TBT: Drive, Play, Fall (Part II)

Here’s the continuation of one of our Albanian adventures that I began sharing a couple of Thursdays ago. These stories were first told on my first blog “Adventures of a Teacher”. Enjoy!

CHAPTER 3: Cave Journey

After our heated night in the hotel room we got up early and headed to the beach to rent some kayaks. We paid an eight year old boy 500  leke ($5) to use the boats for an hour and headed down the shore. Our friend, Erind, lead us to a beautiful cove with a tall cave entrance. The cave was not very deep, but the ceilings were high, and there was a large opening at the top that allowed sunbeams to come through and reflect on the navy water. We immediately pulled our boat on the rocks and began exploring. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t take my camera.)

Our view from where we ate breakfast.

Our view from where we ate breakfast.

I was barefoot so it was a little painful to climb around the coral-like formations, so I decided to take a swim. The water was icy, but refreshing. I swam across the cave to a rock formation where Boyfriend was climbing and kicked something that I thought was coral. However, when I exited the water to examine my foot, I found 4 barbs stuck in my toes from a sea urchin. It really stung, but I tried to laugh it off and talk about how I now had something to blog about.

Walking on the rocky beach before our kayaking adventure.

Walking on the rocky beach before our kayaking adventure.

The rock formation we climbed was about 30 feet tall and provided a window out of the cave and into the ocean. The water was crystal clear and very deep so we all took turns jumping off the cliff. It was a little of an adrenaline rush, and shockingly cold when we hit the water. We were past our one-hour rental time so we quickly got in our boats to head back. I could not stop shivering as we paddled so Erind kindly suggested we stop in another close cove to rest on the warm rocks.

CHAPTER 4: What Goes Up Must Come Down

I laid out on the hot stones to stay warm, Erind went for a swim to find more sea urchins, and Boyfriend, being Boyfriend, decided to start climbing all the rocks around us. After about twenty minutes I heard Boyfriend’s feet stepping through the pebbles as he descended the cliff he had conquered. I turned around to tell him I was ready, and was shocked to find him limping and bleeding from almost head-to-toe.

I frantically asked what had happened, and he just limped past me and fell into the water. His face was pale and shocked, and he continued to ignore my questions. He had obviously fallen, and by this time Erind had noticed and we were both trying to get him out of the water to examine the damage.

Boyfriend explained to me hours later that while he was climbing down, a very large rock broke underneath him and he slipped a few feet down, then the large rock fell on top of his right leg and broke in half over his leg. It was apparently traumatic enough to make Boyfriend very sick once his adrenaline lowered. We had to wait on the little beach for almost an hour before he would get back on the kayak. Once that was done, I rowed the two of us for an hour to get back to where we started.

Everyone on the shore was shocked to find us in such a state. A very kind Albanian woman ran to grab her first aid kit and made Boyfriend lay back while she cleaned up his wounds. Another hour passed and we tried to get Boyfriend back to the car, which just made his leg more swollen and bleed even more. Erind and his friends decided to take us to the “emergency room” on the beach.

Here's Peter putting on brave face as the kind woman cleaned his wounds. I left out all the photos of the actual wounds...you're welcome.

Here’s Boyfriend putting on brave face as the kind woman cleaned his wounds. I left out all the photos of the actual wounds…you’re welcome.

This “emergency room” was more like a clinic you would imagine in a WWII movie. It was very small, concrete walls, little metal beds, and no A/C. The Albanian doctor was very soft-spoken and could not speak English. Luckily, we had our friends to translate.

After cleaning the wounds once more, the doc suggested he have stitches in his leg (and that there was a 90% chance it was NOT broken). This of course led to a local anesthetic which made Boyfriend sick once more. Finally, it was all cleaned and bandaged, and the extremely kind doctor sent us on our way. (He wouldn’t charge us anything so we left him a tip instead.)

doctor

Finally, (after a 7 hour drive), we made it home. We are still exhausted.

At least the drive home was pretty.

At least the drive home was pretty.

Overall, we really did have a great weekend. After only being here one week, we have toured the capital, made many new friends, seen the mountains, kayaked the ocean, and visited the hospital. Not too bad if I do say so myself. Oh, and Boyfriend totally stole the thunder from my sea urchin sting.

EPILOGUE:

Boyfriend is fine and will survive his little mishap, maybe even learn something from it. Currently, he is horizontal with his leg elevated and watching movies. Mostly, he is frustrated that he cannot leave the apartment. I have a feeling, that our next adventure won’t be too far away.

