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Kelly and Patrick Huibregtse got married on May 25, 2013, in Madison, Wisconsin’s Olin Park. Six months later, Kelly, a pediatric physician and lifestyle blogger, and her photographer husband, Pat, left their San Francisco home and ventured across Morocco by rental car, bus, and train through vibrant fishing villages and sun-bleached mountains, recording you-wouldn’t-believe-it-if-you-didn’t-see-it memories along the way.
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Length of Trip: 17 days
Breakdown: One night in Asilah, three in Chefchaouen, one in Al Hoceima, four in Fez, and five in Marrakech
Flight Time: 24 hours from San Francisco to Tangier, with stopovers in Dallas and Madrid
Snap Appy: “Instagram let everyone back home follow our travels,” says Kelly. (Peek at her pics here: @asideofsweet)
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Instead of a traditional registry, Kelly and Pat used Honeyfund to register for their honeymoon. “I could start a restaurant with all the kitchen stuff I already have,” says Kelly, “so this was the perfect solution for us.”
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Before the duo landed on the location, a couple films helped tip the scales in Morocco’s favor. “Sipping Jetstreams, a gorgeous surf documentary, made me want to go bad,” says Pat, a wave rider himself. “And I’ve of course seen Casablanca at least three times,” says Kelly. “I can’t get enough.”
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Their Favorite City Along the Way
“Chefchaouen, where all the buildings are painted blue,” Pat says. Adds Kelly, “It’s magical, tucked way up in the mountains, and made for wandering.”
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Hotel They Never Wanted to Leave
The oasis-esque La Pause, 19 miles from Marrakech in the arid Agafay desert (rates from $204/night). “How to describe it?” muses Kelly. “Quiet. Peaceful. Utterly romantic. We had our own cabin with hand-woven blankets and a cast-iron stove. And there was no electricity so everything was candlelit at night.”
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Meeting the Locals
One night, while sitting outside, Kelly and Pat spotted a goat herder walking by with a baby goat in his basket, and they just had to hold it.
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Restaurant They’re Still Not Over
“In Chefchaouen, Tissemlal was in a refurbished riad with massively high ceilings,” Kelly says. “The food was straight Moroccan: rich and beautifully flavored, and served in traditional dishes. I had couscous with chicken, and Pat had a huge tagine.”
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Buying a rug (“There were fewer tourists in Fez, which made the shops easier to navigate than in Marrakech,” says Pat); experiencing a hammam spa (“An attendant scrubs you down with black soap, and you come out of it beyond exfoliated,” Kelly recalls); drinking mint tea (“It’s served in businesses and hotels as well as cafés,” she says); and satisfying your sweet tooth with bought-on-the-street ghoriba coconut cookies (“Better than French macarons,” Kelly says).
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Best Morocco Souvenirs
“Rugs—obviously!—plus the famous blue-and-white Fez dishware, hand-woven wool blankets, pashminas, and a large vintage leather-and-carpet bag to carry it all home in!” says Kelly.
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“Shukran is Arabic for ‘thank-you,’ and salaam alaikum is ‘hello,’” says Pat.
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Experience They’ll Never Forget
“Toward the end of the trip, I was getting pretty scruffy and I spotted this barbershop in Marrakech,” says Pat. “It turned from a simple straight-blade shave into a full-blown haircut!” remembers Kelly. “The barber carved a soul patch and gave Pat long sideburns. But then he slicked back the top 1920s Great Gatsby–style—it looked good.”
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