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Balabanova All Over

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[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

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[Oahu, HI, Dec 30, 2018] On our last full day in Hawaii, we ended up all over the island – from the southeastern shore to the westernmost tip. Our first stop was Hanauma Bay, one of the most popular snorkeling spots on the island. Hanauma Bay was created by a crater explosion along the eastern shore of Oahu. Wave erosion along one of the walls of the crater gradually created the bay…. Read More

[Kaneohe, HI, Dec 27, 2018] On our agenda for today was a visit to the Byodo-In temple in the town of Kaneohe, on the eastern side of Oahu. After encountering lots of traffic on the North Shore yesterday, we figured we’d get an early start so that we can get to the temple shortly after it opens at 8:30 am. The drive from Wahiawa was beautiful! We got to cross the Ko’olau… Read More

[Haleiwa, HI, Dec 26, 2018] My friend’s home in Wahiawa made it easy to explore Hawaii’s North Shore. World famous for its surf breaks and awesome beaches, the North Shore is a must when visiting Oahu. But first, we couldn’t help but fall for the tourist trap that is Dole Plantation. It was less than 10 minutes from Vanya’s house and it welcomes more than 1 million visitors a year, so we… Read More

[Mount St Helens National Monument, July 20, 2018] On the agenda for that day was a long drive (3+ hours) from Lake Quinault to Mt. Rainier National Park. We enjoyed our breakfast in the Lake Quinault lodge restaurant as much as last night’s dinner. I had the sweet potato pancakes, which were amazing. We realized that we would be passing by Mount St Helens and we couldn’t resist the detour, even though… Read More