Annnddd 4 years later, Husband is still always finding away to get himself into trouble and do something dangerous. Everyday is an adventure with this guy.

Cheers!

It’s Finally Broadway Season!

Seeing shows on Broadway on random week nights, picking up last minute tickets, Broadway week, TKTS in Time Square, ticket lottery and seeing shows before they even open were all luxuries and benefits of living in Manhattan. Benefits that I miss SO much. Thankfully, Nashville has its own bit of Broadway (and no, not the one downtown). I’m talking about Broadway season. From September through May there are 8 Broadway shows coming to town at the fantastic Tennessee Performing Arts Center and I am stoked about this years line up!

BTW. Evita is no longer coming, but Camelot will be here in its place!

BTW. Evita is no longer coming, but Camelot will be here in its place!

Did you notice Book of Mormon is coming! (Good luck getting your tickets for that one. Seriously. Good luck. It’s awesome and you should all be trying to see it.)

mormon

Last night I got to experience the first show of the season, Once. I’ve seen Once, once, on Broadway, the year that it opened with the original cast. With that being said, I want you to know that the traveling cast is amazing. I was so impressed with the talent of the 13 actors on stage. It’s such an impressive musical. There is no orchestra. The cast plays string instruments and a piano on stage while acting, or sitting to the side. They sing, play, act and even dance (a bit). There is one set, no costume changes, few props and not even names for the main characters. The simplicity of the show is what makes it so intimate and impressive. How do they keep us captivated for 3 hours with such a simple show?

once

Talent. Phenomenal songs. And a tragic love story. That’s how.

I fell in love with this musical long before actually seeing it (or the movie). I heard the music first and was addicted. I have a “Once” Pandora station, which is fabulous BTW, and I can’t get enough of the soundtrack. There’s something so romantic and cozy about watching the actors play string instruments on stage and sing with such raw passion. There’s no computerized music or crazy effects, just pure talent.

love her so

The story takes place in Dublin (yay for cute guys with Irish accents). There is a busker who writes crazy good music, but wants to quit playing and singing because he girlfriend left him for NYC. Then there’s a hilariously blunt Czech girl who also happens to be a crazy talented musician who coincidentally finds the busker and decides to encourage him to keep singing and also get his girl back. The story follows these two as they play and sing together, encourage one another, fall for one another, discover a few secrets about each other and well…. I don’t want to ruin the end for you! It’s a beautiful story with really likable characters.

One of the coolest aspects about this particular play is that the set, which is a bar, runs like a real bar before the show begins and during intermission. You can actually walk on stage, order drinks, sit in a chair and walk around. What other Broadway show allows you to get that close to the set? They actually begin performing before the show begins, if that makes sense. It gives the impression that you are just at the local bar watching local musicians and a love story sort of unfolds before your eyes. It’s beautiful. Just trust me and go see it.

Once is playing at the TPAC from now until September 21st. You can purchase tickets here, and don’t forget to get your tickets for the upcoming shows as well. This is going to be a great season!

If you aren’t in the Nashville area than be sure to check out the tour schedule!

Cheers!

Apparently I Like to Run

I’ve created a monster.

running

 

We ran the Mud Run two weeks ago, which inspired us to sign up for a local 6k last weekend. Now, we are signed up for the Warrior Dash in a few weeks and already looking into holiday runs, more obstacle runs and even Disney Runs. (OMG, Did you know there is a Princess run???) Anyways, last Saturday was the Heroes in Recovery 6k (weird distance, right?) and it was the first run where I didn’t feel like death at the end. In fact, I enjoyed the run. I felt awesome at the finish!

start

This race had zero obstacles, yet it was a hell of a lot more fun than the Mud Run we recently ran. The cool, breezy slightly misty weather certainly made for a pleasant run, but the whole experience was so positive that I am certain we will be running it again next year. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 reasons why the Heroes in Recovery kicks the Mud Run’s butt.

