July 3, 2008

A Day of Rest

29 June 2008

Our first free day is upon us.

The morning started with a culinary treat - blinchiki (little crepes/thin pancakes) topped with sweetened condensed milk. There's actually a special flour you can buy and mix with milk and voila (for the non-spatula-challenged), blinchiki!

We visited a park behind the American Home where schoolchildren regularly work - it's truly a majestic sight. Vladimir is built on rolling hills, so the gardens are terraced. There were apple and cherry trees, all sorts of berry bushes, a huge vegetable and herb garden, and flowers galore: irises, roses, fragrant jasmine, begonias, pansies, petunias, cactus, and a pervasive groundcover of pink-tinged sedum with tiny white flowers (and many others that I can't name or can't remember).

Ira and I visited the Old Vladimir Museum in what used to be a water tower behind the American Home. There were a great many compact exhibits devoted to life in Vladimir before the Revolution in 1917, but the real miracle of this museum was the view from the observation deck on the top floor. Beautiful, even with a fair amount of fog.

We ate at a cafe for lunch which specializes in traditional Russian fare, where I was stuffed like the proverbial American Thanksgiving turkey.

In the afternoon, Andrei and I took Ksenia to a kiddie park with carnival games, rides - bumper cars, motorized boats, carousel, inflatable slides/bouncy rooms, and trampolines with harnesses so that no one falls off. The safety feature was slightly marred by the fact that the bungee cord system was pretty frayed.

But, it was fun and the nightcap was a look through every photo album in the house.

Not a bad way to spend a lazy, hazy Sunday...

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