We are a married couple who adopted our little Russky, Nikita {aka Nicky, Nicky noodle, little man, Nikoli, the Nickster, crazy dude, goofball, puppy love, etc...you get the picture!} from St Petersburg, Russia four years ago. Join us as we stumble through the joys and perils of parenthood, while our son teaches us a few things along the road...


August 27, 2008 - Hermitage Visit

Today we decided to sleep in a bit and take out time venturing out of the house to the Hermitage & Winter Palace. The Herm consists of 6 large buildings, only half of which are open to visitors, and faces the Neva River. It was built in the 18th century by the Italian architect Rastrelli (as was most of the palaces, etc, throughout the city) and it became the home of Empress Catherine II when she ascended to the throne in 1762. This is also where Tsar Nicholas II and his family lived when Lenin & the Bolsheviks launched the Russian Revolution in 1917. The Winter Palace has an amazing light blue & white ediface with amazing interior detail. The rooms themselves were more the artwork than the actual paintings and sculptures were. Each room that has been restored on the ground & 1st floors are so beautiful. Each painted a different color, including gold guilding of mirrors, door frames, you name it! They all had amazing wood floors with intricate designs and different types of wood inlaid within and the crown mouldings were to die for! It was definitely a feast for our eyes! We only made it through the Winter Palace and ventured a bit into the Small Hermitage; most of the artwork on the lower floors are the old, dark, Renaissance style, etc; apparently there are a few Titian's and Da Vinci's...didn't ever find those though! We did however, see several Van Gogh's (Kris' fave), Sisley's, Monet's, Matisse's, Gauguin's and Picasso's, so we're not hurting in the culture department! All the walking really made us yearn for a nap, so we decided 3-ish hours was good enough for us!

Paul & Courtney returned home from their 2 week jaunt to Poland, etc, and we all decided staying home for some good old-fashioned Pizza Hut was definitely what we all needed. It has been so great being able to stay with people we know and trust during these past few weeks. We don't think we would have been as relaxed about all the craziness otherwise. Having the ability to talk to people who have experienced the same situations and being able to commiserate is awesome! Not only that - they speak the language, so it comes in handy when going out to dinner! :)

Ok - that's enough for now...hope I haven't put you all to sleep with all this crazy talk! Thank you all so much for "listening"! I can't wait til we're back in the US so we can actually talk to you all and share more stories...and introduce you to our son, the adorable Nicky! We are definitely in way over our heads, but loving every minute of it! Until tomorrow...yes, I will have another long one built up by then...soooo much more to tell! Sneak peak...Nicky is, as we speak, sleeping in our room...yup - you read that right! We picked him up this afternoon...he's all ours!!!

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