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Balabanova All Over

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[Santorini / Athens, Greece, May 18, 2019] Our flight back to Athens wasn’t until late afternoon, which left us with some time to explore the other parts of Santorini. There is so much to this island other than Oia and its gorgeous sunsets! First, though, we made the most of our stay at Aqua luxury suites. We enjoyed our breakfast and took one last dip in the hot tub before we said… Read More

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[Santorini, Greece, May 16-17, 2019] There are over 6000 islands and islets in Greece, of which only 227 are inhabited. The Greek islands account for almost half of the country’s 16,000 km/10,000 miles of coastline. They are split into six groups based on their georgaphic location. Offbeat Greece has a great guide to the different groups. The most popular group is by far the Cyclades, which includes Mykonos and Santorini, as well… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria, May 15-16, 2019] The weather, which had been getting worse even since I got here, deteriorated even further the next day. It’s a good thing B and I already saw some of the major sights in the city. For this second day in Sofia, I decided to focus more on museums to avoid the rain in the forecast. Temperatures were also cooler, so I had to borrow a thicker jacket… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria, May 13-14, 2019] I spent the next few days showing my hometown to B, who arrived in Sofia three days after me. It was his first trip to Europe since 1992, so he was little anxious about the long flight. But everything went smoothly and he popped out of customs smiling and ready to spend the next 2 weeks on the Balkans. I had a whole day free before his… Read More

[Detroit, MI, Apr 17, 2019] My conference ended on Wednesday, but I was staying through Thursday. This year, I finally got on the board of HEDW, the all-volunteer board that organizes the conference. The first of their two board meetings of the year is held on the day after the conference. This left me with a free half-day on Wednesday. I planned on exploring Detroit, and I was super happy that my… Read More

[Ann Arbor, MI, Apr 15/16, 2019] Luckily, the evenings provided opportunities to get out of our hotel and explore of Ann Arbor. Spending a few days at a conference hotel can bring on cabin fever pretty quickly for me, so I relish these opportunities! Monday nights of this conference are typically reserved for the networking dinners. The conference organizers make reservations at a half-dozen or so restaurants in the area and provide… 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

[NYC, Nov 3, 2018] After an amazing Friday visiting the One World Trade Center and a delicious dinner at Daniel, our Saturday was much more chill. I still didn’t know what B had in store for the evening, but we had the day free and he let me choose what I wanted to do. But first, we had breakfast in the form of left-over cronuts. High on my list was a return… 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. Since then. 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 luckily, I… Read More