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Author Topic: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008  (Read 11986 times)

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Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #30 on: July 22, 2008, 11:22:35 AM »
< Just for note:  I wrote a long Day 6 this early this morning and when I posted, the screen had a warning that other posts had been made since I wrote this and I thought , ok, and posted again, but the post never made it and was lost in never-never land.  We need to have a way that when it receives a warning flag or something, that the work is saved as a draft automatically.  This is the third time I have had to re-write a long portion of my TR!!! >


FB

You can switch that feature off in your Profile settings if you wish, then it makes your post despite others posting in the meantime.

Chris


Thanks, Chris, for the help!
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Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #31 on: July 22, 2008, 12:42:58 PM »
English in Russia (Day 6 afternoon)

Our bus stopped at our original start (in the morning) and the hairy boris luckily jumped off, so I scooted back to sit with my "N" and I could see the smile in her face as I put my hand over her's on her knee.  This day (and the communication the prior night) had become a large stepping stone in our feelings toward each other and these feelings were seemingly becoming exponentially better as the trip went on.  The bus let us off at Moscoviski (?) prospect across from the hotel and had made good time and we were there about 4:15pm. 

When we stepped inside, "N" agreed that she would go into the (centrally-located) bar and order some refreshing beers while I went upstairs to the agency's office suite.  I found that no one was there and the office locked, so I left a note (in English) stating that I was in the bar and I would check back in 30 minutes or so (before 5pm).  I walked back to the bar and there "N" had bought me the largest (thank God, German) beer that they had on draft (I had not been too impressed with any of the Russian/Ukraine beers I had tried up to this point) and I started sucking them down to catch up and pass "N".  We watched a little Soccer (OH!, excuse me ... Football, European style), and chatted about our day.  Well about 10 minutes later (and being able to see the elevators from my stool), I spotted "M" of the agency enter the elevator and told "N" that I would follow up in 4 or 5 minutes if "M" did not come back down due to my note left.  After I finished my beer quickly, I made my way upstairs and "M", again apologetic, made the necessary copies of my passport and immigration card (again) and thanked me for my trouble.  Being a gentleman and AM, I did not want to make her uncomfortable, so I told her everything was fine and the trip was not out of our way....  (for what I had seen on my trip, not sure a RM or UM would do such pleasantries).

When I re-entered the bar, I noticed a man sitting on or near my stool talking to "N" and as I approached he was around my chair from "N" and speaking English with her.  I pulled my center stool out and made a triangle between us and he introduced himself to me as "Dale", a Belgian, who was in St. Pete for work on a construction site and a building inspector.  We really hit it off and "N" had bought me another giant German beer and we sat and chatted about things more American and how they related to Russia.  One note was we brought up by a Russian chap nearby when a Soccer European Football player went down after being kicked (on the TV game) and we both agreed in front of "N" and the chap that American Football was much rougher and tougher than Soccer their Football game ... and "N" was taken aback, knowing that I was involved in football for every year of my life since I was 6yo in inner-city LA as a player, coach and game official and that my game was much rougher than Soccer Football!!!  During Dale's and my discussion, I could see "N" becoming more intrigued with my lifelong passion and this would create a later conversation between her and I that would be very interesting in our outlook on one of our major commonalities, SPORTS!!!!  I brought up to Dale that "N" was a past university basketball player and now a women's university coach and how we shared so much of this commonality between us.  He really thought this was great and as we finished our beers, wished us both well and a good stay in his temporary home. 

"N" and I decided to make our way back to town to chase down some theatre tickets for the night and as we were walking towards the metro hub, several vendors were, again, handing flyers out and "N" just loved to collect these and shove them in her purse for future review.  As she grabbed one particular one, I noticed "Europe Theatre" on the top and pointed it out to her.  We stopped and checked it out and it was for a drama play at the Europe Theatre, just one stop short of our destination of Nevsky and we decided to check it out on the way home.  With this in mind, and both of our love for the theatre, "N" looked so content on the subway as I stood in front of her holding the rail while she sat in a crowded car, that she kept looking at me with a sort of "liquored" stare (yes, she did have a large beer in her), but the enameling look just created this sense of eutopia over me that really made me feel at ease in her presence.

   


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Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #32 on: July 22, 2008, 03:24:00 PM »
Interesting Theatre (Night 6):

We made our way to the theatre office after almost getting lost in a busy business type area south of Nevsky and "N" inquired about the show, the perfomance time(s) and the costs.  She backed up to me and asked me if I was ok to watch a play in Russian language, and I had no problem, so she told me to hand over 700 rubles (about $32) for the 8pm performance about a Austrian script with only four actors.  Now, this was about 5:30 now and she still wanted to eat, so we ran back to the Metro, hit the Sphinx sports bar for something quick to eat (quick sandwhiches), ran to the apartment and showered/changed about as quickly as two people could (especially for a lady), and made it back to the theatre by metro with about 20 minutes to spare, so we ducked into a little hole in the wall bar and both had a quick beer and a shot of vodka to help with the inhibitions.  And just as we walked out of the bar to go around the quick corner to the theatre, there stood a bubushka with a load of yellow carnations .... just what "N" told me was one of her favorites ... so, yes, I bought her 11 long stem carnations and she was just a'beemin  :king:

