We headed to the front row of seats and she quickly told us what to do, how the system works and when to give her a ring when our number gets close. Michael and I sat and chatted and practiced our "kid Russian" and before we knew it, it was time to call Irina! The numbers flew by and we were in and out in less than an hour and a half.
Michael and Irina were in the office a bit, but once they were out, we were told that Deeana's passport will be ready for pickup on Monday.
Afterwards, we headed downstairs where Andrey, our wonderful driver, found a copy center for us. We had a previous issue with paperwork for Moscow, and not knowing that we needed to bring such copies. So we emailed coordinators and had files emailed to us and saved them to a flash drive. We were freaking out. But things worked itself out quickly, and the copy center was awesome.
Next stop, Andrey took us to purchase our train tickets to Moscow. We ultimately had the choice on how to travel - but since there was construction at the St. Pete airport, and people were missing flights because of it, we chose the train. It was a good thing we chose train. Andrey's smooth talking got us 3 tickets and Deeana was half off. We only paid about $200!
And that brings us to our break. We've had a few days to explore the city, start packing, and clean up our apartment.
We have visited many sites over the past couple days. We walked through Petrograd and saw a beautiful mosque decorated in mosaic tiles. We walked along the the Neva River and saw a pectopah (restaurant) sailboat. We took pictures of the Peter and Paul Fortress from afar - at that point, our feet were very tired!
On a quick side note, I have been having trouble with shoes. I tripped earlier in the trip and needed bigger sandals to compensate. Then recently sliced my flip flops on the escalators on the Metro. To top things off, I forgot my gym shoes. LOL. So we headed to the mall (several times)... in search of shoes. We found a great store called Ecco, and I quickly tried on a pair and was out the door in time for our next excursion. So glad they were half off!
The next day we headed out to explore the Geological Museum. Michael and I enjoyed oohing and ahhing over gems, stones and even a meteorite! We took home a cool souvenir - amazonite. The museum was so large, we could have been there all day. Afterwards we took a trolley and walked to find the Dancing Fountain, but unfortunately... it didn't happen while we were there. Instead we saw lots of brides and grooms coming to the Strelka to "get hitched", take pictures, and celebrate. It was a very beautiful spot to sit and rest our tired feet, and take in a beautiful view of the city.
Monday we head out to pick up Deeana's passport and pick up some last minute gifts. Where we will put all this stuff, we don't know ;) . Then, Tuesday is out big day - Gotcha Day. We will head to the orphanage early we assume (times will come later) and pick up Deeana. Then we head to the train station.
Here are a few pics that we have taken over the several days, we hope you enjoy!
|M&M in front of a mosque|
|Geological Museum: Russia - Map made entirely out of gems & stones.|
|Geo. Museum - wonderful place to stroll!|
|Meteorite - called "Seymchan" found in 1967|
|Taken at the Strelka|