Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Moscow, Russia

Where do I begin? Let's start from the day we left home for the hotel without our passports. No, we did not leave them at home. They were still some place over the US trying to get to us before we left for Moscow. We had sent our passports away to get the required Visa stamp inside and it was down to the wire and we only had hours before our flight left. We were to pick them up at a Fed-Ex drop off ramp at 8am the day our flight was to leave (10:10am). This was really cutting it close, but we thought we could do it since the Fed-Ex ramp was only 5 miles from the airport. We arrived at the airport plenty early to unload our 10 large suitcases, 6 carry-ons, one stroller, 3 children and 3 adults. I then ran to find a taxi with directions and tracking number in hand. I arrived there in time and was feeling pretty good.....until.....the 2 people behind the desk looked at me like I was an alien. "Package, what package?" Long story short. The passports were sitting on an airplane in Tennessee with maintenance problems. We had no choice but to change our tickets ($1800!!), rent another hotel room and pray that our passports arrived in time for our morning flight. The Fed-Ex people were very nice and called me at 6:30am to inform me that our passports had arrived. It was very stressful and we all let out a sigh of relief when we got on that first flight. But, part way into the second flight I felt that bit of stress again when I realized I had left our portable DVD player with some new movies on the first airplane. Gggggrrrrr

Well, we have made it safely and are about settled into our new place here in Moscow, Russia. It was quite stressful to say the least getting here, but that is behind us and we are excited to spend the summer with Cliff and enjoy this mansion we are living in. I always knew I would enjoy a "real" house with lots of room for all of us to spread our wings, but I didn't realize just how much until we arrived at our Russian "Dacha" or country home (oh and it comes with a housekeeper too).

We have a gated in house/yard with lots of room to run and play. The yard is all landscaped with a variety of flowers, bushes, trees all around, strawberry patch, etc. I think we will get to enjoy a lot of different blooms throughout the summer. We also are in a gated community that is very safe and easy to roam around in. The owner of the home is an American man who was married to a Russian woman. They have a little girl together who is now 9. This means the house came stocked with lots of goodies for the girls. There are tons of books -- a lot in English, toys, bike with training wheels, etc. Cliff did purchase two more bikes and there happens to be 2 adult bikes here also. So, we have all gone for bike rides together. The girls think that is pretty cool. There is a little playground not far from our house too.

Harold and Diana have been helping out a lot with the kids, unpacking, weeding the strawberries, gathering wood for our fireplace, cooking, etc. Some vacation, huh?! We did head to a Military Park this past weekend. They have army tanks that you can climb all over. We all had to try it out. Poor Diana was climbing off a tank and caught it on her capris and ripped a huge hole in them from about her knee to her hip. We were all trying so hard not to laugh, but didn't succeed. We had barely arrived at the park, so she had to wrap her hoodie around her waist and try to enjoy the rest of the day. It is a very beautiful park with walking trails, benches to take a break and lots of grass to sit and have a picnic in. There are also some pretty amazing statues and water fountains throughout the park. We all enjoyed our walk and time together exploring a tiny part of Moscow.

This was a very moving monument of the concentration camps. It just makes your stomach feel sick.

Since Harold and Diana leave on Sunday we are planning a trip to Red Square on Saturday. It is supposed to be 80 and partly sunny. So, a beautiful day to see such a famous place. We are going to pack snacks and drinks for the kids and hope to find something interesting to eat for the adults.

Here are some inside photos of our house:

Loft where the kids play a lot.

Steps to the Loft.

Diningroom and Livingroom.


Kira's room.

MacKenzie and Madison's room.


Jenny said...

Kris, the house is amazing. You may not want to leave. And enjoy e housekeeper! I can't wait to hear more!

Tina in CT said...

I recognize the park you were at as I've been there too.

Lovely home. Wonder why they put mattresses on the floor though. Wonder if it's a Russian thing.

Kris said...

The beds on the floor are by our doing. Our twins sleep better in separate beds. When we moved in they had a double bed in that room, so we opted for this set up instead. :)