Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


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Spring in Salt Lake

Happy to be back amongst these gorgeous mountains! #saltlake #utah #rockies #mountainloverUtah weather is fickle. It can be sunny and beautiful one day and then snowy any gray the next. I’ve lived in Salt Lake City (err… a suburb of the city, anyway) all my life, but I am still not used to sudden weather changes.

#supposedtobespring #utahweatherTrees in my brother's backyard. #trees #sky #isthisspring?

When I got back to SLC about a week and a half ago, the weather was gorgeous. The first day of spring brought rain and snow. After such a mild winter in Bulgaria this year, I was actually a little glad to get to experience some real Utah snow. Even with the cold snap, spring is still making an appearance.
#beautiful #spring #flowersEven with the recent snowfall, Spring is still making a show! #utah #saltlake #springflowersDespite the cold, Spring is making an appearance!While the weather is sure to warm up quickly here, I can’t say the same for Alaska – where I am headed this weekend.

Over the weekend, Trapper Creek (my new home!) got over 3 feet of snow. With winter weather advisories still in place for parts of the state, it looks like Spring is still a glimmer in the distance for the 49th state!

I’m a little stressed because my winter boots and wool coat are in Bulgaria. It looks like I will have to make do with whatever I can scrounge up at my mom’s house for a few weeks!

How is Spring doing where you are? 

W.

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Approved!

Vince went to his visa interview at the U.S. Embassy today and was approved! He said it only took about an hour total and they’ll be sending his visa to him in a few days. I didn’t mind him waking me up from a dead sleep at 6am this morning to tell me because I had been stressing about it a little bit even though I knew he would do fine.

He didn’t get the Bulgarian & American flag combo that some applicants get. Bummer!

It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that we are done with his immigration. It’s been a long 10 months full of paperwork, fees, and stress; but we are thrilled to have come through it all relatively unscathed and are really looking forward to starting our life together in the U.S.

The only hurdles left are adjusting his status in a few months (90 days before our second wedding anniversary) and then his citizenship in a few years. After going through the Bulgarian D-visa process and then the Green Card process…I am pretty sure we can handle anything!

I contemplated writing up a wiki or post on our experiences and how we did his CR1 visa for those also going through it, but now that we are done I just want to put it behind us. If you happen upon this post and have any questions, I will do my best to help you out. Just email me at whitney @ girlmeetsbulgaria.com

A Very Happy Wife,

W.

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…Lately…

Hey all!

I’m alive! I survived an especially awful trip back to the U.S. in {mostly} one piece.

I hate airports and flying more and more each time I travel. The Delta terminal at JFK is as disgusting as ever. I had an overnight layover there and it was a long night, to say the least. Thankfully, I haven’t had much jet lag this time around – I always find it easier to adjust when returning to the states.

After a big to-do over my second suitcase with Polish Airlines at the airport in Sofia, I decided to leave ALL of my clothing in Bulgaria to avoid paying their ridiculous €150 fee. Luckily, I still had some clothes at my mom’s house, so I am not entirely desperate! Vince will be bringing my things over with him when he comes over next month.Happy to be home with my favorite little lady. #firstinstagram #cousins #rockingthesouvenirvenetianmask

It’s been a whirlwind of family and friend time (especially with my little lady), shopping, and sleeping since I got home on Friday morning. Yesterday I went to the Mummies of the World Exhibit in Salt Lake with my family and a friend. It was awesome! I love mummies!

Mummies rock! #mummiesexhibition #historynerd

My biggest time suck (and reason I have been neglecting this here blog) is my new iPhone 5! Yep. I finally took the plunge into the world of smartphones and joined the Apple masses. So far…I LOVE IT! I bought one for Vince as well and as much as he wouldn’t like to admit it, he’s excited as well. As you all probably know, I am a photography freak, so having a phone with a nice camera and access to apps like Instagram is awesome! Oh, and don’t even get me started on my growing obsession with the game Hay Day (shameless plug, if you play the game, add me as a friend: WhitneyPBG); who knew I would be into farming?! 😉

On that note, if you’d like to follow me on Instagram my name is whitneydimova.Out the window. #viewfromhere #Murray #almostspring

Hope you are all doing well! Talk to you soon!

W.

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…Lately…

I thought I would forgo the picture and travel madness that have consumed my blogging lately and instead update you all on the recent happenings in my little corner of the world… 

-Vince is away on a business trip to Stara Zagora. Not having him around to pester and giggle with is getting to me (and it’s only been one day!) His work said I could go with him but I’ve been there already and I figured I should stay home and get some packing and cleaning done.

-We are moving out of our apartment this week. We’re saying goodbye to Sofia and moving back to Smolyan for a bit.

-Having to give up my apartment on the whim of our landlord and real estate agency for showings is really starting to grate my nerves. I finished reading Maze Runner on my Kindle in the span of two days when I had to go out and sit in the car while our landlord showed our apt. to prospective tenants. It’s just too darn cold to sit out on a bench and read!

-I’ve managed to keep a plant alive since December! We bought this little beauty at Carrefour before Christmas and it’s still hanging in there.

My cute plant

No idea what kind of plant it is, but it’s cute!

-I found a new favorite cookie. These suckers are DE-LISH! They vaguely remind me of Paradise Bakery’s sugar cookies. Yum!

Butter cookies--Mmm!!

Butter cookies. Mmm!

-I spotted the first of the martenitsi stands last week and boy am I excited! Baba Marta is on Friday! I love this time of year in Bulgaria!

