Today in My History
2000:When Life was Simple
2001: Sleeping Sickness
2002: Making the Commitment
2003: Revenge, Passion, Lust, Greed and Love
2004: Welcome to My Desk
2005: Working for Peanuts
2006: It Sneaks Up on You
2007: Progress Milestones
2008: Flag Waving
2009: Wasn't It Yesterday When We Were Young?
As You Like It
Books Read in 2010
"The School of Essential Ingredients"
Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 3/17/10) And Then I Ate
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JUNE IS BUSTIN' OUT ALL OVER
1 June 2010
It's hard to believe that it's June already.
And if it's June, that means that we will be leaving on vacation in just a little under 3 weeks.
And that's the reason for the look of the June pages of this journal, with the St. Basil background and the little smiley comrade.
We are going with Char and Mike to Finland, and then on to a boat cruise from St. Petersburg to Moscow.
It seems so strange to write that. In truth, Russia was never high on my list of places to explore, though I'm starting to get excited about it all, now that we seem to have gotten all of our documents.
I know I mentioned this briefly before, but perhaps in a bit more detail, we fly out of San Francisco to Helsinki (3 flights...here to Detroit, Detroit to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Helsinki), where we will stay for 2 nights, I think.
Then we take the train from Helsinki to St. Petersburg, where we board the Viking Cruise Ship the Kirov. We don't leave right away, but have 3 days to explore St. Petersburg (while having meals and spending nights on the ship) and then we take off down the Neva River, for a week, headed toward Moscow, where we have the same 3 days to explore before getting back on the plane and head home again. This is not an ocean cruise, but a river trip, kind of like the river trip we took with Mike and Char in England, only instead of carrying 8 passengers, this ship carries 210.
I suspect that by the time we get home, I will have seen all of the onion domes, churches and monestaries that I want to see for a long time, but it certainly is fun looking at the books, photos, and web pages of the places we will visit.
While you don't need visas to enter any of the countries we have visited thusfar, you do need a visa for Russia. It was a little scary to send off our passports with a big check to ask for a visa and trust that it would be returned. But we did get the visas a couple of weeks ago (Mike and Char are still waiting for theirs and getting nervous).
On Friday we got a packet from the tour operator with all of our documents--our itinerary, plane tickets, and all the books we need to prepare for the trip.
This morning we got an e-mailed itinerary with all the plane information (and a follow-up, after my e-mail expressing some concern that we don't seem to have any information about our travel from Helsinki to St. Petersburg, with information about our train travel).
Ashley, bless her, is going to move in here while we're gone. It's easier for her to move here than try to move all four foster dogs to new homes at a time when foster homes are more scarce because of summer vacations. It would be especially difficult to try to find a new temporary home for antisocial Polly and frightened Emmy. I don't even want to know how many dogs she is bringing with her, and perhaps the less said to our neighbors about that, the better! I hope I will live in blissful ignorance of any chaos that is going on in the zoo while we're gone.
In looking back on the "this day in my history" entries, I realize that the day we leave will be almost exactly a year ago that Jeri and I left on our trip to France and Italy and I face the same fears this year that I did then--ability to keep up and is it going to be too hot (based on how last year's trip went!) It occurred to me to ask why we keep taking trips with Mike and Char in June, when all four of us are retired and could pick a cooler time, before school is out, to go on these little jaunts (not that we are likely to encounter a lot of school age people on a river boat cruise in Russia!) Of course we did have to work around our teacher-daughters last year, I realize. But what's our problem this year?
I may regret this, but I'm going to take my computer with me. We'll have wifi at our hotel in Helsinki, and wifi (albeit very slow, I'm told) on the ship. I'll give it a try, but if it turns out that posting entries proves difficult, I can at least get them all written and post when I get home (because I am nothing if not compulsive). I may regret carting it around from plane to hotel, but once we get to the ship, it can just stay there. (You can all laugh and say "I told you so" when I complain about having it with me.) If nothing else, I won't have to worry about what type of keyboard I have to deal with when I want to try to write an entry!
PHOTO OF THE DAY