Sunday, August 30, 2009

Makarska






You are probably wondering if we went to the beach for the fourth day. Well, sorry to dissapoint you but there was no FOURTH day..instead Isabela and I took the tram from our apt to Hotel Park (20Kunas) or $4.00 dollars and from there we walked dowtown which took about 10 minutes. Went to the market and bought (eggplant 1dollar, red grapes 5o cents/lb, green beans 80 cents/lb, a beautiful bouquet for $7,) Great prices and fun to walk around and look. Then had Gelato, Fornetti. Isabela also likes eating them.





Later in the afternoon drove to Makarska to see family friends. Isabela was not SHY at all (she does take after her grandfather) and played with the daughters of our friends, and even with the family dog. That dog also took a liking to Isabela because when I went to pick Isabela up to have her join us for dinner, the dog barked at me!! Then Grandma also went to grab her and the dog BARKED at her. Maybe we should get her a dog to protect her?????

What a Dinner we had. . .Grilled scampi, Octopus salad, Mussels (two cooked versions), Fish soup and for dessert a torte with sour cherries and a GIGANTIC plate of fresh fruits and endless bottles of wine! I thought to myself ok I drink slowly, but surely there is an end to this glass I just never seem to reach the bottom of it. Then I left to go inside and check on Isabela who had fallen asleep and returned to the table and there it was. My glass FULL. AGAIN. I thought ok Am I hallucinating or is my glass really full? Why is my glass not empty I drank the last sip before I left or so I THOUGHT.. I looked around, looking to see if everyone else had FULL glasses but No it was just me...Then I thought "OK I am a Slow Sipper !!" But then I saw Frane look at me and smiled......He had been refilling my glass all night long!!!!! CHEERS he said. ZIVJELI !!!!!!


Friday, August 28, 2009

THREE days in a row!

Yes we did it! Ok now I am sounding like Dora the Explorer. SO we went 3 days in a row to the beach, will tomorrow be the FOURTH?.. ...STAY TUNED....... same time, same channel...

Today: went to the beach, Isabela "played" in the crib. She didn't want to sleep. In the evening took her to the trampolines and she jumped and jumped up, up..She can say noga leg/foot and she kept saying it noga,noga,noga. I made friends with a Mom of two (6 year old and 11 month) we promised to have a playdate for our daughters. Beli ate gelato and Fornetti.. AH even saying the word makes my mouth water..Fornetti there I go saying it again, Fornetti...ok they are these phillo dough pastries, perfect bite size and they come with different fillings. Cheese (my favorite) vanilla, chocolate, marmalade, pizza sauce..They are addicting....!!!

You know what else is addicting?? Shopping http://www.etsy.com/ and reading http://www.dooce.com/ she is the Oprah of BLOGGING. (be warned:some foul language used, read intro and decide for yourself if you want to continue)

Tomorrow: beach??hint,hint...the market for fresh organic produce..then driving to Makarska to visit family friends.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

TWO DAYS in a ROW

Why I think she will be left-handed
. After a full day of playing..Guess who has to pick up all those toys????????????

I "registered" for classes by writing my name and phone number and the teacher will be contacting me once she gathers 6 more names to start her class in October. SO I figured I will start now and went and bought a croatian grammar book and maybe, just maybe I can be in the second level instead of first level once classes begin...Wishing thinking..MY lessons are quite easy.....I am on lesson three and saying things like Kako Ste? Dobar Dan! Laku Noc, Dobro Jutro! ( all this I already know).
Went to the beach..for two days in a row, TWO...will tomorrow be the third?
Isabela is getting over the fear of the cold sea temperature, she even walks into the sea to catch up with Daddy.
I spoke with Mama and she tells me Ethan started first grade on monday. He was very excited. He is still in Tae Kwon Do, couldn't give it up for soccer, until he gets his black belt. David is getting potty-trained. And what Dominik did?? TOO funny.....(a two-year old pushed Grandma's sewing machine which was in its storage bag, flying down the basement stairs) HA,HA, who knew 2 year olds could be so strong! Roman is 4! FOUR! starting preschool!!
Went to see "My Life in Ruins". Takes place in GREECE.. I liked it and give it a THUMBS UP!



