Friday, May 8, 2009

I Traveled to Russia and All I Got Was This Lousy Toilet Brush.

Hmm... And not really! When we finally got home from IKEA, it turns out the toilet brush, a main item on my list, had some how not made it into our bag!

But I digress. My poor mom made it all the way here, with her plane arriving an hour early, only to have me then arrive an hour and a half later than I'd intended due to HORRIBLE traffic because of the Victory Day Parade rehearsal.

Incidentally, if my mom had already been here this morning, we had 2 tickets ON RED SQUARE to see the parade thanks to one of my well-connected students... But that, yes, is another story. 

In any case, I got to the airport LATE. It should have taken 45 minutes. It took three hours. I gave up worrying and just chilled when I was still only five minutes from our home, and my mom had already landed... Nothing I could really do at that point other than call my husband and ask him to have her paged at the airport to just sit tight...

I also called the nanny and coached her how to say "Traffic bad. Call Tamara mobile. 7-475-123-4567. Don't worry." THAT WAS FUNNY!!!! I figured my mom might whip out her Russian visa application and look up our local home number, which she has never
 used, so it was worth the preparation...

In any case, we got to the airport and I marched in, determined to find the information desk -- near which my mom should be sitting. At one point, Natalia said, "Um, Mom? Can I go back and talk to Grandma?" HEL-LO??! Couldn't she have MENTIONED that she'd already seen Grandma a bit before??! So we back-tracked, found my AMAZINGLY composed and calm mom, and then headed to my car.

Did we head home? 


We were HUNGRY! Natalia and I  had planned on grabbing breakfast on the way, which clearly hadn't happened... So we stopped at Mega Khimki, a huge mall with an IKEA that is 10 minuutes from the airport and directly on our way home. 

How many hours had my mom been up?! Well, she enjoyed her Swedish meatballs, potatoes and new toilet brush!

She also wanted to see the ice rink there, since it's pretty cool... Which took us by Starbucks (cue to hear the angels sing, "Hallelujah!"...) and H&M! I didn't even know that H&M had opened a store in that mall! It was my first time seeing it in Moscow!!! Sweden is "right next door"... But up until now, I could only only buy H&M in NYC or Danbury, CT!!!! 

I managed to get Katya a beautiful new leotard for her ballet recital for $8.13!!!

I LOVE H&M!!! I AM SOOOOO HAPPY!!!! I GOT THE GIRLS SOCKS THEY'LL ACTUALLY WEAR AND PAJAMAS APPROPRIATE FOR HOT WEATHER! Yay! They won't walk around naked this weekend when the rest of our guests arrive!!!

We then headed to Katya's school. Traffic was almost non-existent, yet my mom thought it was horrendous. Katya and Natalia gave us a tour, we met some teachers, and then Natalia, my mom, and headed home. We enjoyed looking at the "Victory Day" bulletin board in her classroom. I, stupidly, asked Katya, "Which drawing is yours?"

Chances are you guessed right!!! 

 Katya loves school so much that she wanted to stay through the end of her play rehearsal that evening. 

My mom, Natalia and I went home to unpack suitcases 
and rest a bit. We then went back to school and watched the end of 
play rehearsal.

We then went for  a little drive to see where I teach and to the ATM. Some cops saw me walk out of an ATM and started to pull me over for NO REASON AT ALL as I left the parking spot, but for some miraculous reason left me alone. I was stunned how quickly my mom was able to stuff my withdrawal into her bra...!!!

On then to the gym, where the girls wowed my mom with their INCREDIBLE progress in swimming since last summer. It's HUGE. 

We ate dinner at the gym and headed home...After blowing up my mom's mattress and making sure she was settled, I assembled the vegetarian lasagne I'd been working on for a few days. My mom will stick it in the oven before we get back from the airport this weekend. 

Off to bed now!!!!!! I hope my mom is sleeping REALLY well!


Tami said...

Have a WONDERFUL time! :)

Christine said...

So happy to see you all together! Say hi to your Mom for me!

Carolynn and Steve said...

So glad that she made it safely, and hope that you ALL have a wonderful visit! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Not entirely uneventful trip, but still... All well that ends well.
Have a great time!

Anonymous said...

have fun and enjoy your special time together! the pic of your mom holding the toilet brush cracks me up ; ) you two look very similar ;) i know that i need to write you back, but my response is llooonnnggg. needless to say, i am still giggling over it. i am sure you scared the ---- outta those two!!!! i love it!!!!! it is priceless.....just priceless....

miss you!

The Expatresse said...

WOW! What an action packed first day. Give your mom a big hug for me!

Re: H&M. I stuck my head in the one at the Evropeisky mall. Virtually nothing for kids. Adult stuff over-priced. Very disappointing. But we did well at Zara.

Annie said...

Good heavens! Tina! You must have the stamina of an ox! I am always shot by the end of that flight! It can't be THAT much worse to come from Michigan. You had a full day ahead of you certainly.

I think I remember seeing that huge mall when we drive from the airport.

I do love the Victory Day picture. Cute.

Natalie said...

I can't stand that cop business. It makes me want to scream! Glad your mom made it safe. Sure hope the rest get there safely! I once drove to the airport to get my sister, and it took me 8 hours when it should have taken me one and a half, two at the most. I got lost over and over again. But i guess it worked out in the end 'cause my sister got bumped and got there at just the time I showed up. I was an emotional wreck though!

Annie said...

Just made me think of the time that our driver thought traffic would be bad so he took us the "long way" out amongst villages and settlements. That tour was worth the price of his fee.

Francie said...

Yes, I'm glad Tina made it safe! Keep us posted on the others arrival! Have fun! Be safe! And make sure my mom doesn't have too much fun over there! lol

Tina in CT said...

Day One got me prepared for the whirlwind. I'm lucky that jet lag really doesn't affect me.

By time 7:30 PM (Moscow time) came and we went to the Health Club so the girls could swim and show me their progress, I was showing signs of lack of sleep. Just the idea of changing into a bathing suit was too much work so I just watched.