Monthly Archives: May 2013

St. Petersburg

In mid-May I took a week’s long trip to St. Petersburg with my sister-in-law Mona. Our first day in the city was May 9th, Victory Day, a national holiday that commemorates the Nazi surrender of 1945. We paid a moving visit to Piskarevskoe Cemetery, where veterans were honored by huge crowds. We had a fabulous guide, Helen (pictured in the pink argyle sweater), who showed us sites such as St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Hermitage Museum, Church of the Spilled Blood, Peterhof Palace, and Catherine Palace. We took in Swan Lake at the Mikhaylovsky Theatre and ate plenty of beef stroganoff and chicken kiev. The girls didn’t really miss me, since I sent home photos of their kitty (see red bus photo) and brought them airplane-shaped gummies from the Frankfurt airport.

Claire’s first bike ride

Claire’s been riding her bike, with training wheels, for a while now. Two weeks ago, she saw her next door neighbor and kindergarten classmate ride to school without training wheels. Claire got determined, and said she wanted to ride her bike to first grade this Fall “like a big kid” and would ride “every day for a half an hour” to get ready. I took the pedals off a hand-me-down “big girl bike” about 10 days ago to turn it into a “balance bike.” She scooted up and down the block with Katherine or me most days. Yesterday she asked me to put the pedals back on. Earlier tonight she hit her goal three months ahead of schedule! Click here for a video:

By the way, Katherine is on a trip to Russia right now and Claire wants to keep this a “secret” so she can surprise Mommy with her new biking skills. Don’t tell!  🙂