Sunday, March 17, 2002

Sunday, March 17, 2002 Morning in Germany

Corey and I got some sleep between flights—almost too much. When we woke up, we were alone at our gate. They had changed boarding gates for our flight but we made it. So far this trip, I’m not even nervous yet. Amazing considering how nervous I was last time!!

We arrived in Russia and waited at passport control for about an hour. Seemed like forever since we were quite tired by this point. We were next in line when the passport control officers brought a group of first class passengers from another flight to the front of the line. Corey was annoyed but I pretty much begged him to keep his mouth shut. First of all, they can’t understand us and second of all, I don’t imagine Russian prisons to be a fun place!!

Nadia’s helper, Anna, met us at the airport. In the car we met Mike and Christine VanScoy, who were adopting Sean Albert. They seemed really nice and we were glad to have the company. By this point we were physically tired but so glad to be back in Russia. After our long wait to come back, it was a comfortable feeling to be back there. Anna took us to the Belgrad Hotel in Moscow. It was 3:30pm. We put our things in our room and met Mike and Christine 10 minutes later to walk around Moscow. Corey and I hadn’t seen it before in the daytime. The weather was nice, about 35 degrees. We went to Arbat Street and went shopping for souvenirs. We bought Kara a matroyshka doll that I really took my time choosing. It’s beautiful and depicts various Russian fairy tales on each doll. After shopping, we planned on going to a Tex-Mex restaurant, the Armadillo, where Mike and Chris had eaten on their first trip. We had a hard time finding it and walked for quite a ways!! The restaurant was decorated with a Mexican theme and everyone spoke Russian—very funny. We had the “Twin Pig” platter, bbq spareribs and fries. I called Connie from the credit card phone at the restaurant because the phone in our room wasn’t working (imagine me having phone trauma!!). After dinner we took a taxi back to the hotel because we were so tired. The taxi driver saw us coming—Americans who don’t speak Russian and don’t know where anything is--$50 for a 2 mile ride. Oh well, live and learn. We went up to our rooms to sleep for 2 hours before being picked up to go to Ufa. As usual, in Russia I couldn’t sleep. I had a really bad headache because I had been hit in the head by the taxi door! Corey, as usual, was snoring away. We decided not to shower until we got to Ufa, before going to court (this becomes important a bit later). We were picked up at 11:00 pm. It took a while to get through security and baggage check—in country flights are a little scary. We had to sit for about an hour. During that time, Nadia translated our medical letter into Russian.

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