A Kind Man

June 13, 2016. Posted June 14 at 10:30 PM

Left Algeciras yesterday, 06/12/13, on the train bound for Granada. Considered going to Seville but it took me further away from my primary destination in Spain, Barcelona. Both cities are World Heritage Sites, but I opted for moving closer to a planned destination. 


  
It was a Sunday, taxi fares were higher and I was told that there was a railway strike, but all went well. I had a window seat. At Antequera everyone departed the train and we boarded a nice bus for the remaining 100 km to Granada. They are working on the tracks to link Granada to the high speed train system and the station is closed. Either method of travel, it was enjoyable, beautiful and very scenic.   

There were many groves or orchards of olive trees and farms dotted the wide open valleys. I was unable to purchase a Spanish SIM card and my tMobile chip did not work, so I was stuck without access to the inet and the ability to book a room for my arrival in Granada. Another hot pack arrival, just like my arrival in Algeciras.

The bus arrived and I looked around then returned to the train station and asked a few questions in basic Spanish. Hiked 6 blocks with my bags and checked into a 4 star hotel, paying more than I wanted and receiving more than I needed. After a quick repack into my smaller walking day sack, I set out for the old town and the central square.

Granada is not only a tourist town; it is a college town and college age chicks are walking around everywhere in very short shorts with tight or low cut tops – with a touch of 1970’s hippie clothes.   Even the older MILFs are dressed to kill.  I could tell that I was in Europe.  I watched as prepubscent girls walked with their parents, in skin tight clothing, unabashhedly displaying their camel toe.  After 7 weeks in Muslim countries it was a welcome sight for sore eyes.  It was like the women were walking around naked.

I thought about a song………..
I Like Big Tits

Every time I try to call it quits

Here come some tits, that’s a big 10-4

(That’s a big 10-4, big Dick)

Uh huh
What it is

I like big tits, uh huh

Tits

Well they come in twos

Hard to choose

Your favorite tit

Uh huh

I like tits for dinner, or a noon-time snack

I like tits for lunch, a big tit attack

I like tits for breakfast

Egg Benedict tits

What it is

They’re where it’s at

Tits

They give me shivers when they bounce around

Buckled up or hanging on the ground

I like big tits

Uh huh

Tits

Says it all for me

Tits

I’m a tit man

(I like big tits)

Written by Joe Walsh
Wikitravel says:

History 

Granada has been continuously inhabited by humans for at least 2500 years, originating as an Ibero-Celtic settlement prior to the establishment of a Greek colony in the area. Under Ancient Roman rule Granada developed as an economic centre of Roman Hispania, with the construction of aqueducts, roads, and other infrastructure. With the fall of the Roman Empire the city was ruled by the Visigoths before being reconquered by the Byzantine Empire, all the time being maintained as a strategic military and economic hub for the region.

The Moorish conquest of 711 brought Islamic rule to the Iberian Peninsula and Granada was quickly established as one of the main cities of Al-Andalus, the Muslim name for the region. New agricultural practices were introduced as the old Roman infrastructure was put to use for irrigation, leading to a major expansion of the city as it grew from the river valley up to the hills currently occupied by the Alhambra and the Albayzín, with a major Jewish settlement, the Realejo, existing within the town. Following the fall of Córdoba in 1236 to the Christian Reconquista, the city became the capital of the Emirate of Granada, and for the next 250 years Granada stood as the heart of a powerful and self-sufficient kingdom with the construction of the royal palace and fortress, the Alhambra.

Skirmishes continued between the Emirate of Granada and the Crown of Castile, and in the late 15th century the Christian Reconquista set its sights on Granada. Following a military campaign led by King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, which included a siege of the walled town, King Boabdil of Granada was ultimately forced to surrender the town in 1492, bringing an end to Moorish rule in the Iberian peninsula and marking the end of the Reconquista.

The fall of Granada came at a crucial moment for Christian Spain, as it was that same year that Christopher Columbus made his first voyage to the Americas, bringing back reports of the wealth and resources that could be gained there. Flushed with the success of the Reconquista, Spaniards conquered much of the Americas and brought great wealth to the new Spanish Empire. In the case of Granada, the Christians soon forced the existing Jewish and Muslim residents to convert and began making significant changes to the appearance of the city in an attempt to hide its Muslim character, including replacing the city’s primary mosque with the massive Cathedral and constructing a large Christian palace in the heart of the Alhambra. Persecution against the Muslims and Jews took its toll, and over time the city began to suffer economically as these populations abandoned their homes in the area.

