Saturday, June 16, 2007
Two visits again today. Madeline was a bit grumpy this morning. I think her teething is really bothering her. We spent our morning visit outside with her. It was very hot but that didn’t stop her from trying to explore everything around her and test boundaries. It’s kind of difficult to limit boundaries when she doesn’t understand a word we are saying but we are managing.
We ate lunch in our room. There was some sort of river boat docked outside of our hotel for most of the day. It looked like some kind of mini cruise ship because when we walked past it in the early evening you could tell it had some sort of sleeper rooms on it. Every so often, small laker-type ships sail past our hotel on the Volga River. Today was a reminder of how close we are to the Middle-East as an Iranian ship sailed past.
Our afternoon visit with Madeline was better although not any cooler. Madeline is beginning to mimic us. She pounded on her tambourine, waved hello to Papa, and mimicked me by leaning into David after watching me give him a smooch on the cheek. Although much younger children do the same things, Madeline has never had such experiences and thus these firsts for her are huge to us. You should’ve seen us…..silly, giddy parents! Madeline quickly tired out during this afternoon visit. She was literally pouring sweat off of her forehead as she was running around like a little monkey and it was extremely hot in the room. When she was slowing down, I rocked her and sang to her, “All night, all day, angels watching over me my Lord”. I had to look away so she wouldn’t see me cry and hold it together when I changed the lyrics to, “Grandma’s watching over me my Lord”. That has been really tough for me and my heart aches that my mom won’t be awaiting our homecoming.
In the evening, we went to a riverboat restaurant and braved ordering from a non-English menu. We ordered the first match we found between the menu and our phrase book. We had some pork kabobs and French fries. Even with a phase book, this is very difficult. Luckily our waitress spoke an ounce of English and we were able to piece together an order.
The chicken type thing that we tried from the prepared deli was actually pretty good. We decided to walk to the grocery store again and explore some more. I have no idea what I bought. I just pointed. I bought some things that looked like cold cheeseburgers but I have no idea what they are. I tried to figure out how to ask if these things were beef but at that time didn’t have my phase book. So what did I do?? I picked up the milk in my cart, pointed to it and then pointed to the burger-looking things. The store clerk nodded but for all I know she may have thought if I was asking if milk would go well with them.
Two more visits with Madeline on Sunday but then we can only visit once a day during the week. (Not sure why)
Please keep us informed of anything new/exciting going on with y’all. Any good local news? We feel so out of the loop here. We enjoy your emails to us very much.
Have a good night!
David and Amy
A street view from our hotel walking towards the grocery store and Astrakhan Kremlin
The little retail building that the grocery store was located in
The Astrakhan Kremlin
The Assumption Cathedral location within the walls of the Kremlin