Tag Archives: Partying

At a Rave in a Moroccan Desert

A year ago today, I was thrilled about my job. I was facilitating training, enjoying every minute of work, and was considering going full time and really starting a career. Wow. If you had told me a year ago that in one year I would be dancing my heart out at a secret rave in the middle of the desert in Morocco, I would have absolutely not believed you. Absolutely not. Yet, here I was.


Seven days earlier… January 19:

We stopped the van at a beautiful vista and made a little snack. We ate olives and tuna and avocado, and looked out the beautiful view stretched out in front of us. Another van pulled up next to us — French licence plate. A man stepped out, he looked dusty, like he had been in the desert a long time. A 3-legged dog jumped out of the van behind him and hobbled towards us. We spoked briefly about where we were coming from and where we were going. He asked if we had been to the Painted Rocks yet. The Painted Rocks is a big valley nearby, where, in the 80s, a bunch of boulders had been painted blue. Now, it is a favourite free camping spot for van travelers. We told him we had just been, but we were the only ones. He told us there was going to be a party at the Painted Rocks next weekend! Michael asked, “how do you know about this party?” The dusty Frenchman responded, “you just have to go to a party and then they tell you when the next one is going to be.” Seems legit.


January 25:

Our three van, eight person, and one dog convoy arrived at the Painted Rocks at around 3pm. We were three of maybe 15 vans. Hmmm. Maybe the party isn’t real? I mean, we came by our party invitation from a dusty Frenchman with a 3-legged dog, so there was a slight possibility that the information wasn’t correct.

We set up camp, vans in a circle, with a fire pit in the middle and vans slowly began to file into the valley. We had our campfire roaring and we cracked open a few beers. A young Moroccan boy wandered to our fire and asked if we had any water. Sure! We gave him some to drink and he thanked us. We told him that he and his friends were all welcome to sit around our fire this evening and warm up. Soon, a whole gaggle of 17-year old Moroccan boys joined us around the flames. They were lovely. They also assured us that there will, in fact, be a party tomorrow! Yay!

Photo captured by @a.kind.journey

January 26:

The bass was thunderous and echoed through the whole valley. The stars were bright and the moon lit our way through the valley towards where the bass was booming. I had a beer in the pocket of my jacket. We arrived and sure enough, there was a party! “Oh my gosh, this is insane,” I thought. The DJ was set up under a tent, and in front of him, a wall of HUGE speakers pulsing with bass and vibrating in the dirt. Lights and videos were projected onto the rocks behind the DJ, and strobe lights rhythmicallylit up the faces of the ravers dancing to the beats. Everybody was smiling.

If you had told me a year ago that I would be dancing my heart out at a secret rave in the middle of the desert in Morocco, I would have not believed you. Yet, here I was…


Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Morocco

We walked along the beach towards the walled medina of Essaouira, We passed camels on the way and it reminded me I’m in Africa……! The sunset this evening was just breathtaking. To be honest, the first few days adjusting to living van life and to traveling in Morocco in general, have been difficult! A sunset like this helped me realize it will soon all settle into place. We arrived to the medina, and began looking for a place to eat. We walked by a place with a big, busy patio. All the chairs were facing the street, as if it were a stage playing an unmissable show. Here, the show was a pair of musicians, busking across the path, and the people stopping to watch. This patio really did have the ultimate people watching set up. We took a seat and ordered our meal. I had a tagine with Kefta and an egg. Kefta is ground lamb and spices. It was served with bread, so I just made it into a really decadent sandwich. The music was great! The people watching was superb. We sat after dinner for a while, enjoying our tea and coffee, and the beautiful evening. Also, we have no idea what to do this evening. Gah! It’s New Year’s Eve!


We ended up at a party on a rooftop terrace. It was right on the main street, above the restaurant we ate dinner at. It cost 150dh to enter ($20 CAD), but then we could trade your tickets in for alcoholic drinks (a rarity in Morocco)! We walked up the steps to the terrace and man, this place was cool! There were stairs everywhere leading to a second level, and a kind of courtyard dance floor in the middle. There was a stage set up and on it were musicians playing music, and traditional Moroccan dancers dancing along. It was so fun! We bought a bottle of wine and went upstairs where we could enjoy the show and our drinks.