The theatre was quite small and quaint an one stage with two sets sharing the stage. When we arrived and showed our tickets, the ticket taker did not want to let "N" in with her flowers (something she said about creating a disturbance), but "N" would NOT have any of that ... these flowers were coming in or the KGB was going down!!! (Note:  she is so cute when she wants her way :innocent:   The play was interesting, although I recognized about seven different words the whole night, but it was about a male servant in a wealthy household (for all his life) that was promiscuous with a female kitchen server, but with a semi-strange daughter of the wealthy man (the four parts) who had a crush on this guy-servant.  The play was quite graphic & sexual I thought (especially with a couple of adolescents in the crowd of 50 or so), but the inuendo, actions, acting and verbiage, I could easily tell what was going on without even speaking the language, so this was definitely an experience.  As we sat and enjoyed the play, I noticed "N" constantly smelling her flowers and she held on to them the whole time (put her camera away so she could continue to hold the flowers) like she was very attached to them.  In the previous 5 days I had been with her, I had asked her about 12 times to get her flowers (as I was always with her, I couldn't even buy them outside of her presence) and she always refused or did not like the looks, smell, freshness, etc. of what was offered.  But I could sure tell she liked these!!!

At the end of the play, we were both fairly tired and again, she had a "sip of whiskey" on her mind and thus wanted to go straight home.  When we got home, she went in to her bedroom and changed and I put a couple of glasses of Tennessee's finest on the coffee table with some cheese and water, and I sat in the recliner and figured she would sit on the sofa for now, while I turned on the music video station on the TV that had some American voices every once-in-a-while.  I did not have to wait long and she emerged out of her bedroom with a very provacative nightgown (I guess that is the safest way to describe what she was wearing) and plopped herself right on my lap in the recliner and I almost spilled all my whiskey on her.  She grabbed her whiskey, made a toast with me about how happy she was to be with me, and downed the damn thing better than I could have.  She threw her glass onto the coach with determination and turned and gave me the most sexual kiss I have had in a long time ... this coming from a woman who would not let me kiss her on the lips just barely two days ago!!!  She mumbled something in Russian (if I only new what those words were!)... Well, the gate-keeper couldn't keep the demons out this time and I think that this night will be remembered for a long, long time!!! :-X



 
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Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #33 on: July 22, 2008, 05:50:22 PM »
Way to go, Gilligan!  (Morning 7):

Well, what can I say but that the morning started perfect as we awoke together and sipped some tea, drank juice, and chewed on some rolls bought previously... but I was about to ruin it with my (until then, hidden) "playfull" antics which not-too-brightly, came into the moment.  She was looking for something in a dark, corner closet in the hallway and I snuck up behind her and gave her a little ..."Hey" ...well she shrieked and threw the juice (in the glass in her left hand) into my face and stormed off into the bedroom saying something in Russian (I think I was cussed at)....  well, I stood there, knowing I made her mad and mixed emotions wondering did I deserve a douche of juice for this.  Well I wandered into my room, took another shower (OJ is not nice in the hair and nostrils) and came out.  She had not come out of her room and now the door was shut ... for the first time all vacation! :sick0012: ... yea, that is how I felt, just sick!!!

Well, I knocked on the door, apologized profusely and pleaded for her to come out several times and she was not answering me.  I tried everything I possibly could to at least acknowledge my presence, but she was not responding.  Well, I felt embarassed  :-[ and a little scared  :scared0005: thinking I might have set our relationship/friendship back about 96 hours (if not more).  After pleading for several tries, I gave up, sat down in the living room, put on some music from the TV and just started reviewing the tourist book and map we had picked up upon our arrival in St. Petersburg.  We were planning to make an early day of it to be the first to get into the Hermitage Museum ... but I had now screwed that up for "N".

She finally emerged about an hour later and boy did she avoid me like the black plague for the next 20 minutes or so.  I then got the courage to go into the kitchen and sit down with her and tell her my thoughts about what an incredible, beautiful, smart and incredibly irresistable woman she was to be around and then I apologized in a serious tone, one last time.  She looked up at me and said "What you did was not nice, but rude, and not acceptable to me, and it is not good to scare your woman like this!"  and after following this comment with "I know, I know, I'm sorry", I realized what she had included into her statement ... "your woman" and I just about fell over. :o  Well, I was not going to lose the moment, so I put her hand in mine (she semi resisted at first, but then let me hold her hand and I said I would be right back.  I was going to retrieve something that I had brought from States that I was waiting to give to her if/when something special happened (such as it did the night before) and I figured now was as perfect time as any, especially when I was in desperate need of a peace offering to go along with a relationship offering.  I came back with a box wrapped up and hidden in my right hand behind my back and put my left hand into her hand again across the kitchen table.  I told her that I was truly sorry for the scare and that the night before and the whole trip up to now had been so wonderful, that I wanted to gift her something special.  I then brought the gift and set it into her hand and she asked me what it was before she started opening it.  I told her it was something special from the United States and was something that I think is very special and I wanted my special lady to have it.   She unwrapped it and inside the larger box was two smaller jewelery boxes.  She opened the first and it was a Black Hills Gold (with a couple of small diamond stones) necklass that I purchased in Virginia City, Nevada (only about 8 miles from my house) which comes from the Black Hills of South Dakota (and I believe the pink and green tones mixed with the gold makes it one of the most beautiful gold metals in the world!!!).  The other box had two earings that matched the necklass and when she had them all out, she handed them back to me and said that she couldn't accept them.  I put them right back into her hand and said that they were specially made for her (a little white lie about being actually specially made, but meant they were destined for her) and that they were unreturnable as I smuggled them into Russia they would not be able to leave without confiscation (by the Russians) ... and she believed my second white lie!!!!  :saint:  Anyways, a look came over her like what I remembered from last night and never did she (or has she ever (yet)) mentioned the "issue" with my rudeness of scaring her again!!!  (God... thank you!!!!)  Note to self:  DON"T EVER DO THIS AGAIN to her!!!!!

