Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Exploring Croatia!

One of my greatest passions is traveling.  I LOVE to go on adventures discovering new places (well, new to me) and learning about new cultures and experiencing new things.  This summer I went to visit several friends who were living abroad in Europe and I decided to go somewhere I've been wanting to go for a long time, Croatia.  The Dalmatian coast is beautiful and after reading several articles about it in travel publications it was high on my list!

I decided to go with REI (Recreational Equipment Inc) who do a great job at incorporating the outdoors on their trips.  Needless to say this was an ACTIVE vacation and I loved it!  The Croatia multisport trip involved hiking, kayaking and cycling.  Our two tour guides, Micha and Davor, were native Croatians and did a phenomenal job of sharing the hidden beauty of their country with us.

Here's a video of the highlights of our trip.  I got a GoPro camera just before this trip.  I'm not much a photographer (I usually just take pictures on my phone) but the indestructability of the GoPro cameras was a plus and the videos in HD are great!

FYI this was my first bike crash.  Lesson learned bike + camera = disaster!
This was my first attempt at using iMovie to create a movie, I have a lot to learn!

We started in Zagreb (the capital) and made our way through the entire country hiking, kayaking and cycling on the way, and ended in Dubrovnik.  Staying in Dubrovnik was the hiking and kayaking extension for the trip but I couldn't say no to it, how can I go all the way to Croatia and not see Dubrovnik!

Here's are some other highlights from the trip.

Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia's largest and oldest National Park

Kayaking down the Zrmanja River
I love my chaco sandals, I wear them everywhere!

City of Novigrad, watching the sun go down

Checking out the local market in the city of Trogir

Touring Dicoletian's Palace in the city of Spit (people still live there, how cool!)

Random piece of history, Diocletian was the only Roman emperor to retire from his position.  He had the whole of Roman Empire to chose from as a retirement location and he chose the Dalmatian Coast, I can see why!

Exploring the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzagovnia

Going for a run along the Trebizat River in Bosnia, we went canoeing down it later that day!

Getting ready for a fabulous dinner in the town of Ston, which is home to the longest stone wall in Europe

And finally, Dubrovnik!  Here's a couple of views from on top of the wall surrounding the old city, which is all pedestrian, no cars allowed!
The Adriatic Sea crashing on the walls

The main street in Old Town Dubrovnik

Exploring the Island of Lopud
You can't get lost on this island!
Look at how clear that water is!

Last meal in Croatia, the seafood was amazing!

I definitely recommend visiting Croatia especially if you're an outdoor-sy person, it's absolutely gorgeous!  Croatia recently became part of the European Union (but they don't have the Euro yet) so it's easy to travel to but the prices are probably a little more expensive, it's worth it though!

Here's a picture of our group, thanks everyone for a great trip!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hokie Update!

I've been working on my Hokie quilt feverishly between studying for finals and riding my bike.  Has anyone else had lots of snow confine there bike to their living room?  I've set up my trainer in front of the TV so I can ride with some entertainment!  But I digress.....

Here's some photos on my progress.  I some how ended up with 3 ½ inch squares for my HSTs instead of 4 ½ but it worked out just fine.

48 squares all together!

I'm glad my school has a logo that is completely linear, I don't think I could have done this with any curves!

Building all the blocks has taken a little longer then expected.  I don't need to to any precise measuring but it still takes awhile to put all those pieces together!  They're not all cut down to size but once they're big enough I put them in my finished pile!

10 blocks done, yay!
Here's my stash of blocks in progress, hopefully I'll get several more done by the end of the day!


I have decided to make the quilt a little smaller then originally planned due to time constraints (who saw that coming)!  I figured I need 17.5 blocks all together.  I've got just over a week to finish it up for the wedding, wish me luck!

Don't forget to watch the Hokies in the Sun Bowl on 31 December!  Go Hokies!