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE

My day began with coffee and is ending with coffee! I am just finishing my fourth cup. Does going to the beach really tire you out that much? Or is it trying to keep up with Isabela?

Today was a crabby day for me. I don't know why so I had coffee and chocolate and more coffee and more coffee. And then I became obsessed in researching Richard Clayderman (NOT his real name, but rather a French name PHILIPPE PAGES which I am not even going to try and pronounce his last name, very same reason he changed his name, it has an accent over the E)

.......I remember the days when we would say "Oh, if only we lived near the ocean we would be taking walks along the beach". GUESS what? we live by the beach, and we ARE NOT taking walks along the beach.
Why is it that you want what you don't have and when you do have it, you take it for GRANTED???

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

READING



Today I am thinking of all the things I should complete by the end of the day,ie: laundry, Iron (again), arrange the closet etc.etc.. but I rather play with Isabela ALL day long. She is now enjoying "reading" books! She grabs a book and points to the dog and says wua,wua, or MEDO (bear) or KOKA (chicken) or sho (shoe). Naturally I want to go to the bookstore and buy ALL the children's books available.

Did I tell you how EXCITED I AM TO GO TO "SCHOOL?".... Registration started yesterday for Croatian Lessons at the Prokurative (area in the palace where classes will be held). I can't wait to go and buy the books, notebooks, pens, highlighters. Ah reminds me of my college days!

Later in the day:.......went to register and walked around the Palace when we ran into a sign that said burritos?nachos? HOMEMADE TORTILLAS?? where are the mexicans?where? I thought I was dreaming!!!!

Then we went to the park across Palace....nice evening overall..Sadly to report I did not complete my "to do list". Tomorrow maybe??

We shall see!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Still Counting

1.2.3.4.5.6.7.8....still counting..9..10.11.12.13 ! that is how many mosquito bites I have...on ONE LEG, oh wait, 13 is an unlucky number maybe I should look for more bites.....umm no it is still 13, let's see the other leg, can you count with me? 1.2.3.4.5.6.......keep counting.10.11.12,YEAH it's not 13!!
According to Split residents, mosquitos have been a terrible problem this year along with humidity and recession. So what should you do to prevent these ugly creatures from devouring your precious and silky skin??? Lather on Lavender Oil, yes you will attract bees in the process and they could POTENTIALLY build a beehive on your body but that is better than 25 mosquito bites on your legs right?
All right, on with my day, hopefully it will involve more than SCRATCH......SCRATCH

Saturday, August 22, 2009

One Scoop



Isabela woke up at 5:30am asking for avua. I gave her water, she went back to sleep but Mommy stayed awake.. So what to do so000 early in the morning?.. I enjoyed the view from our balcony (peaceful Adriatic Sea) and had a cup of coffee.


Then I tackled the Mountain of clothes that needed ironing. ( my favorite chore..NOT) Since we don't have a dryer we hang our clothes outside and the result..."CRUNCHY" garments.


Ok now for some fun..We met up with some friends and had a wonderful evening. Thanks guys for the plants, fruit, fig jam and the children's book. Isabela wanted to "read" it right away.


In the Palace, the celebration continued with more music and samples of food. Enjoy the video and a scoop of Gelato.

video

Friday, August 21, 2009

ROUTINE







Ah, cozy bed can I sleep 5 more minutes? Just 5 more??



I hear Isabela from her crib ...."avua,avua,...milko,milko....mama,mama, daaaaddyy, daaaaddyyy, I nudge my hubby so he can wake up but he is not in bed, oh that's right, he is on his morning run (part of his P90x workout program). Ok I will getup...Isabela sees me and screams MAMA,MAMA. I whisper "Beli"....."amo" and she whispers back "mama" ......... "amo".