Granada remained a largely medieval-style city well into the 19th century, going through many economic slumps and seeing much of its architectural heritage destroyed. However, the last half of the 19th century saw Granada incorporated into the national rail network and the first stirrings of tourism thanks to reports of sites like the Alhambra to a global audience. However, the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s sunk Granada’s economy, and it persisted largely as a bureaucratic and university town until the late 20th century, when the city underwent a massive period of modernization and development which brought new business and visitors to the city. Today you can still see this modernization in the reconstruction of old buildings in the city centre and expansion of the town along the edges of the city.

I say:  I had several beers and a pizza in the city square. Many touristas – I could tell by how they were dressed. 

In the AM walked the six blocks back to the train station and bought a senior rail pass for $6.00. It gives me between 25% and 40% off on train travel in Spain. Booked my ticket for 6/15 from Granada to Barcelona and saved $30.00 with the discount. Walked back to the hotel, booked a hostel here in Granada for two nights then one near the train station in Barcelona for three nights and took a shower. 

Left the room at noon and had a few beers, passing time, then took a taxi at 2 PM to the hostel. About $40.00 a night cheaper than the hotel and it is just perfect. Private room, clean, TV, inet, private bath, and it even includes a towel, TP, soap and shampoo!!!  Amenities!!!

Then walked around to look for a SIM card for my phone, as my US tMobile card does not seem to work. Lacking a phone with access to the inet is a major handicap when traveling. All the stores were closed for the afternoon siesta until 5 PM, so walked back to my room and organized my stuff. 

After 5:00 PM I set out on foot again and bought a Spanish SIM card with 1.5 GB of data. The salesman said my tMobile SIM was damaged and would need to be replaced upon my return to the US. 

Bought oranges, dried nectarines and nuts in a grocery store for the train ride to Barcelona. 

Dropped all my food off and set out for the city square. Gawked at women, had some more beer and after each round received a small plate of free food called tapas.  First was a small salad with olives, onions, tomatoes and a slice of cooked potato in olive oil, then a delicious type of hard boiled egg and with the third round, a half dozen fried smelt sized fish on a bed of lettuce. I had 3 beers and dinner, left a 20% tip, all for $10.00. 

Wandered back to the room, using my iPhone map as a guide. Iwould have been lost without a functioning phone.

Watching TV in a foreign country is sometimes somewhat disconcerting – imagine watching Arnold, Snoop Dog or Tom Selek dubbed in Spanish. It is even harder to conceptualize Homer, Lisa and Bart Simpson speaking Arabic.  But I saw it.

It saddens me to read the news in the US online or watch BBC news. The Orlando shooting was all over BBC news.  The violence in America, primarily due to easy access to assault weapons by crazy people and bad guys disgusts me.  Congress can’t even agree (due to Republicans) to stop gun sales to people on the no fly list!   Even Homer Simpson would say “Duh”.   I am also angered by the vitriolic rhetoric spewed by Trump against Muslims.  It makes me feel safer in a Muslim country like Morocco than in America.

Less than a week ago a Muslim Imam, Aziz, invited me into his 1200 year old home to share with with him and his family the first meal after the start of Ramadan, a solemn occasion.  

He also wanted to introduce me to his unmarried sister, because she needed a husband and he believed I had a good heart and was a kind man…….

Straights of Gibraltar

Yesterday, June 10, 2016, I awoke early to walk the streets of Chefchaoun with my camera.  It was cool and all of the stores were closed and the streets were empty.  Some of my pics are on the previous post.

(BTW, now that I am Europe, inet speeds are blazing.  As I have time I am reviewing previous posts, uploading additional pics and correcting errors in grammar. Speeds are 1,800 times faster than in Egypt and hundreds of times faster than Morocco).

Muhamed was asleep on the couch, with the TV still on as I departed.  I left the room key with him and wandered the streets of The Blue Pearl.  There were a few other people walking about town with the same idea – morning light photography.  I wish I had access to a computer to view the shots on my camera.  If I downloaded them to my ipad, it would use up the balance of my memory.