Next, our excursion to the Hermitage Museum.....
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Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2008, 09:37:53 AM »
Lifetime at the Museum (Day 7):

Well, with "N" now speaking to me again after a bumpy just-less-than 2 hour storm, we decided to take a bus down to the Winter Palace yard and go to the Hermitage Museum (which is all part of one humungous building).  We arrived about 10 minutes before its opening time at 10:30 (Sunday) and there was quite a line already waiting to get in.  "N" kept telling me that to see the whole exhibit available, we would have to take 2-3 days, so we needed to be robust on our tour to get as much as we could in the possible 6 1/2 hours that it was open.   Once the line moved up, always thinking, "N" told me to wander over to the bag check area and put her large strap-over bag into the check closet (keeping our cameras out) and she would get tickets (she did this all week so that I didn't have to pay the 250% inflated foreigner fee everywhere).  She met me at the ticket taker and we strolled in and started our journey.  Note:  you have to pay for an added (local) ticket to bring a camera, and pay a fee for tour guides or the hand-held "remote-like" guides that you point at an exhibit and it gives a short title and description of it.

Well, what can I say .... I was definitely impressed after 5 hours of walking this museum.  It is full of 15-19th century art, scuptures and artifacts from not only Russia areas, but of western Europe and the northern Middle East areas (Turkey, Syria, Iraq, etc).  I suspect that we honestly made it through about 250 of the 400+ rooms that are numbered for museum exhibits (not counting probably the other 100 rooms for admin, restaurants, souvenir shops, etc.)  This place was much larger and had many more things to see than I would have ever thought.  Just the 15-17th century paintings alone, in the quantity they had on display, was just more priceless than one could imagine.  Anyways, as we made our way through the museum, alot of rooms didn't allow pictures and some were very restricted to using flash, which, as it turned out, with some of the not so brightly lit rooms, made for very dark pictures.  After about the 5 hours, we were beat and decided to walk down to the river and get a late lunch. 

That afternoon, at the river, we were experiencing some intermittent lite rain (again) and so we found a little outdoor vendor that had a covered area with about 5 tables, so we ordered a couple of sausage sandwiches and (surprisingly) beers and sat and watched the tourist boats wander up and down the river.  We were about 50 meters from one such docking area where there were two ladies selling tours (on these boats) for the river in the evening and I asked "N" if she would like to try one.   She said yes (believe it or not), but wanted to wait until later in the evening when it would be cooler and a probably more comfortable ride (maybe the rain would be gone by then).  So after our beer, I bought two tickets for the 9pm excursion, and we wandered through the little park that sits between the river and Nevsky prospects end and found some ice cream and a nice park bench.  I could tell that "N's" legs were tired and feet were hot (and mine were "barking" too, but I didn't let on to this fact) and let her lay down on the bench with her head in my lap and put her feet up over the bench arm rest.  We talked about some personal things and even about the previous night whilst relaxing on this bench for a half hour or so.  I really felt a calmness really fall over me (and probably "N" too!) and I, just then, knew that I had found the lady that I wanted to not only come back to see and meet her family fairly soon, but the lady that I was convinced that I wanted to bring to the States someday.  With this in mind, but almost too "chicken" to ask, I kinda beated around the bush by asking her if she thought I might be the right guy to visit her family in a few months (aka: "next" trip) and without hesitation, she said "of course you are".  Well, that moment really almost had this ole broken-down football player in tears......   
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Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2008, 04:13:35 PM »
Neva River Boat Ride (Night 7):

We caught a bus at the West end of Nevsky near the park and rode it all the way back to near our apartment (I think we wore ourselves out and were not going to take our ninth (or so) walk the length of Nevsky again that evening).  We decided that we would freshen up, change, relax a little and go back toward town and find a nice restaurant before our evening boat ride.  In one of her St. Pete tourist guides we chose three different restaurants that we might like to try and, refreshed again, we started the hike West back down Nevsky towards the boats.  One place was another Sushi restaurant that was lauded in this guide, but when we popped in the place about halfway down Nevsky, it looked pretty dingy and, in fact, a little scary, so we both simultaneously agreed that we would continue toward our final destination and find something else.  One of the other two restaurants was an Italian place on "Millionaires Street" that was off Nevsky to the North about three blocks (the north side of the Winter Palace) and I stated that we should go enjoy some Italian.  Well, the walk was starting to bother "N" again and she was balking about the off-Nevsky jaunt we would have to partake to get to this restaurant.  Although I had usually given in to her as to where we were going to eat or visit so far on this vacation, the thought of a food Ravioli or Linquini had my mouth watering by now and I was not going to take no for an answer.  I think when she saw that I was adamant about this choice, she did not squabble anymore about the walk (maybe you guys are right that they really do want us to take charge in matters like these!!!  :duh:

