Thursday, June 30, 2016

Some more June news...:)

Vanyo finished school on June 15th. He got 'excellent' 5.50 for all of his 5th grade subjects - Bulgarian Language and Literature, English, Russian, Maths, History and Civilization, Geography and Economics, Man and Nature, IT, Music, Art, Home Ways of Life and Techniques, Sports and Compulsory Chosen Subject Maths. It’s a bit worse than the previous years when he got ‘excellent’ 6.00 /the best possible mark/, but we realize that this school year was tough and stressful for Vanyo because it was the first one in Middle School and he had to adjust to a new class and teachers... That’s why we’re still very, very proud of him!:)

Minnie finished with her University exams on June 23rd and a few days later /on June 28th/ she passed the theory part of the driving license exam.:) Now she is preparing for the practical part of the exam and let’s hope that soon we’ll have another driver in our family!:)

And yesterday, June 29th, Vanyo and Minnie were invited to the birthday party of Vanyo's dear friend Neda...:) The children had lots of fun at the bowling, disco and laser arena...:) My husband and I had a great time too as we really like Neda's parents...:) We had planned to meet again after the summer holidays and I really hope we can make it happen!:)

I saw two more movies in June – ‘Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation’ /the best Mission: Impossible movie so far in my opinion:)/ and ‘Gods of Egypt’ /wonderful special effects and incredible Gerard Butler…:) Yes, he is great even being the bad guy!:)/.

I read two books in June – ‘Treasure Island’ by Robert Louis Stevenson /it was the 6th book of my '19th century Golden Books Collection'... I'm not a fan of pirate stories actually, but this book was really well written and easy to read...:)/ and ‘Breaking Dawn’ by Stephenie Meyer /a wonderful ending of the Twilight saga...:) And I greatly enjoyed it that a part of it was written from Jacob's POV!:)/. 

Also in June I finished watching the 6th season of ‘Game of Thrones’ and it was incredible!:) Can’t wait for the next season and for the next book of the series!:)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Budapest trip, my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and Vanyo's birthday party with friends

May 24th was a public holiday here - Day of the Bulgarian Alphabet /the Cyrillic/ and Culture. It happened on a Tuesday, but the government gave the Monday off too /we had to work on the previous Saturday, May 14th, instead/ so we had a lovely 4-day weekend! :) I took off the Friday, May 20th too, so I even got a 5-day mini-vacation...:)

As soon as hubby finished work on May 20th, we left for Budapest...:) We drove through Serbia and had delicious dinner at Restoran Sunce in Tsaribrod - their barbecue is fantastic!:) Early in the morning we arrived in Budapest and as it was too early to check in at the apartment we had rented, we started to explore the city...:)

We visited the Nyugati Railway station /which I remembered from the first time I had visited this amazing city in 1987:)/, the Parliament /I think I can never get tired of looking at this beautiful building:)/,  the Mai Mano House of Photography and the Operetta House /both very impressive buildings/... We had lunch at Gastland Bistro Oktogon which was a new experience for us at it was an 'all-you-can-eat' and we have never tried such before...:) The food was great! :)

Then it was time for check-in. :) The apartment we had rented in Pest was nice and very close to the city centre so all the sights we wanted to see were a walking distance away, which was very convenient...:) We were exhausted by travelling all night long, so we had a nap before heading off to explore the city some more...:) 

In the evening we saw the Opera House /which was stunning/ and crossed the Chain Bridge to go over to Buda...:) It had gotten dark by then and everything was so beautiful on both sides of the Danube...:) We wanted to have dinner in Buda but everything was closing early there so we got back to Pest and had delicious dinner at a lovely restaurant on Andrassy Avenue /unfortunately I can't remember its name but the foie gras with Tokaj wine I had there was simply amazing/...

The next morning we spent in Buda - we visited the Castle, the Fisheman's Bastion, the Matthias Church /my favourite sight in Budapest ever:)/, the Hospital in the Rock /it was Minnie's idea, of course:)/ and the Great Market Hall. We bought some souvenirs too, of course!:) I totally fell in love with mine - a letter opener in the shape of a medieval sword...:) The coolest thing ever!:) 

Then we had delicious lunch in Buda /at the same place where we wanted to have dinner the previous evening/. I tried boar meat with wine which was really yummy...:) Oh, and we noticed that the most expensive salad there was the Bulgarian Shopska salad, we felt very proud and happy!:)

We had arranged a meeting with my Hungarian pal Bea but unfortunately we were late so she had to leave as soon as we met...:( We couldn't even take a picture together, such a shame...:( I really hope we'll be able to have a proper meeting next time, though!:)

After our short meeting with Bea we saw the Heroes Square and walked around the City Park /Városliget/...:) It was so beautiful and peaceful there...:) And the Vajdahunyad Castle with its lake made us feel as if we had entered a fairytale...:) There was a Picnic Festival so we greatly enjoyed walking around the stalls and looking at all the interesting goods that were sold there...:) We got some 'lagos' with cheese to try and it was yummy /it was a bit like our 'mekitza' but way bigger/. We also had some delicious and refreshing home-made lemonade...:) Oh, and we tried some fried pork which was great /we prepare it in the same way in Bulgaria/!:)

Unfortunately we had to leave the following morning, those two days in Budapest were over too fast... The city has changed a lot since the last time I've been here in 1990 but it's still a magical place, full of history, culture, friendly people and delicious food!:) And it was so special to visit it together with my family!:) They all loved our trip so we'll definitely repeat it in the near future...:) 

We stopped for lunch in Serbia again, this time at Kafana Ivan in Niška Banja...:) Vanyo was very happy that the place had his name...:) All of us ordered different things /I chose roasted lamb/ and everything was super fresh and delicious!:)

We got home in Sofia in the evening of the Monday, May 23rd and spent the rest of the long weekend at home, simply relaxing...:) Oh, and a friend of ours came to build a roof above our terrace on the last day of the long weekend, May 24th...:) It's made of wood and the terrace looks so much better now...:) We bought garden furniture for the terrace from Ikea /four chairs and a table/ so when the weather is nice, we spend a lot of time there...:) It's great!:) And yes, I finally feel at home in Sofia...:)

The next weekend was full too...:) First, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on the Saturday, May 28th...:) They had invited the four or us, my sister with her husband and their two daughters, my in-laws /mother-in-law and brother-in-law/ and my aunt /dad's sister/ with her husband. My cousins were invited too /with their girlfriends/ but unfortunately they couldn't come... We gathered at 'Riviera' - one of the best restaurants in Plovdiv...:) The food was delicious and it was great to catch up with everyone!:) 

And on the Sunday, May 29th, Vanyo had a birthday party with his friends...:) They gathered at the Laser Park in Bulgaria Mall and had lots of fun there...:) Vanyo got heaps of presents too!:) 

I've read two books in May - 'Eclipse' by Stephenie Meyer /I greatly enjoyed it, much more than the previous book of the series/ and 'Emma' by Jane Austen /it was a bit longer and not as good as 'Pride and Prejudice' but still a great book and I was happy to be a part of Jane Austen's world again...:)/.

June has been a quiet month so far... I've seen only one movie this month - 'Deadpool'. It was a bit weird, but still entertaining and funny...:)