This is my absolute favorite picture from last Sunday. It's my favorite in quite a while... I took it at the end of a great day with the girls spent outside of the Kremlin. I'll now backtrack and start from the beginning...
We left the house early to take in the travelling "In the Mirror" exhibit at the Manezh exhibition hall--the beautiful huge pale yellow building on Manezh Square, adjacent to the Kremlin. The exhibit was created by a children's science museum in Switzerland and it was great!
Well... compared to OMSI in Portland, Oregon, it was only mildly engaging--but we don't have ANY children's museums in Moscow. Not a single one. Sure, there are museums--but none are designed FOR children. Children can go, but they won't find any interactive exhibits. Certainly there's no learning through play in any of the permanent museums. For this reason, when a good exhibit comes to town, people flock to it--especially the foreigners who are used to such museums in their home countries. I could hear other expat parents commenting, "Yay! Here's at least something neat to do... Wish it had been during the winter months..." The Russians, however, were much more surprised and impressed. Those who hadn't traveled with their children overseas couldn't quite grasp that you were supposed to touch the exhibits, that it was made FOR their kids. I'd sure love to be the developer who builds the first Western-style children's museum here; it'll make a fortune!
We ended our day with Baskin and Robbins ice cream at GUM, the gorgeous department store full of luxury goods that lines Red Square. (I've got pictures stored up for a big post about it sometime). This is what most women who shop here look like. You can see what they buy:
Then there's... ME! This is what I bought.
That's right! I splurged on a... SWEATBAND for my head from Nike! And I'm tickled pink about it! (I've really been needing one during my runs and I've learned that when you see something you need in this city, it often makes sense to just get it--it's not worth looking elsewhere in the hopes of paying less once you factor in time lost in traffic, etc).
It's worth pointing out that during this little trip of ours to the very center of Moscow, a spot where there are thousands of visitors daily from all over the world, we repeatedly ran into people we knew. I almost called Katya's 1st grade teacher while we were at the science exhibit, knowing her two little boys would love it--but I refrained, knowing it was Russian Orthodox Easter. Five minutes later she tapped us on the shoulder and introduced us to her family! Katya was thrilled to see her! We then ran into a friend I made when organizing a baby shower this winter for my friend Julie, and we later saw a mom from Katya's Brownie troup as we headed home.
The girls said, "Cool, Mom." I agreed :-)
(Yet again, formatting isn't working in Blogger--anyone else know how to make your post have uniform 1.5 line spacing?)