1. Pre-race shenanigans. Before the race started we enjoyed walking around the tents set up nearby. There were local gyms, stores and groups advertising and giving away free passes, t-shirts and selling cute merchandise. We got some cute free tanks for warming up on some rowing machines. There was also music playing and a stage set up where a local jazzercise group taught a few routines. It was the perfect way to warm-up. Everyone was silly, dancing and just having a good time. Fruit, bagels, trail mix, coffee and water were also available for everyone for no extra cost. Everything was well-organized and geared towards pumping the crowd up to run/walk.

jazzercise

2. Scenic route. The race was held in Leiper’s Fork which is a gorgeous part of town. We ran up and down hills, through the woods, past farms and wide open fields and around cows, horses and llamas. The race was never boring.

horses view cows

3. Cheerleaders. Everyone working, volunteering, watching and running was so enthusiastic and supportive. Before we started everyone pumped each other up, warmed up together and lined up excitedly. During the race we cheered for the people passing us and encouraged the ones behind us, as did everyone else. Volunteers on the side handed out water and constantly told us “great job!” At the finish line we were completely bombarded with people screaming, cheering and telling us how fantastic we are. We were handed metals as our chips were taken (that’s right, we got chips in this race). We also got water, more snacks and lots of praise. All of the love and support made us feel like heroes. In fact, it was so fun and encouraging that after we finished we stuck around to the end to cheer on everyone else running/walking the race.

4. After party. Once the race was over, the party continued. We were not rushed away and immediately sent home. The tents remained opened, a band played music, people snapped photos and everyone continued celebrating their accomplishments.

5. A sense of community. Heroes in Recovery is a movement started by Foundations Recovery Network and the those who are in recovery from addiction and mental illness. They want to break the stigma that surrounds substance abuse and mental health disorders and keeps millions of people from seeking help. They put together events like this 6k to create a sense of community, and they did a perfect job. Everyone was working together, supporting one another and behaving like neighbors. We were all coming together for a good cause and doing something active and positive together.

us

Besides these 5 reasons, the Heroes in Recovery 6k also offered free pics and free parking. We are definitely doing htis again next year. Aanndddd probably several other races in between. Any suggestions?

IMG_4218

Cheers!

TBT: Drive, Play, Fall

Last week, I shared a little TBT post from my former blog, “Adventures of a Teacher.” It ended with a bit of cliffhanger so I figure I should continue this story this week…and maybe next week as well!

As you may have read, we were invited Saturday afternoon to take a trip to Southern Albania. The entire trip was amazing, and quite a learning experience. I honestly don’t know if I can fit even just the minimal details into one blog. Let’s break it down…

CHAPTER 1: Car Sick

We rode with our friend Erind and his friend Dorian for 5 hours to get to the beach. The conversation was so interesting as we got to know our new Albanian friends. These two guys are so smart and speak English better than I do! Also, they were hilarious. You know a person is truly fluent in a language if they can joke around.

The last hour or so of the trip was spent driving up the windiest road on the tallest mountain I have ever experienced. By the time we got to our hotel everyone of us were carsick. (And I NEVER get carsick.) There was even a woman sick on the side of the road near the top. It was unpleasant.

the view

the view

On top of the wooziness, the roads were absolutely insane. Many of the streets were wide enough for one car and maybe a bicycle. Yet, somehow two cars going opposite directions were driving, and a third would try to pass on either side. Several drivers drove as if they were all having an emergency and drunk. They would pass other cars while driving up the twisted mountain roads, or stop their car just to look at the view.

Speaking of stopping cars….our car broke down on the mountain, on the curve, 4 times. I was scared. Luckily, it restarted rather quickly.

the very windy tiny road

the very windy tiny road

Another interesting fact about Albanian driving and culture is that this trip took 5 hours, but distance wise it would have only taken about two in the U.S. On top of bad traffic, we stopped about 3 times for coffee breaks and 3 more times for bathroom breaks. I don’t know about your family, but I used to reduce my liquid intake on family trips so I wouldn’t have to wait for hours to stop. It’s a different world here. I much more relaxed slow-paced world.

CHAPTER 2: When Mountains Meet Beach

Our hotel (a house that rented out rooms) was on the mountain side and overlooked the ocean. We had the most amazing view. I have never seen any beach quite like this one. The mountains literally run right into the ocean. The shore is not sandy, but rocky…very smooth little rocks.

The view from the balcony.

The view from the balcony.

We arrived just in time to watch the sunset. Our friends took us to have dinner with a group of their friends at a seafood restaurant right on the ocean. The food was great, but the time spent getting to know them was much better. I learned so much about their culture and was really taken back. Everyone knew more about every country (including the USA) than I did. It was embarrassing. They were raised to be culturally aware, and most make an effort to stay up on current affairs around the world. Not only that, but they really care about the issues effecting other cultures. Being raised in a communist country that luckily ended and became a democracy made them all very appreciative of what they have and grateful for their freedom.

