, which my mom thought was the coolest thing ever.


We crossed the ferry


and drove back to Morocco on the 12th.  It was extra hot that day, and our car does not have A/C.  At one point we even had to shut the windows because the hot wind blowing at us off the land was hotter than if we closed all the windows.  Literally it felt like when you open an oven door and the heat hits you.  However, our ride was probably not as difficult as this guy’s who we saw when paying at the toll booth.

We finally made it home though.

The next day I dropped my dad off at a golf course while Scott went surfing and my mom, sister, and I went shopping. 



When we all returned we went out to eat for some Tagine and mint tea.  Dana found a kitten that we almost adopted.  He was quite cute and living in a flower pot and this local restaurant.  Here’s Dana being a crazy cat lady.


Their final day here, my mom and I replanted all the window boxes on our porch from these ugly succulents to beautiful bright geraniums.

In the afternoon I took my mom and sister to the hammam (the public baths) to get a good scrub and my fam left late that evening.

I loved having my them here and miss them already!


  1. joanna
    Aug 23, 2013

    I don’t like grocery shopping either.. it must be an in-law thing 😉

  2. Susan
    Aug 23, 2013

    The public toilet was AUTOMATIC and talked to us. THAT’s what was cool about it. You put in the money and “she” guides you through your time locked inside. And since we were low on Euros, your dad and I shared the time. :-)

  3. Emily
    Aug 23, 2013

    LOVE reading your stories :-) So glad you had such a wonderful time with them!

  4. Lora Powell
    Aug 23, 2013

    So glad you are doing well…nice to see your face Ashley! You did awesome putting this whole trip together@! Very interesting:-)

  5. Dana
    Aug 23, 2013

    Lovely feature of me and Tajine the kitten, I approve

  6. Deborah Cusick
    Aug 24, 2013

    What a great time, what a great family, what a great life! You guys are so amazing at how you take everything in stride!
    Hey, what can I send with Ashley and Grant for you? Please let me know if you want anything from here. . .any food items or other?
    Love and miss you beautiful people!

    • Ashley
      Aug 24, 2013

      Deb, we would love for you to send some food items with Grant and Ash. I’ll send you an email about it. Love you!

  7. Uncle Doug
    Aug 24, 2013

    Great story & pics! Thanks for sharing it with us. Glad everyone had a wonderful time.
    My love,

  8. Marty
    Aug 24, 2013

    ah….the best-worst day ever theme carried over to the Luper visit.

    • Ashley
      Aug 24, 2013

      It’s true. But that’s a theme of Morocco in general. 😉

  9. Duke
    Aug 24, 2013

    Love all the pictures and story. Sounds like Scott and Donnie had to pay a bribe (not a hefty fee)… :) You guys live a fabulous life!!!

  10. Kathy Clark
    Aug 25, 2013

    It was great hearing about the trip through the pictures! You all look wonderful and I’m sure it was a very special time for each of you.

  11. Todd
    Aug 27, 2013

    You are quite the story teller. What a great visit and excursion.

  12. Pam Brodsky
    Aug 30, 2013

    The pictures are great! Who took them? I wonder if that person is available to take pictures for Elizabeth’s wedding. Thanks for posting these.

    • Ashley
      Sep 10, 2013

      I didn’t know Elizabeth was getting married. Congrats! Most of the pictures were taken by Scott, or my sister Dana. If you’re still looking for a photographer, Dana has never done anything like that before, but she has a great eye for it.

  13. bethany
    Sep 5, 2013

    so wonderful! i’m so glad you had such a fantastic visit with your family! :)

    my sister and i love grocery shopping, too. in japan, it was always exciting to go at the end of the day and get all the evening discounts!

    chicken carcass, yummy!

    i am still afraid of monkeys after one bit me in china…

    miss you and love you guys! <3

  14. Keith & Barbara Boulware
    Sep 9, 2013

    Sounded like a wonderful experience for you all!