There were lots of tourists at this party. And lots of locals too. It was a fun mixed bag. We danced a bit, drank our wine, and enjoyed the show. A man came over, obviously a paid party promoter or something, took my wine glass out of my hand and handed it to Michael. He then dragged me onto the dance floor and made me dance with the other poor tourists. I laughed, of course, Michael took pictures, of course, and when the song changed, I left the stage to return to Michael and my wine. We laughed about it. Then the man came back and tried to drag me up again. I resisted. He told us to live in the moment, that this is the last moment of 2017, so we must enjoy it. This moment will never happen again, so enjoy this moment, have fun together. I smiled and told him, “we are, we were, leave us be!” He smiled and moved on to another group of tourists. How do you expect me to live in the moment if you keep telling me to live in the moment?! We chatted with some guys standing nearby as a new performer took the stage. The guys were from Switzerland and come to Morocco every year on a surf trip. They gave Michael some tips, where the best breaks are, how to get there, and which beaches to avoid. It was great!


The new performer was a woman whose look screamed, “DIVA!” Her hair was huge and curly, her dress was short and hugged her body, and she talked to us like we were her biggest fans. Dang, that diva could sing too. We danced a bit, and drank our last drink. A man went up on stage between songs and whispered to the diva. She looked at the time and nodded. I looked at my phone and realized it was only one minute to midnight! Gah!

All of a sudden, she began counting, “ONE…” Wait, what? I looked at Michael. He looked as puzzled as me. We looked at the Swiss guys, they too looked confused. In fact, I looked at the faces of all the nearby tourists and they all looked just baffled. “TWO!…. THREE!… FOUR!!!… HAPPY NEW YEARS!” What?! In Canada, we count down to New Years…? I looked at my phone, sure enough, it was midnight! 2018!!! We laughed. I grabbed Michael Quick, world adventurer and van lifer extraordinaire, and gave him a big, romantic, New Years kiss. I love this man. I love this life. Happy New Year, world!


Drinking Beer at Oktoberfest!

This morning we woke up, ready for Oktoberfest! We made ourselves a hearty breakfast, knowing full well the main activity of Oktoberfest is drinking beer, and got ourselves ready for the day. I donned my bright red dirndl, a traditional Bavarian dress, Michael donned his lederhosen, basically a pair of leather shorts, and we walked to the train station. After about half an hour on a train filled with people wearing everyday clothes and not lederhosen or a dirndl, we finally arrived at the square. Oktoberfest is just a huge fair. There are rides, fair games, and big food stands. What makes this fair different than others though, are the HUGE tents, lined end to end with table and benches, in which the only size beer you can order is one litre. We chose the Augustiner Brau tent first for we heard from a Bavarian local that it’s the best beer.


The woman who brought our beer to us was all kinds of Oktoberfest — frills and lace, tumbling cleavage, and forearms like hamhocks, carrying four, sometimes five litres of beer in each hand! Michael and I cheers’ed each other, and the other folks at our table, and drank up. People around us sang songs and danced dances that looked so silly to us, still sober folk. We just laughed and watched everyone have a good time.


We head to another tent after we finished our first beers. On the way, we passed a stand that sold cookies. This is a weird Oktoberfest tradition, actually. It’s a gingerbread looking cookie that is in the shape of a heart, has some icing sentence written across it, and is worn around the neck. Some are small, the size of my palm, some are medium, the size of my face, and some are HUGE, bigger than my face! I had to buy one! It said something along the lines of “a sweet for a sweet,” which I thought was damn cute.


Our second beer was enjoyed in the Löwenbrau tent at a table with a drunk American, a drunk British couple, and a few drunk Aussies. That second beer went down way easier than the first. Dang. We ordered our third beer. Things got a bit blurry now. All of a sudden, the silly songs and drunk people became our favourite drinking sing-a-longs, and our best friends. We sang Ain Prosit, a Bavarian drinking song that translates to something about good fortune (I think), and for some reason that song that goes, “Heyyyyyy, hey baby! HOO! HA! I wanna kno-o-o-o-o-o-ow if you’ll be my girl!” Apparently it’s a favourite sing-a-long song at Oktoberfest?


