Thursday, September 10, 2009

Back in Russia

We made it back to Moscow this morning after many hours of travel. We left our home on Wednesday morning at 5:15am to get to the airport. It is so sad that we had to fly to Atlanta first for a 4 hour layover there. Finally we boarded for JFK in New York only to make it back to the Raleigh/Durham area by 2pm. Our plane was put in a holding pattern over Raleigh since the President was flying in NY (according to our pilot). At this point we were thinking things were not going our way considering we had already been "traveling" for 9 hours only to make it back to North Carolina! Eventually we were given clearance to head to NY, and we landed just in time to check in for the flight to Moscow. Thankfully our arrival gate was right beside our departure gate. We did have time to go to the bathroom, and then we got in line to board. Right before we handed our boarding passes over, the lady at the desk called to say that boarding had to be stopped since there was maintenance that had to be done on the plane. Eventually we made it on the plane and got settled. We sat there for over an hour though before we were able to take off...not a good start to a REALLY long flight. On top of that we were in the middle aisle, and the plane was PACKED so I was sandwiched between JC and a Russian national.

The flight was exactly what we expected. How can you really sleep on these flights? I think we slept off and on for about 2 hours total but never more than 30 minutes at one time.

Upon arrival in Moscow, we had to fill out "medical forms" for the Russian health officials basically stating whether or not we had traveled to other countries within the past 10 days. We also had to remain seated until we were "scanned" by some sort of machine that reads body temperatures. How accurate can that be? Thankfully we passed the test and were allowed to deboard.

We made it through customs with no problems and our driver was waiting for us once we collected our bags.

We got in his car and headed to the money drop location. It took over an hour because traffic here is unbelievably congested. We sat in the car while our agency representative came to meet us; he got in the car; we exchanged pleasantries and then handed over the remaining amount of adoption fees. It felt good to get rid of that $$$ and off our persons.
Then we left and drove to our hotel. This trip we chose a Sheraton which is further from the Red Square but much, much cheaper than the Marriott from before.

sheraton

hotel

We were able to check in a little early and then we CRASHED!!! We slept about 3.5 hours and made ourselves get up at 6:15pm so that we could get some lunch/dinner. We each ate a banana on the plane and that was all that we had had to eat today.
We ventured to a local hotel and exchanged some American dollars for rubles and then we walked. We came across a Sbarro so we went in and pointed to what we wanted to eat...cheese pizza - safe!!!

sbarro

We walked back to our hotel and went in to a little market across the street to buy bottled water. After locating the "still" water, we purchased 2 bottles. Once in the room we realized that the second bottle was "sparkling" - oh well. Now I can say that I really don't like sparkling water. :)
There is a brand new Starbucks right across the street from us. Yah!!! We will heading there first thing in the morning.

Our guides pick us up at 9:30am to take us to our doctor's physicals...not to worry, we'll be done by 4pm!!! I mean, WHAT WILL WE BE DOING FOR THAT LONG AT THE DOCTORS' OFFICES? I am dreading it, but as another adoptive mom so cleverly stated, I should just think of it as a maternal "labor" process.
We board the overnight train tomorrow night around 10pm for St Petersburg. One more day closer!

13 comments:

Kristine said...

So glad you are back in the MOTHERLAND..ha. I know you are tired and I am so happy you are blogging...I can't wait to hear more!!!

XXX

Kristine

Love Being a Nonny said...

I am so excited, you would think it was MY trip!!!

Barb said...

Yeah!! So happy for you. Bummer that the travelling was less than ideal:-( You made me laugh when you said "money drop" location!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I am so happy your are there!! It sounds like you had a rough trip over, but at least you made it:)

Good luck with your "maternal labor process"

Can't wait to see sweet Emma in your arms:)

Lisa

Mandi said...

So so glad to see you made it safely despite all the delays.

I cannot wait to see Emma finally with her forever family.

Mandi

Rachel said...

Glad you made it eventually! Sorry travel was such a drag! Hope everything else goes more smoothly!

Jodee Leader said...

So glad to hear you made it safe and sound! Hang in there -- you are almost there!

☆ Loren ☆ said...

Praying for you! I can't beleive the time is here!!!

3 Peanuts said...

I am so happy for you!!! Hope it all goes well and that you get a visit with Emma on Sat:)

Ashley said...

Praying for a safe, safe trip to your sweet Emma!

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

So glad you are there.... you should be headed into "labor" in a few hours now. Just remember dr. death and dracula and you'll be fine! :)

Ondrea

Stacy said...

I am thinking about you guys....good luck on Tuesday! Have fun Monday seeing your little girl again :) Keep posting when you can!

JCWillow99@gmail.com said...

good luck, hope it goes well for all of you.

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