Thursday, December 27, 2007
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
At the party, they also sang "Happy Birthday" to me, since yesterday was my (Danielle's) birthday! And, Aaron gets a pat on the back for showing up with flowers for me!
Here's a picture looking down Nevsky, toward the northwest, from where we were standing. It's not the best view of the street, but you can see the colored lights above it. This direction would head toward the Neva River and the Winter Palace.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Lydia started coming down with a cold again yesterday. It doesn't seem too bad so far. She was coughing today, but didn't seem to be feeling too bad. We put her to bed a little earlier than usual because she seemed tired, but now (9:25 pm) I hear her in her crib talking and singing. At least she's happy.
When Lydia has a cold we get all kinds of Russian advice on what is good for her- warm clothes, especially around her chest and neck, and make sure her feet are warm; honey; absolutely no cold drinks- her milk and juice should be warm; and lots of vitamin C. I guess it makes sense!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I figured out how to include a slide show! This one is of the Smolny Cathedral, which is very close to where we live. The pictures are from September 30, and it was a beautiful, unusually sunny, day. (We now realize how unusual a sunny day is!) The fall leaves were very pretty!
Friday, November 9, 2007
Here is the view from our living room window two days ago, and it still looks much the same! It snowed a little on Sunday, but this was the first snow to stick around. Yesterday there was a nice light snow falling all day. We felt like we were having the real Russian experience, walking down the street in the afternoon with the snow falling. The snow quickly melted and turned to slush on the streets and sidewalks, but the trees and parks looked pretty. Our cultural training session for the afternoon was cancelled, so we visited the Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospect. It is still a working orthodox church (so it was free to get in!). There was no service going on at the time, but there were many people lighting candles in front of the icons, or praying and kissing them. This was a new thing for me to see! It was beautiful inside- unfortunately you are not allowed to take pictures. I didn't have my camera anyway, so it was just as well. If you want to see a picture of it and read some information, you can go to http://www.saint-petersburg.com/virtual-tour/kazan-cathedral.asp .
I had another new experience on the metro ride home. It was rush hour, the most crowded time to be on the metro. We waited with the horde for the train to come and the doors to open, and as soon as the last person exiting the train stepped off, we all pushed and squeezed onto the train to fill every possible space with people. Aaron and I got separated and I was smooshed up against someone sitting on the opposite side of the car (I had a hard time keeping my bags from hitting the lady in the face.) This was a bad situation, since we were getting off at the next stop, and I had several layers of people to get through to make my way out the train doors. When we stopped, Aaron was able to slip out, but I couldn't get through! I tried hard to push people out of the way, and say, "izvenitya!" (excuse me), and I finally got to the open doors. Unfortunately, this was at the exact moment that the next flood of people started streaming into the train car, and I had to back up or risk being trampled. So, I yelled out to Aaron that I would be back, and I had to get out at the next station and then take the opposite train back. Not really a big deal, just an interesting situation. I need to learn how to say, "I'm getting off at the next stop," so that I can get reshuffled and closer to the doors when I'm in a big crush like that. The most interesting thing is that with all the pushing and shoving, no one gets upset or starts swearing at each other. Everyone just keeps a straight face and acts like nobody else is around, even though their body may be in contact with 5 other bodies at one time. It is just accepted as normal, because it is. It works the same way squeezing onto the escalators. If you can get past any notions of personal space, it's not too bad.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
And finally, some street views near the park entrance. There is amazing architecture all around the city.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Here are the rest of the rooms in our apartment. The washing machine is small compared to American standards (and it takes about an hour and a half for one cycle), but we are so thankful for it, since I don't think there are laundromats here. We are also thankful for the new toilet, which you can see is MUCH nicer than the old one. Lydia's room is currently occupied by a friend from central Asia that is staying with us, so you can see Lydia's crib in our room. We currently have 2 single beds, but we plan to push them together and put a large mattress on top to make one larger bed.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Now for some pictures of where we live! This picture shows the hall of our apartment, looking towards the entrance. Then you can see the close up of the inner door, which Aaron had to smash open with a meat mallet, after we got locked inside our apartment, and our friend and the landlady had to climb in through the window to try to help us!
If you come inside our door and turn left, you would see the entrance to our living room.
Straight ahead, you would see the door to our bedroom, which you see in the picture below on the left. There is an old freezer in the hall, which probably doesn't work. There are all kinds of odds and ends that were either left here by tenants, or belong to the landlady. Lydia's room is to the left if you are facing our bedroom, and if you turn right, you see our toilet room door straight ahead (below, right).
If you go toward our toilet room, the kitchen is on the left, and the bathroom is on the right. Now for the kitchen:
Everyone seems to have these great dish racks in the cupboard above the sink. -->