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Balabanova All Over

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[Olympic National Park, July 19, 2018] After three nights in Port Angeles, it was time to leave. Our plan for the day was to exlore the Hoh rainforest and one of the beaches on the west side of the park before overnighting at Lake Quinault. Driving directly to the lake was about 2.5 hours. We expected our detours to add another 3-4 hours to our trip. I also thought about detouring to… Read More

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[Key West, FL, Dec 27, 2016] Even though our trip to the Dry Tortugas in 2016¬†got cancelled, we still did a day trip to Key West. B knew how much I’d looked forward to the trip and he felt bad that it fell apart. He suggested that we get up early one day, explore Miami and its environs and, if we still felt like it, head to Key West and come back… Read More

[Grand Canyon National Park, Sat, Nov 25, 2017] We booked two nights down here at Phantom Ranch, so that means we had a full day on Saturday to do whatever we pleased. We decided to do a little hike, then check out the beach we saw on our way down yesterday. There were several hike options at the bottom of the canyon. One option was to go up the North Kaibab trail… Read More

[Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI, Oct 17, 2016] This was our last day on the Big Island – well, for the majority of us! Most of us were leaving with a red-eye in the evening, while a few lucky ones were staying one more night here before continuing on to the island of Kauai. We got an early start to the day so that we can drive a couple of hours to… Read More

[Kona, HI, Oct 15, 2016] And here we are, day 2 of this adventure! We spent the night in our van in the parking lot of major exchange #2. Van #2 has been running their 6 legs since midnight or so last night, so we were expecting Creighton to be coming in fairly early this morning. Yes, we slept in the van! And this is not a big 12- or 15-passenger van…. Read More

[Kona, HI, Oct 13, 2016] It was so nice waking up today! We had nothing to do until bib pick up later in the day, and we really looked forward to dilly dallying and enjoying all the creature comforts we could before having to spend 36 hours running or being in a van! We started the day off with a nice walk from our AirBnB down to the ocean. Our house is… Read More

[Sveti Vlas, Bulgaria] I was just six years old the last time I visited the Bulgarian seaside in 1987. I don’t remember much of that time, but my parents do. Going to the beach back then was not as easy. There wasn’t a highway connecting Sofia and the major coastal cities, so travel by car was slow and long. Back then, there weren’t many hotels, and the ones that were there were… Read More

[Kailua-Kona, HI] Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is the name of the Hawaii State Fish. To say this, break it up into syllables and note the repetitions – Humu – Humu – Nuku – Nuku – Apua’a. And, if you’ve seen the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, you may recall a scene where a desk clerk at a resort on Oahu proudly boasts being able to name over 200 Hawaiian fish, including Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. You can see the… Read More