While walking around I bought a wool bedspread and a couch blanket woven in the blues and white of Chefchaoun.  Mohamed will give my purchases to Aziz and he will ship them home with the custom made leather camera bag/backpack I had made for my sister/cousin Donna’s husband.

We departed Chefchaoun and headed north towards the Med.
The drive was spectacular – through wide valleys dotted with fruit and olive trees – and sweeping open vistas.  The sun was shining, the windows were down, the wildflowers were blooming and the air was clear and clean.  It was beautiful and it was not because I was high.  Being high did not diminish the scenery.

We arrived in Ceuta and to my surprise, it was part of Spain.  I said goodbye to Mohamed, paid him and set off with my backpack and daysack to make the border crossing.  Had to lug my packs about 1/2 mile through ‘no man’s land’ and get my passport stamped for entry into the EU.  There were no VISA or entry fees.  Just a passport stamp.

Making a border crossing ‘on foot’ is a special border crossing.   Airport, train or car entries do not earn travel badges but ‘on foot’ entries do.
I reflected on my other on foot border crossings – Thailand to Myanmar, Myanmar to Thailand, Thailand to Lao (twice),  U.S. To Mexico, Nepal to Tibet.  Special moments in my travel life.

I was hot packing since I was unable to make any room reservations in advance.  Walked another half mile lugging my packs through the ferry terminals, wishing I had a rolling suitcase or duffle like everyone else.  But then, I do not travel like everyone else.

On to the ferry and I walked straight past the reclining chairs in the salon to the upper deck for the solitude, fresh air and sunshine.

Bought two beers and reflected on the five days after meeting Omar.  I feel as though I could write a movie script.

 

Past The Rock of Gibraltar to the port of Algeciras, one of the largest ports in the world.




Upon arrival, I went to the tourist info desk and received info on a room and taxi rates, then to the ATM for Euros.  Staying at a hotel that is part of the Marriot chain, nice.

Bought four beers and then slept for 12 hours.  Woke up, showered, shaved and the went downstairs and said, “Quiero uno mas noche, por favor”.  Then went back to bed.  Recharged the batteries today – mine and all my electronics.

At 5:30 went to dinner.

Was finally able to book a train to Granada tomorrow at 11:30 AM.  A 4.5 hour ride for about $35.00.

Adios, amigos.

The Blue Pearl

Chefchaouen, by iPhone:



The Lonely Planet says:  Beautifully perched beneath the raw peaks of the Rif, Chefchaouen is one of the prettiest towns in Morocco, an artsy, blue-washed mountain village that feels like its own world. While tourism has definitely taken hold, the balance between ease and authenticity is just right. The old medina is a delight of Moroccan and Andalucian influence with red-tiled roofs, bright-blue buildings and narrow lanes converging on busy Plaza Uta el-Hammam and its restored kasbah. Long known to backpackers for the easy availability of kif (marijuana), the town has rapidly gentrified and offers a range of quality accommodation, good food, lots to do and no hassles to speak of, making it a strong alternative to a hectic multicity tour. This is a great place to relax, explore and take day trips to the cool green hills. Families take note.

Chefchaouen is split into an eastern half (the medina), and a western half (the ciudad nueva, or new city). The heart of the medina is Plaza Uta el-Hammam, with its unmistakable kasbah. The medina walls have recently been repaired, with Spanish funding. The principal route of the new city is Ave Hassan II, which stretches from Plaza Mohammed V, a leafy square designed by artist Joan Miró, past the western gate of Bab el-Ain, around the southern medina wall and into the medina itself. Here it dead-ends at Pl el-Majzen, the main drop-off point. The bus station is a steep 1.5km hike southwest of the town centre. The falls of Ras el-Maa lie just beyond the medina walls to the northeast.
Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/morocco/the-mediterranean-coast-and-the-rif/chefchaouen/introduction#ixzz4BDCIXkGL

An Additional Day

Wednesday, June 8, 2016.

I was more than willing to stop. It was an unplanned stop, an additional day in Morocco and extra costs would be added, but I could tell that my driver wanted to stop driving for the day and I agreed with his proposal. His name is Mohamed and he is driving me, fasting, not drinking any liquids, going all day without smoking tobacco plus he is away from his wife and three young boys.  And he also forgot to bring his sunglasses.    I told him I had no schedule, only destinations. 

Mohamed speaks understandable english and his taxi is the one Omar placed me in on the night of my arrival in Fes. He was glad we stopped for the night. Photographing the blue house town of Chefchaouen, about two hours northwest, could wait a day.