After dinner we walked down the beach and sat along the shore to chat. Once we were all exhausted, we of course decided to head back. I could not wait to get a good night sleep right next to the ocean. Unfortunately, there was no sleep. Our “hotel” had no A/C. I have never been so hot!

Enjoying a nice night stroll on the beach.

Enjoying a nice night stroll on the beach.

Finally, the sun rose, and I was relieved to give up on sleep and get ready for our real adventure.

In next weeks episode of  TBT “Adventures of a Teacher” there is a kayak journey which ends in slight disaster. Will the teacher jump off a cliff? Will the boyfriend end up in a hospital? Will anyone ever get sleep?

Tune in!

Cheers!

Project Dream Home: Nursery (Update!)

About 11 months ago, I wrote a blog describing my “dream nursery”. I described it as very neutral, timeless, white with a touch of Disney. We never wanted an all Disney decked out nursery because it’s just too much, but puh-lleeassse you know we can’t have a baby room without a bit of Disney magic. Finishing our nursery was quite a task, in fact, we still haven’t really finished it. Between Husband ripping out the closet and me having Luna three weeks early, the room was not even close to being done when Luna arrived. A lot has been done since then, and even though it’s not fully ready, I think we’ve done enough to share some of our work.

I should warn you; I am in no way a decorator. In fact, I kind of suck at decorating, but thankfully Pinterest exist and I am at least able to mimic some of the awesome ideas I’ve pinned. (Although, really, it never turns out quite like the pin.) The nursery is now my favorite room in the house. It’s bright, cheerful, clean (for now) and I spend a lot of time in there. I will share my favorite parts of the room with you!

Luna’s room has a loft (how cool, right?). When we bought the house there was an enormous heavy metal ladder leading up to the loft that stuck all the way out to middle of the room. It was ugly, bulky, dangerous and took up about a third of the space. Before Luna arrived, we removed the ladder and the railing with good plans and intentions to create newer nicer versions. As you can see, that task has been put on the back burner. However, I’m kind of okay with Luna not having a way up to her loft just yet. Her sleep sheep is a nice soft noise maker that we use religiously. It was a gift that came from Pottery Barn Kids. The Summer Infant baby monitor is the bomb! You can read about our fun games with it here.

loft

 

My good friend Sara made this magnet board for Luna and I love displaying all of Luna’s baby friends on it! Homemade gifts are the best!

magnet board

My Dad-in-law and I made this when I realized I had an obsession with baby headbands and nowhere to place them. I got the various knobs from my Grandma-in-law who seems to have just about everything I could ever possibly need. It took about ten minutes to make. SO simple.

headband

I LOVE everything on these shelves! The large letter “L” was used as a guest book at my Texas baby shower. I still let people who come visit write special notes to Luna on it. I love reading what people wrote for her. I have a gazillion children’s books collected from teaching elementary school. While organizing them recently I came across a vintage Cinderella book that I once picked up in a yard sale. It was falling apart, and I decided to use the cover as a framed picture in Luna’s room. I kept the rest and am just waiting for something creative to do with them. I snagged the vintage wooden blocks from the enormous Nashville annual flea market. The poem to the left was written by my Grandmother for her daughter (my Mom). My Mom actually found the poem after my Grandma passed away, and she knew it would be perfect hanging in Luna’s room. It’s a piece we will always have up.

4 shelves

We bought this Cinderella mobile on a whim at Babys R Us and it’s turned out to be one of Luna’s favorite things.

mobile

Here’s a different angle showing off Luna’s bay window. I keep some succulents in the window, which I have managed to keep alive for almost a year now! MIRACLE! The map is a vintage (not real vintage, but a new print of the vintage version) map of Disneyland when it first opened. The glider was also purchase from Babys R Us and I love it. It is absolutely the best piece of furniture we have ever purchased. I fit in it perfectly, it’s super comfortable, it glides, it rocks, it swivels and I have slept in it while rocking and nursing Luna in the wee hours of the night a hundred times. It’s a lifesaver. Then, there’s my Nook. My Nook keeps my company almost every night as Luna keeps me up.

glider

Another angle! In my “dream nursery” post I said we definitely wanted some vintage Disney posters. I found some online, but we ended up ordering the ones we wanted while visiting Disneyworld last fall. You can order them WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney and have them shipped to your house.  The rocking giraffe was bought by Peter’s Grandpa when Peter was born. It’s still in perfect condition and I cannot wait for Luna to be big enough to play on it.

ads

And, no nursery is complete without a bookshelf full of beautiful children’s books!

bookshelf

OH, and an adorable naked baby.

baby

What do you think? Am I missing anything? What does this nursery need to be complete (besides the ladder and railing for the loft!).