As we entered the Restaurant, which was quite busy, we could not get an outside table, so we found a cozy little table in the corner of the bar.  I showed her the menu comparison (as they automatically handed me an English menu again without me saying a word  ::) and I pointed out that the menu was of traditional Italian, set in sets of small meals (appetizers, drinks, meal #1, meal #2, desert, after-dinner drinks, etc.).  We ordered a bottle of nice wine and our two appetizers and both went down very well.  One meal set (only), desert and another bottle of wine later, we were feeling pretty good ... especially satisfied for a nice boat ride in the evening.  In all, this restaurant was probably the best food, service and atmosphere that I had seen since crossing the pond a week earlier and I would recommend it to everyone (just can't remember the name ...) and I think "N" would say the same!!! :happy0023:

We walked the kilometer or so to the boat launch area and waited about 15 minutes until they were ready to load up this approx. 20 person seating.  About 16 people took the ride and "N" & I were able to share a bench seat by ourselves and I let her sit on the edge of the boat closest to the water.  Although the day before, she seemed very skeptical about getting into a boat, she showed no hint of nervousness now and I believed she really enjoyed this trip around the shores of the Neva and up and around two canals back throught the financial district of town.  We were able to take alot of nice pictures and one of my pictures were of two young lovers, sitting high atop a 6-story building roof overlooking the canal, drinking (as was customary) "tallboys"!!!  :biggrin:  There was one family of four sitting behind us with two teenage girls with definite Eastern European descent.  Before I really was able to see these people, the older of the two girls was speaking and my hair on my neck about stood straight up on its end ... what is my daughter "K" doing here?  I turned around without too much noseyness and found that this girl, if I traded her hair from dark to blonde, would be the spitting image of "K", even down to the hieghth, weight, clothes, and as mentioned, voice.  I told "N" this and she immediately turned around to pretend to look at something toward the back of boat to get a hint of what my daughter might look like.  She turned back and sat down, put her hands back into mine and said that if my daughter looked like her, she must be busy fighting off all the boys in America.  I said, yes, she probably would, if she did not already have the (noted) AW attitude alike her mother (my ex).  We chuckled for a moment, as she knew what I was refering to and we continued to enjoy the (approx.) 1.5 hour trip.  This excursion was very nice and relaxing and I would recommend to anyone.

After the ride and the long day, we decided that we would take the bus back (halfway) to the center of Nevsky and check out one of the main theatres we had seen to see if there was a show that we might have wanted to see for our final night (next night) together.  We found one theatre that had a comedy theatre that was playing the next (Monday) night and it was in three shows, with the middle one being in English (believe it or not).  So we noted the number and planned to call the next morning for reservations as it was fairly late at the point on this Sunday night. 

We then hopped the bus again for the 17 ruble ride (approx 80 cents each) and made our way back to the apartment.  Yes, you guessed it, "N's" wine had wore off and the first thing she saw on the kitchen table was the Whiskey and she, without even asking me, poured the final two small glasses that finished off the bottle and hollered to me (as I was changing into something more comforable and checking what clothes I had that were fresh enough for the next day) that she had a "surprise" for me.....

I re-entered the living room and sat on the couch, and just moments later, she scampered though the living room to the kitchen, returning with the whiskey glasses and some cut up cheese and stated that this was the last of the whiskey and she was sure going to miss it.  Then she told me about one of her (people's) customs was that whomever emptied the last drop from a bottle, was presumed to have to go get the next, to continue the celebration.  I told her that I was not going to have her out running around town looking for whiskey and that we would just have to savor what we had there and then.  So, she sat in the recliner, eating cheese and sipping whiskey, and I noticed her attention was directly on me, not the TV, or siteseeing guides, or books, or her cell phone or anything ... but just me.  This really made me remember the morning when she told me that she was (to me) "your woman" and I looked deep into her eyes and asked her if she was still my woman.  Without a peep, she sipped the last bit of her whiskey, came over to the coach where I was laying and shoved herself as close to me as she could.  Here she looked into my eyes and said, "show me what this word "cuddling" means" and gives me another sensual kiss.  The rest was history.....
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Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2008, 05:32:08 PM »
Peterhoff or Bust (Day 8):

