We have arrived. Wait, let me try that again...We have arrived!! Our plane touched down in St. Petersburg at 1:30 local time. With the exception of not being able to sleep, our trip was a dream! Ha Ha :). The only dream we had was the trip itself. Whew-my sense of humor is even more... whatever it is with 24 hours of no sleep! And we have three more hours to go to stave off as much jet lag as possible. Brock is laying on his twin bed bouncing his legs around to keep himself awake. We will head around the block to explore in a little while, for a little while.
I couldn't settle enough to sleep from NYC to Frankfurt, but I did manage to watch three movies, eat two meals ("breakfast" was really more of a half meal) and crochet a hat and a half J When we got to Frankfurt, we had to go through security again and let me tell you, our TSA could learn a thing or two. I'm not taking a political stand because I understand why our procedures are in place, but Germany lived up to the "Security with a Smile" motto they had posted all over the terminal. The first man greeted me in German and I managed something intelligible-as in a few steps above, "huh?" and then in perfect English, he greeted with a robust good morning and "I'll help you get through this". I had a water bottle in my bag that I had put in there during the first flight that I had forgotten about which of course led to an understandable bag search. When she pulled the bottle out and told me I couldn't carry that through I told her that I was so sorry and I had forgotten it was in there. Her response? "Oh, that's no problem, but I do need to go ahead a take it." Wow! Brock tried to get a factory sealed Gatorade through in Florida and you would have thought he brought an atomic bomb. We caught our next flight with no problems and we noticed that there were several Russian women on the plane who were gorgeous!! Tall, long -legged knock outs. And then my sweet husband looked lovingly at my twenty hour travel weary hair and face and told me that I don't keep very well when I travel! So this is love J To his defense, my hair was poking out in all directions. All three bags found their way across the world and our translator, Natasha-another beautiful lady-was standing front and center with a huge "Mr. and Mrs. Williams" sign. She and her driver, Sasha, drove us to the Hotel Moscow and then walked us around the block pointing out the market, McDonald's, the subway and a cemetery. Evidently, we are staying right across the street from some very royal, very famous very dead people. Oh! and a monastery! We were told their singing is breathtaking and so we think we may sit in on an Orthodox Russian service to see what we see. We went to the market to buy some water, nutella, bread and jelly and spent almost 500 rubbles! We spent about an hour walking up and down the aisles looking for things that were semi-familiar. We found some Heinz Ketchup, Cheetos, Corn Pops…there was a lot of English on the products and a lot of English in the songs in the store. And I think this is the only place I've ever been where the Tide Laundry soap is cheaper than what I presume is generic laundry soap.
Our room is on the penthouse level-as in seventh floor of a seven floor building. I think we walked down the longest hallway ever! The room reminds me of my college dorm room with two twin beds and that all too familiar scent. The view, however overlooks the canal and is actually quite lovely! We saw a big boat fly by on skis not too long ago! In America, we just float the boats J Thankfully, our room does have a mini-fridge, a safe (directions in English) and a TV that gets a few English channels. We couldn't ask for more!
All in all, it was an extremely easy trip-Praise God for the small blessings!! And now that we will be a Russian-American family, we want to come back when we aren't trying to buy a Russian. We have a rest and recovery day tomorrow and the plan to do some independent sight-seeing. For the moment we are trying to stay awake and off our feet-Brock is cheating right now with a 30 minute power nap! (I authorized said nap) I'm trying my the darndest to stay awake for the next 2 hours and 53 minutes so I can go to bed at 8 PM. We will seeeee….zzzzzzzz J
Love to you all and we will keep you updated!