Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day Three

Yesterday, Sunday, was our first full day here and it was a free day so we made the most of it!

Henry woke up bright and early at 6:45 am (just like at home) so of course we all woke up then as well... at least we'd gone to bed early the night before. After a breakfast of "Kosmostars" cereal (for Henry):
We went for a walk to the center of the downtown area to meet some other Reece's Rainbow friends who are still here completing their adoptions! Our walk was long and hot, and much further than we had expected but it was totally worth it. It was so precious to meet with the two other mamas and see their precious little ones firsthand! We went into a McDonalds to cool off (which didn't really happen because the don't really believe in cold air conditioning here!). But we managed to rest and eat and James managed to order us lunch by a method of pointing and nodding!

Beth and I thought the scary stairs in our apartment building made for a fun photo op!

They close off the main street in the downtown area every Friday evening through Sunday so that people can walk around freely. There were people everywhere walking around, shopping and eating ice cream. In the middle of the empty street there was some sort of car driving demonstration going on- cars where wildly weaving in and out of each other driving in formation- Henry loved it!

There were lots of guys walking around in animal suits- they make their living by charging you to take a picture with them.

There were lots of fountains in the area that people were wading in, but this one was our favorite! The water runs down several sets of stairs and there were lots of people playing in it- including lots of little boys in their underwear! We saw a woman try to escape the police by wading through a fountain- it was pretty funy!

Look at the GAP!

There are beautiful churches everywhere- this one is right by our apartment. Can you see the cobblestone street? This street is ancient- we were told that this city is so very hard to navigate because the main streets were laid out over 300 years ago!

We ended up eating dinner back at our apartment which required sending James on a trip to the store for more water... which made for a funny story. James got to the checkout and the cashier appeared to recognize him from the day before. She asked him something in Russian, he said he didn't understand and she pointed to a bag and curtly said "Bag?" in English. James said yes and she rolled her eyes and looked annoyed. (They do prefer you to bring your own bag here, but if you don't have one they just charge you for a plastic one- usually no big deal). James just thought it was funny that she got so annoyed with him. Fast Forward to today... Beth and I go to the store and at checkout get a different cashier but the regular one was sitting right behind her at the next register (cashiers are seated here). Situation Repeat: she asked us in Russian if we wanted a bag, I said I didn't understand, she said "Bag? " in English and I said "Da". The other cashier rolled her eyes and laughed then leaned forward and giggled in the other one's ear about us... then she pulled a bag and set it on the counter and left it there. I paid for our groceries, she briskly shoved our groceries asided and started ringing up the next customer... and Beth I scrambled to get our groceries bagged... apparently we are supposed to bag our own groceries! Ha!


This post was writted yesterday, Monday. I'm getting behind on blogging! We'll be taking an overnight train tonight to go and meet our babies on Wednesday! I'll try to get caught up then!

Thanks so much for all of the encouragement, keep it coming!


  1. Great pictures - thanks for sharing! I keep getting confused about when the sleeper train ride is going to occur - sounds like soon, if not already. I'm sure Henry is going to be excited about that - & you will be too, just because it's taking you to see your precious pair of toddlers! Henry said he would tell his brudder & sister that they have a Nana & Grumpy at home. Love y'all!

  2. Pics are wonderful, as always, Erica. I'm on the iPad and accidentally touched the icon of Beth on the stairs. Literally had to back up to see if I had gone to an ad--that particular photo is AMAZING!!!!

    Can't wait to see photos of our newest little people. Once the dust settles, we need another reunion on the Riley side so we can all meet each other.

    And, again, Godspeed, kids!!!

  3. I love the photos and the stories! I can relate to your "bag" stories...! In our "early days" the cashiers used to get annoyed with us too, LOL! I didn't realize it is only in America that we don't bag our own groceries!

  4. I am loving your updates and pictures. I look at them over and over. So happy things are going so well. Praying without ceasing for you all. Please give our three grandkids hugs for us. Love, Granny

  5. So excited to read your post! Can't wait to hear more details. :)

  6. thanks for giving us a glimpse of ukraine! give the babies extra hugs (when you can) from their cousins in oklahoma!