That morning, as I had awoke earlier than "N" (again), I went out and started some water for tea and sorted through a few items of collectibles that we had bought or taken so far in our trip.  After cleaning up and about two cups of tea, I wandered back out to the bakery and brought back some chocolate eclairs and croissants because I new "N" would be hungry when she awoke.  I noticed her yellow carnations in a glass of water were still fresh and beaming, so I picked one of them out, snuck back into her room, and layed on on the bed/pillow where I had awoken from earlier and I was able to do this and get out without awakening her.  So I pulled out my football books and started studying again and within about 15 minutes, I hear "N" getting up and starting her shower.  She came out with a new white & gray flower dress that fit her absolutely perfect and really accented her lines.  Maybe I was still smitten from the night before, but the sight of her was absolutely stunning.  She walked directly over to me and gave me a kiss and told me thank you (without further explanation) and I followed her into the kitchen.  When she saw the tea I had set out for her and the box of pastries, she put her hand into mine and told me that she felt I was too thoughtfull all the time and that she could get accustomed to all this "spoiling".  I told her that I would always do my best to spoil her and that she better get used to it!!!  ;)

After breakfast she decided she wanted to go out to Peterhoff (a town south east of St. Pete about 40km away) on the Bay of Finland where Peter (the Great's) Summer Castle was located.  She showed me some pictures from the tourist book and knowing that this was located on the bay, I thought this would be a perfect final day destination to share with "N".  As we packed up cameras, passports and everything, the apartment phone rang (only the 2nd time) and "N" answered it.  She spoke in Russian to someone and then, apparently disgusted with the caller, turned to me and said "M from the agency is on the phone for you and needs you to come down and pick you Visa Registration first thing at 10am"  I could tell that "N" was not going back to the hotel again and changing her days plans and knowing this I spoke to M and told her, that although she thought I should have my Registration ASAP, as it was complete, I told her that I was leaving in less than 20 hours to the airport, I would see her boss (who would be driving us to the airport) and giving back the apartment key and he could give me the registration then.  Miss "M" did not want to accept my proposal, but for once, I was not going to give in to her as this whole fiasco was a product of her mistake(s).  I told her to leave it for her boss and I would accept it in the next morning on way to airport.  With this, "N" looked at me with a "your my man" confidence, put her arm through mine and we proceeded to the Metro to start our way toward Peterhoff.
 
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Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #37 on: July 23, 2008, 06:15:08 PM »
Peterhoff or Bust (Day 8 cont.)

As we were walking out the door, I reminded "N" that we needed to call the theatre to get tickets for the comedy show that night.  She called and reserved to seats for the 7pm showing and made a note to me that she would like to be back at the apartment by 4pm to have some dinner and clean up for the show.  We then left for the Metro and took the "Red" lines farthest outreach, then boarded a bus for the approximately 30 minute ride.  "N" was particularly quiet on that ride and into the day and I wasn't sure what to take of this, but I just positively noted it as hopefully a contentment with her man by her side and the vacations excitement starting to wear on her. 

We arrived in Peterhoff and walked throughout this large estate over the next four-plus hours, which is best know for all the fountains surrounding the grounds and especially on the back face of the castle (toward the Bay).  In reviewing literature, and as a partner in a Civil Engineering firm, I was very amazed that all these fountains were not pump or man-made tool driven, but all were using hydraulics and hydrology actions that were natural in the sloping of the hillsides, feed of the water and canals and, I surmised, driven by the gravity of the ocean nearby (just like for those golfers out there, how a golf ball, on a putting green, will naturally roll toward any water edged surface, given all things level).  I tried to explain this to "N", but I think all she got out of my semi-scientific description is that these beautiful fountains were "driven by nature".  Again, we did not go inside the castle, as it was closed on Mondays, but we enjoyed the grounds, walked along the ocean for about a kilometer, and had lunch at a little diner located at the butt of one of the dock-piers.  This was probably one of the first garden parks that was extremely well manicured (and not mowed by a weedeater) and it is very nicely taken care of and presented to the public, and of course, there was alot of traffic there, even though it was supposed to be an "off day". 

We decided to pack it up and head toward a bus about 2:30 or so and we walked back out the castle's confines and found the bus stop just down about 100 meters.  After a short wait, we were seated on exactly the same bus that we had rode in on (at least the bus and the driver were the same, I think).  "N" asked me what we might do if we get back closer to the apartment sooner than 4pm and I said that I could probably take a nap (which I do about once a year, maybe), as I planned to stay up all night because the agency (boss) was picking me up at 4:30 am and I wouldn't be able to sleep anyway.  She thought that this was a good idea and said that while I would nap, she would cook dinner inside, so let's go to the market close to apt. and get something for dinner.  As the bus, metro and short walk to the market was fairly uneventful, outside of "N" and I doing about as close to a "cuddle" as we could possible get away with in the Russian public, and upon arrival, we slipped into the market to grab something for dinner.

