Thursday, February 15, 2018

Valentine's Day and some other news... :)

Minnie passed successfully all of her exams for the winter semester and she was on holidays from January 23rd until February 12th. Vanyo was on holidays too - from January 27th until February 7th. Lucky kids!:) 

I saw only one movie in January – ‘Legend’. It was nothing special but Tom Hardy was incredible as always!:)  

I read one book in January – ‘The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova. I really wanted to like this book, but I simply couldn't... It was too slow and boring at times... And I doubt the author understands well the medieval history of the Balkans she writes about... On one side, it was nice that an important part of the story takes place in my country Bulgaria, but on the other side I was disappointed that a lot of the Bulgarian details were fake...:( 

On February 11th /Sunday/ we visited my parents to celebrate my mother’s birthday. And as always we enjoyed the delicious food and the nice company…:) 

We didn’t do much on Valentine’s Day… Simply had a special dinner at home and Vlado surprised me with a box of handmade Belgian chocolates…:) 

So far I’ve seen only two movies in February – ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’ /a total disappointment…:(/ and ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ /not as good as the first movie but still interesting.../.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Minnie's birthday, our Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations, Vanyo's name day and some other news...:)

On December 8th /Friday/ Minnie celebrated International University Students’ Day with a group of her colleagues in a guest house in Deltchevo /a mountain village/ and they didn’t get back home before the Sunday…:) It must have been lots of fun as Minnie didn’t call us at all that weekend /which is very unusual for her…:)/.

The following Monday, December 11th, Minnie celebrated her 21st birthday…:) She took some chocolates to the University as a treat for her colleagues and after the lectures they have had a drink or two together…:) And in the evening we had special dinner at home, chosen by the birthday girl – chicken with potatoes and creamy sauce, plus a chocolate cake!:) Minnie got some gifts, of course – some money from my parents, and a golden necklace from her father, her brother and me…:) Her colleagues and her best friend Maria /whom Minnie took out for a birthday lunch a few days later/ also had some really special and thoughtful gifts for my girl…:)

On December 22nd /Friday/ I attended the Christmas party of the law company I’m working at…:) It was held at a very good reastaurant, called Petru’s and I greatly enjoyed everything – the food, the atmosphere and the company /some ex-colleagues were there too and it was great to catch up:)/…

This party marked the beginning of my Christmas holidays which lasted for eleven days - until January 3rd…:)

I spent the first few days at home, simply relaxing, reading, watching TV series and movies and most of all – enjoying the company of my dear husband and kids…:)

We celebrated Christmas at our home in Sofia for a change…:) We had the tradional meals on Christmas Eve and Vanyo found the coin into his piece of the ‘pitka’ so he is supposed to be the luckiest person in our family in 2018…:)

The children recieved some presents, of course…:) Vanyo got the third Percy Jackson book – ‘The Titan's Curse’ /as he really liked the first two books of the series he already had:)/ and a new PS4 game /FIFA 18 Ronaldo edition/.:) Minnie got ‘The Physics of Sorrow’ by the Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov /as she was interested in reading it for a whileJ:)and a new smartphone /HTC/.:)

Vlado and I normally don’t exchange gifts at Christmas but this time he surprised me with a perfume /’Serpentine’ by Roberto Cavalli/ and I bought him a cardigan…:)

On December 30th /Saturday/ we left Teddy with my parents and drove to Velingrad. We stayed at our favourite hotel /‘Lucky Light Boutique Hotel & SPA’/ for three nights and celebrated New Year’s Eve there…:) As always we greatly enjoyed our time at the hotel – the atmosphere, the food, the spa and the service so we’ll definitely visit it again…:) The celebration for New Year’s Eve was wonderful too – delicious food, good wine and lots of dancing…:) We didn’t go to bed before 5 a.m. so you can imagine how much fun we’ve had…:)

On January 2nd /Tuesday/ we drove to Plovdiv to pick up Teddy and we had great time with my parents too, enjoying more delicious food and catching up with them…:)

Unfortunately the holidays were over too soon and we had to get back to the routine the following day, January 3rd…

I saw eight movies in December. Here is the list: ‘The Martian’ /this movie was a pleasant surprise as it turned out to be much better than I had expected...:) And Matt Damon was simply incredible!:)/, ‘Bridge of Spies’ /another movie which turned out to be much better than I expected... And Tom Hanks does a great job as always!:)/, ‘Southpaw’ /a very touching and inspiring movie...:) And brilliant Jake Gyllenhaal!:)/, ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ /such a disappointment…:(/, ‘A Dog’s Purpose’ /one of the best movies I've ever seen - such a beautiful and touching story...:)/, ‘Wonder Woman’ /great entertainment for the whole family:)/, ‘The Mummy’ /nothing special...:(/ and the Russian movie ‘Guardians’ /a total waste of time...:)/.

