So this week I’m preparing for some more visitors (Mel and Phil!) and I realized I hadn’t yet recapped the time spent with my last visitor, Shannon! No time like the present, eh?
So I was truly dreading my first Christmas away from home, but as it turns out, my little sister was going to have a break from school so she’d be able to spend the holidays with me, YES! She flew in a few days before Christmas, I got us thoroughly lost on the way home from the airport, and gave her a quick tour of Sarajevo. She crashed early from jet lag and we prepared for the busy holidays ahead of us.
Her 2nd night in town was Christmas eve, and we spent the evening over at Frank and Lita’s annual Christmas Eve soup/bonfire/mulled wine/scotch drinking extravaganza. Shannon got to meet my work friends, we ate some incredible turkey stew and pumpkin/shrimp bisque, and we also introduced her to the ever-popular Bosnian beverage: rakija. You know when someone pulls out an old water bottle with a stick inside that is filled with homemade moonshine, it’s going to be quality stuff.
The next day was CHRISTMAS!!! We opened gifts, watched Christmas movies, and made an absolute feast from the comfort of my apartment. It was so weird not being home but felt wonderful having Shannon here to continue carry out Cain family traditions with. Christmas Vacation viewings, making sugar cookies, and stuffing our faces silly with turkey (with BACON, natch), scalloped pineapple, broccoli rice casserole, and pie. So great.
The next day we hit the road very early, on the way out of town for our next adventure…to Dubrovnik! I had been to the Croatian coast but not this particular city so I was excited to have someone to explore the city with. Every single one of my upcoming visitors wants to go too, so this will not be my last visit I’m quite sure. We hit the road and passed through the gorgeous city of Mostar for lunch, shopping, and looking at pretty bridges:
After about 5 hours in the car and one gorgeous drive along the coast, we made it to Dubrovnik, checked into our hotel, and then headed into the city to meet some friends for drinks and dinner at Pupo then drinks at a nearby irish pub. Great night, we grabbed a cab and headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest!
We had an absolutely gorgeous view of the ocean from our room when we woke up, and enjoyed a complimentary breakfast at the hotel before heading into town via the bus. It was a jam-packed day, and we started with the cable car! We rode a tram from the bottom of the hill to the top of a nearby peak, and I was quite proud of Shannon for not freaking out along the way. Our view:
We headed back into the city and had an awesome seafood lunch at Wanda where I had an AMAZING spicy seafood dish, I’ve discovered I am getting less and less creeped out when I’m served seafood with their heads still on. Next on the list was walking around the city walls, which turned out to be my favorite part of the trip. Got some amazing views of castles, coastlines, gorgeous blue water and great views of the city itself. A must for any trip to Dubrovnik!
By the end of the day we were EXHAUSTED, grabbed some dinner, and were probably in bed by 8:00pm. We are a couple of wild and crazy girls. We knew we had to hit the road early the next day to beat an incoming snow storm, so we rolled out early to make our way back to Sarajevo.
The drive home was significantly less enjoyable than the drive there, because it was either snowing or raining the ENTIRE DRIVE. By the time we got past Mostar It was actually snowing pretty heavily, and the mountain passes were getting pretty dangerous. I kept getting concerned texts from my guy friends asking if I was ok, if they needed to come pick me up, and to keep them posted of how the roads were. I love my friends. We FINALLY made it home after an amazing trip.
I had to work (boo) for a few days, so Shannon took in the sights of the city. She did a tour to learn about the seige, and also took a trip up to the top of Jahorina to eat Bosnia’s version of the doughnut. I worked. Why must I always work? I introduced Shannon to some of my favorite restaurants and wines, and we had a great couple chill days in the city.
Before you knew it, it was New Years Eve. Sarajevo takes this holiday VERY seriously, and has a huge party in the street right outside of my apartment. Instead of battling crowds and the cold, we decided to throw a party at my place with drinks, snacks, and fireworks visible from my window. Had an AWESOME night, in fact we all ended up sledding in the park outside my apartment. Had such a fun night ringing in 2015 with my baby sis.
Before you knew it, it was time for Shannon to go home 😦 I was SO EXCITED to have my first visitor in this part of the world and very sad to see her go. Thanks for coming, baby sis! I love you to pieces.