The owner was standing beside the road.   After he got in our 2WD sport utility vehicle, we made a U turn and drove a short distance back uphill then down a steep, narrow rocky drive on the side of the hill, best driven in 4WD. We were invited into the walled compound where we would spend the night. An hour after our mid afternoon arrival, the owner and my driver were napping, taking a Ramadan siesta. I was enjoying the view and again wondering if this was really happening.

I sat in a plastic chair and absorbed the valley below.



Thunder rumbled from the mountains in the distance beyond the valley. The frequency of thunder increased and soon a light rain shower moistened the parched, rocky hillsides. It was the first rain of my walkabout. The shower cleared the air and cooled things off. Parts of the valley were in sunshine and others were being sprinkled with rain. It is dry and the area could use some rain. The sound of roosters and songbirds was briefly interrupted by the call to prayer from a mosque.  The distant call to prayer, in places like this – is mesmerizing.

Apple, fig, two varieties of pear, olive trees provide shade around the hillside home. Grape vines interlace the fruit trees and small birds abound.

Below, between the hillside home of the owner, several miles and 1000 feet lower in elevation is a small town. The entire valley is growing cannabis, on every farmable piece of land.   Everywhere you look – for miles and miles – nothing but cannabis. The plants are 1-3 months into their  7 month cycle. Harvest is in November, then the rain and snow starts.

My host, the owner, asked if I wanted to go with him to purchase some food for ‘breakfast’, the first meal of the day after sunset on day 2 of Ramadan. It is the time of the crescent moon, the symbol of Islam.

We walked out of the walled compound and up the hill to the paved road. He made a phone call and soon a taxi appeared and took us to a small town. We gained elevation, pine trees appeared and the cultivation of cannabis decreased. Bread, milk and fruit juice were purchased at little stores. Even with the large amount of hash sold locally, the place is poor. If you do not own growing land you work on someone else’s land.  Pot is almost the entire economy.   The owner is not rich, but he lives comfortably with flat screen TVs, nice house and furniture, car, etc.

Farmable land in the entire region is often terraced and it is easy to see where the soil is fertile and moist versus the rocky highlands where irrigation is required. Pot is growing everywhere. There are no other crops being produced like hay, wheat or vegetables.

50% of the world’s hashish is grown here.


My ‘gift’ from the owner.

The region is very similar geographically to the western side of the Sierras of the same elevation – between 4000 to 5000 feet in elevation. I read that the King granted an exception to cannabis cultivation to those that live here because the rocky, dry, steep hillsides are not good enough for growing anything else. It is legal but kept low key.  And it is grown everywhere you look.

I had a tour of the pressing room. The sifted kief is compacted with a hand press. There was another press for extracting hash oil. The owner had some hash oil in a metal pot that was 10” in diameter and there was about an inch of the gooey, thick black hash oil resting on bottom.  On a counter on the other side of the room sat a plastic tub two feet in diameter containing over 30 kilo of hash. “Commercial grade” I was told. 

The owner explained everything, answering all my questions. I will hang out here at the owner’s home until till sunset, then eat breakfast with Mohamed and the owner and then crash right here.  

Here is a good link:

https://www.journeybeyondtravel.com/blog/kif-rif-hashish-morocco.html 

.

Dinner At Aziz’s

June 7, 2016

His home is 1200 years old.  It has 4 or five families living in it – 22 people in all – and it is designed like The Palace with an open central area and is 4 stories tall.  Aziz is the owner and the patriarch.  He is also an Imam, a highly respected person in the medina.  At the medrasa he teaches two groups of 20 boys each day,  the 5 and 6 year olds.  He was born in the house and drinks water out of the same fired pottery mug his father and grandfather used.  He handed it to me to hold and feel.

We talked until the sun set.  Aziz’s home is scheduled for major reconstruction by UNESCO next month as part of the World Heritage Site improvements being made in the old Fes medina.  His family and all the other families will move out during the reconstruction.  On the first floor where we ate, there are doors 15 feet tall, over a thousand years old and have  never been refinished. Standing in front of the doors I wished they could talk.

These walls made of handcut ceramic tile pieces are 1200 years old and the colors look like they were made yesterday.