I finally ate the cookie around my neck. It was horrible. It wasn’t even a cookie. I would say it was kind of like a dense bread. Or like a gingerbread cookie with no ginger flavour or sugar. Or like a really thick piece of cardboard with an icing sentence written across it. It really was horrible. I shared it with everyone at the table. They were thankful until they took a bite and realized why I was sharing. We were drunk. I guess three litres of beer is my limit. We said farewell to our new friends and hit the road. We were on the train and arrived home before ten. I do love an early night. Off with the dirndl, off with the lederhosen. You know, I’ll never forget my first time at Oktoberfest, except for the parts I just can’t remember…


At La Tomatina, in Buñol, Spain.

Have you ever been in a food fight? Someone throws a spoonful of peas at someone sitting cross the table and then total chaos erupts in the school cafeteria leaving you wondering, “who the heck is going to clean that up?” At least that’s what happens in movies. Ladies and gentlemen, I, Beth, of Where the F is Beth, have never been in a food fight! I felt like I needed to check it off my never ending to do list, but I wasn’t going to settle for a spoonful of measly peas. When I do something, I like to do the best, the biggest, the MOST ridiculous. So, I journeyed to the small village of Buñol, Spain and took part in the world’s biggest food fight — La Tomatina.

Our day began at the crack of dawn. We were instructed to be at the Plaza de Tetuan at 6am, at which time the busses would leave and whisk us to Buñol! The bus ride was fast and easy, and when we arrived, we joined hoards of other busses. They say 22,000 people attend this festival, that’s a lot of busses! The crowd wandered through the village and down the hill, to the old town. We walked past the street where the fight would take place and saw that all the locals had covered their houses and balconies in tarps. To get us ready for the fight, Festivals All Around had a big pre-party with free sangria and live music.


After a few drinks in our bellies, we left the party and walked to where some of the festivities had begun. As we walked, the locals sprayed us with water! Water dumped off balconies, hoses sticking through the holes in the tarps and men on the streets, splashing buckets of water at us! The first part of La Tomatina is when the attendees try to climb a huge pole covered in grease, and snatch the jamón (ham) from the top. We stood in the crowd and watched as multiple soaking wet, sangria drunk men and women clambered on top of each other for their chance at La Tomatina glory. They say the tomato fight doesn’t begin until the jamón is claimed, but while we stood there and watched attempt after failed attempt, a local nearby said nobody has reached it in five years. We left the crowd and moved back up to the skinny street where the tomato trucks would be driving through.

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Finally, we heard a truck horn! They’re coming! The tomatoes are coming! The trucks drove down the dangerously skinny streets and we were pushed up right against the tarps to allow them to pass. I reached into my fanny pack and took out my swim goggles. I’m ready. People stood in the backs of the trucks, throwing tomatoes down on to the streets. Chaos ensued. Pick up a tomato, squish the tomato in your hand, throw the tomato at a total stranger, repeat…until the next truck blares its horn, drives around the corner, and empties its contents onto the street. Six trucks went by. I think. Maybe seven. It’s all a blur — tomatoes flying past me, pulp showering me from all sides. The fight continued for an hour. I didn’t stop laughing for a second.


The streets ran red with tomato juice. I stood ankle deep in the mush. Tomato puree dripped off my head, into my ears, down my back, and into unmentionable places. My throat hurt from being pelted with an unripe tomato, my knees hurt from falling onto the tomato-wet pavement, my face hurt from smiling too much. Best. Day. Ever.


How to get into Berghain in Berlin, Germany

There are a few things I would say Berlin is known for: the currywurst, a pork sausage served with curry ketchup; the wegbier, like a beer ‘to go’, directly translated to “away beer”; and of course, the extreme techno scene. I love sausages and I love beer, but I have never really given techno a chance. So, when I heard about Berghain, a techno club in Berlin, I desperately wanted to go and “do” techno right.

Berghain is an institution in the Berlin techno scene that opens its doors on Friday evening and doesn’t close until Monday morning. People say stepping into Berghain is like stepping into another world, and if you believe all the rumours, at Berghain, anything goes. There is no guest list, no bottle service, no VIP area. The other thing you should know about Berghain is that it’s said to be near impossible to get in! People recount evenings they stood in the line outside for 2 hours, just to be politely told that no, in fact, they would not get in. With one flick of the wrist, the doorman decides your fate, right means yes, left means no. There seem to be no rules, no dress code, no reasoning! So how do you get in?!

