Tag Archives: friends

Checking In

13 Apr

Hi there. It’s been awhile, huh? Despite my desire to use this blog as a way to stop and appreciate the amazing city that I am living in, I continue to find myself so caught up in just living that I don’t bother to post often. Also, I felt like every thing that I wanted to post about was related to travel and this is not exclusively a travel blog. The fact that I have been able to see amazing places is certainly one of the perks of living over here, but I felt like it had become all there was to share. I will try again to commit myself to noticing and sharing the experience of living in Moscow. With any luck, I will bring myself to post more, even if it is just about my travel adventures.

Hanging out at the top of the Eiffel tower

Hanging out at the top of the Eiffel tower

The past few months have included some great times. I saw my sister and brother-in-law in Paris. I attended an amazing conference in Boston that happened to be run in part by one of my besties. We have spent time with friends eating, drinking, and enjoying the community that we are building for ourselves here in Moscow. And, recently, the snow defrosted and spring is finally settling in. 

The past few months have also been a little stressful, though, and, in truth, this may be one of the major reasons I haven’t posted much.

I am a planner. More specifically, I am an ADVANCED planner. I like to plan vacations the moment we decide to take them. I like to put dinners and parties on my calendar as soon as possible. And, most of all, I like to know for sure where we will be living next year.

Unfortunately, Ben’s employer (our visa sponsor) does not take my desire to plan into account. So, we are still waiting for confirmation that his contract renewal has been approved. We are hopeful and have reason to be confident, but the fact that our visas expire in just over four months makes me a little twitchy.

The good news is that I have an amazing partner in Ben who I have been able to talk to about all of this since August when we began our final year on the current contract. Shortly before we moved to Moscow, I had a bit of a break down and admitted how terrified I was about what we were about to do. I never would have made it through the last few weeks in California without Ben. Knowing that he is here with me is what reminds me that no matter what happens, we will get through it.

In case you were wondering, we are both really, really happy here. We are working in jobs that are in the specific fields in which we pursued graduate degrees, we have made amazing friends that we would be happy to know regardless of where we lived, and we have been having  a lot of fun experiencing something that neither of us ever dreamed of. And we do have a safety net, just in case, so don’t worry about us!

After two and a half years, there is no doubt that Moscow is our home. It will take some work to step back and figure out which parts of our daily life are worth sharing, but I will try. I apologize if this at times seems like it is simply a place for me to share travel stories, but 2014 does seem to be a year of travel, so…

до свидания!

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.

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Friendship Is Magic

16 Jun

Ben and I were fortunate enough to have some friends visit Moscow recently.  They are friends that we met when living in Southern California, though they have also found new homes outside of Orange County.  It was so much fun to spend time with them here and to show them the city that we now call home.

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Photo courtesy of Remy and Svetlana

We did some sight-seeing, hitting Red Square (I actually went into St. Basil’s and GUM this time and we saw Lenin!), the Arbat, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines.  Much food was consumed.  Many stories and laughs were shared.

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Horseradish and Honey Vodka!

Between this visit, my sister and brother-in-law’s visit, and my trips to London and St. Louis, year two has offered me the chance to catch up in-person with some really amazing friends and family.  We have definitely made incredible friends here in Moscow, but having time with all of these people has been really important.  During our first year I didn’t leave Russia between October 2011 and June 2012.  It was too much of a separation from life back in the States.  I am certainly anxious to get back to Florida again this summer to see more family and friends, but having time throughout the year to connect with people really has made a difference in my enjoyment of living here.

More photos below!

And, yes, I did reference My Little Pony in the title of this post.

до свидания!