Day 8/365 {Snow}

It doesn’t snow much in Vancouver. This is the first year in my 24-year memory of Vancouver that we have received this much snow in the city. I did a photo shoot at Pacific Spirit Park yesterday, and came home and told Josh about how beautiful the woods were.

Today he asked me if I could take him to “the beautiful place” I talked about. So between running errands and going to our dinner plans, we squeezed in some time for a short walk through some wooded areas in the park.

day-8-of-365-angela-chang-photography

Advertisements

Josh turns six

josh-6-2josh-6-3josh-6-4josh-6-5josh-6

Dear Joshie,

If I have to sum up what you are to me, it would be that you are my inspiration.

Last winter when I saw how hard you worked to learn skiing, I was inspired to learn it too and keep practicing. When I saw how much you love swimming and how comfortable you are in the water, I was inspired to re-learn swimming and face my fears. When I saw how fearless you are with trying out roller coasters, I gathered up the courage to get on the ride with you while screaming through the whole ride.

You are kind, loving, fearless, soft hearted, and always optimistic. You make me want to be better, and be like you. Your enthusiasm for life is infectious.

You love to bake. You love riding your bike. You love going to school and being with your friends. You love puzzles and building Lego. Your favorite food is cauliflower soup, noodles, tofu, mac n cheese, and chicken strips.

In the past year, you have revealed more of your personality and interests. You have grown out of the Cars (Disney Cars) phase completely, and pretty much gotten past the peak of the dinosaurs phase. Lego is still a favorite and constant go-to, and you have really taken an interest in Pokemon. Our living room is starting to be taken over by Pokemon cards, and you constantly quiz me about Pokemon characters and their powers and weaknesses. With each phase of your life, I feel like you are just going at the speed of light and I can barely catch my breath when the next phase hits.

You have also really shown an interest in science–anything related to nature, animals, insects, or plants. You often tell me tidbits about a certain fish or a plant that I have never heard of. You amaze me with the amount of information you retain in your noggin.

You can be a typical boy. You run around the playground with boundless energy. You constantly skin your knees and put holes in your pants. You knock over things at home. You step on my toes. You forget your lunch box at school.

Yet, your softer side is present in our daily lives. When you get a treat, you always ask if Savanna can have one. You cuddle up with me in the mornings and tell me you love me. This morning you didn’t want to wake up Daddy to get your birthday present, “Just in case Daddy is extra tired today.”

I love you more than anything in the world. You amaze me and inspire me. Thank you for being my baby. Happy birthday, and I wish you all the love and adventures in the world.

Love,

Mommy

Morocco

“Epic” would be the word I use to describe our trip to Morocco. At the end of the trip, I was exhausted and ready to go home, yet still craving for more at the same time.

First of all, I can’t tell you everything about the trip. I just don’t have the words. I can’t describe how much the craziness of Marrakech hits you like a freight train and leaving you breathless, yet the Fes calms you likes the ocean waves; how all the different shades of blue that makes up Chefchaouen mesmerize you and you can’t stop staring at the walls; how getting lost in the 9,000 streets of the oldest medina can lead to the best smelly surprises of the leather tannery.

The opportunity to share my love of travel and exploring the world with Savanna is something that I wouldn’t trade for the world. What I didn’t expect is how well she traveled. She never complained about being bored. She explored every place we went to, tried all sorts of food, slept in different beds soundly through the night, and just generally enjoyed herself.

I tried editing the photos, but there are just too many. So, here are some mostly un-edited photos, loosely grouped in some sort of order. The camel ride pics are here.

Marrakech: Cooking Class at Amal Women’s Center 

Proceeds are used to fund the NPO that trains abused women to cook and learn life skills so they can work and support themselves.Amal Women's Center Marrakech

Amal Women's Center Marrakech

Amal Women's Center Marrakech

Saffrone

Amal Women's Center Marrakech

The ladies who work at the center

Amal Women's Center Marrakech

Our tagines cooking on coal fire

Amal Women's Center Marrakech

Finished product–which we ate for lunch.

