well I already wrote about my travels to Mexico, but I didnt mention the part about how I broke my leg there. One of my most favorite places to travel is Ukraine. Kiev is such a wonderful old city full of history. It is welcoming and you can walk all over. We went there to adopt but now that we are done with that I still find myself missing Ukraine in a way that I dont miss anywhere else. We went to Russia 6 years ago for Ethan and it was winter and cold but we had some fun seeing some sites with our awesome interpreter Sergei. He made us laugh. But our time in Russia seemed to have this oppressive feel. it was scary. we worried for every move we made. maybe that was just us? maybe because it was our first adoption and we had a brand new baby at home we were missing? I dont know. But Ukraine never felt that way. When I go to Ukraine I feel as if I am coming home. I dont even speak the language but I feel as if its home all the same. I love to fly down over the fields of wheat as the plane decends to the airport. I leave with sadness. wondering when I will ever come back. Thankfully the kids would like to go back some day so there is my ticket to Kiev! I dont know that we will be doing any more adoptions but the people we met in Pryluky were so great. I dont know how I can ever thank them for their service and kindness to us. There is a little cafe at the back of the market place that we ate at nearly every day. the ladies there were so funny an kind to us. they would always give us metal silverware instead of the plastic everyone else used. they would always give us a glass for our soda so we wouldnt have to drink from the bottle. they would smile and laugh with us while we tried to breach the language barrier to find out what food was being served. I will never forget those ladies. and the ladies at the hotel were always kind and helpful. they always called us a cab and then would watch for it and alert us that it was there. as if we couldnt see for ourselves. maybe they saw it as we were idiots and couldnt be trusted to catch a cab ourselves but we saw their efforts as kindness. Our friends Dima and Natasha and Daryna we met there. they loved our kids before we did. they showed us the sights of their fair country so the kids could take those memories of their land with them to their new land. They do still talk about those visits. not to mention Dima's and his Mama's home cooking. We never went hungry thats for sure! YUMMY! I feel as though we embraced Ukraine and in return Ukraine embraced us. we didnt get that feel in Russia. so while I would go to Russia again if the opportunity arose, as I love to travel, I LONG to go to Ukraine. to the fast food place with the yummy Ukrainian dishes, life in the little apartments, the historical sights, the people watching, sitting on a bench in the sun on Kreschatik street eating ice cream, putting my feet in the fountains without fear of reproach. so many things beckon me back to Ukraine. Piro govo was a gorgous day and I was sad to leave it thinking we might never go back there. it was just the kind of place we love to spend a sunny day. we drank Kvas and ate fruits and nuts we brought with us and enjoyed a trip down Ukraine's memory lane.
More recently I discovered a place closer to home that has become my second home. Philadelphia. I go there a lot. at first I had a hard time with it. but I LOVE being in the big city and the people ARE nice there its just a different kind of nice than Minnesota nice. they are nice surrounded by a crusty tough gruff exterior. they talk funny there too but I love to listen to it. I am fascinated by language. We have made so many friends there that it feels like a family reunion when we go there. I sometimes wish our visits were longer! we never have any time to see the sights. the only sights we see are ronald mcdonald house and shriners hospital and anything we see from the cab on the way. but I like to go there. there is much more diversity amongst the people there than there is here. if I could just find a good Indian restraunt I would be so happy there! Maybe Ben and I will take a cab to find some good food next time we go.