This is how we did it:

We woke up on Sunday morning and started our day with a lovely breakfast. I had a tomato, mozzarella, and pesto panini and a chai latte. The chai latte was so frothy and creamy, it was actually really good. We sat outside and watched as the clouds prepared to drop some rain. We took the S-bahn through the city, past the TV tower, and arrived at Ostbahnhof station.

We ended up walking behind some kids that looked like they might be going to Berghain too. They were all dressed in black, and one of them had his phone in his hand, playing techno music. “To get in the mood,” I thought to myself. They looked pretty cool, like they knew and understood the techno scene.

We turned a corner on the path and could hear the booming bass from the club. I began shaking in my boots. Oh man, I just knew we weren’t going to get in. I just don’t think I am cool enough for this place! Everyone talks about how exclusive this place is, and here I am, little Where the F is Beth going to try to get in? Ha!

The cool looking kids were in front of us in line. The doorman knew as soon as he looked at people whether or not they were Berghain material, so the line moved quite quickly. Out of the four or so groups of people I saw at the door, two people got in, and their friends were told to leave. Phew! I was really shaking now. The cool looking kids got to the front of the line. The doorman looked at all four of them and shook his head no, wrist flick to the left. Then, one of the kids opened his wallet and offered the man a bribe. It, of course, didn’t work. We stepped up. The doorman looked straight into my soul through his blacked out sunglasses.

And then we got in.


For more things to do in Germany, read stories of other adventures here!

Partying like an 18 year old in Napoli

Tonight we would dine at Trattoria Da Nennella. Michael read online that it boasts a three course meal with wine and water included for only €12! We also read online that the line up can sometimes be so long, people wait for an hour or even two to be seated! We found the place and stood in the line. It was only about half a block long, so we didn’t think the wait would be too long. Everyone around us was drinking Aperol Spritz in little plastic cups, so we followed suit. Michael quickly found the place selling them and ordered two while I stood in line. He came back, “they were €1 each,” he said. “Well,” I replied, “it looks like we are getting wasted tonight!”


Michael went to get our second round; the first one went down so quickly. The line hadn’t moved, so I asked the young guys in front of me how long they had been waiting. “For what?” one asked. “Aren’t you in line for Nennella?” He laughed and told me that no, in fact they were just standing there, drinking. Michael came back and told me that on his venture to get two more drinks, he went to the other side of Nennella to discover the actual line — a way bigger line. We both laughed. The young guys in front of us “in line” introduced themselves as Luca and Francesco.

The street was bustling! Shoulder to shoulder people. I was getting a bit hungry, and Luca told us to eat at Nennella, but to just skip the line. He told us that we could either stand in line for ~2 hours and have 3 courses and wine for €12, OR we could order our food from the window and eat it on the street. We went to the window and ordered two bowls of penne, Michael ordered seafood, and I ordered pesto. When I took the bill to the cash register to pay, the man told me €5. I’m sorry? For both? When the meals came, the bowls were HUGE. I love Italy.

We ate our meals and chatted with Francesco and some of his friends. Francesco told me he is in first year university. He said he is older than all of his friends, that most of them are still in high school! Michael and I laughed. There we were, hanging out with 18 year olds That’s when Francesco asked, “Want to go to a trash party?” Yes, Francesco, we do. We didn’t drink 4 Aperol Spritz and two €2 glasses of red wine to just go home before midnight!


We followed our new young friends through the back streets of Napoli. People were on the streets everywhere, drinking, eating, smoking, and having the coolest time. We finally made it to the trash party. It was in a big courtyard of an old building. Under-the-table beer was €2, and a DJ was set up at the end of the courtyard. I danced. I was drunk. Just so drunk. So, I danced. The DJ was horrible. He played only 90s and 00s hits (which is old school for most of the attendees), but only the choruses and then there came a point when he didn’t even play the whole chorus, and just skipped to the next song. Even drunk Beth knows this is poor form.


We lost our friends, they probably realized early on that this trash party was going to be garbage (haha). After a bite to eat at a street food cart, we stumbled home. Man, partying like an 18 year old when you’re 27 really takes it out of you!