I have my cup of coffee while she has scrambled eggs with red bell peppers (she loves the red ones),then I trick her into having oatmeal by mixing it with yogurt, she took the bait..ok she liked it..



We play with ALL her toys in the living room and watch Daddy do his exercise routine. She grunts as she watches him lift his weights and tries to imitate his movements.




Making grilled fish for lunch, nothing to do with the smell coming from the neighbor's. Ok I will explain about the SMELL: sometimes our bathroom smells like someone else's kitchen. (It doesn't smell when I cook) You walk in and you can "smell" what the neighbor is cooking. Sometimes its grilled fish, well today it was BlackRisotto with a tomato and cucumber salad. Ok not sure about the salad, but it was definitely Risotto.



Going to the movies tonite with my brother-in-law and Davor to see the movie The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. Yes it was just released in Croatia on the 20th, in the US it has been out since June.

Isabela will stay with grandma...They have a blast together, Isabela has this screaming contest with grandma, she doesn't do that with me just grandma.




Have a good friday everyone.












Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ah the beach






Today was one of those days when all you feel like doing is ABSOLUTELY nothing and well, that is just what I did. I walked to the beach and absorbed the rays of the sun and probably increased my chances of skin cancer but when you have a pristine sea staring at you, I must say you can't resist.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Diocletian Days in Split



For two weeks in the month of August the city of Split comes alive as the Diocletian Palace is taken back to the times when the Romans ruled. You see Men and Women dressed in togas as they walk throughout the Palace. I even spotted an "angel" and the "devil". Tonight was Concert night and the band Magazin (that is the correct spelling) played as hundreds of spectators danced to the rhythm, yes even our little one was shaking it. I would say go after sunset because then your gelato won't melt. I had a double scoop of pistachio and strawberry. It melted but only because my daughter wanted to share...

Friday, August 14, 2009

About Me

WHAT DEFINES WHO YOU ARE?
I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and at the age of 8, my parents made the choice to pursue happiness across the border. Moving to the United States, the land of dreams, was a defining moment for me.
My two sisters would probably have a different story to tell you. Even though we had the same journey (coming to a foreign country and not speaking the language) the experiences were different for each of us. Imagine leaving behind everything that is familiar to you: your friends, your family, your pet, your school and start from scratch in a new country. Scary! I worship my Mother, for her sacrifice, her courage, her strength to leave her native country for a better future for her family. And my Father, who has taught me fortitude, and an impeccable work ethic. Without their decision to bring their children to the land of opportunities, I woudn't be who I am today.


Kindergarden



Mis Hermanas. (Yes you guessed right, that's me in the chick costume)



Graduating from University! (Proud moment for everyone!)








In Colorado with Family.


Now I am repeating it all over again (living in a Foreign country, Croatia). But this time with a husband and a one-year old daughter and the courage and wisdom I didn't have 25 years ago!


SO WHY CROATIA?
I met my husband in Iowa. He is Croatian and I say it was destiny that we met because prior to moving to Iowa, I was attending college in Odessa, Texas and applying to pharmacy school. My Dad was then transferred to Iowa and I didn't get accepted into the elite pharmacy school in Austin,Texas and feeling crushed and like a failure I decided to relocate to the hot and humid weather of the Midwest with my parents and sisters.
My future husband had decided as soon as he finished his degree he was moving back to Croatia as all his family were still living there. And then...........he met me........... postponed his move to Croatia and married me instead! I finished pharmacy school and He worked a gazillion hours to help his family back home, I got a job in Colorado then had a baby and well here we are finally in Croatia.

So as you read about my daily experiences, think back to what it was like for you when you moved to a new city, had a new job or owned a new home. Quite the adventure right?


Fast forward to the year 2011. It's time I posted an update right? Well, we are moving back to the States! When we get all settled in I will write in more detail about the reasons of why we came to the decision of moving back. Hope you stick around to reading more!


