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Balabanova All Over

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[Istanbul, Turkey, May 25, 2019] And just like that, it was the last day of our trip! It’s always hard to believe when that day comes. Time seems to fly by while at the same time my normal every-day life seems so far away! It rained again overnight but we decided to leave the umbrellas at home – it was a pain to carry them around all day yesterday, and the weather… Read More

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[Istanbul, Turkey, May 23, 2019] Ahhh, Istanbul! This magical city, which straddles Europe and Asia, has gone through many transformative changes in its history. Founded under the name of Byzantion around 660 BC, the city grew in size and influence. Roman Emperor Constantine, having just converted to Christianity, made it the new capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD and began its transformation as a major Christian center. A thousand years… Read More

[NYC, Nov 4, 2018] And just like that, our last day in New York was here! Our flight was in the evening, so we still had a whole day to explore. The New York marathon was that day, and we knew lots of streets in the upper part of Manhattan as well as Central Park would be off limits. I had friends running the marathon but it was unlikely I’d get to… Read More

[LA/NYC, Nov 1/2, 2018] Unbeknownst to me, my boyfriend had been planning a surprise weekend trip to New York City for my birthday since February. I did not find out that our destination was NYC until the morning of my birthday, when he gave me a card featuring the Brooklyn bridge on the front and a boarding pass for a flight to NYC later that night inside! I was so surprised and… Read More

[Nis & Pirot, Serbia, Sept 19, 2018] I’ve been adding side trips to my Bulgaria visits since 2014. Between then and now, I’ve visited London, Hamburg, Berlin, and Greece on the heels of a trip home. This year, I wanted something super close that we could do as a day trip, and the city of Nis in our western neighbor Serbia fit the bill. Serbia is not in the European Union but… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria, Sep 13/14, 2018] My trip to Bulgaria this year was somewhat last minute. I was hoping to be able to go in September, but it wasn’t until only 2.5 weeks before my trip that I fixed the dates and booked the tickets. I am used to planning and booking my trips months in advance, so in a way it was nice not to have to spend months in anticipation of… Read More

[Taos, NM, Sep 2/3, 2018] After two days exploring around Taos, we finally had time to stay in town. After a great breakfast at our B&B, we headed out to visit two of its major sights. Our first stop was the Rio Grande Gorge bridge, just north of town. The bridge is roughly 600 ft (182 m) above the river and it is a quarter-mile long (388 m). It was built in… Read More

[Seattle, WA, July 23, 2018] When I get into a good travel rhythm, it seems that I could easily extend my trip to last much longer. I’ve made it with just the clothes I’ve packed this far, I can just keep going, right? When it came time to come home to Los Angeles, I wasn’t ready for our Washington trip to be over at all! Luckily, our flight was not until 2… Read More

[Seattle, WA, July 22, 2018] And there it was, our last full day on this trip! It’s hard to believe we have come full circle in such a short time. We reluctantly left our cabin in the forest and headed to Seattle, WA, also known as the Emerald City.┬áThe term Emerald City came from a contest held by the Convention and Visitors Bureau in 1981. The name was selected in 1982 and… Read More

[Victoria, BC, July 18, 2018] When I realized we can take a ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, BC, I jumped on it. I’d heard great things about Victoria. The major sights were right at the harbor, so we didn’t need to take our rental car – I figured this would give us a nice break from all the driving. Exploring different cities also appeals to the city girl I have always… Read More