Celebrating King’s Day in Amsterdam

April, 2015

This morning I woke up with a spring in my step! It’s King’s day!! Koningsdag!! The biggest birthday party in the world!! I donned my orange feather boa and my orange feathery crown. We hit the streets and wandered through Haarlemmerstraat. It was packed to the brim! People (in orange) walked along the street shoulder to shoulder. Little stalls set up on the sidewalks with kids selling lemonade, parents selling old clothes, toys, and other various items. Music was playing around every corner, and not one face was frowning. It was wonderful!


We saw boat after boat filled with orange people. There was one boat in particular carrying only boys all wearing orange onesies, orange afro wigs, and orange sunglasses. They were quite a spectacle! We figured it was a good time to stop and have some lunch. We sat on the canal edge, with our feet dangling over, and ate our snacks. We watched the boats go by and laughed at the characters on each. One boat looked like a giant floating dance floor! One boat that went by set off a confetti cannon!! It was magical and wonderful! I think confetti cannons are up there among a few of my favourite things.


We found ourselves at the stage on Westerstraat and danced to the awesome music they played. We were dancing with two guys dressed in big, furry, orange onesies. I laughed at them. Over their shoulders, I could see a third and a fourth dressed in the same outfit. Then a fifth and sixth. Then a seventh. Sally said, “there are SO many of them wearing that onesie!” I laughed as I looked around at the sea of furry, orange men. I looked over at the buildings surrounding and there was one window in particular that made me smile. There were four older ladies dancing at the window and taking part in the fun! it was so fantastic to see them dancing along to the tunes, cheers’ing their drinks to each other, and looking like they were having such a good time.


We decided to call it a day and head home. We sat on my rooftop balcony for about an hour, directly in the sun. I could have fallen asleep right then. I think everyone could have. MY goodness I’m tired! And SO happy with my King’s Day. Happy Birthday, King!


Drinking Fireball and Ice Fishing

In May 2012 I began a list of all the things I want to do and the places I want to see. Over the years I have been adding items to this list. Some people might call it a bucket list. I don’t like to call it that because bucket lists seem to be something people write when they have only a little bit of time left: they are sick, they are dying, they are worried about a zombie apocalypse, or an asteroid hitting Earth, etc. Mine is a to do list.

When my friend Chloe found out one of the items on my to do list was to go ice fishing, she called up a gaggle of fishing friends, and we headed out to a big ol’ frozen lake near Edmonton. We woke up at some godforsaken morning hour, and our convoy drove out of the city before the sun even came up. We arrived at the trout pond, and found a spot to park the cars near the water. Unfortunately, for Kurt and Ryan, the driveway to the parking lot was invisible in the snow and they missed it entirely, driving right into the ditch. All the boys got out of their cars, hitched the car to one of the trucks, and helped push it back onto the road.


We drove one of the trucks out onto the ice. I sat on the tailgate with Chloe and James. The ice auger was revved up, and the boys began drilling holes! I was handed a rod with a lure and a worm that was still wriggling even after being ripped in half and shoved onto a hook, and was told to drop it down the hole. I did and just like that, I was ice fishing! Ryan asked what was in my pocket. I pulled out the flask of Fireball I brought in the event I got cold sitting outside all day. We exchanged a high five, and each took a swig. It was 8:30 am.


I heard a commotion nearby and James, who was also ice fishing for the first time today, reeled in the first fish of the day! He was a happy man as he pulled that fish out of the water. The seal was broken, and all of a sudden fish were being pulled up steadily. Six beautiful rainbow trout were fooled this morning by our lures and wriggling worms. I caught none of them. All hope was not lost though, for when the biting slowed, we packed up our gear and, after pulling Kurt’s car out of the ditch for the second time, headed to the next lake.


The clouds disappeared when we arrived. The auger was out again, drilling holes through the ice to the water. I lowered my wriggling worm and lure into a hole, and set up my chair to face the sun. Then I fell asleep. I was so cozy all wrapped up in layers, the sun warmed my face, the Fireball buzz was at a nice sustained level, and not one fish nibbled my lure. I woke up when Ryan exclaimed: He caught something! He pulled up a fish from the depths. It wriggled and writhed, and even though he ended up throwing it back (it was too small to take home) we all cheered and high-fived. It was an exciting moment!


