Showing posts from July, 2014

Romanian Food- a meal 13 years in the making!

13 years ago I volunteered and worked in Romania for a month. I stayed in a tiny little town called Lupeni. (It doesn't make many maps it's so small.) What I was doing there is a story for another post and time. Today we're going to talk about food, specifically my love of Romanian food.
Back in Lupeni I discovered two dishes- sarmale and papanoci. (sar-maul-eh and poppa-nosh). These were my two most favorite foods, and I ate them every chance I got in Romania. My "bunica" made them for us. Bunica means grandma, old lady, or babushka. Everyone has a bunica.
It's been 13 years since I had good sarmale and papanoci. I've tried many times to make them on my own, but it's never been as good as Bunica made it.
So you better believe I was looking forward to having it again when I got back to Romania!
In our first town, Baile Herculane, one of the first things I did was ask our hotel if they would be serving us either dish. They were impressed I knew Romani…

Things You Don't See in the U.S.

Just a few of the pictures I took around Eastern Europe of things you just don't see in the States.  This was a mini-mart/7-11 type of store (0-24 indicates that it's a nonstop, open 24 hours store), that sells chicken. Every time we passed it, I thought it looked like there was a giant turd on top of the chicken's finger.

A contacts vending machine I found in the Moscow airport.

At a "beach" in Belgrade, Serbia (a dammed off river area), this ginormous water bottle (easily 3 stories tall, maybe more) was also a water spout/fountain. Most original marketing gimmick I have seen in a long time.

Just a random kid out walking her Shetland pony on the sidewalk. (Which begged the question, was it really a Shetland pony? or some other breed of midget pony?)

This was my hotel room in Timisoara, Romania. No sheets on the beds. Just this oddly folded blanket/comforter. And everything was folded into triangles.

Pepper cream cheese? (which, by the way, we ordered, and was …

Favorite Picture

This picture will forever be one of my all-time favorites for the way the moment was captured.

Finally- a real travel post on Romania and Serbia!

I finally have a few minutes to myself for the first time since arriving in Europe last week. I just double-checked the date and time, and discovered it is Thursday, July 10. I honestly thought it was Monday. Traveling on tour can mess with your head that way. I guess I’m going to have to give this travelogue in reverse order, and jump all over the place. My brain refuses to remember the beginning of this trip. It was too long ago.
Tonight I’m in Timisoara, Romania, a town once known as the Paris of Eastern Europe. It’s also famous for being the city of roses, and the first city in all of Europe to have electric street lamps. All odd claims to fame. But as it turns out, Timisoara is one of my all-time favorite cities. There is a large town square (piata – pronounced pee-awt-suh) in the center of town. My hotel is “Hotel Central,” which is conveniently right off this square. The hotel itself is very clean, but something of a 1960’s stark nightmare. The bathroom has an accordion door …

Serbian Boathouse Living

Forgive me the poor quality of this video. It's just for fun to give you an idea of what life was like in our little boathouse in Serbia last week.
There was much laughter, chaos, and stuff everywhere. This was taken probably around 11 pm on Sunday night. We had 4 women in a studio apartment, living above a bar/clubhouse. Our bathroom was about the size of a train or airplane bathroom (plus a shower).
There was no furniture in the room- just 3 mattresses on the floor. (You'll notice there are 5 women in the video, including me. That's because one of the dancers, Ashlynn, was visiting us for a few hours.) We did find a few small chairs in the bar that we used as shelves.
Every time there was a lot of movement downstairs or a boat would go by in the lake, our little boathouse would rock. We had clothes hanging from a makeshift clothesline, and they would sway back and forth when the room rocked. I was trying to capture it on video. If you look closely, you can sort of see h…


A very quick and fast attempt to explain my whereabouts-

We were in Belgrade for a few days.
And then we took a bus to Romania.
We've been here 2 days.
We'll be in this town 1.5 more days, and then go to another town.
I forget how long we'll be in that town.
And then we'll go back to a different town in Serbia for a few more days.
And then I will go back to Moscow for 1 day.
And then home.
Where I shall sleep a lot.

go read the other blog

i only have so much internet access while we travel.
and i only have so much energy to blog.
so please go visit for the fun stories and pictures.

i'll get back over here sooner or later. probably later. or maybe tomorrow. i really don't know.

Orphanage Day

Today was orphanage day. We had a wonderful time visiting an orphanage in Belgrade and then a home for mentally disabled men. It was so much fun. I taught the little girl in this picture how to blow bubbles, and the joy of playing with a slinky. I may have even taught her to say slinky.
I won't be in many pictures during this trip, since I'm the one taking pictures of everyone else. There are lots of stories and pictures up on the Clog America blog and Instagram feed today.
All in all, a great day.
Stories and pictures to come when I have 5 minutes to myself.

I'm on a boat!

Okay, maybe not a boat.
I'm on/in a floating club house on a river. But it's not a river house. It's also not a lake house, regardless of the fact that we've dubbed it the lake house. I'm in a club house owned by a dance club (Klub Talija), where they come to hang out, drink, etc. It's the base camp for this leg of our trip. Our group members are staying with host families nearby and around Belgrade. I'm staying with a few of the other older staff members (some very fun ladies), in an apartment on top of this floating party house.
More stories and pictures when I'm not quite so tired!
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