Sunday, January 13, 2008
4:23 a.m... Or, the Joys of Jet-Lag!
Natalia is still WIDE awake! So was Katya, until 1:45 a.m.! One benefit of the kids' insomnia has been that I got our six 20 x 20 x 20 inch cube boxes unpacked (that's 367 lbs of luggage). Still three suitcases to go (but they're partially unpacked). Had to completely overhaul my wardrobe in order to make space for new stuff, but that was fun! It's nice to have bought new clothing because I've dropped two sizes (and not because I'm about to have a baby or just had one)!
(This video is courtesy of my new Flip video camera, a marvelous little gadget you can find here. Thanks for the recommendation, Rachael! It rocks!!)
As soon as I've made more progress getting settled in, I'll upload all the pictures I've taken with my new, amazing Nikon SLR camera and I'll blog more. I've just been really, really busy preparing for the trip back (wait until you see what my mom's living room looked like in the midst of the packing...) and now that I'm back, there's so much more work to be done...
We got out of the house today, though, and had a wonderful time at a Russian kids' matinee with friends. (Great new discovery--can't believe I didn't know about it before--the 5 Svezd movie complex with a play area for kids! I'll post about it later).
Oh--for those of you who might have asked, our flight back was actually WONDERFUL! Somehow it just flew by (no pun intended, truly) and when it the crew brought out breakfast sandwiches--usually meaning there's about an hour until landing--I was shocked; I was prepared at that point for at least four more hours of travel. Nice people around us (who MOVED so I could be with the girls) and great choices on my part for "airplane surprises"--check this out; Katya loved it and used it for seven hours straight! (What a well-spent $8.25 at Barnes and Noble--gotta love the educators' discount I get since I homeschool English!)
The day didn't start so smoothly, though... The driver who was supposed to bring us and all of our luggage to JFK never showed!!!! My mom worked miracles and arranged for another driver with a van who got us there just in the nick of time. I was then joyfully surprised that Katya's Platinum Medallion status with Delta (not quite sure how she has attained this and no one else has) entitled her to THREE 70 lb bags (usual allowance is two 50 lb bags). This was great news since Delta has now significantly raised their excess baggage fees from $100 per extra 50 lb bag to $125, and any luggage weighing between 50 and 70 lbs now costs an additional $50 (used to cost $25). Needless to say, these changes impact us greatly! (No matter what, though, it's cheaper overall for us to bring back what we do from the USA than to try to find it here. My six pairs of new shoes that cost $134 total on final markdown would have cost at least $450 here...).