At the market, she bought some fish and asked if this particular fish was ok, and I looked, and it had the consistency, from what I could tell, of a nice Pacific salmon, very pink and fresh smelling (not like a previous salmon we had eaten days before that was very bland and more gray than pink).  So I acknowledged my approval and she picked some peppers and other veggies and some more bread and we checked out.  We then popped into the liquor store next door and "N" politely asked me if I would buy her another bottle of the Cabernet, alike the one we shared days ago that she really liked.  So I picked out a a nice Chilean Cab and bought a bottle of Vodka that I planned on smuggling back to the US.  Now, as we left and approached our apartment, and with several bags in my hand, she wanted to make a final stop to the deli to get some more cheese for the wine.  At the checkout, she had ran out of rubles, so I was trying to juggle these bags and my wallet where my additonal rubles were, and just then, one of the bags tore and down dropped the wine, on the floor, in a trillion pieces and red juice everywhere!!!.  "N" looked at me with that "Dennis (the Menace), you are going to be scolded when you get home" look and I just put the bags down away from juice and started to carefully pickup glass.  Two of the girls manning the deli cam out with broom and mop and pushed me aside and basically asked me to leave, and they would clean up.  I really was embarrased and felt I should be doing something to clean up (as is my nature), but "N" just grabbed me by the arm, grabbed my wallet to pay the cashier for the cheese she had, and wisked me out the door like a little boy being scolded.  I felt bad...and a good bottle of wine wasted  :'(, so I apologized to her and then without saying, I turned the other direction and headed back the four or so stores to the liquor market to repurchase another bottle of wine.  (the look that liquor store agent gave me was priceless ...as I told him the first bottle was very good and fast!).  When I returned out the store with the new wine, "N" was standing there, still with a scolding look on her face, so all I could do was laugh.... and then she turned to laughing right with me.

We made it to the apartment finally without something else being broken and I helped unpack with "N" and she told me to go take an hour nap on the couch and she would start dinnner in a little while.  I conked out fairly quickly and slept like a baby for a while, until I felt something tickling ... my outside (of couch) ear and at first thought I believed it to be a silent fly, so as I was just about to slap at whatever was bugging me, I heard whispered very close to my ear "dinner is ready, my love".... with that, I grabbed her and unsuspected by her, threw her on the couch with me and gave her the most sensual kiss I could ever try to conjer up, and after that kiss, followed several little kisses, until she pulled away and said, if you continue, we will have a very cold dinner ... and with that, she jumped up, grabbed my arm and said, I have fish, peppers, wine and cheese waiting, let's go eat!!!

 
Go Seahawks!!! Go Vandals!!!

Offline blucatz

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #38 on: July 23, 2008, 06:34:15 PM »
Something about that accent whispered in your ear would make a coma patient come back to life....LOL   :loving:
Life may knock you down, but it takes a real man to get up, shove it out of the way and move on!

Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2008, 08:56:21 AM »
BluCatz ...

The whisper and words in that sexy accent was not expected and you are right ... it "excited me" from a very comfortable nap.....
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Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2008, 09:30:12 AM »
Comedy Theatre, Eastern Style (Night 8)

We shared a nice apt-cooked meal with the bottle of Chilean Cab and it was not only a nice change from eating out, but I think "N" felt special in being able to cook for us and enjoy the meal without outside influence.  The wine was enjoyed and "N" confirmed that Cabernet was now becoming one of her favorite wines (she had not ever had a Cabernet before, that she could recall, before this trip).  So, well fed, a little wine buzz, and nice dressed, we headed for the comedy theatre.  Note:  as mentioned several times before, "N" and I, in our early communications and (IMO) our original "bonding" in our correspondence and phone conversations this winter/spring, the love of theatre was a commonality that we both shared, so this was an experience in the making to see if we could survive this test.  We had already seen the Opera and a Drama, both with the same overtones of a servant boy/man who was either courted or being drawn by a upper-class girl/lady.  At this point, before entering this comedy, we were batting 1000 and I was just hoping that a comedy would not screw this up ("N" mentioned that she had not been very seasoned into comedy so far). 

As we made the short bus ride to the theatre and arrived about 25 minutes early, we secured our tickets and "N" wanted to duck into somewhere and maybe get another quick glass of wine, or maybe (you guessed it....) "whiskey" (man, I think I created a monster....).  Well, we found a hole in the wall that, although I really did not feel comfortable having her in, especially as nicely dressed as she was, but it did not seem to bother her.  We were able to buy two glasses of wine (without the bottle) and quickly enjoyed a little Merlot this time (they had no Cab).  We paid and exited and entered the theatre and found our seats.  Although this was dubbed a "comedy theatre", I wasn't sure if I was going to get an actual play, a singing skit, a roast or even a probable stand-up routine.  I was hoping for the play, as I was sure "N" would understand and enjoy this most, and as I really did not want to cloud our last night together, I was probably praying most of the time waiting for the show to start for something professionally presentable.

