Wednesday, August 13, 2008

another one!

McKenna's one word tag
1. Where is your cell phone?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carryon
2. Your significant other? . . . . . . . .. .. . . . .cuddlesome
3. Your hair? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . meh
4. Your mother? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Мать Героиня
5. Your father? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dedicated
6. Your favorite thing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . underwear
7. Your dream last night? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lunar
8. Your favorite drink? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dietcokewithlime
9. Your dream/goal? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . novel
10. The room you're in? . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . .multipurpose
11. Your hobby? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . chef-ing
12. Your fear? . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dentists
13. Where do you want to be in six years? . . . . . Jamaica
14. Where were you last night? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . playground
15. What you're not? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . brave
16. Muffins? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . chocolate
17. One of your wish list items? . . . . . . . . . . . . job
18. Where you grew up? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . around
19. The last thing you did? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . shower
20. What are you wearing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeans
21. Your tv? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . olympic
22. Your pets? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hypoallergenic (as in, they are imaginary.)
23. Your computer? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .friendly
24. Your life? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .blurry
25. Your mood? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .frantic
26. Missing someone? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . mom
27. Your car? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . used
28. Something you're not wearing? . . . . . . . . . . shoes
29. Favorite store? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . gap
30. Your summer? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Russian
31. Like someone? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . charliebear
32. Your favorite color? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ballerina
33. When was the last time you laughed?. . . . . . . recently
34. Last time you cried? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May
35. Who will do this? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . everyone
I tag the former and current Meppen ladies.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

wheels up party, anyone?

Well, tomorrow's our last day in Russia, and it's really too bad, because we just found THE COOLEST swing in a nearby playground. And we're going back in the morning to make a video of ourselves on it, because it is that cool.
Charles has this theory that the playgrounds in Russia are created with a purely Darwinian theme in mind. Survival of the fittest kid. The one who doesn't knock his own head off on a playground swing (like the aforementioned) is the one who survives to maturity and the rest... well, they had it coming.
There was this swing in Turkmenistan that was actually created for just this purpose. They would light a fire underneath it, and pile their kids on it, and if their kids fell into the fire, that kid wasn't meant to grow old.
you'll see what I'm talking about when we post the video. For now, I hope you're satisfied knowing that we lived through it tonight, and we're coming home tomorrow!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

During the Olympics?

So, we found out this morning that Russia has declared war on Georgia. It shouldn't be a problem as far as being deported or losing our visas or anything. We're leaving on Thursday, anyway. I'm just a little shocked that we didn't even know for a few days, because we haven't had internet and we don't watch tv here.
Rather, we thought we didn't have internet. At least, we didn't pay for internet for August, so it should have been cut off on the first of August. So we've been eating a lot of McDonalds, and checking our email and stuff every night at McDonald's. Tonight when we were watching the Olympics, however, we realized that Russia had declared war, and since we didn't want to go to McDonald's on a Sunday, we plugged in the internet cord just to see what would happen. And we've had internet all along. Duh.
So, we've had a nice relaxing sabbath afternoon, applying for jobs and checking the news. I have now applied to approximately a zillion jobs. No offers yet. No interviews, even. Maybe I was overly optimistic when I started this search. I'm applying for everything I'm qualified for. I even applied for a cooking job for a women's shelter. I'd actually really like to get that one, except that it's part time, so I'd need to find a job that would let me have funky hours for the rest of the time. Not likely.
Anyway, if any of you Utah people hear of any receptionist, editing, writing, cooking, whatever jobs, let me know! I want to work!

Friday, August 8, 2008

no place like home

Just a quick note for our moms and fans. We're home safe, and we're well rested and happy and healthy. And we have an apartment to come home to, and from the sounds of it, it's awesome. Only four more days in Russia. Tomorrow's our last shot at the market!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

i.love.st.petersburg.

My favorite thing about Russia:

ST. PETERSBURG. I love it here.