-We are hoping to attend this year’s Pesponedelnik/Kukeri festival in Shiroka Laka this weekend. We went last year and it was awesome! We’ve been invited back by the town’s mayor so we are really going to try and make it, even though we will be tired from moving and driving.

-Vince and I went out to dinner at Made in Home over the weekend. While the service was horrendous, the food was yummy and it was a fitting end to our time in Sofia as it was the first restaurant we ate at after moving to the city.

-The strikes and demonstrations continue in downtown Sofia. Bulgaria is without a government and things look like they will get worse before they get better.

-For Valentines’s Day, we went out to dinner at Pizza Niagara (some of the best pizza I’ve eaten in BG) and to a movie; Identity Thief. I needed a good comedy! Movie popcorn in Bulgaria is SO much better than in the states. I don’t quite know what it is!

-Lauren’s post on pancakes made me laugh because Vince is a pancake (crepe?) making machine–it must be a Bulgarian thing! I wake up to a delicious breakfast every weekend. He specializes in Nutella (or whatever knockoff we happen to have at the moment) and banana. They are amazing!

Rollin' up the banana and crepe (pancake?)

Ventsi: The Great Crepe Maker!

Nutella and banana crepes

Reddit. That is all.

I know I’ve been alluding to big changes for Vince and I in the very near future. I apologize for the vagueness; it will all be revealed very soon!

What have you been up to lately?!

W.

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On Rotation

It’s been quite awhile since my last On Rotation post, so I figured I’d update you all on the music I’ve been enjoying lately.

I love reading posts like these from other bloggers because there is nothing better then being turned on to new bands or rediscovering old loves. Hopefully you find something here that is right up your alley!

The Lumineers – Ho Hey

Absolutely my favorite song and music video of the moment (those hats, white shirts, and suspenders? SEXY AS HELL!). I instantly think of my cute husband when I hear it because he calls me “sweetheart.”

Phoenix – 1901

This is one of those songs you here everywhere for awhile and you find yourself humming or singing it under your breath randomly. Then it goes away and you forget about it…until hearing it playing full blast in the mall and it’s stuck in your head again!

Continue reading


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12-12-12 (a day late…whoops!)

Alright, so it’s 3am now on the 13th, but I figure the rather awesome date of 12-12-12 was just too important to go unrecognized.

Important how? Well, I guess because it’s a so called “last of our lifetime” date.

I would have to live to be 116 years old to see it a date like like this again. Yowza!

(Side note: the world’s oldest woman, an American, just died a few days ago at the age of 116. So I suppose it’s actually possible!)

So on this date (or rather a teensy bit after) I figured I would list 12 {completely} random observations I have had since arriving back in Bulgaria and moving into our apartment in Sofia (many of which will feature in their own dedicated posts in the future, I am sure).

Here we go…

  1. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to use our European-style washer and oven. The dials and buttons are pure gibberish and merely jabbing a few and hoping for the best has led to some near catastrophes.
  2. I missed wearing slippers all day, everyday (in the house, of course). It’s been great practically living in them again.
  3. No microwave? What? Turns out I barely miss it.
  4. Oh lyutenitsa…how did I manage to survive without you for so many months? How do American not know about you yet? What is wrong with the world?!
  5. Internet in BG sucks and you throw many little girl tantrums, but then you get it fixed and have wireless again and it’s SO MUCH FASTER than what the rest of you American saps live with. <insert evil laugh here>
  6. Can watching too many episodes of Dexter in a row increase one’s chances of becoming a serial killer?
  7. Bulgarian pizza still {mostly} stinks. But oh! We tried Domino’s tonight and it was almost like pizza at home! Huzzah! (note: I would NEVER eat Domino’s in America. Blech.)
  8. It’s about damn time I learned some Bulgarian.
  9. Can my apartment neighbors see me strutting (not really, more like making a mad dash from the bathroom to our bedroom post-shower) around naked through our sheer curtains? Eff. I sure hope nope–for all our sakes!
  10. I need to take immediate steps to: leave the apartment more, eat less delicious Bulgarian bread, start exercising, and put up vacation blog posts.
  11. MY MOM! VIENNA! ONE WEEK! ahhhhhhhh! 🙂
  12. My husband is a turd sometimes but he’s sweet, charming, and adorable all the time.
  13. (Eh. One more can’t hurt as it’s really 12-13) It’s great to be home.

Hope you all had a great twelve twelve twelve!

Next up: end of the world. 12-21-12. 😉

W.

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First Snowfall in Sofia | Dec. 03, 2012

No view of Vitosha today!
It’s snowing in Sofia!

The Utah girl in me is excited to see the white stuff coming down, especially in big, beautiful flakes.

The other part of me, the one who lived through the horrible winter last year in Smolyan, is wishing it away for just a little longer.

I guess Mother Nature doesn’t care what I want and is doing her own thing.

It was hard dragging myself out of my warm blanket and off the couch to go out into the cold on the balconies; but I had to snap a few photos to mark the occasion of the first snowfall in Sofia for winter 2012.

Piling up

Snow on the rooftops

Snowy shops

I even shot a quick video!

(Sheesh, you’d think it was the first time in my life seeing snow!)

Wherever you are, I hope you are warm and safe and enjoying the holiday season.

Cheers,

W.

P.S. You can hover over each photo for a caption or click on the photo to be taken to my Flickr feed. There are lots more photos there!

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