Anyway, to get back to the story- Our alarm went off way too soon and it was time to get up for visit #2. We decided to make lunch out of the snacks we had brought from home in our luggage and to hit the restaurant in the hotel's lobby when we got back so we did just that and met the translator and driver for the ride back to the baby home.
Visit #2 went very well too. He seemed to warm up to us a bit quicker this time and we spent our time reading and playing. We almost got to see him throw a bit of a temper tantrum when I picked him up to stop him from leaving the playroom near the end of the visit. He started crying a bit and grabbed for my hair but didn't pull. It was short-lived though. He quit as soon as the caregiver walked in to collect the kids. I think he'd just had enough for one day and I can't blame him. We were pretty tired too, it had been a long day for all of us. We said our good-byes and cleaned up and back to the hotel we went.
We certainly hope he continues to love books as much as he did during our visits. We've already bought a few small ones to take on our the second trip.
When we arrived back at the hotel for the night we decided to have dinner with the other couple we were traveling with down in the hotel's restaurant so we all headed up to the rooms to drop our stuff and were surprised to see a dark restaurant when we returned. We knocked on the door and a voice informed us that the restaurant was not open just then. No problem, we thought we'd try back a little later as we were a bit early for dinner. Half an hour later or so we tried again and nothing. Minor problem as there were no other restaurants in walking distance. But then we remembered the grocery store around the corner where we had bought bottled water earlier in the day.
So we headed out in the rain. The weather in the region, by the way, was very much like our spring weather at home. Temps in the 50's or so and rainy. Felt just like home. The grocery store was a small store but we found water, soda, chocolate, potato chips, and the Russian equivalent of Ramen noodle all for about 230 rubles or about $7.
Not your normal birthday dinner but we were quite impressed with ourselves. And yes, I know there's not much protein in that meal but we were a little unsure of the meat situation as it was either fresh and required cooking beyond the capability of our little coffee pot in the room or canned/preserved and unidentifiable to us who didn't read a lot of Russian. So we did without and it was fine. At that point we were so tired that it didn't really matter. Not that we could sleep much, at least I couldn't. I was up by about 2am local time and had tons of things on my mind so I went into organizing mode and redid my notes from our first two visits, making a list of questions left to ask during our third visit and feeling very satisfied and happy with our trip so far. Despite the travel sickness, minor mishaps and lack of sleep, things could not have been going better.