Just before the play opened, a little soft-bound "playbill" was handed out and was in Russian, and I had "N" read the first portion to me and I stated that this was a French-style comedy play about a few politicians scandals in the early 1900s.  Now, my first thought is "hey, the French have zero sense of humor, so is this play going to be any good", (of course I did not share that with "N" as she spent 2+ years in Bordeaux France in obtaining her Masters and Coaching basketball), so I just leaned over to her and said, "this should be interesting....".  As the short play panned out, it was not perfect, but not bad considering (what my expectations had originally been set up to), and, although Eastern humor (outside of British humor, such as Benny Hill and Monty Python), are definitely not as bold and gut-wrenching as I feel us Westerners find our comedy/humor.  Anyways, it seemed that "N" enjoyed it and as we exited the theatre, and I suggested maybe a dessert and drink, she said that in her last night in St. Pete, although she had a million more things she would like to have seen, she wanted to spend it alone with me.  I did not argue with her direction as I felt pretty touched by it and we briskly headed toward the apartment to settle in for the night.  We had decided to forego the bus and walk the 1.5 (approx.) kilometers back to apt. and alike the morning, "N" was quiet and as we headed up the foyer stairs to the third floor (after making sure no one was also in ear-shot), I asked her why she was so quiet.  Well, I did not expect her answer as she, outside of a few romantic moments, had stayed fairly stoic, especially out in public.  She turned my arm so we were facing directly each other on the stairs, she planted a kiss on my lips and I saw a tear in her eye and before I let her say anything, I said "N, this has been an incredible journey and now vacation, and I, do not want this to end any more than you do, but let's make the best of things and savor what we have tonight and hopefully we can keep a fire into the future ... that is what I want and need".  Well, she really started crying and I grabbed her hand and ran he up the last flight of stairs and we raced into the apt (as fast as one could with the interesting lock system that it had) and once inside and private, I gave her, what I thought would be the most loving kiss I could muster, and she would not let go......

Go Seahawks!!! Go Vandals!!!

Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2008, 05:01:52 PM »
Writers Note:  I will not go into to many details of what happened that night  :innocent: , except for some tidbits of conversation and other things that would help finalize the story to our departure.

Night of Understanding (Night 8 / Early Morning 9)

The long kiss and hug we both shared was, to say the least, awesome and I was surprised by something "N" did following into the late evening.  Earlier that afternoon, when I had took the nap and informed her that I was staying up for the night, right after the breakup of the kiss, she lovingly informed me that she was staying up too.  I told her that she should sleep as her flight went out 5 1/2 hours after mine (to Lvov) and that I did not expect her to not only stay up, but that she could stay in apartment as I had already arranged (and paid for) a second pickup by the agency for her so she would not spend a half a day at the airport.  Well, she also informed me that there was no way I was going to keep her from seeing me off for my flight home via Paris, although we discussed that she could see me off and come back by metro to the apartment and catch some added sleep.  She said that this (new plan) sounded fine and it was just enough to convince her to stay up with me.

Over the night's course (I wish it would have lasted forever  :evilgrin0002:, we did discuss somethings a little "deeper" than we had yet discussed about our lives and our latest experiences.  Although I had not pressed her once the whole vacation about any long-term plans, including a (hopeful) re-visit by me, "N", without prompting, finally asked me why I had not brought "such things" up previously.  I told her that I was not here to drag her to the United States as fast as she would let me, but to get to know her to see what may lie ahead.  I then told her, for the first time, that I had fallen for her and that she was going to be taking my heart back with her to Lvov (and I reiterated to her that I meant that and it was not to be taken lightly).  I thought this would spurn some loving response, but she really suprised me (from many previous actions and such), saying that she was very undecided and confused and she denoted that her past (history) was not letting her give in so easily.  Then she flat out asked me if I was in love with her and although dancing around the question for about two minutes (somewhat surprised at her questioning), I justifiably admitted to her by saying "N, if I told you earlier that you would be taking my heart back with you (home), then I must be admitting I have some very strong feelings about you".  She sat there on the coach next to me as I petted and caressed her arms, legs, hair and face, and did not say much after I just basically let my deep thoughts out into the open.  After what seemed like an eternity, I asked her if she would express her feelings to me and outside telling me that she really cared for me and loved my company, she was not ready for any commitment.  I told her that was fair and I would not expect her to jump off that bridge, especially if there were issues out there she still needed to resolve in her feelings .. .but I said once again to her, I felt that I was ready to let her be in the care of my heart and it was up to her what she did with it.  It was a wonderful night to spend (up) with her and although a lot of personal and relationship conversation had taken place that night/morning, I was still not satisfied that either one of us really told each other how we truly felt.

About 3am, "N" laying on the couch with her head in my lap as I continued to caress her, fell asleep and I watched her for about 15 minutes really wondering if she would fit into my lifestyle in the Western US, or even if I would get an invitation to come back and see her.  I was content that the latter would happen, but was scared of the thought of the long distance affair we were about to embark on.  I had had one such relationship with a woman I met at a professional function in SanFran three years ago and we tried to date at 210 miles apart and it was tough, so hard that it finally ended when the four month magic wore off.  Now I was considering the chance of this woman, and her daughter, to pickup all she had and just move to the US someday.  I know that if there is someone who is opposite of the MOB stigma that is always painted to these relationships, it was "N", as she will have her PhD by next Spring, has worked for the University system as a fitness-trainer and baskeball coach for many years, owns her own flat, and has (what I can tell) a very loving family, including her in-laws of her past husband.  Well, without trying to become depressed, I decided to sneak from the couch and get packed and my things in order to await a 4:45 am pickup for my 7am flight out of St. Petersburg.