Moscow's ok. It's a little scarier than I thought it would be, and lots dirtier. But St. Petersburg is so relaxed and peaceful, even in the crowded places. It's just cleaner, slower, and friendlier. I love it here.


We arrived at 8 this morning, and then walked all of a block from the train station to our hotel. It was a very good night's rest. I recommend traveling by train at night! So comfy. We were supposed to be sharing a compartment with two other people, but we got the handicap compartment instead, so we had it all to ourselves. We were totally spoiled. Trains are much quieter than planes, and the attendants don't wake you up every twenty minutes to ask if you want three potato chips or a half sip of coke.
This looks so Hogwarts Express to me. I couldn't help but yell out "Alohamora!" at our door. But it wasn't locked, so who knows if it would have worked.

We were a little worried about our hotel, because it was a last minute deal, and it's cheaper than the hostel where our friends are staying, but I don't know why it's so cheap. It's so nice. Free wireless, a real bed (the first we've slept on this summer) and a whole living room and bathroom to ourselves. I didn't realize how tired we were of living with someone else until we got here and we could adjust the temperature (nice and chilly.) and walk around in our underwear and take a nap in the middle of the day and go outside without a coat.


Speaking of coats, it's chilly here. It feels like Yellowstone in the summer, but it's at sea level. It's really nice. I. love. st. petersburg.


So, we got to our hotel, and they told us to drop off our bags until checkin time, and we went out for some hot chocolate for breakfast. There's a coffee house right across the street from our hotel, so we got fresh squeezed orange juice, hot chocolate, and some croissantwiches. It was a little early for me to be alive and I was a little jealous of all the coffee drinkers, but it was nice and warm and relaxed in there, so we hung out there until checkin time.


Then we took a little nap, and then met up with our friends for food. We went to a brewery, which was a little silly for us, because the only "beer" we ordered was nonalcoholic. The waitress didn't seem too impressed with us. But I wasn't impressed by her either. Her shirt kept popping open when she reached across our table to take our plates. How embarrassing for her. Anyway, Charles and I had some pretty good soups, and I was jealous that his came with sour cream, but mine was already cream of mushroom, so I guess I had enough cream.


Then Charles and I took a short "night tour" around the center of town, following the map the hotel gave us. I. love. st. petersburg.


It's so pretty here. And they have canals all over the place because they use the river as transportation too. It reminds me of Venice, but not so dirty. It was funny that we were technically taking a night tour, but the sun stayed up for us. All of these pictures were taken around ten pm, and the sky was gorgeous. That's something I've really appreciated about Russia this summer. The sky is so...huge. It's vast. I don't know why it doesn't look this big in Utah. The mountains? Anyway, I love the sky here the most. These pictures don't do it justice.


So, now we're just taking it easy for the night. Charles is taking a bath in our (personal! very own!) jetted tub, and I'm blogging in our (personal! very own!) bed. I. love. st. petersburg.
And Dad, this is for you. I thought you'd get a kick out of it.
video
Oh, and tomorrow we're going to the ballet. And yes I'm giddy about it!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Importance of Appearing Earnest


So, this week we're taking off to St. Petersburg! As Charles put it this morning, "You realize that if we go to St. Petersburg, I'll have seen all there is to see in Russia, and we may never come back?" I think I'm willing to take that risk. Although I do find it a little disconcerting that the guidebook we're using takes care to warn travelers not to linger under unstable, child-size icicles. Since we are traveling in the month of August, though, I think we'll be ok.
Our train (yes, train!) leaves at midnight tonight, and I've been packing and repacking all afternoon. I even ironed my shorts. But then I thought that was silly and crumpled them up again. Ok, I didn't even iron them to begin with, but that would have been very silly of me, eh?
I just have to say that I love the idea of traveling through the night by train. It's very victorian sounding to me, and I shall be sure to drink loads of (herbal) tea and remember to follow Maggie's example: "Pinkiezh up, ladiezh!"

(for those of you who care to know, we'll be back in Moscow on Friday morning, and we're traveling with another mormon family, and we'll be sure to remember who we are. That's for you, mom.)