Tag Archives: california

California Adventure

4 Nov

When we realized that the wedding of a very close friend happened to be the first day of my Autumn Break at work, Ben and I made plans to head back to Southern California for a week.  It was the first time that I had been there in over two years, when we returned for another wedding shortly after our move to Moscow.  I cannot explain how amazing it was to be back there.  I feel so lucky to have lived in such an unbelievably beautiful place for seven years.

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The wedding took place at a retreat in Escondido, California.  We only went to Escondido once when we lived in California, to visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, so we really didn’t know what to expect.  We arrived very late on Friday night, after dark, so it wasn’t until we woke up the next morning and drove back down the mountain into town that we realized how incredibly gorgeous it was.  We spent the few hours before the wedding catching up with old friends, meeting new people, and walking the grounds.  The wedding was beautiful and perfect.  I am so happy that we were invited to be part of such a special occasion.

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We drove up to Orange County Saturday night, after the wedding.  Two of our best friends were kind enough to let us crash in their guestroom for the rest of our stay.  We spent the next four days enjoying amazing food and good company.  In particular, we ate lots of Mexican food and drank good beer, two of the things that we miss the most.  We also tried a doissant, which is the non-trademarked name of a croissant-doughnut hybrid pastry.  We checked out Muzeo’s exhibit on the leather jacket, visited our storage unit, did some shopping, and caught up with friends.  Overall, it was an amazing trip.

California is somewhere that I think I will always consider to be one of my homes.  I moved there after graduating from college and getting married, joining Ben a year after he moved.  It is where we built our adult lives together and I have so many fond memories from our time there.  I am looking forward to the next time that we have the chance to visit.

до свидания!


Countdown: Three Weeks!

29 May

Three weeks from today I will be spending my first full day of vacation in Florida!  This trip will be the first time I am leaving Russia since October and I am so excited.  I definitely think that eight months is a long time to be away from the States.

I will be staying with my parents during the trip and my sister and brother-in-law will be coming down to visit.  I have some friends in the area, too, and I’m hoping that maybe some others will be home visiting while I am there.

Other than simply spending time with family and friends, I have been trying to think of all of the things that I want to take advantage of while I am there.  There will be much shopping and eating, maybe a movie or two, and I will definitely visit the ocean.  There are also the small details: free water and refills at restaurants, I can explain what I am looking for if necessary at a store, I can pay with a credit card and not have to dig for those last 10 kopecks while receiving the stink-eye from the cashier, and I can have anything imaginable shipped from Amazon.com FOR FREE.

Even though I am completely excited about this vacation, there are two major downsides:

  1. Ben will not be joining me.
  2. I won’t be visiting California.

This is a strictly vacation trip for me, but Ben has a conference at the end of the summer that he has to attend. We discussed so many variations of how we could make the two work together, but taking separate trips was the option that made the most sense.  It worked out for the best, though, because he was offered the opportunity to teach a seminar while I am away.  We do have a month and a half together in Moscow between our States trips to explore more.

As for California, I am so glad that we were able to go back last October.  It was exactly what we needed after our move at exactly the right time.  Southern California is one of our homes and we absolutely love it there.  I will always look for opportunities to visit and I know that we will get there again, I just hope it is sooner rather than later!

до свидания!

First Vacation

23 Oct

Before Ben received an invitation to interview for his current position (which means before I even knew he applied to a university in Moscow), he was asked to be in the wedding of two very good friends of ours. When he accepted this position, we discussed it with the couple and let them know that we would do what we could to make it back, but we had to take things one day at a time. So, there we were, less than a week before the wedding having to tell them that one of their groomsmen still could not confirm that he would be in the country on the big day. Not only were they not freaking out, but they were apologizing to us for the fact that our visas were not processed yet. This is exactly what makes them the kind of friends worth traveling half way around the world to see. Fortunately, three days before our scheduled flight the visas arrived and we were legally able to return to Moscow once we left.   Continue reading