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Balabanova All Over

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[Los Angeles, CA / Boynton Beach, FL, Dec 22-24, 2017] Last year’s holiday trip to Florida did not start as planned. We were supposed to take a red-eye on Dec 21 and make a beeline for Key West and Dry Tortugas National Park before returning to the Palm Beach area on Dec 23, in time to spend the Christmas holidays with family. Unfortunately, our flight was one of over 200 canceled (many… Read More

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[Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept 23-24, 2017] I spent the last few days spending time with dear friends and family before I head back to Los Angeles. On Saturday, I spent the whole day at my friend Slaveya’s house. Another friend of hers visited, and we had 3 coffees and snacks over a six-hour period. 🙂 I always wonder why I can’t do that in the US. I cannot remember the last time I… Read More

[Kalabaka, Greece, Sept 18, 2017] In the last few years, I’ve always tried to tack on additional travel to my usual Bulgaria visits. Whether it’s visiting sites in Bulgaria or adding a few days somewhere in Europe, it’s been a great way to see my family and get some of my bucket list items checked off all at the same time. I am in Bulgaria for less than 2 weeks total this… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria, Sept 15, 2017] School begins here in September 15th. It’s the same day for all schools in the whole country, and it’s a big celebration. First, your parents send you off by spilling a bucket of water outside the door for good luck. I know it sounds strange, but there is a saying that goes with it. The literal translation is something like “may everything go like on water”, which,… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria] Once we returned from Kazanluk, my days in Sofia turned into a leisurely affair I could very easily get used to. My friends and family were all at work, so I’d sleep in, then have breakfast and coffee with mom and dad, then go run errands with mom – she’d always go out in the morning to pick up the newspaper and other odds and ends. I’d read the paper… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria] After running errands with my parents for most of the day I finally got to visit my brother in the late afternoon! Last time I visited in 2009, I met his girlfriend Yulia and my niece Zariya, who was only 15 months old at the time. Zari is now almost 5 and has a little brother, Sami, who is 3 and whom Yulia was pregnant with last time I was… Read More

[Sofia, Bulgaria] I woke up this morning to see the rooftops of the neighboring buildings dusted with snow! I couldn’t wait to get outside and see what had changes since I’d last been here in 2009. After a quick breakfast of banitza – a traditional Bulgarian food prepared with filo dough, feta cheese and eggs – mom and I left the house to run some errands. First, I had to go file… Read More