two years of concrete and kitsch

It’s hard to believe I’ve been at this blogging gig for two years now.  Having just re-upped concrete and kitsch’s Bluehost account for another year of blogging indentured servitude, I was filtering through old emails from my blog infancy.  Turns out, that June 25 was my two year blog-iversary!  It’s a fun coincidence that I have just published my hundredth post – making my post frequency about one per week (that is an average, of course, as the last few months I’ve been pretty good at posting once per month…).  I thought it apropos to do a little roundup of our travels since I started blogging (especially taking into account that I never got around to a recap of our 2016 travels).  

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Let’s start with some stats, shall we? Read more

Solitude for Now in Ohrid, Macedonia

In the flurry of spontaneous excitement that comprised planning our first Bitchin’ Balkans adventure in October of last year, we added a night in Ohrid, thinking that three nights in Skopje might be a little excessive.  We’re fans of nature, and thought that a night on one of Europe’s oldest lakes would be a good counterbalance to the concrete architecture peeping we’d be doing in Pristina, Kosovo, Skopje, Macedonia and Sofia, Bulgaria.jpegs-160_22455562212_o

It was one of those rare moments in our travels when we arrived in a place with very few expectations.  David had spent much of our previous bus rides on the trip crippled by motion sickness, and I had yet to get completely acclimated to Balkan time.  The few images of Ohrid that I had seen had been very captivating, but I hadn’t developed a solid feel about what to expect from the place.  For those of us able to look outside on the bus ride, the main line between the two cities afforded some impressive views, and a rest stop about halfway between the cities provided some much needed cheese filled burek – a Balkan staple. Read more

5 Reasons to Travel in the Off Season

When one thinks of a vacation, usually it’s very much associated with the summertime, when good weather is almost assured and families with children are able to take time off to jaunt to exotic locations around the country and the world.  This said, of the three big trips we’ve taken over the past year, two have been in the off season, and one in the almost off season.  

And we certainly wouldn’t have it any other way.  Traveling in the off season is, for us, a much better alternative than traveling in peak season.  Here are the reasons why:Jpegs-470Jpegs-460 Read more

Feeling the Communist Fantasy in Skopje, Macedonia

One of the great parts of our most recent trip to the Balkans was that it pushed me out of my comfort zone.  Normally when I travel I obsessively and compulsively project manage the living hell out of the whole thing.  To the point where almost every minute of every day is accounted for in some way or another.  I’d attribute this proclivity to my business training, but that’d be lying – I’ve been like this forever.  But anyway, being that there was only a week between booking tickets and departing on this adventure, I didn’t have the time to plan everything.  And thus, I didn’t realize when we left that we were destined to fall in love with Skopje, Macedonia.

I mean, what’s not to love about all of this quirky, Yugoslav-era, “communist” architecture?

jpegs-135_22455542022_o jpegs-144_22280940080_o jpegs-155_21846191314_o jpegs-157_22455558472_o Read more

We’re Going to the Balkans…Day after Tomorrow!

Where to start?  My life has been a crazy whirlwind the past two weeks and I want to tell you all about it.  Where to start…

David and I got back from our honeymoon on September 12.  On September 11, a random on Linkedin added me to his network, and I confirmed about midway through the week on September 16.  Turns out, it was a recruiter, and I ran through about six rounds of interviews with a major company in Seattle, let’s call them…Ahab’s Tea…and last week (September 30) received a ridiculously generous offer from them.

October 1, I put in notice with my current job, with my last day being Friday, October 9.  Also October 1, I confirmed with Ahab’s Tea that I would start on October 22.

So…I know what you’re thinking – there’s a 12 day gap between those two dates.  We’re taking a trip – looked around for cheap(ish) airfares, and landed on a trip overland, starting in Pristina, Kosovo, through Macedonia, and into Bulgaria.

Here’s what I’m most excited about, and what I’m reading to get me excited:Christ the Saviour Cathedral in PristinaPrizren o6.01.2010- Read more

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