The other thing occupying my time has been my stalking of the mailman as we waited for him to bring us the last piece of dossier paperwork needed to get our stuff sent off to Russia. He finally brought it yesterday so I made a quick trip to Fed Ex and overnighted our documents to Indianapolis where they are currently being apostilled by the Sec. of State. Hopefully we'll be receiving those back next week and then they'll be off to the adoption agency.
We did have a nice anniversary, by the way. We ended up going to a late lunch at Red Lobster and seeing the new Star Trek movie, then doing a bit of shopping on the way home. The movie was very good. I'm not a huge Star Trek fan but it was well written and the cast was perfect. I hope they intend to make a few more.
But back to the last Russia trip post- I left us in Moscow, getting ready to go home. There's not tons to tell about the trip home, most of it was pretty boring as we spent a total of 13 hours on 2 different planes and probably about 7 more in airports before we finally made it back home. But we did learn a few things, one being that it is definitely in our best interest to purchase Ben's ticket home at the same time we purchase ours. We stood in line behind a family who neglected to do that, thinking they'd just hold the child on their laps as they were told they could and they ran into all sorts of hassles. Apparently even if you are planning to do that, you still need a ticket for international flights. Not really a problem for us, we're planning on getting the extra seat and just taking over a row when we bring Ben home. Even if he doesn't use it, we'd both like the extra room to stretch.
The other thing we learned was that everything that can go wrong in the Atlanta airport will. Because we knew we had a 5 hour layover, we thought it was pretty comical but I definitely would have been freaking out if we were going to be tight for time. It started with the landing- we were all ready to get off the plane after being on it for 11 hours and we hit the runway and came to a stop and then we sat there. After awhile the pilot came on and apologized, apparently there was a plane at our gate so we had no place to go. It ended up taking about half an hour to get them out and us off the plane. We used the time to call home on a cell phone and let everyone know we were back in the US. By the time we actually got off the plane, there was another international flight coming in so 2 planes worth of people hit all the passport control lines at once. That was fun. Then we had to claim our luggage because it had to go through customs with us. That got delayed too because a door was stuck, not sure if it was on the plane or the carousel for the luggage. By the time we hit customs we were not surprised to learn that our bags would be part of a random security check. The guy searching our bags was very nice though, he did what he needed to do without causing us to have to repack much and was nice enough to let us rearrange our stuff on his counter so that we could pack our duty free purchases into our bags before we rechecked them for the last flight.
Not much else to report on the trip home, it took us just about 24 hours to go from our hotel in Moscow to the airport at home and we were definitely ready for bed when we pulled into our own driveway.
I did manage to get a few last pictures uploaded. The first two are of our last looks at the Moscow airport from our seats on the plane before takeoff for home.
And I have a few of the souvenirs too. The first few are for Ben though they may be more for looking than playing with. Erich was very disappointed that the traditional Russian furry hats aren't readily available in the Spring so he was excited to find this Russian bear at the Hard Rock Cafe in Moscow. And the wooden toy is something we found in Novokuznetsk. It's pretty neat, you pick it up and swing the little wooden block on the bottom in a circle and the bear hammers the wood. We found a bunch in Moscow too but the ones from Novokuznetsk were of much better quality. We're hoping we'll be able to go back to the souvenir shop the translator took us to on Trip 1 next time.
This set of nesting dolls came from Novokuznetsk too. The translator showed us how they tell a story, based on the Russian folk tale about the giant turnip or radish depending on who you talk to. I found a translation online.
These also came from the souvenir shop in Novokuznetsk and are definitely mine. The box on the left is handmade from birch and the nesting dolls have sights from the city- that's the cathedral and the fort we visited.
And finally, these are a few of the things we picked up in Moscow that I hadn't given out yet by the time I got around to taking pictures. The painted bowls and wooden boxes were beautiful, it was hard to pick!
So that was our trip and it only took me a month to get all the picture up:) I might actually get some stitchy pics up next time. I've got some ready, just need time to post!