To be honest, I think ice fishing is kinda boring if you aren’t catching anything. That being said, drinking cinnamon whiskey in the sun on a bluebird day, with an amazing gang of buds, is an absolutely beautiful thing. I had the most splendid day out there on the ice, and what’s more, I was able to cross something off my to do list!

A HUGE Pillow Fight in Amsterdam

We walked quickly across the city towards Dam Square. Amsterdam is a very bicycle friendly city, where bikes have the right of way. Pedestrians, on the other hand, are low on the priority list and you really risk life and limb navigating your way. We weaved in and out IMG_3686of the crowds of fellow pedestrians, dodged trams, cars, and bicycles, and finally found ourselves in the shadow of the National Monument. We and perhaps 1000 other people. Music radiated through the square, people were dressed in all kinds of costumes, chatting and laughing, and everyone, I mean everyone, had a pillow in hand.

The crowd enthusiastically counted backwards from ten. 10…9…8…People stretched their backs and arms, limbering up for the fight…7…6…5…grips tightened on pillow cases…4…3…2…1…GO! The fight began! Pillows were flying through the air, smacking people in the face and back. Before long, feathers had been freed from their cases, and were exploding into the sky. I almost drowned in down! People were stumbling out of the crowd, breathless, covered in feathers. Some had lost their pillow in the fight, others were lucky enough to still be holding on to, and flinging their downy weapon around. It was hilarious! The music was blaring, the sun was shining, and everyone was covered in feathers and laughing. And how could they not be laughing when the music is blaring, the sun is shining, they are covered in feathers, and they are in a pillow fight with 1000 other people, in the middle of Amsterdam?!


Taking in a Sex Show in Amsterdam

April, 2015

Kelsey and I decided to do what every British ‘Lad’ does when they come to Amsterdam on a Monday night— go to the Red Light District! We wandered around the streets, in all their Monday night glory, which could be confused for Friday or Saturday night glory, honestly. It was very busy! We were enthralled by the prostitutes in their windows. They were beautiful!! I don’t know what I expected. I thought maybe Monday’s prostitutes wouldn’t be as good as Friday’s? At any rate, I was an uncomfortable, prudish Canadian, and awkwardly smiled at each when I accidentally made eye contact after they tapped on the glass, coaxing me to look. We were surrounded by men, mostly British, mostly drunk.

After a lap of the main two streets, we decided to take the leap! We walked into the Moulin Rouge, paid our entry, and were ushered up the stairs. We jumped at the opportunity, to sit in the very front row! We took our seats, ordered our drinks, and eagerly awaited the show to start. Please note, that words used in the rest of this story include, ‘breasts,’ ‘vagina,’ ‘sex,’ and ‘cum’. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

The first lady of the evening was dressed in a sexy milkmaid outfit, and brought a banana out with her. She came down from the stage to choose volunteers from the audience, but not before she took Kelsey’s hands, put them on her breasts, and shimmied. Kelsey exclaimed, “they’re real!” The stripper said, “I’m saving for silicone!” and laughed. She brought up four audience members. They were all so embarrassed. It was great! She danced a little, took off her clothes, and then slapped each of the ‘volunteers’ in the face with her tits. It was amazing. I didn’t even know breasts could do that! She peeled her banana, took a chunk off and held it in her mouth. One of the guys had to eat it! She put the next piece in between her breasts. The next piece, she put on her stomach. The last piece was still in the peel, and she put it in her vagina. The faces of the guys on stage were as red as cheeks could be. She would be my favourite of the evening. The next woman lit a candle and balanced it in her vagina as she somersaulted and rolled all over the stage. The next kept a ribbon bundled up inside her and had an audience member hold one end as she danced around the stage and on the pole, and the ribbon unraveled.

Then it was time for the main event. The woman walked out wearing a cape, devil horns, and she carried a giant book. Then the man came out wearing a mask and a cape. She undressed, then he undressed, then they had sex. You know what, it was actually quite boring! The woman made not one facial expression. At all. It was robotic, forced, and very anti-climactic. Literally. Not that a cum shot would have made the show any less exciting, but it would have been a less uncomfortable way to end the show. I am glad we did it, because ‘when in Rome’, but I don’t think I would see a sex show again. Unless it was the banana girl, she was highly entertaining.

Photo by @seattletoshanghaiandbackagain