Tuesday, February 06, 2007

It's spring in the mountains!

The weather here is so beautiful... it's usually warm in Kazakhstan this year according to the locals... but we love it! The cold weather hit Uralsk the day after we left and Almaty is having weather like our springs back home. It's about 7:45am right now and the birds are tweeting, dogs yipping and it's at least 50 degrees F outside.

We went to the mountains yesterday and it was a gorgeous day for the trip. Dima drove us about 30 min. outside of the city and through the national park (reminded us a lot of the Smoky Mountains). We left the heavy smog of the city behind and went to the ski resort. We purchased tickets for the ski lift and rode it up one level and back down. Emily did great and slept through most of it. Tom took some really pretty pictures and it was so nice to get out into the crisp, fresh air. We couldn't have asked for a better day for this trip.

(The beautiful mountains of Almaty.)

(That's not clouds or fog in the background... Almaty has a thick layer of brown, choking smog settled over it all the time.)

After the ski lift ride, Dima recommended we eat at the cafe at the resort. He introduced us to Solanka... a soup made of broth, ham, potatoes, pickles, cream, olives, parsley, lemon, and I'm sure some other things I could not identify. It was surprisingly good! (Aside from the pickles and olives and unidentifiable things that I didn't eat!) ;-) Tom and Dima both ordered the BBQ chicken and a side of fries. The BBQ chicken ended up being a marinated chicken shishkabob and Tom really liked it. It wasn't smothered in U.S. flavored BBQ sauce but it was good nonetheless. Dima's a good man!

After the trip to the mountains, I had Dima drop me off at the Ramstore while the guys waited in the car with Emily and talked "music". I picked up some more baby cereal and formula for the trip home and then we headed back to the apartment for the rest of the night.

We put a new OSU outfit on Emily this afternoon that we brought from home... I think the shirt was from Michelle and Laura and the pants might be hand-me-downs from Pam's kids. Emily's so cute in it and LOVES the texture of the pants. I took lots of pictures this afternoon and a couple of videos and will upload them in a couple of days to this blog once I get back home to my dearly beloved unlimited DSL!

(My beloved couch potatoes!)

Take care, everyone! We'll be home soon!

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