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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…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!

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Thankful for the Little Things

Thankful for the Little Things_2

Whew! What a whirlwind week it has been (and will continue to be)!

Monday I turned 27. Wednesday marked my first week back in Bulgaria. And on Sunday, Vince and I leave for a few days wandering around Rome before our 2 week cruise.

I haven’t been bored, that’s for sure!

Because I’m home alone all day, I often have time to take random photos of things that make me happy. Hence the start of these “little things” posts.

The weeks that I find I took enough random photos to whip up a collage…you’ll see a post like this one (in some form or another) make its way onto the blog.

I think for most people, this type of thing is what Instagram is for (random photos of everyday stuff), but seeing as I don’t have a smart phone and probably won’t for quite a long time, this is my own version of Instagram–Whitneygram?

Enough talk. On to the captions… *clockwise from top left*

  • Cheap beer–A 2 liter of beer only costs about 3lv or so here (approx. $1.50). It’s not the best stuff I have ever tasted, but it’s decent. Oh, and did I mention CHEAP! 6% alcohol isn’t bad either (Utah friends you know why this matters).
  • Dark fall nail colors
  • Homemade tea–No idea what the two plants are. My MIL makes this amazing tea and sent us home with the ingredients after our weekend visit. You just throw it all in some water, boil for a bit, and BAM! yummy freakin’ beverage!
  • Reusable ceramic mugs (for said tea)
  • Travel planning (map of Rome)–I love it. Weirdly, however, I have done the least amount of planning for this trip compared to every other vacation I have ever been on. Granted, being on a cruise provides quite a lot of structure, so there is little to plan overall. Our plans? Walk. Take photos. Eat (buffets! room service! street food!). Lounge. Sleep.
  • Wild raspberry jam–Picked this amazing stuff up at Bachkovo Monastery. I’ve been eating it on buttered bread all week. It’s too delicious for words. Definitely stocking up next time we are down there.
  • Cozy slippers
  • Birthday dinner in the city at Made in Home. Such a great night.

 

What little things are you thankful for lately?

W.

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…Lately…

In case you couldn’t tell from my last few posts, I have left my beloved Alaska and ventured back to my home state of Utah.

I made a brief (and super stressful) stop in Los Angeles for one night to visit the Bulgarian Consulate to apply for my long-stay visa (detailed post to come).

I cannot believe how fast the summer went by. Denali, as always, was a blur of fun times, stress, and craziness; and I am sure going to miss it.

I’ll be slummin’ it at my mom’s house (sleeping on an air mattress in my bedroom) for the next month before jet setting back to Bulgaria.

A certain handsome Bulgarian man is eagerly awaiting my arrival, and I his amazing hugs and sweet smell.

In other news..

Lately I have been:

Watching: You name it. After nearly 5 months of little to no internet (which meant no Hulu, YouTube, etc.), I am more than catching up on my fair share of mindless entertainment. I only have a short time to watch everything before going back to Bulgaria, land of crappy website access. Specific favorites include New Girl (love me some Zooey Deschanel), The Office (it’s the last season, *tear*), House Hunters International (did I ever mention that I was contacted by the casting director for this show about Vince and I doing an episode? HA! All I could do was laugh and politely decline. As much as I love watching the show, I am not the type to be on the show) , and of course, hours of beauty gurus, music videos, and vlogs on ‘The Tube’ (YouTube).

Listening to: Similar to my round-the-clock catch-up on TV and the internet, I have also been listening to music like crazy. It’s awesome having Spotify back regularly. A few specific artists/bands that I have been enjoying lately are Mumford and Sons (sorry if you are tired of hearing me talk about them!), Foster the People, The Decemberists, Bon Iver, Of Monsters and Men, and Augustana. I’m working on another ‘On Rotation’ post, so stay tuned for that!

Eating: I actually haven’t gone as nuts as I thought I would in the food department since being back in UT. That will likely change as my departure to Bulgaria gets closer. As much as I adore Bulgarian food, there are just some things from home that I dearly miss when I am away.

Wishing: OK, it’s more like PRAYING that my long-stay Bulgarian visa arrives before my flight in November. I think I may have booked my departure date too soon. The consulate said the visa will take about 30 business days; my flight is on the 31st business day. Holy. Schnikies. Please send good vibes my way! Paying to change my flight is the last thing that I need right now!

Anticipating: AH! SO many things! I am really anticipating getting back to Bulgaria and my hubs, of course. I am also extremely excited for my upcoming travels (a post coming soon), living and adventuring in Sofia, my 27th birthday, my first Christmas abroad, my MIL’s cooking, and making new friends (on that note, if you live in Sofia, or anywhere in BG for that matter, please send me an email–I’d love to meet up!)

Well. That’s all for now, folks!

As always, thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blogosphere.

W.

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Another Summer, Another Bout of Craziness

Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA here and on my Facebook page the past few weeks.

Between preparing for my summer move to Alaska, worrying about my sick grandma (going to Nevada tomorrow to see her), and cramming in as much time with friends as family as I can; things have been nuts.

Hopefully I will be back up and running with new posts in a week or so.

I fly to Fairbanks on Tuesday. I’ll be spending 2 nights there at the Princess hotel. I am looking forward to a few days to relax and prepare my mind for the crazy summer ahead. The transfer for all us supervisors and managers to Denali will be on Thursday.

I am still not fully packed. My bedroom needs a good cleaning. This last-minute trip to Nevada comes at a really bad time, but I am excited to visit my Grandma and see how she’s doing (and make sure my Gpa is eating and sleeping).

But…things will work out. They always do.

Talk to ya’ll soon.

W.

P.S. To all you blog lurkers/creepers out there (*ahem–my mom’s friends*), come out of the dark and leave me a comment, will ya?!