We had a great dinner, starting with the traditional date and then a blended fruit and yogurt smoothie.  I ate everything on the table and it was all home made, even the bread.  There were 6 of us: Aziz, his wife, brother, sister, me and another male family member.  Everything was delicious.



BTW, many muslims, even the men, are sensitive to having their pictures taken, so I seldom do, without asking.  Out of respect for his position as an Imam, I did not ask Aziz for a picture tonight.  I was honored enough to be invited into the home of a man of his status on such a special occasion.

Rugs, Rugs, Rugs

Monday, June 6, 2016. 

Michelle picked me up at 8:30 and we immediately left for a light breakfast and an espresso. The town of Fes – and the entire Arab world for that matter – was starting to prepare for the first day of Ramadan. Shops were closing, people were shopping for food and women were busy preparing special treats and meals – just like the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in the U.S., the day before is not a normal day.   

Today, we were on a mission. 

We were met at the medina wall by Aziz, Michelle’s ‘man on the ground’ in Fes. Walked through the twisty medina and soon entered the carpet shop for the second day.  We were immediately welcomed by the english speaking Moroccan salesman and were offered mint tea. We took off our shoes. The shop was closed to everyone but us.   The state licensed shop sold only the finest carpets in Morocco.  Every carpet comes with a government certificate of authenticity, which is very important.   

Yesterday was the last day of the pre-Ramadan sale, where the carpets were reduced in price up to 70%. It is a mixed metaphor, but it was equlivent to an end of the season clearance sale and we had front row seats.  A normally $20,000 carpet would be sold for $6,000 and the proceeds would be used for feeding and caring for the city’s widows and the handicapped during Ramadan. There is no government social welfare system like Social Security in Morocco so the sales made by these government sponsored stores are a key social support system. There was a special accommodation made to be open for us today.  They make up for the low sale prices before Ramadan the rest of the year.

There were about 6 different types or styles of high quality carpets in the store, but there were also some of the ‘tourist grade’ carpets that are frequently sold in the souks in the medina.  The tourist grade carpets were 1/10 the price.

Michelle was looking for only two or three types of carpets.  Mint tea was served and the show began. At times we asked that carpets be removed from the walls and workers brought out ladders, removed the selected carpets from the walls and spread them on the floor. Others were unrolled and still others were unfolded, depending the type of carpet. Once the floor – about 40 feet by 30 feet square was full of carpets, we would either say yea or ney to each one. We usually had similar tastes and favorites. The yeas went into a pile on the side of the room for final approval and the neys were folded or rolled and removed. Then more were presented. 

 We looked at only one type of carpet at a time. 

Michelle has done this before and knows what to look for, what types, styles, sizes and colors fetch the highest values at auction houses in the U.S. and Switzerland.  He knows the when, where, what, why and how of the carpets.   The workers continued to present to us the carpets. Soon the floor was filled. Sometimes we would ask the workers to roll or refold the carpet up as soon as it was presented – ney.  Others stayed on the floor or went into the yea pile for the next round of selection. This went on for several hours and we looked at over 150 carpets – large, medium and small, silk, wool, bright, muted, traditional and modern, ones that were primarily red, yellow, green, salmon or blue. All were unbelievably beautiful, just like the palace. 

We walked on them with our bare feet and for the silk carpets we asked for them to be turned so that they could be seen from the light or the dark end, as there is a distinct viewing difference. Some carpets were double sided, made with two women passing the needles back and forth to make the carpets. Others, like the silk carpets were hand knotted and had 2.5 million knots and took over five years to make. 

They all are made with natural dyes, will not fade or run when washed.   You can spill red wine on them and it can be cleaned off with salt. 

I took some pics and we were brought more mint tea. The salesman asked to be excused to go and pray so we walked on the carpets and talked about which ones we liked the most or which ones we did not like as much. Which ones were too similar, even though each one was/is unique.  I liked many of them, but certain ones were especially beautiful. 

Finally, the time came for the final decisions.  The piles of the yeas were unfolded or rolled out and one last yea or ney selection was made.

Further details about final selections or purchases are a private matter, but let me say that they were all stunning, unbelievably beautiful pieces of art and the salesman said he was cleaned out of the best carpets in the store.

Rock, Paper, Scissors

June 7, 2016
I had just exited the shower and was dripping wet when he called. It was Omar and he was down in the hotel lobby. Ramadan has started and he said everything is closed so he brought me some food. I had food from the train ride three days ago – a few ounces of almonds and english walnuts, some swiss cheese, olives and some bread – but he was worried about me. 

