Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


Home Sweet Home (at least for the next 4 months)

Day two of supervisor training is done and I finally ventured outside for a short photo walk (see photos below).

The snow has melted from the ground, but the beautiful mountains surrounding Healy are still covered.

Vince’s co-workers from last year are arriving tonight and I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know them. He only has great things to say about them.

I am feeling a little sad not to be working in the Transportation Department again this year. I think that feeling will only intensify when Vince gets here and everyone in that department starts going on their tours and having parties (I work for the Hotel/Lodge and Vince works for the Transportation Department, two fairly separate entities).

However, I have to say that I am really excited to be working for the Front Desk at the lodge this year and am looking forward to getting some supervisory experience under my belt. My employees will be arriving on the 14th, the same day Vince gets here. So while I will be ecstatic to see V., I will probably not be able to give him my full attention for a few weeks to come. Our team is pretty much all new this year and there aren’t any returners from previous seasons. We’ve got a lot of training to do to get everyone prepared for opening day on the 19th.

My first day off will be on the 12th and I have volunteered to spend a few hours that morning helping out the National Park Service. We are going to clean their stretch of the Parks Highway as part of the Adopt-a-Highway program. I figured it would be a great way to get outside and enjoy the surroundings while doing something more worthwhile with my time off than sleeping in and surfing the web (which I will surely do with many of my future days off). It’s still a little too cold and snowy to go on any hikes. Plus, I should probably wait until Vince gets here to go with me!

Overall, I am loving being back in Alaska and very much looking forward to finishing training and meeting my employees for this year. I haven’t had much time to think about Vince’s arrival, which is nice because that means it will only be here sooner.

The Homestead (where I live).

The Stampede (additional employee housing) with the busses all staged and ready to go

The not-so-shabby view from where I live

Oh, Healy. My home away from home.

Ugh. So pretty I could puke!

Came home to find this on my door tonight. So sweet!


Talk to you soon,


P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to my awesome Mom. Love you!


Leninade, Snow and the Realization That I Packed Way TOO Much!

I made it to Healy (the city where I will be living for the next 4.5 months)!

About 15 miles before the city, it started to rain. That rain turned into a light snow. Which turned into a blizzard.


Apparently, I am the only one shocked by this. Everyone is telling me that it happens all the time this time of year. But still. It is boggling my mind (when I know full well it shouldn’t. This is Alaska after all!)

And guess who didn’t bring a coat? I didn’t end up using my coat last time, so I didn’t want to take up the space in my suitcase (as you can tell by the pictures below, I didn’t follow the same train of thought when I packed an entire drug stores worth of toiletries!).

I spent last night catching up with old friends and unpacking my suitcases. My room this year is great. I have a double bed, private bathroom, a desk, vanity area, working TV, ph0ne, and tons of storage space (thank goodness).

I am scheduled to start training in about an hour, so I better get going.

Oh! Before I go, to my family and friends… I have ZERO cell phone service in Healy. Zip. Zilch. Nada. And I am surprised the internet is even working. I am not holding my breath that will always be the case. SO, if you have been calling/texting me and I haven’t responded, well, now you know why. My phone will probably work in Denali, so I am going to wait until I can get down there to check before I get a new phone (aka, have my mom send me a new one).

Here are some pics to explain the post title:

Another employee bought this drink in Fairbanks. Had to get a pic. "Get Hammered and Sickled." Ha ha.

Snow in Healy. I'll be darned.

Yeah. I over packed. What's new.

My own personal Walgreens.


Year-end Updates

Oh, December. I can’t believe you are already gone. Time flies.

I am not intentionally slacking on my blogging. I promise!

I actually have about 4 posts worth of stuff but most of it involves crafts that I have made for people for Christmas, so I don’t want to ruin the surprise by posting before gifting.  I have tons of time off in the next few weeks, so expect a few posts out of me.

Just a few updates:

  • Vince went to Plovdiv today and paid his tuition for his Masters (this will be his second). He also went to the agency that handles his Alaska work visa and applied for this summer. I am SO happy we have the ball rolling. I can almost taste the Lynx pizza and Estew (inside AK joke for my 2008 peeps).
  • I haven’t officially been hired by Princess yet, but I know the manager is asking around about me and I got an email saying there were reviewing my application. I applied for a Housekeeping Supervisor position, something totally new for me, but I am very excited to get some experience in that area of hotel operations (assuming I get the job, of course!).
  • I am lame and didn’t know that my personal days at work expire at the end of the month, so I get two extra days off for the holidays! I only work 3 days this week and two next week. Should give me plenty of time to finish up gifts, clean, and blog.


That’s about it.

Merry Christmas, everyone!







Due to a combination of factors, I stopped blogging for a little bit.

But I’m back now!

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. December is here with a vengeance in Utah. We have tons of snow and tons of idiotic drivers to go along with it.

I worked what is hopefully my last University of Utah Football game. I was out in below-freezing temps for over 8 hours (BOO!). We won, and against BYU (our biggest rival) no less. I am praying that this time next year I will be freezing my butt of in Bulgaria as opposed to freezing my butt off in Utah!

I have been a crafting maniac the past few weeks. I do this. I have these spurts of creative energy every few months. Sadly, it usually peters out and I end up with half-finished projects. However, I am happy to say that this time around that doesn’t seem to be the case.

I {finally} got my jewelry supplies from Etsy and made my “Cougar Town” necklaces. In addition to those I also made a few matching bracelets and some earrings.

My slightly ambitious plan is to make all my Christmas gifts this year. Don’t know how well that is working out as I have already purchased a few items for some people.

I recently got the knitting bug again and have been stalking ravelry day and night. I think I finally came to the conclusion that I prefer knitting over crochet. Which kind of sucks as I have an almost-finished blanket for V. that has been sitting for 2 years now.

Anywho, I ordered some wool yarn in very specific colors for a very special project (more on that in a future post). While waiting for that yarn to arrive, I am making some awesome cotton dish cloths to take with me when I move to Bulgaria. Already accessorizing my future kitchen, is that weird? My aunt has had them since I can remember and they are always the ones I reach for when I am cleaning up the all too often baking messes Annalee and I make in her kitchen.

Finally, today is the opening day for applications for Princess Tours in Alaska. I am going to be applying soon and it’s a bit of a surreal experience. I worked in Denali in 2008 (where I met V.) and have always wanted to go back. It’s still not a done deal. I have to be hired (not super worried about that) and V. has to get his work visa (super worried about that).  Fingers crossed we will find ourselves in beautiful Denali, Alaska this upcoming summer.

That about wraps up the past few weeks of my life.

Captivating, wasn’t it? 😉