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Balabanova All Over

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[Manzanita / Cannon Beach, OR, Jul 5, 2019] Trying to figure out what to do with a couple of free days in the Portland area was not hard at all. I’ve been to Portland a couple of times before, so this time I was expanding to good day trips outside of town. The Columbia River Gorge is an excellent such trip, but I had done that in the Fall of 2013. One… Read More

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[Lake Oswego, OR, Jul 4, 2019] I was sad to leave Bend, but I was excited to head to Portland to visit my friend Megan. We met in Los Angeles in 2010. Megan was in the same MBA programs at Loyola Marymount University as me. I was immediately drawn to her vivacious, bubbly personality. She lived close to me, which, in the traffic nightmare that is LA, is invaluable. She helped me… Read More

[Crater Lake National Park, July 3, 2019] You may have seen that instantly recognizable Crater Lake photo – a little cone-shaped island in the middle of the bluest of lakes. That was the image I had in my mind from the many photos of Crater Lake I’ve seen, but I was still excited to see it for myself. Crater Lake was born out of the ashes of the volcano that stood in… Read More

[Big Sur, CA, Apr 19, 2019] I came back from my conference on April 18th and turned right back around to head to the famous wine-growing region of Napa for B’s birthday. We had picked up a convertible from the airport the night before, and we were ready to hit the road early as we were planning to take the scenic route up to Napa. The plan was to drive up to… Read More

[Lone Pine, CA / Furnace Creek, CA, Mar 29, 2019] Death valley is one of those parks I’d heard about even as a kid in Bulgaria. The mere mention of its name conjured up images of skeletons and skulls. The  weather was incredibly hot much of the year, I’d read as a child, and many a men had paid the highest price for venturing into this place unprepared.  Death valley was named… Read More