Thursday, August 6, 2009

FILOMENA SPA


My husband comes up to me and says I have your birthday present do you want to know now or on the actual day? Of course I say NOW! He presents me with a Gift certificate to a body relax at Filomena Spa for 5 hours! YES you read that correctly F-I-V-E hours! (And here I was thinking a one-hour massage, since I have bugging him for the oh past 3 months!)

So today was the day and this is how it went:

Jena greets Davor and I and says I have your robe and slippers ready. Jena is in charge of making sure I make it on time to every appointment I have that day. She spoke little english but was very friendly.I changed and Jelena takes me to the Spa Sauna Room: I had IT all to myself!!I felt like a child in a toy's store. I went into the Turkish sauna, it was like I was in the Amazon rainforest. I said ok, this is nice, I should meditate, 5 minutes later, "I now should try the jacuzzi with the salt beads Jena dropped in just for me". OK now the pool, I am "swimming" (those who know me well know I am not a natural swimmer), then decided I should try the shower with all the fun buttons. Ok now the other sauna. The Finland sauna: felt like I was in the Sahara desert.!!HOT,HOT!! I prefer the other sauna, and that's where I finished my first hour.

I sat on one of the 3 comfty chairs and waited for Jena to fetch me. She came in and said "here something to relax, close your eyes," I did, she sprayed my face and feet with some sort of spritz, ahh, I thought "this is how celebrities do it." Jena then took me to the Relax Zone: past a hallway with white leather sofas and a big basket of fruit(made me hungry) past a white flowing curtain to the outside where there were chairs and tables and another white sofa and ANOTHER pool.

I looked around: there was a guy reading the newspaper in his regular street clothes., A couple at the pool and ME in my white robe and slippers in this 70 degree temperature. ( I totally felt out of place!) Jena asked me if I wanted something to drink I said yes and would it be possible to sit inside? She said sure. I went back inside, a waiter came and asked me what I wanted to drink I said how about a juice? He said I will be right back. I thought "Oh no, there is a menu here does that mean I need to pay? nah, I will just play dumb." Then I was eyeing that fruit basket..should I, should I oh why not I walked over and grabbed a banana, what!I was hungry...finished the juice and another girl came by.

Anja introduced herself and asked if I was ready for my massage, I said "I am sorry I don't speak Croatian" she said "oh I speak little english, come with me." She took me to the massage room and said "lay down on your stomach and here is this" (she said something I didn't understand) but it looked like a package of Lavander? I layed down and I thought "hmm where should I put this package of lavender" then I opened the package it was a DISPOSABLE-THONG. I said to myself oh I guess I should wear this instead of my underwear. I hurried before Anja came. I made just in time! She knocked and we proceded with the one-hour massage. WOW to be so petite, Anja sure has strong hands.

An hour passed by and she said, "ok all done.. relax a few minutes ..then I take you to Jena." I put my robe back on, exited the room and Jena asked "everything ok" I said "yes", then she took me upstairs to hairsalon and turned me over to Marija who ONLY spoke Croatian I said I wanted my hair cut to shoulders as I pointed to them, then said PUNO KOSA (alot hair) she said not too short because it will be puffy (that is what I understood as her hands were waving around and pointing to HER hair..) I said ok what you think is better. She said DOBRO (good). She shampooed and conditioned then took me to chair. Marija was awsome, she framed the hair around my faceAND she even thinned it out, without trying to explain it to her. ( I don't know what charades I would have used for that, since I didn't know the croatian word for thinning).

Then another gal (I didn't catch her name) took me over to get my pedicare..Oh I am in heaven, another foot massage! (I think I even fell asleep). Jena then came for me and took me back to the relax zone, this time I said "I will sit outside" I had changed into my regular clothes and thought I could blend in better with my surroundings. I ordered coffee and read some Croatian fashion magazine and learned that big chunky earrings are IN, bye-bye big necklaces. And that bold colors(orange, green, red, yellow) go well with beige...

My husband commented POSITIVELY that he really liked my haircut...

I was very impressed and would rate this experience a 10 & 1/2!!!!!!
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