Oct 24th, 2013 by karolinka
Ahw, I got a text from my dAd recently:
- How do you spell sierinae cheese?
- I don’t have any but I would like some.
At the time, I didn’t know what he was up to.
I was between the end of a play and going for food with my sister and friends so I sent my messages quickly and then forgot about it. My dAd has been busy sorting and filing thousands of photos from his trip to Bulgaria so I guessed that the Friday night texts were related to that.
Then today, when I was reading my RSS feed I was delighted to read this blog post by my dAd. First off, I LOVE that my dAd has a blog. He’s so hip–even if he doesn’t have a beard, wear skinny jeans or rock black-framed glasses.
Anyhow, he has a great post with plenty of pictures of me eating fried things. Aside from writing about the Pendleton Round up he also writes about American style french fries with cheese and Bulgarian french fries with cheese.
Turns out he likes the Bulgarian ones better.
Oct 8th, 2013 by karolinka
After Plovdiv, we drove to Istanbul. I’d been to Istanbul one other time but I was really excited to visit a second time. The city is so big, so colorful, so lively, full of people and traffic and totally wonderful.
I bought my dAd an Istanbul guidebook for Father’s Day and I know that he was looking forward to seeing the city. My MoM said that is one of the things he talked most about before the trip. He also worried about what to wear. Aw, dAd.
We arrived in Istanbul in the afternoon and unpacked our bags. I also won a gold star for driving in Istanbul–I think that if I can do this, I can do anything. After unpacking our bags, we went out to explore our corner of the city.
I suggested that we walk to the Spice Market.
The city was busy and there was tons to see. I kept turning around to look for my dAd and sister. I wanted to make sure that I hadn’t lost them.
It was funny. I noticed that my dAd didn’t have his camera out and he wasn’t taking pictures of anything. I stopped to take photos and then all of a sudden so was my dAd. I asked him why he wasn’t taking photos. He said something to the effect of: because there are so many things to see. Love it! Continue Reading »
Oct 8th, 2013 by karolinka
One night in Plovdiv, we ate dinner at a wonderful little restaurant called Hemingway BBQ and Grill. We’d seen the place on a map and ended up stumbling into the restaurant in the pouring rain.
The food was great, the atmosphere was dark and a little mysterious and the house wine was top-notch.
Holy-smokes, we ate a ton of great food. It was hard to even pick what to order. Everything on the menu sounded delicious. We ended up picking our dishes using this rule of thumb: what is something that sounds good to me but isn’t what I’d normally order. So basically, we moved from the safe-bet food to the new, interesting and unexpected dishes.
It was an excellent choice. Continue Reading »
Oct 4th, 2013 by karolinka
After the Rila Seven Lakes, we drove to Plovdiv. I’ve been to Plovdiv a few times but everyother time, I’ve taken the train. Driving into Plovdiv was fine but I have to say the city itself has NO street signs.
Once we found our hotel, we had a great time in Plovdiv. We spent the majority of our time in Old Town Plovdiv or along the main street in the city center. The highlights of our visit included the Free Plovdiv (Walking) Tour, poking around the Plovdiv Amphitheater and shopping for antiques.
I have to say, Plovdiv was looking really good. The walking streets were well cobble-stoned, the buildings were well painted and there were more statues than I remembered. It turns out Plovdiv is a candidate for the European Capitol of Culture in 2019. 2019 seems to be pretty far off but I can’t complain, the city is looking better than I’ve ever seen it. Continue Reading »
Oct 3rd, 2013 by karolinka
After visiting the Rila Monastery and poking around the village of Rila, we drove to the base of the Seven Rila Lakes. From the base of the lakes, you take a serious chair lift up the mountain and then you get to hike the rest.
We got off the chair lift and put on sunscreen. Then we got ready to hike. I didn’t think that the hike was going to be very hard but it turned out the first stretch was definitely the hardest–mostly because it was the steepest.
I’d listened to the family in front of us ask the chair lift guy which way to go. He’d pointed out the trail along the side of the mountain/large hill. So I figured that we’d follow them. We followed up them right up the steep path. Continue Reading »
Oct 1st, 2013 by karolinka
My dAd is a jolly, jolly man.
But for many years, he was hesitant about visiting Bulgaria–not because he was uninterested in Bulgaria or afraid or something like that. Mostly he was hesitant because he doesn’t really like to travel. He’s a tall man and the seats in airplanes seem to be getting smaller and smaller.
Luckily this didn’t prevent him from visiting.
In fact even before he climbed on the plane, he brushed up on some Bulgarian. His three big words: Beer (бира), Cheers (Наздраве) and Goodbye (Довиждане).
Needless to say, everyone loved him. And he loved Rila. A lot. Continue Reading »
Sep 30th, 2013 by karolinka
Rila Monastery is about a two hour drive from Sofia. It’s a Bulgarian monastery tucked away in the mountains. The monastery is a historical, cultural and a religious site and on top of that, it’s just plain old beautiful.
