Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter Fun: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years

Fact: I haven't updated my blog in ages
Excuse: I've just been having too much fun! 

Happy February Friends! 

So much has happened since my last update.  Since it would be impossible for me (and boring for you) to relay everything that has happened since November, I have decided to post of few pictures of some of my favorite moments from the last 3 months.

1. Thanksgiving: I spent the holiday in Berlin visiting Laura, Benno, and Frida.  

The most exciting part of Thanksgiving was getting to meet one of the newest members of the family.  This is Frida. 

I spent actual Thanksgiving day at a German Christmas market.  Don't worry, we had a more traditional Thanksgiving celebration that Saturday.

I helped stuff the turkey.  This was my first interaction with a Thanksgiving turkey in its pre-cooked phase.  I would be delighted to never encounter the bird in this stage of preparation again!  

The feast! 
2. Christmas Vacation: I spent my vacation traveling around Bulgaria and Budapest with Jacob.  We had a lovely time.  One of the first things we did was visit my friend while Nova TV was at her house filming a Christmas special about how expats in Bulgaria celebrate Christmas.  If you're interested, I make an appearance around 2:00.

Next, we headed to Budapest for a week.  We spent a lot of time walking around the city, admiring beautiful architecture, and playing cards.  If you are ever in Budapest I highly recommend the free walking tour and the Terror House Museum.  

We spent Christmas Eve on a beautiful dinner cruise.  Here we are getting ready to leave.  

Christmas PJs! 
We spent New Years in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.  Celebrating New Year's Eve is a huge deal in Bulgaria. Visibly, the celebrations seem to surpass even Christmas.  Unlike California, Bulgaria does not have stringent laws about fireworks.  In practice this means that anyone can purchase and light large fireworks. Although we didn't buy any ourselves, we definitely enjoyed watching fireworks go off all around us at midnight.  It was like a 4th of July show times 10!  

3. Learning to live in snow: By Bulgarian standards, I have been extremely fortunate about the weather this year because we have only had 2 weeks that really constitute winter climate.  Most of December was relatively warm and January even had sunny days.  After a week of trying to navigate through heaps of snow, learning to walk on ice without slipping, and being colder than I have ever been, I have come to the conclusion that I don't like winter very much.  I miss California's sunshine and 50 degree winters.  I finally bought a winter coat, which has not only kept me warm but has also helped me blend in with locals more than my red peacoat did.  
The park near my school.
Benches along the "road" to school.