Vacation Recap: Part 3 (Marrakech, Morocco and Madrid)

Black tassel dress

I promise this will be the last of my vacation recaps. I was only gone for two weeks, but it was truly such a memorable vacation that I can’t resist documenting it. Thanks for bearing with me as I finish out my trip in Marrakech, Morocco and Madrid, Spain.

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Pom pom long sleeve top

I wore this outfit on the plane from Gran Canaria (click here if you missed my Gran Canaria recap) to Marrakech, Morocco. If you don’t know much about Marrakech, here’s the scoop. It is in Africa (I’ve now been to 5 out of 7 continents) and most people are Muslim so it is a very, very conservative country. Let’s just say I should have done a tad more research before packing because I don’t think the cold shoulder trend is as popular there as it is in the US. I figured I was adequately covered, even if I did show a little shoulder skin. My exact pom pom sweatshirt is sold out, but I’m a big fan of this one and this one. My go-to Zella Live In Leggings are sold at Nordstrom.

After a long travel day, we spent our first evening chilling at our hotel villa, eating room service couscous and resting up for our first real adventure out in Marrakech.

The next morning, we woke up ready to hit the souks. Out of all the things to do in Marrakech, I was most excited about doing a little shopping at the local markets, which they call souks. In Marrakech, there is a large square or medina which is where all the snake charmers and monkeys are located. There are a ton of little shops there, and off of the main square there are alleys and alleys of additional souks. It seriously was spectacular. If we wouldn’t have had two kids in tow, I would have spent all day wandering around those little markets. They sold everything from amazing handmade bags (I stocked up on a few clutches), scarves, blankets, shoes, caftans, jewelry, lamps, etc… My kids each picked out a wooden snake, my son got an amazing handmade puzzle and my daughter got an adorable embroidered dress. My pictures honestly don’t do it justice, but here are a few shots from the souks:

monkeys in Morocco

Shopping in Morocco Souks

Souks in Marrakech

We even got to take a tuk tuk back to the hotel from the medina. Do I have any Amazing Race fans out there? For some odd reason, this was one of those things I’ve always wanted to do in life. I can cross shopping at the souks and riding in a tuk tuk off my bucket list.

After the souks, we headed back to the hotel because my kids wanted to swim. After all, we did drag them to Europe and Africa, so the least we could do was give them some time in the swimming pool. I even snuck in some time to read my book, which I successfully finished on my trip. Has anyone else read Big Little Lies? If you haven’t, you need to. Total summer beach read if you are looking for a new book.

2017 chick lit

Ruffle sleeve cover-up

The next morning, my husband and I had appointments to get massages at our hotel spa. I’m convinced no one in Europe and Africa has ever had a good night’s rest because the beds are rock hard over there. The hard beds did a number to our backs so we took full advantage of the cheap spa prices and alternated our massage appointments. The parent not at the spa was back at the pool with the kids. I wore my favorite embroidered Amita Naithani cover-up (click here for my cover-up recap) while in Marrakech.

Marrakech parks

After the pool and massages, we showered up and headed over to a nearby park. It was called the Cyber Park, which is located in the new part of the city. One interesting thing about Marrakech is the area where the souks and medina are located is very old with super small alleys that wind their way through the city. Right next to it is the new part of town (which is where our hotel was) that is absolutely beautiful with very grand architecture. In the middle of it is this spectacular park called the Cyber Park (it has wifi throughout) which is almost like a little botanical garden.

Braided headband

While in Morocco, I was totally rocking the braid headband (C/O). I absolutely love this look and it matched my hair perfectly. Follow @justbraydzbychaya on Instagram for more info. My embroidered top is from (C/O) and my distressed jeans are from Hawk & Holly (C/O). My earrings are from the Sugarfix by BaubleBar line and my shoes are by Tory Burch.

