October 2014 archive

90s dance party.

We’re just a bunch of radical dudes hanging out before our epic 90’s concert. Only downfall of the whole night; thousands of people chain smoking cigarettes at the same time in the stadium.

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Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in Belgrade. Kelly and I whipped up a roasted bird, perfect potatoes, dressing, gravy, Swiss chard, roasted carrots, etc.

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We drank several bottles of red wine. It was a fantastic weekend.

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And the adventure begins.

These two have been best friends since grade 4.

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This is Arek’s third visit since we left Canada. We’ve traveled through Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania together.

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We finally got to meet his awesome girlfriend, Irina!

Belgrade, Serbia 2014(9)

Kelly (handsome man in the blue shirt) rented a fancy apartment for us in Belgrade for two nights. Here we are waiting for the keys while enjoying a fresh Serbian beer.

Belgrade, Serbia 2014(10)

It so happens that the weekend we came to Serbia fell on the same weekend as their annual war parade. We saw several jets (extremely exciting for the guys), took pictures of tanks and soldiers, and witnessed hundreds of army guys parachuting out of a plane in perfect formation. I hear that we missed special guest Vladimir Putin by a day.

Belgrade, Serbia 2014(11)

Click on the truck picture for more military photos.

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Though all restaurants in Serbia offer Bulgaria’s famous Shopska salad, the country is very different from Bulgaria. People here are tall, I mean 7 feet tall +, skinny, very well dressed and lighter skinned.

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I found the only bar in Belgrade with 1 euro beers on tap. Side note: Serbia serves 400ml draft beers, not 500ml…weird.

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Google translate:

Dad I love you but I still do not know to say it

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October 12th and it’s 30 degrees outside.

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Serbian food = grilled meats. Bacon, sausages, chicken, pork, breaded meats, livers wrapped in bacon, mushrooms, potatoes, rice, breads and butter on everything. I happily gained 10 lbs. that day.

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This man makes me very very happy!

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Waiting for our friends at the Sofia airport.

Nothing more exciting than meeting up with 3 friends for a little international adventuring.

Sofia, Bulgaria 2014(2)

I made a large “Welcome to Bulgaria” banner.

Sofia, Bulgaria 2014(3)

KELLY!!!!

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Together at last!

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Our awesome friends Arek, Irina and Kelly!

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Our first night together was spent at this quirky motel outside of Sofia. We caught up over Bulgarian champagne and sausages.

Sofia, Bulgaria 2014(1)

Pazardzhik, Bulgaria.

37 kilometers West of Plovdiv is the small town called Pazardzhik. We spent an evening there exploring the multiple pedestrian shopping streets, eating a variety of organ meat dishes and scanning the large outdoor market.  

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This dog is partied out.

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We meet Mormons in the strangest places, last time was in the miniscule town of Monfalcone, Italy and now Pazardzhik!?! These handsome young men flew in from Utah to serve a proselytizing mission, watch out Bulgarian Orthodox people, you too can wear snappy suits and fancy nametags .

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Though everyone is extremely nice and cheerful there is a huge poverty problem in Bulgaria, it is especially apparent in the smaller cities.

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My new boyfriend.

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I love this cute school bus.

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Friendly okra vendors.

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Cool lady in a cool car.

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Spicy curry pot stickers with mango chutney.

I got creative with last night’s leftover chicken curry and created pot sticker.

Make the gyoza wrappers, stuff them with curry* and pinch them closed (lightly wet the edge with water for a good seal). In a hot oiled pan, space the pot sticker far enough apart that they don’t touch. Brown on both sides. Add a little water and cover with a lid for about 3 minutes. Once the water has evaporated you can add a touch of oil and continue crisping or serve as is, pairs well with mango chutney**.

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*Curry: chicken, potatoes, red peppers, hot peppers, onions, garlic, pickled green tomatoes and a Tikki Masala type sauce. 

**Mango chutney: onions, red peppers, small pieces of pineapple, mango (I used a jar of mango baby puree), juice of an orange, vinegar, sugar, yellow curry powder.

Plovdiv is a great city with so much history and culture.

Most European cities have a cool pedestrian street like this one.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria 2014 (32)

I love seeing ancient ruins along side modern streets and parks.

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Communist era building, historical building and contemporary art installation.

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Bad Bulgarian cat.

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Matt bought me a pretty flower. The basket was fantastic because I had to walk around with it for 5 hours, the flower held up great!

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Plovdiv installed several large boards with great historical photos and text all along the main path, unfortunately it’s all written in Cyrillic.

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The first photo of WWII in Western Poland (this was one of the displays).

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I love the building on the left, too bad it’s falling apart.

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We found the local computer club and hung out with a few dudes who enjoy fixing up old machinery.

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Plovdiv has many secrets.

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Party time in Plovdiv. 3rd wedding anniversary.

It’s not a big secret, Matt and I like to have fun.

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Walking down a dark street in Plovdiv on a Wednesday night we came across this heavy metal club, obviously we had to check it out.

Plovdiv, Bulgaria (35)

Matt playing Pictionary at the bar.

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He drew our cat with a ham…I think.

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We got invited to sit at this table with a bunch of cool Bulgarian heavy metal people.

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After Fabric bar we had a late night sushi snack.

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Beer, Rose wine, tempura prawn fitness roll and salmon sashimi. I couldn’t finish all my wine so our waitress poured it into a coffee mug for me. I love Bulgaria!

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On our walk home I heard 80’s rock playing from an apartment off the main pedestrian street, turns out it was a small pub.

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Matt makes friends with everyone.

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The barkeep.

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Everyone was signing along.

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Drunken photos on the walk home.

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Great night!

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Simple French pork stew.

Sometimes you just need to put potatoes, carrots, leeks, parsley, sage, peppercorns, bay leaves, a pork shank and lots of stock into a pressure cooker and let it do it’s thing for 45 minutes to an hour to achieve comfort-food perfection.

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