Two Moscow girls to be exact.... Momma and Leanna! We made it this far. It was without a doubt our worst airplane experience ever. Transaero, our Russian carrier, must be the equivalent of our Airtran or some other discount airline. Everything about it was subpar. Compounding things, and clouding our impressions I'm sure, was the fact that Anya was absolutely inconsolable for the first four hours of the nine hour flight. Leanna had said that the flight back home was going to be the substitute for a prolonged difficult labor of having a child by birth. That was proven to be only too true.
We got our passport, and the medical exam without a hitch, so we were psyched when we got to the airport. We said a tearful good bye to Oksana, who has been an absolute godsend to us, and we boarded our plane. One observation about Russians is this- They do not queue up for anything, not in traffic, not in stores, and certainly not when they announce the boarding of a plane. Any circumstance in which several people are expected to pass through one point, it is always a bum rush to be first. no matter what, or whom you trample to get there. Kind of like playing chicken with everyone you meet in any circumstance.
Let me paint a picture. Leanna, Cameron, Anya and I each had two carryons a piece, if you count the diaper bag and stroller we were carrying for Anya. This means that each of us adults had at least three things to carry, and Cameron had his backpack and roll on. Plus a Baby in my arms. Did we get any help or special consideration for this?? Not a bit. We had to jostle and shoulder our way to the gate attendant, and then manage two sets of stairs, then a bus ride out to board the plane, then another clot of people to maneuver through to climb yet another set of stairs to get on the plane. Not one person offered to help us at any point of this fiasco. Maybe I'm a little bitter here, but I sure miss a little bit of southern hospitality right about now. And you can only imagine how Leanna took all this......
Anyway, we all survived the trip and met Val, who is our Moscow liaison. He is very good at what he does and has a marvelous personality as well. He made us all feel better right away. We passed through the Moscow airport, and each of us shuddered a little when we saw the places we had spent time during our eighteen hour layover there on the way into the country. We had an hour and a half drive into the city, but both kids were asleep and Val kept us entertained by answering all our questions about Moscow.
When we got to our hotel, we checked in and Val and I went over the paper work that he would submit to the American Embassy on our behalf in order to get Anya a visa as a permanent emigrant to the good ol' US of A. That went smoothly, then we got tour room, which is a wonderful, western style room in the courtyard Marriott. We look out our window and get to see the spires of the Kremlin, which is only blocks away. Lots of good steady hot water, high count linens on a king sized bed, and a minibar that provided us much needed snacks after what turned out to be another twenty four hour stretch for Leanna and I to be awake.
The sleep was rejuvenative, and everyone awoke to a better mood and feeling better, including Anya. Hopefully the antibiotics are kicking in. We are about to go get breakfast in the lobby, and then decide how we will spend today and tonight. We meet Val again tomorrow for an interview at the consulate, then hopefully we will have the all important document that will allow Anya into the US.
No photos were taken yesterday. I don't think any of us wanted to remember any part of yesterday in the future. Maybe we'll take some today and get another post in be fore our departure Christmas eve.
Best to you all.