Cheers!

 

The Original Mud Run: The Good, The Bad and The Dirty

For literally years now I have wanted to do a mud run. There are like gazillion mud runs around the country year-round (Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, etc) so there’s plenty to choose from; choosing is the easy part. The difficult part is finding friends to sign up with you. This year, I finally managed to get Husband and a close friend to be my daily workout buddies, and then convinced them both to start signing up for mud runs with me. The first one we chose to do was The Orignial Mud Run in Nashville.

start

We ran The Original Mud Run 10k this past Saturday. You read that right. 10k. We signed up for the 10k because we wanted to do every obstacle available and convinced ourselves we could easily prepare for a 10k. We planned to continue P90x3 while adding running a few days a week. However, summer vacations and illnesses threw us off schedule and September snuck up on us real fast. We stuck to our P90X3 workouts, but we only ran 3 times before the 10K. Again, you read that right…3 times. We thought it wouldn’t be so bad because the race would be broken up by obstacles. After all, we are in good shape.

running

I learned something very important after running that 10k Saturday… you can be in great shape and not be in good shape to run. Holy Cow, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) is a long long way! It was VERY hot and mostly in direct sunlight, which is not at all like working out in a big air-conditioned room. We walked quite a bit more than I thought we would, but so did everyone else. With all that being said, we still kicked butt! I’m fairly certain we were third in our group to finish. (They don’t time the fun run so I can’t be sure.) We may not have been the best runners, but we have great stamina and we rocked the obstacles!

cargonet

I did this particular race (and signed up for others in the near future) because I want to experience the different runs, review them and share the results with you. That being said, I am going to be very honest because I want you to know exactly what you are signing up for/purchasing/getting yourself into when you read my reviews. I had a lot of fun during the Mud Run, but was very disappointed at the same time.

log wall

We arrived to race site an hour early to pick up numbers and shirts, as suggested. It took about 30 seconds to park, get our stuff and be in place for the race. It was nice to get everything done so quickly, but then we were stuck in the hot sun with way too much time to stretch and nothing else to do. There were a few tents set up selling gear, but no tents for shade. No refreshments or snacks and really nothing to do, but wait. There was a shady area under some nearby trees, which seemed like the best place to stand. When we got close we warned not to go any further because there were two dogs tied up in the shade that were not friendly. Boo. Our race also started 15 minutes late, which was especially frustrating because it was an abnormally hot September day and only getting hotter. (I HIGHLY recommend singing up for these runs in cooler weather.) After what seemed like hours, the race finally began.

rolling logs

The website advertised 30+ obstacles for the 10k and I was told there were 32 obstacles set up. The first obstacle is said to be about a mile after the start to give everyone time to spread out. After doing some quick math I figured the other obstacles have to be about a tenth of a mile apart, right? Wrong. They were much further apart, and many of them could barely be considered obstacles. If there were actually 32 obstacles then some must have been crawling under one tree trunk or over one tire. The website also states that most obstacles contain mud and water. It would be generous to say that half do. Don’t get me wrong there were some really fun, challenging and muddy obstacles, bbuuutttt certainly not 32. In fact, not even close to 32.

creek

There are water stations set up every mile along the course, which should be awesome because it’s not only desperately needed, but it gives you an idea of how far you’ve run and how much further you have to go. When we got to the first water station we had just finished running up 2 very steep hills in direct sun and water never looked so good. I ran to the table, grabbed a cup filled to the brim and took a nice big gulp of hot water. Yes, hot. Not even luke warm, but hot water. The volunteers at the water stations had poured numerous cups of water in advance, but by the time we got to the water stations the water had been heated up by the sun and was not exactly refreshing. Talk about disappointment. It was better than nothing, but I don’t think it would have been difficult to supply us with cold water.

gorilla ropes

One mis-advertised obstacle turned out to be pretty humorous. Before the race began, the announcer guy told us that no water on the course would be over 3 feet deep. About halfway through the race we came to two giant mud puddles separated by a mound of mud. The volunteer stopped us and said, “The first puddle is shallow, the second is a little deeper.” Husband went first. He splashed to his ankles in the first puddle, went over the mound in the middle and jumped into the second puddle, which very surprisingly went up to his shoulders. After recovering from laughter, Bella jumped in and the water came completely over her head! I was lucky enough to go last and was totally prepared to swim. This actually happened twice on the course, and we were actually happy the water was much deeper than they said. It made it a little more exciting. However, they advertise that lifeguards will be on duty if it’s over 4 feet… not true.