I’ve been at least a half-dozen times and still I took my dAd and sister to visit.
Bulgarians love Rila. This is why I’ve been so many times and for good reason, it’s a site that Bulgarians are proud of and want to show off.
Thus I figured that I should show it off too.
Continue Reading »
Sep 28th, 2013 by karolinka
This is a post where we eat things. By we, I really mean my dAd, my sister and me, and all of you who read the blog get to read about and look at some of the things that we ate in Sofia.
The first night my family arrived they were pretty loopy and totally jet lagged. The thing is neither my dAd or sister wanted to admit it so dinner was super funny. We went to a pizza place in Mladost. One down the street from me and it’s a good thing we didn’t go any further because a large beer later my dAd and sister were even funnier and weirder than normal. The tell for me was the weirder than normal part. You see my dAd and sister are inherently funny people; it’s basically impossible not to laugh when you’re around them but they aren’t normally as weird and off the wall as they were that first night.
This said, some of what was said in Bulgaria stays in Bulgaria so lets get back to the food! Continue Reading »
Sep 27th, 2013 by karolinka
My dAd and sister came to visit me after final exams. I was busy finishing things up–grades, packing up my classroom and saying goodbye to colleagues. They were busy being jet-lagged. It was perfect.
I went to work; they slept.
We spent their first weekend in Bulgaria close to home. I wanted my family to get a sense of Sofia the city lived in and called home for the past five years. I know that it’s not actually possible to do something like this in just a weekend but I think that they got a taste of the city.
Saturday morning we ate banitsa, drank coffee and went on a Free Sofia Tour because I LOVE the free walking tour. This is also when I got my dAd and sister hooked on free tours. They liked the one in Sofia so much that we also went on the Plodiv tour and the Varna tour.
It’s amazing seeing a city that you know through someone else’s eyes. Continue Reading »
Sep 26th, 2013 by karolinka
It’s been a while since I’ve written here–basically three months–but it feels like more time than this. A lot of things have happened in my life over the last three months. The long and short of it is this: I am good and I hope that you are too.
In the last three months, I have spent most of my time (and money) traveling. It was amazing. All of it.
Here’s the rundown.
- I spent three weeks traveling all over Bulgaria and Istanbul with my dAd and sister. I rented a car and did most of the driving. Yep. Even in Istanbul. My dAd did most of the navigating. It was hysterical and went something like this. dAd: that road sign just said “pie” “upside down V” “Ooo” “Bee” “backwards N” “triangle with feet”… Me: dAd… that’s Plovdiv… Пловдив.
- The day my dAd and sister flew out, I cleaned up my apartment, checked out with the school, moved my things into a friend M.’s apartment and then I caught a flight to Warsaw.
- Then over the next four weeks I hopped around the greater Baltics with my friend R. Our first stop was Vilnius in Lithuania and then on to Nida on the Curonian Spit and finally Klaipeda. Then in Latvia we spent our time in Riga. From Riga we took the bus to Tartu, then went to Parnu, next to the Island of Saaremaa and we stayed in the town Kuressaare. We topped off our stay in Estonia in the capitol Tallinn. From Tallinn we flew to St. Petersburg. R. and I parted ways after three days in Helsinki.
- I went to poke around Berlin for a week.
- After Berlin, I flew back to Sofia to pick up my friend A.’s cat. Fluffy and I then flew from Sofia to Barcelona. I was super nervous to fly with Fluffy (and I think that Fluffy wasn’t too fond of it) but everyone loved him. I’ve never received so much positive attention in airport security. Barcelona was super!
- From Barcelona I flew back to Sofia and spent a couple of days there. I had a lot of good-byes to say (and some crying to do).
- Then I few to Washington DC where I spent 5 days with friends from every stage of my life. I had a party where I had a friend from high school, from college, a roommate from the group house I lived in, friends from graduate school, friends from the Fulbright, and friends who I taught with at ACS. It was wonderful.
- From DC, I took the bus to New York City for five days to catch up with friends who I lived with at 1324 the group house. I almost didn’t leave. NYC is such an exciting, energetic city.
- So after an extended summer of travel, I flew to Walla Walla and spent a week with my MoM and dAd. I flew into a whirlwind and packed up my childhood bedroom, went to loads of yard sales, washed lots of dishes for my future apartment and bought a couch at an auction.
- Then I drove from Walla Walla to Seattle. I had a little delay when I got a flat tire five miles outside of Walla Walla. Luckily I had JUST purchased AAA coverage so I called and a guy came out and changed my tire on the side of the highway. I went back to town bought two new tires and then drove five hours to Seattle.
Pew. That’s a lot of traveling. I’ve been in Seattle now for a week. I am staying with my little sister and so far so good. I’ve been busy applying for jobs, reading teen fiction, stalking apartments on craig’s list and thinking about how I should really make some friend in Seattle.