Olessia has three weeks of vacation. Me, on the other hand, has been switching jobs so much I am lucky to get a week here and there. I made the switch to Progressive at the beginning of January and the trip to Russia had been on hold due to the situation at National City Bank. It was looking pretty good I would have enough comp. time and vacation time at National City Bank that I could take three weeks off. But the bank was in trouble and then bought out and my job security wasn’t looking all that great. At Progressive, you accrue vacation time on an hourly basis. The Russia trip looked like it was in jeapordy.
With some checking with my boss, I am able to take three weeks! Granted, one is unpaid, but that’s ok!
Olessia has some paperwork to take care of back in Moscow. That’s the number one priority. I’m having fun looking into number two: touristy things to do. So far, I think the following (in and around Moscow) might be fun:
- KGB Museum
- Polytechnical Museum (science museum)
- Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics
- Moscow House of Photography
- Dubna: Swimming pool Olessia went to
- Moscow University (Not sure if that is the right name. The uni Olessia went to school)
- MAKC (2009 Moscow air show)
Notice, there’s no McDs on this list like in 2007. As I come up with more ideas, I’ll post them here. If you have ideas, feel free to leave a comment.
There’s plans in the air for returning back to Moscow in 2009. It looks like the current plan is to try to catch the 2009 MAKC airshow and at the same time, try to not miss any school classes.
The trip specifics are a bit unknown at the moment. Olessia has some paperwork she needs to catch up on while back in Dubna. We are thinking to aim for taking 3 weeks this time, if my work will let me swing it. If so, we might try stopping in Western Europe, such as Paris.
I’m looking forward to returning and taking more photos. This time I will be armed with a DSLR which will offer a lot more control in the picture taking process.
I haven’t been able to figure out how to summarize the trip. In one word, I think “awesome” would summarize it pretty nicely. Russia is an amazing country. The United States goes back 300 years, while the city of Moscow alone goes back 860 years! The country is HUGE too.
It is easy to write about it, or look at pictures of Russia. But to actually go there, smell the air, and experience life, it is something else. I think for everything that is good about Russia, you can find the negative. It is still a tough place to live, in my opinion, although it does appear to be getting better. The trip allowed me to meet Masha, Olessia’s sister, as well as see where Masha and Olessia grew up and lived. I also saw where Olessia went to school, where she used to work, as well as where her mom and dad used to work and where her mom works currently. I experienced travel by road, boat, train, and metro (the subway).
Olessia’s mom cooked for us often. I tasted Russian ice cream and can say it is really good, so good in fact, I could see it being worth while eating outside in the cold of winter (which Russians do). It was a real treat to be able to go to Saint Petersburg as well as make it to the air show (the air show runs only once every two years). We ran out of time before we could see or do everything we wanted. This just means we’ll have to go back some time.
Pictures are available. I’ll try to narrate them here. Each album in the gallery is one day. So the first album is day one, the next album is day two, and so on.