I said in my last post that I would take some time to talk more about our experiences in Russia. It already seems like it's been forever since we were there and we miss our son everyday. The town of Khabarovsk is a fairly good sized town with something like 700,000 residents. The part of the town that we saw the most of runs along three main streets. We spent most of our time walking Carl Marx Blvd and Amurskya Blvd between our hotel and the river. I think I was expecting the town to drab gray and depressing. I was surprised to see how many of the buildings were painted in bright colors and they were in the process of painting more while we where there.
It was great to meet up with our family friend Galina and have her help navigating town. She showed us how to use the bus system (though we never ventured on the buses alone), the best place to buy 'authentic Russian souvenirs' and the best store to buy good Russia 'wodka'.
It was almost surreal to walk up and down the street and not hear any English beside what was being spoken by you. Even more so to stand in Lenin Square staring at the statue of Lenin himself. To think that these places, just 15 years ago, would have been impossible for someone from the United States to see, yet alone stand in.
It was a lot of fun to be able to meet the other families that were there to pick up their children. They are all amazing people. We thank Jen for the sage advice about waiting for a court date. She said "You'll go when you're supposed to go..." Astonishing how such simple words can bring such peace. We also got a chance to meet Ciarai and Jose who live in Seattle. They are great people that we look forward to being able to connect with on a regular basis.
I guess I should also mention our esteemed travel companions, Doug and Candy. They are fantastic people and we enjoyed the time that we got to spend with them. Hopefully we'll get court dates at the same time so we can travel together next trip too. But next time we're going to make Candy leave her hairdryer at home since she knocked the power out in the hotel... twice. LOL. I'm sure that Doug can hardly wait to get back so he can have more Kvas. Kvas is a drink made from rye flour that tastes a lot like sucking on wet rye bread if you ask me, but he loved it. Anyway, time to cut this post off. I'll try to post some more about our hijinks soon.