I have read only one book in December – ‘Younger’ by Pamela Satran. It was interesting, fun, and easy to read!:) I really liked most of the characters and felt as if I've known them for a long time...:) I found all there’s a TV show based on the book so I might give it a try one day as well…:)

Today we celebrated Vanyo’s name day. He got some presents – a new smartphone /Huawei/ from his father, his sister and me and some money from my parents.:) And in the evening we went out for dinner – delicious pizza…:)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

My life in the past few months...

I spent the first few days of my holidays simply relaxing at home and on August 10th /Thursday/ the four of us drove to Greece…:)

Our first destination was the famous sea resort Paralia Katerinis. We stayed at hotel ‘Olympus’ which was right next to the beach… The hotel itself was nothing special but the service was excellent and the breakfast – delicious…:) Unfortunately we didn’t like Paralia Katerinis very much – it was too crowded and noisy… Our hotel was at the centre so we couldn’t sleep well because of the constant noise coming from the numerous bars and restaurants which seemed to work non stop… Of course, not everything was that bad – we greatly enjoyed our night walks along the beach or through the big street market… And we had some really wonderful Greek food too – especially our dinner at restaurant Zografos was amazing…:) They had live music which added a special flavor to the delicious seafood we were having…:)

On August 12th /Saturday/ we left Paralia Katerinis and drove to Kalampaka. It’s a beautiful village right at the breathtaking rock formation Meteora… We stayed at ‘Pineas’, a lovely hotel with a pool and both our rooms had fantastic view of Meteora…:) We spent the whole afternoon by the pool and in the evening we went to have dinner at Meteora Restaurant…:) It was my birthday, so we just had to celebrate it properly…:) After the delicious dinner, we had some ice-cream and then came back to our hotel to spend some more time by the pool and to play some badminton… It was so much fun!:) And we finished the night on the terrace of our room, chatting and enjoying a glass of whiskey /Coca-Cola for Vanyo:)/ and the beautiful view of Meteora… I saw a falling star and wished to come to Meteora again…:) It was an incredible birthday, one of the best I’ve ever had…:)

The following day after breakfast /by the way, the breakfast in Pineas was fantastic – everything was fresh and tasty:)/ we went to see the famous monasteries in Meteora. The super friendly owner of the hotel has given us a map and detailed explanations so we could easily find all of the monasteries…:) We greatly enjoyed our trip but all that climbing made us feel tired so after having light lunch in Kalampaka /gyros:)/ we spent the afternoon and evening by the pool again…:)
The next day /August 14th, Monday/ we drove to Athens. We stayed at a lovely and super comfortable apartment in the centre of the city. As soon as we settled, we went to explore the Greek capital…:) It was too hot and we were very tired by the travelling so we didn’t see much that day but it was nice to get a first impression of the city…:)  

Our second day in Athens was fantastic as I met two penpals!:) First I met Christine – she came in the morning to pick us up and to take us sightseeing…:) It was great to finally meet her after being penpals for so many years!:) She was just as wonderful, friendly and witty in real life as in her letters!:) Christine was a fantastic guide – she showed us all the most important sights giving us interesting information about them…:) We enjoyed our time with her to the fullest!:) And in the evening I met another Greek penpal – Angeliki.:) We had coffee together at a very nice café called Mikel…:) It was wonderful to spend some time with Angeliki too!:) I hope I will get another chance to meet both Christine and Angeliki in the near future!:) 

We had dinner at a lovely restaurant close to the Acropolis which Christine had kindly found for us…:) The food was delicious and there was some live music too to add to the fun!:)  

The following morning we drove to our final destination – Nafplion.:) Minnie had visited this beautiful town at her school practice in 2013 and had fallen in love with it so she wanted to show it to her family too!:) We stayed for three nights at a very nice hotel called ‘Ignatia’. It was right at the beach and I greatly enjoyed looking at the sea from our balcony…:) The breakfast at the hotel was fantastic and they gave us welcome drinks /a bottle of very good white wine for each room/…:) There was a tavern right next to the hotel so we enjoyed some delicious seafood lunches and dinners there…:) We spent our days at the beach and our evenings in Nafplion which was such a picturesque town that the rest of us fell in love with it too…:) So I suspect this won’t be our last visit there...:)  

We came back home on August 19th /Saturday/. And on the Monday, August 21st, Minnie left for her Summer School of Classical Languages… She stayed there for a week and as always has had a great time learning and socializing with her friends…:) As for me, I spent the last week of my holidays simply relaxing and enjoying the time with my husband and son…:) 

I got back to work on August 28th /Monday/. Luckily my first days after the holidays weren’t too busy so I could gradually get into working mode... :) 

I saw three more movies in August after my previous post here -  ‘Wild’ /a great movie - so beautiful and touching...:) And Reese Witherspoon has done an incredible job! Two thumbs up!:)/, ‘Fantastic Four’ /nothing special…/ and ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ /a very silly movie/. 

