June 4, 2012

Is the month-long suspense killing you?!

Man, do I know how to hold suspense or what?! I tell ya'll that I have a secret to share and then wait long enough for no one to care any more and then, and only then, do I decide to reveal. :)

Meh, I kept remembering that there was 'something I was supposed to do today' (random Billy Madison reference…anyone? Don't blame ya, even the hubs as a movie-phile has a hard time getting that one. What can I say, I like classic, thought-provoking cinema…)

Drink five Daiquiris? (No, I didn't. It's a quote, nerds ;)) (source)

But I guess I never really got around to writing again. So, a good month has passed and I'm back at it. At least for today.

And now for the time to reveal where we are jetting off to next. It's officially official now. We are heading to a brand spankin' new country for next hockey season. Once again, our belongings are being shipped out and bound for another league and team.

Instead of going some place that's known for hockey, such as Germany or Finland, who lives, breathes and dies with hockey, we're going to a country that isn't particularly known for hockey. Or ice, really. (It does snow a bit). Or even really cold winters...although I'm sure for my Texan blood, it will be cold enough.

So where oh where are we headed in August??

Someplace with gorgeous islands, pristine national parks and lakes and a country that's become a popular hot spot for celebrity vacations.


Looks like SOMEONE wanted to hog all the coast! (source)

Yes, stop worrying they do have hockey there. The hubs isn't hanging up the skates to go live on an island and sell drinks served in coconut shells. Although, that sounds mighty tempting.

Do I need to say it again?

Croatia. Or, as they would say in Croatia, "Hrvatska"

Apparently you pronounce it like this: [xř̩ʋaːtskaː]  

Super clear now, right??? I'm pretty sure that's a mathematical equation, not the pronunciation of a country.

Their flag...in case you couldn't guess (source)

Talk about a complete 180 from Finland
. Which, speaking of the country, we will really, really miss. We loved it there, cold winter and dark days and all. Beautiful country, even better people and fun hockey. I really hope we get a chance to head back up there some day :)

So, as you can imagine my warm-weather loving self, I am pretty stoked about being back in a hotter climate. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there will be colder days (we aren't living right on the coast, anyways). And maybe even some snow from time to time. But the sun should be around more and the fall and spring are bound to be gorgeous.

I want to go to there. (source)
Plus, this gives me an amazing chance to see a part of the world that I have wanted to see for sometime now. When I worked in Greece, the sailing company I worked for often went up to Croatia and sailed along the coast. Everyone who went absolutely loved it, so I am excited to see the Greek-ish islands there as well.

Now, for what you've all been waiting for. Want some random Croatian facts?? Of course you do! I haven't done a history lesson/fun facts session in a while, so now is the time to bust it back out.

Did ya know…

That there are over 1,000 islands off the coast of Croatia! The country strings along the Adriatic coast and is dotted with big and small islands the whole way down. Like I said, they look very Greek-ish in style, with a bit more tropical island feel mixed in. There is so much history among these islands and I can't wait to at least check some of them out during our stay there.

That Croatia is super close to Italy and Austria? I think when most people think of Croatia, they picture it being extremely east of most of Europe. You might be surprised to know that we'll only be about 3 (I lied) 4 hours from Venice and about the same from most eastern Austrian cities.


But, even though it is pretty westernized, Croatia was a part of Yugoslavia up until the early 1990s. It has been an independent country since the last declaration in October 1991.  Along with Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia, it was in the socialist republic until it became an independent country with the declaration of independence in October 1991. That was only a short twenty years ago. I think it will be very interesting to see what people my age had to go through when the  various wars broke out when the socialist republic began to break up.

And I like freaking people out and telling them I'm heading to Yugoslavia for a year, just to see their reaction. They have no idea.

That the necktie was invented in Croatia? Ever heard of the term 'Cravat' for a tie? (I hadn't until I got to Germany). Well, that derives from the name Croat, which is the official name for the people of Croatia.

I'm pretty sure I've used this picture a number of times before. Classic. (source)

And you better believe I have already worn out the phrase, "I invented the piano key necktie. I INVENTED IT!" Zoolander never gets old.

That Croatia is home to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. You may not recognize the name, but the pictures might look familiar. Set among the karst in central-ish Croatia, the lakes drop into one another and create gorgeous water falls and pools at different heights. I cannot wait to see these in person, in both summer and winter!

I also want to go to there. Gorgeous!! (source)

Dalmatians get their name from the Dalmatia Coast in southern Croatia. The breed's roots trace back to the beautiful, island spotted region. Appropriate name for a dog covered in island-like spots.

And last, and certainly most random, did ya know that the White House was built out of stone from the Croatian island of Brac?? Yep, the residence of our Commander in Chief has materials gathered from the islands along the southern coast of Croatia. That's a long way to haul all that material, especially back in the day!

Well, there you have it. Random facts, where we're going next season, and hopefully a fun preview of what's to come. There hasn't been too many exciting things going on back at home this summer, which is kind of the way I like it. Hence the lack of blogging. But I can imagine that things are going to be pretty different down in Croatia (in a great way) so there will be lots to discuss once I get over there.

For now, we're still enjoying the summer. I'm heading up to Canada in about a week and will have about two months up there until we go back overseas. While winning the championship was pretty amazing last year, the longer than normal summer has been pretty nice too. One small advantage to being on a not-so-hot team, lol.

Looking forward to seeing what all is going on with you and your bloggyland life!