When I met him in the lobby he had 4 bananas, 4 cups of yogurt, ½ liter of milk, 6 nectarines, 3 rounds of bread, a quarter pound of goat cheese and a bag of cherries!! I looked at all the food and told him I already ate a few nuts this morning and that I would be just fine until sunset, only five hours away, when everyone will end the day’s fast and I would join him for dinner. I told him that it was enough food for three days and nights and to remember that I would be traveling with Mohamed tomorrow to the Rifs on my way north to Chefchaouen tomorrow, then on my way to Tangier and fruit does not travel well. I took a few items and he gave the balance to the man at the hotel desk for his family meal tonight. 


Map of tomorrow’s planned journey to Chefchaouen.

Ramadan is a time for fasting, prayer, family and generosity.  I am being treated like family.

I have been treated like a brother by Muslims, both in Morocco and also in Egypt. There are so many positive words that come to mind. Helpful, generous, friendly, fun, welcoming, respectful – just to start a list that would be very long. It pains me, deeply, to think that people in the U.S. would even consider prohibiting Omar, Aziz or Michelle from entering my country to visit me, in my home, because they are Muslims. Those kind of statements from Americans make me embarrassed to say I am from the U.S.   

Omar said that Aziz, Michelle’s right hand man here in Fes, also wanted me to join him and his family tonight for the first feast after the start of Ramadan. It is not up to me to choose. 

 Omar and Aziz will play rock, paper, scissors to determine who gets to invite me to their home tonight for dinner. 
At 5:00 I will find out who won. 

The Palace

Michelle met me just before 8:30.  We headed straight to a cafe for breakfast and an espresso then he said he wanted to look for wood – old growth cedar wood in a town about 25 km from Fes.

It was a glorious morning, with the Atlas Mountains to our south and the Rifs to the north.  We headed south between the two ranges in the MB with the stereo blasting Lebanese music.  The windows were down and the sun was shining brightly as we sped past large groves of olive trees and an occasional flock of sheep to the predominately Jewish town of Sefrou.

I reflected on the last 24 hours of my walkabout and the karma and kismet of travel.  How the hell did I end up here, now, in this really comfortable leather seat in a MB with this man?

We entered the town of Safrou and as we drove past the old jewish cemetary Michelle asked if I wanted to stop.  I considered it a rhetorical question, as I always want to stop, see and learn.  The caretaker greeted us with “Shalom”.  He gave me a tour, speaking in French, past the old concrete graves and headstones, some dating back 400 years. 




The children are over here, the men are here and the women are over there.  Took pics then we headed to the walled medina of Sefrou,  where Michelle educated me on the construction of the ancient mud wall enclosure, similar to the medina walls in Casa, Marrakeck, Essaouira and Fes.  Part of his work with UNESCO has been on medina wall and building preservation.

He walked confidently through the medina and I followed him like a puppy.  Past blacksmiths at a forge and a craftsman man that was hand carving wooden bowls. 


 We ended up at a carpentry shop where he found the old cedar he was looking for.  He told the owner he wanted all he had and that his construction manager named Aziz would come to negotiate the price and transport the purchase.  Then we were off to his “Palace” inside the walls of the Fes medina.

Originally built in the 14th century, the home was owned by a wealthy Jewish aristocrat.   When the parents died, the children could not agree on what to do with it.  It sat abandoned for 25 years,with pigeons using the place as a roost.  Michelle bought it 3 years ago and has been restoring it since then.  

Pictures are worth a thousand words, so I will stop writing.



4X4 glazed ceramic tiles are hand chipped into little pieces – some as small as a pea – and used in the tile work.


The columns and window frames are hand carved plaster.



It took a crastsman over a year to paint just one ceiling.


Made with individual pieces, hand chipped from 4X4 tiles.










There are 10 bedrooms, each with a bath.  Every square inch of the 4 floors is handcrafted in the most amazing detail.  I told him I would love to attend the housewarming party.

We then left to go buy tile at a factory, where i had a tour of the manufacturing process of the tiles and the how the mosaic patterns are designed and made.  While I was taking the tour, Michelle purchased 60,000 4X4 pieces, which will be delivered in 6 months.

Then we had lunch.