Sunday, June 5, 2011

Passing the Time in Russia

This trip started as a 5-day short trip to Russia. We are now on day 16! We are not complaining at all...but don't be surprised if I have a ceremonial burning for the 1 dress, 4 shirts and 2 pair of pants I brought. I keep reminding myself that there are many people in this world who would consider that an extensive wardrobe. We are so spoiled. 

So you may be wondering how we've passed the last 13 days of waiting. There is no shortage of things to do in Russia! But first, you have to have a fabulous American family invite you to stay with them because they have all the good tips. :) What? You don't accept email invites to stay with complete strangers? Well, that's how we roll around here. We were SO BLESSED to have an American couple contact us and offer to allow us to stay at their apartment while we were in Moscow. If you've never priced hotels in Moscow, lemme tell ain't cheap. You can easily drop $200/night on a very modest hotel a good ways from the downtown area. The closer you get to Red Square, the more expensive it gets. So we took the American family up on their offer and we are so thankful we did! Not only did they give us an awesome place to stay, but we made new friends that will forever be a cherished part of Kirill's story and our lives. I just can't express how much they mean to us now!

Our friends' apartment in Moscow where we stayed

Like I said, if you find an awesome family, they can tell you lots of great places to visit and eat without breaking the bank. But if you don't happen to know an awesome family in Moscow, here are my suggestions:

You could visit St. Basil', SHOULD visit St. Basil's and tour the inside:

Then, you could take a tour of the Metro Stations...because they are like mini-museums:
Greg and I found this statue to be our favorite because granny is packing some major heat.
Inside hall of a metro station...this one is actually kind of plain compared to some of the ones we saw.
Mass chaos that is the metro in Moscow
Then, you have to go shopping:
Izmaylovo Market where they sell a lot of handmade things...and some complete crap as well.

You might also need to find H&M to buy your new son some clothes!
 Are you hungry yet? If so, there are some good places to eat, contrary to popular belief:
Honey Cake
Outdoor cafe near our hotel. Yay English menus!
Japanese food with our new friends Inna and Dima. Inna translated our court documents! 
Stand where they sell a type of drink made from honey. The guy at the top is playing drums and the girl is dancing. 

 Make sure you see Red Square at night:

Take a walk by the river and play:

Our sweet American friends!

Tour Sparrow Hills for a fabulous view and to see the University of Moscow:
University of Moscow
 There's lots of great free music if you look around hard enough:
Harpist in a hotel lobby

And fantastic views:
Looking out onto Red Square from St. Basil's

You can even go hang out with dead people:
Novedichy Convent and Cemetary

Boris Yeltsin

Chillin' in the cemetary
Novodevichy Convent
There are crazy cat ladies everywhere I guess.

 Then go to Gorky Park and meet the locals:

Walk down the river in the ritzy part of town and see some beautiful old buildings and monuments:

Visit the toy stores:
Greg LOVES Singamajigs!
Search for the nicest bathrooms (I also found the worst earlier at the cemetary, but I won't post that pic):

And find all the foreign embassies that you can because their buildings are usually pretty cool. 
French Embassy...actually this part is the French Ambassador's residence

We did a lot more stuff, but I am not patient enough to load all the pics. We ate some good Mexican food and also went to the American Medical Clinic...not in that order. HA! So if you're desperately in need of either one of those things like we were, I can give you the 411 on them. :)

This is all I can post tonight. I'm tired and I need to try to sleep before our boy gets here tomorrow morning! I want to post about our time in Pskov too because it's been lovely, but that will have to wait.

From Russia with Love,


  1. I've been following your story and all I can say is what an adventure! Safe travels....

  2. Okay, I just have to tell you that you are Hysterical!! I love this post and your Joy is pinging right through the internet!! The cemetery visit was my favorite. And, just be nice about Crazy Cat Ladies! ; )
    I can hardly wait to see you holding Gregory! Keep on having Fun!

  3. Thank you for sharing the pictures. I miss it so much.

    BTW, the "crazy cat lady" is a daughter of a pretty famous Soviet composer (the author of the first Soviet ballet). Her grandson, Kirill Novoselsky, is a guy who does A LOT for protecting old historic buildings in and around Moscow...

  4. Thank you once again for sharing!!!

  5. Gorgeous! I got my hubby excited for our trip to get our kiddo(s). We still have a long way to go before our travel date, but every day gets us one day closer right? I am so glad you get to pick up your son soon!!!!

  6. If I can hardly wait for Kirill to be yours, I can't imagine how ecstatic you are! Can't wait to see photos of the new family. Sleep tight. Safe travels. I've been following your story through Bethany. I too am a Momma of a handsome boy with a little something extra.

  7. Thank you for sharing your journey! Your pictures have truly made me see Russia in a different light. What a beautiful backdrop to this new beginning for your family. I am just so excited for you, I know how hard it will be for you to sleep tonight! I am anxiously awaiting photos of the reunion- much love and prayers to you all~

  8. Love your spirit even though it's been a rough road! I fully support the ceremonial burning! In fact, your coming through DC on the way home, I will gladly pick you up a change of clothes and burn those for you ;)

    Brooke Annessa

  9. We've all been praying for you. Thanks be to God that you'll be coming home with Kirill!!!! And yes, Moscow is a site to behold! Enjoy it as much as possible while you can!