Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


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Catching Up…Again!

I am a huge slacker. Plain and simple.

Since getting to AK, I have only turned my laptop on a few times. My iPhone is enough for most things, but clearly not for blogging as I haven’t posted much of anything for weeks!

Many apologies.

My boss and I picked up Vince and one of my employees in Anchorage earlier this week. He’s thrilled to be back; that boy LOVES Alaska! He doesn’t start working for another week, so he has just been hanging out.Vince's first night back in Alaska.

This weekend we drove the 2 hours to Denali and Healy to spend the night and go to a former co-worker’s annual wine party. It was a blast seeing everyone and enjoying free-flowing adult beverages, fancy appetizers, and their stunning view. Visiting our peeps in HealyUntitled#sunset over #denali #alaska

We also got to eat at our favorite dive bar/diner (Totem Inn). Their Monte Cristo sandwich is To.Die.For! Yum! #montecristo #denalieats #toteminn #alaska

About 2am this morning, I got a call from a friend that the Northern Lights were out. I bundled up and headed out into the below zero temps. They were indeed performing their usual swirling dance. Even though they weren’t super bright, they are still so beautiful and I am in awe every time I am lucky enough to see them.I didn’t have my Nikon with me, unfortunately, so I wasn’t able to get any photos. Untitled

 

Another weekend has come and gone far too quickly. Back to work tomorrow! We are planning on a more low key weekend next week. I have gone to Denali the past two weekends, and although the drive is beautiful, I am looking forward to sticking closer to home for awhile!

What have you been up to lately? I miss interacting with everyone! 

W.


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Fun in Plovdiv with the Denali Crew

My friend K. who is visiting from Alaska also happens to be my boss in Denali (for Princess Cruises). She’s been there for years and has always had a large staff of Bulgarians working for her–mostly big, burly Bell staff men. She sometimes refers to them as her “Bulgarian Mafia.” Don’t know how accurate that really is, but you never know! 😉 All I do know is that they are a great bunch of guys (and one gal who is a supervisor in housekeeping) that I am happy to call my friends.

*cue sappy muzak*

When she made plans to come to Bulgaria we knew that a large get together with everyone was in order. Almost all of us (besides Vince and I and another married Bulgarian/American couple who live in the states) live in or around Plovdiv and Asenovgrad. We made Plovdiv our home base for a night last weekend and booked a room at a hostel (Hostel Mostel, which wasn’t all that great, btw). All of the plans were made and all we had to do was show up at Restaurant Arbanasi ready to party.
Denali Gang

The food was delicious but the entertainment was what it was all about. We had the best table in the house (thanks F. for making the reservation “for your American friends who get the best table in the house.”) When Vince hears Bulgarian music and has any amount of alcohol in him…he turns into a dancing fool. Having a few glasses of wine myself, I eventually joined in as well.

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Home from Istanbul

Sultanahmet Square

Hello there!

I’m home from five lovely days and four hot nights (our hotel room was positively sweltering) in Istanbul. My friend and I took a night bus there and back from Bulgaria and it was interesting to say the least!
Whirling DervishView of the Blue Mosque from our hotelBasilica Cisterns

It was an incredible trip and I can’t wait to share more about it with you all.

For now, however, a few snapshots will have to do. My friend is only in Bulgaria for a few more days and we have a lot of ground to cover!

Gorgeous sunset over the Sea of MarmaraInterior of Hagia SophiaRays of Sun at Hagia Sophia

Hope you are having a fantastic weekend!

Talk to you soon!

W.

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Fun Times Ahead

Whew! It feels like my mom just left and we already have another guest arriving from the states!

K, my friend/boss (and fellow Utah girl) flies into Sofia tomorrow afternoon. We’ve got some fun things planned for her 2-week visit.

On Saturday Vince, K, and myself are heading down to spend the night in Plovdiv. A group of about 20 Denali peeps are getting together for food, drinks, and good company. I am sure the horo will be danced at some point as well; most likely post-drinks! I haven’t seen everyone since leaving Alaska at the end of September, so it should be a good time.

Then Sunday Vince will head back to Sofia while K. and I catch a night bus (slightly scary prospect) to Istanbul. We’re meeting another friend in the city for 4 days of adventures, including consuming a ridiculous amount of baklava and Turkish coffee! I’ve been to Istanbul before but only for a day on our first Med. cruise. It was actually one of the biggest surprises of the trip; completely different than I had envisioned. And the Grand Bazaar? I am still trying to wrap my mind around it!

I am really excited to be able to see some things I missed last time around; such as the cisterns, spice market, and maybe even a whirling dervish show!

After that it’s exploring Sofia and maybe a weekend trip to Rila or Koprivshtitsa (if we can talk Vince into being our chauffeur!).

It’ll probably be a little quiet around these parts for the next few weeks as I play hostess, but I’ll be back soon enough!

W.

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Wordless{ish} Wednesday: Summer Softball

There’s one thing you should know about seasonal employees in Denali…

We take our softball really seriously.

The first game for Princess (vs. Prospectors/Salmon Bake/49th) was last night.

We won.

Someone may or may not have passed out (not me).

That’s just how we roll.

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Happy Wednesday, ya’ll!

See you back here next week for more Wordless (well, maybe a few words) fun!

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Thanks!

W.


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Randomly Me Monday: Volume Seven | 10 Day You Challenge

ten secrets

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Continuing the 10 Day You Challenge today with nine loves

1) Travel–Honestly, when I think of the one overriding love or passion in my life, traveling and exploring the world is the first thing to come to mind. There really isn’t anywhere on earth I wouldn’t love to explore. I am forever planning my next trip and dreaming about the new experiences I will encounter. It really doesn’t matter if it’s a road trip somewhere close or a trip halfway around the world: I am in! To get really specific, out of everywhere I have been, Scotland takes the cake as my favorite destination. I was only there a few days, but the breathtaking countryside and genuinely warm people burrowed their way deep into my heart and soul. I would love to live there one day.

2) Photography–I can still remember my first camera, a cheapo 110 film Kodak given to me by my grandparents when I was a young child. People have often told me how good my photographs are, but until a few years ago I never really saw it. Now I feel like my personal photography style and unique way of seeing the world is coming through in the photos I take. I still have a HUGE amount to learn about the art itself (and using my camera in manual mode), but I feel that this is what makes photography great–there is always room for learning and growing.

3) Arts and crafts–Ever since I was little I have loved making things with my hands. I cannot draw or paint for the life of me, but I love making jewelry, scrapbooking, and doing needlework. Now by no means am I fantastic at any of them (although I am pretty proud of some of my jewelry pieces), but I sure try! My dream job would be to work out of a home studio making something beautiful for the world to enjoy. And while it may not be an art or craft, I enjoy cooking and am looking forward to improving my talents (with my husband as guinea pig, of course!).

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