In looking back on this part of the trip to pick up Miss K, I have to admit that the last couple of days were a blur. In part, I’m sure this was because I had developed some wonky stomach virus that decided to rear its ugly head about mid-morning Christmas Day. I think that this, coupled with almost no sleep the previous few days and the relief of finally having Miss K with us led to some major brain shut-down. Let’s just say that Christmas Day and the day after were pretty calm compared with the previous week. Again, huge thanks to Susan, who stepped up and took over at this point—if I have any regrets about this trip at all, they are that she didn’t get to see much of Moscow beyond the Arbat because I just felt too lousy to take her anyplace.
Christmas Day we woke up to the arrival of Santa, who had brought Miss K a rattlely toy, a ba-ba-ball, and a Little Einstein music book:
We then decided that Miss K needed a bath
and then Mommy decided it was time to reorganize all of the “stuff”—we had the bags we had brought, plus the bag of stuff for Miss K that we’d brought on trip 2 and left with Vladimir until trip 3. We’d “repacked” in Kaluga late at night and trying not to wake up Miss K, and my “repacking” was basically throwing as much as possible as quickly as possible into the various suitcases and bags. So—to get organized, I dumped the contents of the suitcases all over the floor of the bedroom. When Miss K decided she needed to help, we found out that the suitcase made an excellent play pen. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like eating Gerber “puffs” while sitting in a big ol’ suitcase:
We played for awhile, then:
After our exciting morning, we felt that we all needed another nap:
After our nap, we decided that we needed to get outside for a little while—it was a beautiful day, and we were tired of the “no milk and butter” macaroni and cheese and the granola bars we’d brought with us. So we bundled up and headed out. Karina was fascinated by the full-length mirror on the wall next to the door out into the hallway:
We headed out onto the Arbat, in the direction of McDonalds (which we hoped would be easy with K and easy for us as well):
On the way, we passed by Mu-Mu and the Mu-Mu cow:
With McDonald’s conquered, we then headed over to the fancy-shmansy grocery store on the next corner. This place was a two-story grocery store. We wondered how we were supposed to take the grocery cart downstairs, and, after watching, we found out that there was a special ramp that went downstairs and the grocery cart wheels locked into the ramp. Exciting for us. The deli counter was also pretty awesome—they had all kinds of hams, etc., and there was one variety of ham that still had the entire leg of the animal attached and on display.
On the way back home from the grocery store, we stopped in one of the shops on the Arbat so Susan could do a little shopping. One of the pretty sales girls asked if she could hold Miss K—and we decided that we needed her picture:
I have a vague memory that sometime on this day we also got hooked up with Tanya, who brought us the paperwork from the Russian Consulate (the last papers that we needed to leave the country). I also remember that Susan spent a LOT of time on the phone with our travel agent at home, and managed to get our departure tickets changed so that we could leave on the 27th instead of waiting until the 30th. Both of these were good news.
We spent the 26th just hanging around the apartment, relaxing and getting ready to leave on the 27th. Susan, my brave sister, did venture out by herself for a while, and ordered a “chi” at Starbucks and explored the Arbat a bit further.