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...


September 1, 2008 - Labor Day in Mockba!

We awoke to the first sunny day in Peter since we had first arrived in mid-August...figures...the day we leave it's sunny & not too chilly! We took Nicky to take a few pictures at a few of the sights in the city center, then went back to the apartment to get our luggage, etc for our flight. Our coordinator & driver came to pick us up at 10:15am for our flight to MOCKBA (Moscow). We were pretty nervous to fly with Nicky - unsure how he would react to the plane. Our driver walked us into the airport and got us all checked in, thankfully. Our friends Paul & Courtney had told us that the airline we were flying Россия (Rossiya) had it's own check-in location and we would have to wander around the airport a bit to find it. Our driver, however, knew a sneaky back entrance that got us right to the spot we needed and helped us with all our luggage, etc.
Nicky got a little nervous when we went thru security - didn't want to walk thru the metal detector thing & wasn't too keen on being wanded afterwards! We entered the ancient 1950's era plane from the tarmac, so there were a bunch of airplanes & buses for Nicky to look at. His eyes were as big as saucers and his head was like it was on a swivel, taking it all in. We got on the plane & Kris & I's eyes were like saucers! The plane literally was from several generations gone by! I'm amazed it got off the ground! The overhead storage was almost nill & it was completely open. The seats were mostly broken - mine flew forward & got stuck when we landed...the guy behind me had to pull it off my back! Nicky did great - he sat with Kris and played with his cars most of the ride. He didn't like sitting, buckled in, in his own seat...up until then, he had been sitting on our laps in all vehicles, Britney Spears style...if CPS could only see us now!
Once we arrived in MOCKBA and got our luggage, we met our coordinator that works for our agency. She & the driver took us to our hotel - the Radisson. She was not very friendly and knew nothing about us other than she was the one to pick us up and would be helping us with some paperwork & with getting Nicky's visa at the American Embassy. I mentioned in my last email that the social worker at Nicky's orphanage had the personality of a pencil; well - this lady's wasn't much better...maybe that of a rock! She was very impatient with us getting out of the van to get checked into the hotel. She ran in as we were getting out and I stayed behind to help Kris with our 3 suitcases, 2 carry ons & sleepy 2 year old & she got kinda huffy with us! She told us the doctor would come to our room the next morning between 6:45-7:00am and then she would call us between 8-9am for some paperwork. We bid her good riddance, then got up to our room to get settled.
MOCKBA is a huge city and very overwhelming. Our friend Paul compared the sizes of the cities (Peter & Moscow) as Peter being like Austin & Moscow like Houston - he was spot on! We decided that we didn't have the energy to venture out and find a place for dinner, so we tried out Cafe Amadeus in the hotel lobby - it claims to have "international" food. I guess that was somewhat true; Kris did have pseudo-German food (cooked Russian style of course); I had Italian (pasta - nothing fancy at all); Nicky had some rice & chicken kebab (off the kid's menu). We each had one drink (coke, tea & milk) and tipped about 20% since we finally managed to get good service in Russia...that said - our total bill was just at $100! We were pretty shocked - MOCKBA is definitely more expensive than Peter. We decided that eating outside the hotel would a good plan going forward!

We attempted bath number 2...didn't go as badly as the first I'm happy to report! Still didn't want any part of it, but the crying wasn't as bad this time. It'll be much better once we get home and there are more toys for him to be distracted by I'm sure!

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