Girl Meets Bulgaria

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

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Update from the Mediterranean

Greetings from Kusadasi, Turkey!

I had hoped to check in a few times by now, but we’ve just been having way too much fun to bother finding a wifi connection.

We are having the best time on the ship just eating, relaxing, and waking up everyday in a new location.

Cruising certainly has its perks!

A quick recap through today:

-Our 2 days in Rome were great. We saw almost everything we wanted to see and our Scavi tour at the Vatican was incredible.

-At our first port of Naples we took an excursion through the ship to Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri. It was a long 10-hour day but the tour was well worth it. Capri is breathtaking.

-After leaving Naples we had 2 days at sea en route to Santorini. We spent the days lounging by the pool reading (me) and swimming (the hubs). The weather has been great–mid to low 60’s and sunny skies nearly the entire time.

-Yesterday the ship dropped anchor in the bay near Santorini. We took a cable car up to the town of Fira. From there we took a bus ride to the town of Oia. When you picture quintessential postcard Greece with the whitewashed houses and blue-dome churches, that is Oia. It was truly one of the most gorgeous places I have ever been. My camera card is nearly full now after an afternoon spent on Santorini.

-Now we are in Kusadasi, Turkey. The main attraction nearby are the ruins at Ephesus. Unfortunately, we didn’t plan very well and we probably won’t be able to get out to the ruins. We should have booked an excursion through the ship…oh well! It’s about a 14-hour drive from Sofia, so Vince promised we would take a road trip one of these days down to Turkey and make a stop in Ephesus.

We’re off to Mykonos tomorrow.

Hope all my American family/friends/readers had a great Thanksgiving!

Talk to you all soon!



Mediterranean Bound

As you read this, Vince and I are flying 30,000 feet in the air on our way to Rome, Italy.


We’ll be spending two nights in the city before heading to the port in Civitavecchia to board the Crown Princess for a 12 night “Greek Isles”cruise.

So far, the only thing we have firmly planned in Rome is the Vatican’s Scavi tour to the tomb of St. Peter. While we are at the Vatican, we will also check out the museums and, of course, the Sistine Chapel. We toured St. Peter’s Basilica on our last visit, but didn’t have time to see the Michelangelo’s masterpiece. There’s no way we’re missing it this time around!

We may book tickets on the 110 open bus. This hop-on, hop-off bus seems like a really convenient way to see most of the major sites in a short amount of time. Two days is definitely no where enough time to do Rome justice, but it’s all we have!

Our first stop on the cruise is Naples. We’ve been there already, so we booked a tour to Pompeii, Sorrento and Capri. It’ll be one busy day!

Our Greek stops include beautiful white-washed Santorini (a new destination for us), lively Mykonos (we loved this island last time we visited), bustling Athens (we’ve been, so we may hang out on the ship this day), and historic Corfu (another new stop).

Throw in Kusadasi (we’ll be touring nearby Ephesus as we’ve already been to this iconic Turkish port), Dubrovnik (probably the stop I am most excited for as I’ve never been to Croatia), and Venice (our last visit here was a disaster, time to make it up!) and we’ve got one full 2 weeks ahead of us.

It’s been a really long time since I was able to take a long and relaxing vacation.

This one will definitely fit the bill.

I’ll likely gain 5 lbs. from all the food but I think it will be cancelled out by all the walking were bound to do.

I’ll be posting updates as wi-fi is available, so stay tuned!

Catch you all in 2 weeks!


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Vince’s Vacation

Last week my husband, Vince, went on a Scandinavian cruise with his parents.

The trip was in celebration of my FIL’s 70th birthday (yep, 70! My husband was a late-in-life baby).

I picked the cruise out; dreams of viking history, pristine fjords, fresh foods, and open-minded attitudes running through my mind.

Then life happened and I came back to Alaska this summer for work.

To say that I was bummed out for not getting to go would be a massive understatement.

Add lots of jealousy to the mix, too, as the hubs and I have this {mostly} friendly competition going to see who can visit the most countries. Up until last week we were both even at 12. Seeing as most couples travel together, I figured we’d be neck-in-neck for the rest of our lives. Well, that went out the window when he visited 4 countries I haven’t yet been to: Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.

Here’s their route:

My in-laws, although fairly well-traveled throughout Eastern Europe and Turkey, had never been to Northern Europe.

In fact, they had never been on a plane or a ship the size of the Grand Princess.

I was a bit worried about this but it turned out to be unfounded. They had a total blast.

I am so happy that they all got to go and that they had a good time.

I have been traveling vicariously through their photos all day.

I think my in-laws are just the cutest! Oh, and my hubs, of course! 🙂

LOVE that he is getting into taking “feet’ pics

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Happy Independence Day!

Nothing beats celebrating the birth of our nation like getting pie in the face! 😉

I’m too tired now from washing chocolate cream out of my hair and clothes as well as scrubbing my sunglasses and camera to write up a full post of the night’s activities.

But soon!


Happy July 4th, everyone!




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.


Happy Wednesday, ya’ll!

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


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Travel Tales: Alaskan Summers Past

It’s hard to believe that this is my third summer living and working in Denali, Alaska.

(well…maybe not that hard).

When I came up for my first summer in 2008, I never imagined I would work more than one season. I ventured to the state for a few reasons:  the need to complete an internship for my college major and my fairly constant desire to see more of the world. The internship alone probably would not have been enough to get me up here.

Wanderlust always wins out!

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