Girl Meets Bulgaria

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


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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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Welcome, November!

Hello, November!

SO glad to see you! Sit down and stay awhile!

Your arrival brings some pretty cool things for this girl…

First, I am finally heading back to be with my love in our new home in Bulgaria. *Fingers crossed* these past 7 months will be the last we ever spend apart. This month we will be settling into our new apartment, exploring our new home of Sofia, and just generally enjoying being back together. Our relationship has been anything but conventional, but we’re ready to make it just that. No more of this long distance stuff for us!

Second, I’ll be celebrating another year of life. Yep, 27 is coming up fast! I am definitely well on my way to 30 now and, quite frankly, it’s a daunting prospect. BUT, I truly feel like our lives are going along full steam ahead and our long term goals are slowly, but surely, being tackled. The next year holds some incredible journeys for us and we can’t wait!

Third, lots of amazing travels are coming up! Soon after I land in Sofia we’ll be heading down to Smolyan for a quick weekend visit with the parentals. We’ll likely spend some time at our country house in Elhovets as well (I can’t wait to see all the new renovations). As much as I am going to love living on our own, in our own space, in Sofia; I know I am going to miss Smolyan (and my MIL’s cooking) a lot.

The weekend after visiting Smolyan, Vince and I are off on our long awaited honeymoon! We’re going to spend a few days bee-boppin’ around The Eternal City (good ol’ Roma) before setting sail on a 12-day Mediterranean cruise. I’m so excited that I can’t even think about it anymore; it just makes me giddy as a school girl. I had originally hoped to cook Vince an amazing American-style Thanksgiving feast, but we’ll be on the ship over the holiday, so I will just let them do all the cooking (can’t say that I am too put out about that!).  Our last Mediterranean cruise was great, but not romantic in the least as my mom and friend accompanied us. This time…IT’S ALL US! Candlelit dinners over wine, long walks on deserted decks, kissy time in hot tubs…here we come!

November, you’ve always been one of my favorite months and, I have to say, this year…you definitely take the cake!

W.

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NaBloPoMo_image

This year I am participating in BlogHer’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). The goal is to write and post daily. I am sure that I’ll miss a few days, especially when I’m on the ship, but I’m going to do my best to post as much as I can (even if they are just little daily snippet’s from my iPod or Kindle).

If you are participating, please feel free to post a link in the comments below. I’d love to stop by and check out what you’ve got going!


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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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Updates and First Images of Healy/Denali-2012

As most of my readers already know (because I whined about it in no less than 3 posts), my Nikon DSLR had an unfortunate accident and is currently in the camera hospital.

So I have been forced to pull my Canon point-and-shoot out of retirement for the time being.

It sucks. Plain and simple.

But I am photo crazy, so it will have to do for now.

Here are a few snap shot from the past few days.

View of Mt. Healy from my home…in Healy!

Nenana River

 

There’s still plenty of snow covering the nearby mountains, but the weather is warming up with each passing day. The days are getting longer as well. I heard someone say that we gain 7 minutes of daylight everyday. As it stands, it does not get dark until well after midnight. I have heavy curtains on the window in my room, but soon I will have to tape up black garbage bags as well. I can’t sleep with any light in my room.

The employees arrive in a few days and I am so excited to meet my Front Desk team for the 2012 season. I have a feeling it’s going to be the best one yet.

I’m really missing my hubby and it doesn’t help that he’s loved around these parts. Everyone has been asking about him and why he’s not coming back this season. It’s awesome how much people care about him, but it makes me sad to explain that he wasn’t able to come back because we got married (couldn’t get a work visa).

As much as I love Denali and working here, I hope the next 5 months fly by.

We’ll see.

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?!


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Catching Up

Sorry I have been M.I.A. lately.

The past few days have been a complete blur. Between flying for an entire day, a bit of jet lag, and the go go go I have been doing; the time is just flying by.

My flights from Bulgaria to Salt Lake City went by as smoothly as I could have asked. By some miracle (economy must have been over sold) Delta upgraded me to first class from Paris to New York. It was SWEET! I don’t know that I would have ever flown first class in my life otherwise, but now that I have I see that it is completely worth the extra money.

Since arriving in Utah, I have been visiting with family and friends. I only have a month here, so I am trying to make the most of it.

Yesterday, my mom and I drove up to Idaho to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets. There were a crazy amount of people in line.

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