 

Marrakech: Bahia Palace

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech Bahia Palace-5Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech Bahia Palace-8Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech Bahia Palace-9Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech Bahia Palace-10Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech Bahia PalaceAngela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech Bahia Palace-7Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech Bahia Palace-6Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech Bahia Palace-2

 

Marrakech: Food

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech food sheep-4

Sheep heads

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech food sheep-2

Eating where the locals eat.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech food sheep

From left to right: sheep tongue, brain, and meat

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech food sheep-5

Sheep tongue sandwich. Sooooo good.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech food sheep-3

“Pancakes” with onions. A lot like the Chinese green onion pancake without the green onions.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech fruits

Fruits are weighed on the balance scale and sold. I ate some of the sweetest melons I have ever had.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech random-2

Pastry shop

 

Marrakech: Random

Morocco Marrakech souks lamp

Lamp shop in the souk

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech hair salon

Window display of a barber shop

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech hair salon-2

A random street outside of our riad (guest house)

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech random-3Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech riad-3

Angela Chang Photography Morocco Marrakech mosque-2

The square in front of the mosque is covered with mats for prayer time

 

Fes: Medina and Leather Tannery

Fes medina

Fes medina–one of the biggest and oldest medinas in the world.

Fes medina

Inside the Fes medina

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-15

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-18

The empty streets of Fes medina, early in the morning

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-19

A section of the medina wall

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-20

Leather tannery–the big vats contain a mix of cow pee and pigeon poop to soften the leather, then later color is added to color the leather

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-21

Despite the smell, the tannery is a visual feast of colors.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-16

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-17

Hanging the leather out to dry

 

Fes: Random

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-3

Moroccans LOOOVE children. Savanna had her cheeks pinched and kissed by so many strangers. This guy is our tour guide, and Savanna loved hanging out with him.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-4

Savanna and Ali hanging out at the palace.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-5

The details of brass work on the palace door. All hand made.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-6

The door knob

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-7

Mosaic tile work

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-8

Hand painting pottery. After firing, the purple turns into blue.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-9Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-10

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-11

Mosaic work

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-12

I REALLY wanted to take this mosaic table home

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Fes Fez-13

All hand made tagines of various sizes and colors

 

Chefchaouen

The small town is known for its blue walls.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-2Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-3Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-4Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-5Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-6Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-8Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-10Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-11Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-12Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-13Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blueAngela Chang Photography Morocco travel Chefchaouen blue-15

 

Cats

Cats are absolutely everywhere in Morocco. They own the streets. If you are eating on a patio, they come and beg for food. If you don’t shut the terrace door of the riad, they get into the riad to make a mess.

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel cats

Hands down, the funniest cat I have ever seen

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel cats-2Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel cats-4

Angela Chang Photography Morocco travel cats-3

They gather and wait under restaurant tables for scraps of food

Baby boss

The other day, Savanna wanted me to get a toy for her. She said to me in a very bossy tone, “Mommy, get my unicorn!” No ‘please’, no ‘thank you’.

I said, “Savanna, please don’t talk to me with that bossy tone. Ask nicely and I will be happy to get it for you.”

She said, “I’m not bossy tone.”

I said, “Your tone was bossy. Let’s not forget, Mommy is the boss at home. And even then, I always say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. You are not the boss. I’m the Mommy Boss. Daddy is the Daddy Boss.”

She said, “I’m the Baby Boss.”

She wins.Savanna

“When I’m an adult”

The other day, I picked up Josh from school. On the way to the car, all of a sudden he remembered something important to tell me. He said, “Hey, mommy, did you know that Ms. Hales and her mommy live in two different houses?” Ms. Hales is Josh’s teacher.

I said, “Yeah, that’s because Ms. Hales is an adult. Most adults don’t live with their mommies.”

Josh was surprised that I wasn’t surprised. He said, “But they don’t live together!”

I said, “I know. When you’re an adult, you probably won’t live with mommy either.”

His tone changed. He said sadly, “Oh. I’ll really miss you when I’m an adult.”

I laughed and said, “Hey, when you’re an adult, and if you want to live with me, that’s totally fine with me.”

He got happy again, and said, “Ok! I’ll live with you!”

That’s settled. I’m going to hold him to this.Josh_

Baby forever

Savanna

Ever since Savanna was a tiny baby, she would point all her fingers like this when she’s carried upstairs after falling asleep in the car. I remember taking lots of photos of her hands like this.

Now that she’s three, she still does the same thing. There are not very many baby-ish things left about her, but this still makes me smile and think about her baby days.

Sometimes I ask her, “Savanna, will you be my baby forever?” She’ll humour me and say, “Yes, Mommy. Goo goo ga ga.” That funny girl.

Savanna-2