As I packed, showered and had about my 10th cup of tea, I saw "N" sleeping so peacefully on the couch and for a second, thought that I might let her just sleep in and not bother her when I had to leave.  So, as I was all packed and ready to go and getting close to about 4am, I sat down in the recliner next to her and watched her sleep.  I was not tired at all and, although not looking forward to a long series of flights back to the west coast US, my mind started to wander about what layed ahead of me the next week at work, home, football, kids, etc. and just at that moment I stopped and said to myself...."there is no way I am going to that airport with one more moment with "N", so I moved over to her, gave her to slight pecks on the cheek and told her "I am really, really going to miss you".  With that she opened her eyes and saw me dressed to go and jumped up, almost mad, that I had not woken her earlier to be ready to go as well.  I stated to her that she did not need to go and she should get some sleep (although I selfishly really wanted her company at the airport) and she raced right by me and jumped into her shower and yelled she needed my help packing.  I stated back that she could come back and retrieve her suitcases, but she said she was staying there with me until I leave the airport and not coming back.  This made me feel, although knowingly selfish, very happy.
Go Seahawks!!! Go Vandals!!!

Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #42 on: July 25, 2008, 11:36:56 AM »
Goodbyes at Airport (Day 9)

I helped "N" pack all her accessories, books, souvenirs, etc into her second bag and she emerged from her room fairly quickly all ready and her garment bag packed and we were ready to go with about 5 minutes to spare.  We put all the bags by the door, I cleaned up the kitchen a little and squared away the rest of the apartment and we headed on outside to the corner where our ride was to pick us up.  I am still amazed that with the "White Nights" of St. Pete that it seemed about maybe 8pm, not 4:45am, with as bright as it was and some actual street traffic.  As we waited about 5-6 minutes, I put "N" in my arms, gave her a kiss and told her I was very happy that she chose to go through the airport, security, passport control and everything with me and was willing to wait 5+ more hours after my flight was gone.  She held me close and kissed me back, not saying a word.

Driver showed up (young manager of the agency) and we scooted off in his small Audi to the airport.  Upon arrival, we grabbed our bags and as I turned to the manager and was going to thank him, he handed me back USD$100 and told me that $60 was what I prepaid for "N's" pickup and the other $40 for my hastles with the registration.  I told him thank you and that, other than that event, everything else was great, including the apartment.  I shoved the $100 in my pocket and I decided I would buy something nice for "N" with it.  We went through the quiet airport as we were almost the first there just after 5am, and when through first security and then had to wait in line for 15 minutes until the airline desk opened up.   After getting my tickets at AirFrance and "N" having to wait another 10 minutes until Aerosvit opened, we wandered through passport control.  This was fairly easy (passport was much easier this whole trip than I expected, my biggest issues were with airlines flight schedules and baggage waits).  Once through passport control, we had a good hour until my plane was leaving, so I pulled "N" into the duty-free store.  I already had a packed bottle of vodka and so I really needed nothing, but I remember that "N" was looking at some Chanel#5 perfume a few days back (where she sprayed two types on her wrists and asked me which one I preferred, and she told me it was called "Coco") and, without her seeing me, I snuck over to the perfume area and grabbed a bottle of perfume ($110 duty free cost, about $80 less than the store we were in) and made it to the checkout counter without her noticing (whew!  ;).  The extra $15 was perfect as that was just about how many rubles (350) I had left.  "N" found some candy that she wanted to bring back to her daughter "L" and a magazine for the trip and I offered to pay for that as well, but she mentioned she had a few rubles and she might as well spend those now...

We were faced with yet another security gate, and this was sectionalized just for two gates (for Air France) and her gate was the opposite direction, so we changed directions and I walked her to close to where her gate was, and she told me she would go through the extra security so she could sit with me until boarding.  But, this area was quiet, so I asked her to sit down for a minute and we had plenty of time.  We sat and talked for a couple of minutes, mostly about what we were going home to and about each other's upcoming flights, and as this wound down, I pulled the bag with the perfume enclosed and put it into her lap.  She looked questioningly at me and then opened the bag and found her perfume.  Well, this might have been the smartest thing I did all week, as she was so greatful, I thought I might never be able to leave (thank goodness we were in an empty gate area).  After an awesome kiss, we went to my gate, went through security and waited for my boarding. 

When the first section was called to boarding, I put my arms around "N" gave her a huge hug and held her very tight for about a minute, just staring into her eyes, as hers were also into mine.  At that moment, whether I really wanted to or not, the urge came over me and I said to "N", "I love you .. and I will really miss you ... take care my heart".  With that said, I kissed her one last time and let go, grabbed my carry-on and walked to the gate's door.  As I approached the door and handed my ticket to the steward, I turned back and there she was waiving a kiss back to me and I "caught it" and sent it back.

Go Seahawks!!! Go Vandals!!!

Offline FootballDad

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #43 on: July 25, 2008, 11:38:22 AM »
Writers Note:  I will have some final issues, comments and reactions of my trip early next week as I am out of town the next 3 days.
Go Seahawks!!! Go Vandals!!!

Offline b.j.

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Re: FootballDad's Trip Report - Summer 2008
« Reply #44 on: July 27, 2008, 08:04:26 PM »
She finally emerged about an hour later and boy did she avoid me like the black plague for the next 20 minutes or so. 

Welcome to the world of sulky, RW, FootballDad!   Great trip report--thanks for sharing!




 

 

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