Tag Archives: celebrations

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!


Victory Day

11 May

This past Thursday, the 9th of May, was Victory Day here in Russia, a day that commemorates the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in 1945.  This is a major holiday here, like a whole-city-shuts-down, parades-with-tanks sort of holiday.

Since we live about a block and a half from the parade route, Ben and I walked out to see it as it passed our neighborhood. We managed to get a great spot right along the railing and only had to wait a few minutes before the first set of helicopters flew over head.  They were followed by some jets and planes, all heading towards Red Square.  This must have marked the end of the ceremony that occurred there.  Within a few minutes after the last set of planes flew overhead, the parade started rolling past us, headed away from the Red Square ceremony.

Here’s a brief video I shot:

I’ll let the photos below do most of the explaining, but the short summary is: WOW.  I asked Ben afterwards if this is just Russia’s way of saying, “Don’t eff with us – this is only what we bring out for parades.”  We could feel some of these vehicles before they even passed our line of site.  It was worth watching at least once while we are here.

до свидания!

Moscow with H&K: Part One

6 Feb

So. Many. Photos.   While this is definitely a good thing, it also means that it is going to take some time to sort through it all.  I have decided to share photos and stories from our vacation in pieces.  Hope you enjoy!

As much fun as it was to explore St. Petersburg, I was so excited to show Heather and Kevin where we live.

These photos are from the first part of our time in Moscow, from 30 December to 2 January.  We spent our time exploring, eating, and lounging; finding plenty of time for all three.  Some of the highlights from these days were dinners at Taras Bulba and Khachapuri, drinks at Help Bar and Dolka Bar, a metro tour (this will have its own post), taking a midnight stroll on New Year’s Eve, and visiting the main collection at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.

This post is overdue, so here are the photos!

Reminder: the photos are a mix of all of our photos, so big thanks to Ben, Heather, and Kevin for their contributions.  See below for the gallery!

до свидания!

Super Excited Post

17 Dec

This is pretty much just to share how excited I am that a week from today I will get to see my sister and brother-in-law in RUSSIA!  They are going to be our first guests and I cannot wait.  We will get to spend the holidays together and I expect to see more of Moscow while they are here than I have in the year and a half that we’ve lived here.  Plus, we are spending part of their visit in St. Peterburg and I have not been there yet.

We have talked about this trip since Ben accepted his job offer, but it’s hard to believe it is finally happening.  I am really looking forward to sharing this part of our lives with them.  I am also glad that they are crazy enough to visit during winter.  Last year I posted about how I expected the holidays to be very different, and they certainly were.  This year will be different also, but I am looking forward to having two more family members with us to celebrate.

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I love my family.  They are super supportive and loving and they go out of their way to do things for us.  For example, I can send an e-mail to my sister and my mom letting them know that if a peanut butter banana or smokehouse BBQ potato chip chocolate bar made it to Russia I wouldn’t complain and not only do they not make fun of me, but they actually check multiple stores for them!

So, except updates again soon with photos from our adventures.

Oh, and, in case you were wondering dear sister and brother-in-law, this morning was -19 degrees C (-2 degrees F) with a real-feel of -24 degrees C (-11 degrees F).  See you next week!

до свидания!

Christmas in Moscow

25 Dec

Today Ben and I celebrated Christmas in Moscow, or they call it in Russia – Sunday. It was very strange to think that such a special day for us was not noteworthy to the rest of the city. The part that made it more odd than being here during Thanksgiving is the fact that we are surrounded by familiar holiday decorations, but they are all New Year’s decorations, including the New Year’s trees and images of Father Frost. We’ll get the full holiday experience a week from now, I guess.

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Ben’s Birthday Celebration

11 Dec

Last weekend the Hubs turned 30! He decided to celebrate by visiting the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines.

It is less of a “museum” than simply an arcade with old games. There were a disproportionate amount of hunting and submarine games in with the usual assortment of foosball, car racing, and crane games, as well as a couple video games that had Pong-style graphics. You can actually play Flash versions of a few of the games on the website (there are more options on the Russian-language version of the site if you feel adventurous).

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