Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


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Random 5 Friday

Yes. I am still alive.

Yes. I am LOVING being back in Alaska, my job, and all the adventures that both provide.

Yes. I still blog (albeit very infrequently these day).

Hoping to change that soon.

(don’t know why I am answering questions that no one is asking…)

I figured I’d jump back in to the blogging world with a short, fun post. Just my style!

I almost forgot I had a husband. That's how busy I've been! ;)
Welcome to my first Random 5 Friday.

1. I haven’t picked up my “Big Girl” camera (Nikon D90) in weeks. My iPhone 5 is now my go-to camera of choice; mostly because of its convenience (read: SO much easier to carry around than my huge DSLR!).

2. The lodge opened a little over two weeks ago to snow and freezing temps. Flash forward to today and we are in the low 80’s. Overnight the trees started to sprout leaves and there are even hints of the famous Alaska wildflowers showing here and there.

Holy moly... It's hot outside! And to think, it was snowing just a few weeks ago!

3. We are beyond excited to be getting a new car. We won’t be buying anything until July, but I can already feel the wind in my hair; hear the blasting radio (well…not too loud. I hate loud music), and see the stunning scenery along Alaska’s Parks Highway. I won’t like having a car payment again, but living in the sticks demands transportation in order to maintain some semblance of sanity!

4. So far this season I have met a Snowy Own, Great Gray Owl, and a Bald Eagle. The bird program at the lodge is awesome!

Petra the Bald Eagle joined us today. She is beautiful!My co-workers are pretty cool!This is my kind of display table... Frozen rats and all!

5. I’ve never been a big coffee drinker, but living in Bulgaria and now having access to barista-made coffee drinks daily (at our espresso bar) have made me a convert.

 Feel free to link up your own R5F post below.

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Alaskan Winter Break-Up

Break up in #Alaska

This time of year in Alaska – when the snow and ice are melting into ankle-breaking piles of slush and sock-soaking frigid puddles – is known as “break-up.”

Break-up is a sure sign that spring is waking from its long slumber and will soon turn the white and dead landscape into a myriad of lush, beautiful colors.

One must deal with this rather unpleasant time of year in order to get to the gorgeous Alaskan summers which are, unfortunately, all too short-lived.

So here I am, reveling in the sight of asphalt and patches of brown grass. We may not get cherry or plum blossoms, bright daffodils, or delicate tulips, but spring here is beautiful and exciting, nonetheless!

Spring is here! Hurrah!

 


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Putting It All Behind Us

Immigration...DONE!Vince started work today and it went much better than I expected. I thought our HR manager would have some questions about his immigrant visa or ask for something we don’t have yet (his new Social Security card, for example). As usual, I worried for nothing. He was in and out of her office and starting his first day of work for the 2013 season in just a few minutes.

Today, I was finally able to really breathe, relax, and let go of all the worries and stress that come along with the immigration process. It was exactly this time last year that I was gathering paperwork, filling out countless forms, and beginning our journey to making Vince a permanent U.S. resident.

Oh, the stress that 12 months of bureaucratic red tape and rules can cause!

In a few months time we will have to adjust his status, but other than that, we are done!

We can now focus on building our lives together in Alaska and, eventually, even starting a family.

But first things first…we have to make it through this summer in one piece!


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A Visit to Talkeetna

Nagley's Store - Talkeetna, Alaska
Yesterday, Vince, myself, and one of my employees volunteered in Talkeetna for their Earth Day festivities.

Talkeetna – a quirky little town of about 800 residents – is about an hour from where we live. It’s famous for being the home base for climbers of Mt. McKinley, the inspiration for the town of Cicely on the TV show Northern Exposure, and as the filming location for the Disney film Snow Dogs.

Bustling downtown #Talkeetna, #Alaska. Can't wait for many summer adventures here!Untitled

I’ve visited the town several times in years past but it never gets old. I absolutely love its artsy vibe, unique stores, and fun restaurants.

After helping out the National Park Service at their event, we headed to the Roadhouse for a treat. Vince and I shared a giant cinnamon roll with frosting. Oh my. It was delicious! We’ll definitely be stopping by again on our next visit.Talkeetna RoadhouseTalkeetna RoadhouseEnjoying a "Frosty" after our Earth Day volunteer project. So good!He said it was "too sweet." He has so many things to learn, my new American boy! ;)

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*Re-post* Wordless Wednesday: Seward & Kenai Fjords 2008

** A re-post is the epitome of lazy, but since it’s still Wednesday for another hour, I figured a re-post of a past Wordless Wednesday was better than nothing! I picked this particular post – a trip to beautiful Seward and a Kenai Fjords cruise (where we saw tons of wildlife, including whales!) – because Vince and I are hoping to take a few days off this summer and head back down to this incredible part of Alaska.

SO looking forward to another summer filled with adventures!**

Seward, 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.