Morocco carriage rides

After our walk through the park, we decided to take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city. There were carriages everywhere and we decided with two kids, it was the best way to get a little tour of the city. Both of my kids fell fast asleep about 10 minutes into the carriage ride, so my husband and I were actually able to enjoy our hour-long tour of Marrakech in peace. We rode back through some of the souks, around the medina and through the new part of the city. We even spotted the local Louis Vuitton store, which made me chuckle. One other thing that made me smile were the stop signs, which were written in arabic. Something so simple that looked so different was just one of many things that makes Marrakech stand out.

Marrakech views

Marrakech city views


We grabbed dinner that night (more couscous) and all fell asleep as fast as could be.

The next morning, we woke up and decided to go take a camel ride. After all, a camel ride in Africa should be on everyone’s bucket list, right?! Our hotel drove us out to the palm grove where there were multiple stations of camels and attendants just waiting for tourists to come by. We even saw people taking taxis out to ride camels, which also made me laugh. All the camel rides offer traditional Moroccan clothing, which are provided due to the dust back in the palm grove. I didn’t think it was all that dusty, but we did look pretty darn cool in our outfits. My daughter refused the headdress so we didn’t force the issue. She also cried when we first put her on the camel, but a sucker quickly calmed her cries (let’s just say I saw that coming and was prepared).

Camel ride in Morocco

Marrakech camels

We saw baby camels wandering through the palm trees, held a turtle and enjoyed an hour ride through the desert. It was honestly the highlight of the trip because it was such a surreal experience.

kimono with tassels

I actually wore a cute outfit to the camel rides, but it was hidden by the Moroccan outfits. I talked about my kimono here and see above for info on my jeans, headband and shoes.

We had big plans to venture out for dinner that evening, but a huge thunderstorm rolled in right as we were arriving back at our hotel after the camel ride. Going out was still an option, but we decided putting the kids to bed early and enjoying room service by the fire was the best possible idea for our last full non-travel day of vacation. We were totally over couscous by then and ordered burgers. Total Americans. I would have gotten tacos if that was an option.

leggings and lululemon jacket

The next morning, we packed our things up and headed to the airport to get back to Spain. In case you were curious, leggings, a Lululemon jacket and my Adidas Stan Smiths were my go-to travel outfit.

The most frequent question I get when I tell people about my trip to Morocco is if I was ever scared. Honestly, it was a huge culture shock, but we sort of got used to it after a day or two. My husband and I have both traveled extensively, but we’ve never been anywhere near the Middle East before. While it was conservative and we definitely stood out like sore thumbs, I think the city of Marrakech thrives off tourists and does its best to keep everyone safe. Yes, I was surprised to see police officers walking around the city with machine guns, but I suppose they are there for a reason. If you’ve never left the US before, don’t go straight to Morocco, but if you are up for an experience, do it. We loved it.

boho paisley dress

We headed back to Madrid for about 18 hours because that was where we caught our flight back to the US. That was just enough time to enjoy a glass of wine on the patio and dinner in the city before going to bed. Compared to Marrakech, we were excited to see some variety in the food and it felt freeing to see people wearing shorts and tank tops again.

Madrid city tour

Even my daughter was sporting an off-the-shoulder romper from good old Target. I couldn’t find it online, but check your local store. So dang cute. I found my dress at my local Marshall’s store for about $12, which I bought because it looked Moroccan to me. The funny thing is no one in Morocco would ever wear this because it was way too short and was sleeveless, but it was perfect for Spain. I couldn’t find it online, but this one is super cute and pretty similar.

              Spanish dress

And when you see a mint Vespa, you stand by it and take a picture.

The next morning, we woke up and took an 11 flight back to Dallas, “enjoyed” a couple hour layover and then flew back to Phoenix. It took us a good week to get back on schedule, but it was worth it. We love taking our kids to explore the world and showing them new cultures. It truly was a trip of a lifetime.

With that, I’m done with my vacation recaps. Who has been to Morocco? Would you like to visit?