mudpit

My Dad-in-law came to watch us run and take photos. The website says that family can “hang out at the spectator’s corral and other designated areas along the course”, which in reality was non-existent. He ended up just walking from obstacle to obstacle wherever possible, which was fine, but also inconvenient. They also said they would have vendors on site for food and drink which was nowhere to be found, and odd considering we were not allowed to bring our own food.

mud crawl

For me, the most disappointing part of the experience was the end. They lead you to believe that the end of the race is a big wet and wild celebration. There were supposed to be people cheering, a fire truck hosing us off, a free beer and lots of people having fun together. After our last obstacle there was a horse trailer with a sprinkler system set up to run through and clean ourselves off.  I was pretty sad that they weren’t able to get a fire truck on site, but what was worse was that the finish line was after the sprinklers. So as we crossed the finish line (which had kids and parents from the kids race walking through), we were clean. The two people who came to watch us took pictures of us which looked like we just went for a swim. Everyone was wondering where the mud was. Not only were we clean, but we were basically ignored. There was one lady handing out water bottles at the finish line and that was it. No music. No people cheering. No celebrators. No beer. (The beer turned out to be in a tent about 200 yards away from the finish.) The average finishing time is said to be 2 hours. We finished in an hour and 45 minutes, which makes me really happy.

water

After we finished, we walked to our cars, awkwardly changed under towels and left. It was incredibly anticlimactic. In fact, the workers were already taking stuff down, cleaning up and getting ready to go and it’s not like we finished last.  It cost $75 a person to do the race, which is very expensive compared to other similar races, and in my opinion you do not get what you pay for. It also costs $10 to park in a big empty field. It costs everyone $10, runners and spectators, which just seemed like money gouging.

finish line

 

Overall, we had fun. We felt accomplished and strong and dirty, but if I’m spending $85 I expect  a lot more effort and enthusiasm to be put into the event.

afterwards

The Warrior Dash is coming up in a few weeks, so hopefully I’ll have a much better review for you then. AND, hopefully, we will stick to our running schedule this month!

after

Has anyone else done any mud runs that you would/wouldn’t recommend?

luna

Cheers!

TBT: Everyday is an Adventure

Here’s a little TBT post for you. This was written four years ago, about a week after we moved to Albania. Just goes to show you that we have always been the couple that seeks adventure wherever we go.

One thing I love about my boyfriend… we have a great time no matter where we are or what the situation. He makes everything adventurous, and I love him for that. (FYI: I wrote this on Sat. morning and did not finish it until now….on the next blog you will see why this is a very ironic statement…)

For dinner yesterday, boyfriend decided to invite a new Albanian friend to eat with us. What started out as a regular dining experience at an Albanian/Mexican fusion restaurant, turned into a late night excursion around downtown. Peter told our new friend that we are both adventurous and have a passion for traveling and having new experiences. I guess he believed us because that night we spoke with guards at the president’s gates, crossed Tirana University’s campus, went to an upscale bar in the tallest building in Albania, visited a fancy hotel, and climbed an enormous pyramid that houses Top Channel and overlooks the city.

I forgot my camera. boo… Looks like we will have to do it again!

Saturday morning, we went with several friends to the open market in town. It is very similar to the open markets in China. There is booth after booth of purses, shoes, clothes, jewelry, household items, funny Albanian souvenirs, etc. I absolutely love the atmosphere in these markets. There is merchandise everywhere, hundreds of people trying to haggle prices down, the smell of food being grilled; and several streets to shop through. it is similar to shopping on black Friday, which I consider a National holiday.

albanian market

Our trip was cut a little short for a few reasons. A) It was 2 million degrees outside, B) One of our friends got sick to her stomach and had to take a cab home, and C) we got an exciting invite from our new friend.

I only bought hangers and postcards from the market, but I will be back soon! I had my eye on very cute oversized bag and a few pairs of shoes.

Our friend invited us to take a road-trip to Southern Albania. It is the most popular vacation spot in the country and incredibly beautiful. We accepted his invite, ran home, and threw a few clothes in our backpacks. Our adventure began as an amazing trip through the mountains to one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, and ended with a trip to the Albanian “emergency room”.

To be continued…

But here is a little taste.

me

Guess I’ll have to post the rest of the story next Thursday!

Cheers!