I’ve read two books in August. The first one was ‘Nine Dragons’ by Michael Connelly. I was a bit disappointed as my favourite character Mickey Haller appears only shortly in the story but it was still an interesting read…:) 

The second book was ‘Madame Bovary’ by Gustave Flaubert. It was the 9th book of my ‘19th Century Golden Books Collection’. It is really well written but I stuggled with it because the main character greatly annoyed me...:( I found Madame Bovary so vane, seflish and stupid that I couldn't feel for her at all... Even her suicide was a silly and cowardly decision in my opinion... 

The first few days of September were quiet ones but as soon as the children started their studies, our lives became insanely busy again…  

Minnie’s academic year started on September 11th /Monday/. She is in the 3rd year of her education and she enjoyes her Medical studies more than ever as they have more practice now…:) 

Vanyo started school on September 15th /Friday/. He is in 7th grade now. It is the most difficult year for him so far because at the end of it he should pass some really serious exams. If his results are good, he would be able to continue his education at a prestigious school… He also has new subjects and new teachers again… So please, keep your fingers crossed for him!:) 

September 22nd is a public holiday /Independence Day/ and as it happened on a Friday, we had a 3-day weekend… And we decided to go back to Meteora as we really loved it there…:) We stayed at ‘Pineas’ again and spent the long weekend relaxing by the pool or sightseeing /we went to the monasteries again and also visited a very interesting old church in Kalampaka – the Byzantine church of Virgin Mary which has relics of an ancient Greek temple dedicated to God Apollo embedded in the wall/. And of course, we also enjoyed delicious Greek food – in restaurant Meteora /again:)/ and in Taverna to Paramithi /with live music:)/. It was a lovely mini-vacation!:)  

I saw quite a lot of movies in September…:) Here is the list: ‘Into the Woods’ /I'm not much fond of musicals and I disliked the ending of this one.../, ‘Pan’ /great entertainment for the whole family...:)/, ‘Tracers’ /nothing special…/, ‘Central Intelligence’ /there were some really funny moments and it was great to see Dwayne Johnson again...:)/, ‘Labor Day’ /one of the best movies I've ever seen - such a beautiful and touching story and great actors!:)/, ‘The Nanny Diaries’ /a very fresh and sweet movie, I loved it:)/, ‘The Water Diviner’ /I'm not sure if this movie is historically correct but it was very interesting and touching.../, ‘The Boy Next Door’ /a total disappointment.../, ‘Everest’ /a very interesting but also a very sad movie.../ and ‘Pitch Perfect’ /great entertainment:)/. 

I’ve read one book in September – ‘Evening in Byzantium’ by Irwin Shaw. It turned out to be a beautiful and touching, yet rather depressing story...  

October was a rather uneventful month… On October 20th /Friday/ Vanyo went to a school trip. They have visited some really interesting monasteries around Sofia and he has had lots of fun with his friends as always…:)  

On October 23rd /Monday/ my husband and I went to the National Palace of Culture to see a show called ‘The 8th Wonder’. It was about the unique Bulgarian folklore and we both enjoyed it to the fullest…:) 

I saw six movies in October – ‘The Intern’ /great movie, I loved it!:)/, ‘Third Person’ /I love such movies that are like a puzzle and make me think about them long after I've finished watching them... The actors were brilliant too!/, ‘Fathers and Daughters’ /nothing special.../, ‘Ant-Man’ /great entertainment for the whole family...:)/, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2’ /also great entertainment for the whole family.../ and ‘Split’ /a very good thriller and an incredible James McAvoy... Can't wait to see the next movie by M. Night Shyamalan!:)/. 

I’ve read one book in October – ‘Sandstorm’ by James Rollins. It is the first book of the Sigma Force series which was recommended to me by my husband…:) It took me a while to get into the story but once this happened, I greatly enjoyed this book - it was interesting, full of action and complex characters...:) So, needless to say, I'll read the other Sigma Force books too!:) 

Vanyo had autumn holidays from November 1st /Wednesday/ to November 5th /Sunday/. He didn’t do anything special, just relaxed at home and played PS games with his friends…:) 

Minnie attended a meeting of the Association of the Medical Students in Bulgaria which was held in Plovdiv from November 3rd /Friday/ to November 5th /Sunday/. She has had a great time there with her friends and has decided to be more active at such events…:)

Minnie’s name day was on November 11th. It happened on a Saturday, so we decided to go to a very famous café, called ‘Romance’ where we had the most delicious cakes and drinks…:) Minnie got some gifts, too – a leather bag from her dad, her brother and me and some money from my parents…:)

I saw only two movies in November – ‘Run All Night’ /such a disappointment.../ and ‘The Longest Ride’ /a very beautiful and touching movie, I loved it:)/. 

I’ve read two books in November. The first one is ‘The Lady of the Rivers’ by Philippa Gregory. I didn't find it as good as 'The Other Boleyn Girl' but it was an interesting book anyway and I don't regret reading it...:)

The second book is ‘Wolf Hunt’ by the Bulgarian author Ivailo Petrov. It was the 9th book of my ‘20th Century Golden Books Collection’. I greatly enjoyed this book - the stories were interesting and touching and the philosophical views of the author were revealed by them in an unique way... The characters were deep and complex too...