Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dream Vacation

I was thinking after doing the Flickr Mosaic about what would my dream vacation. There are vacations that I love doing like going to Disney World, but there is one major once in a lifetime vacation that is my dream vacation.

I would love to fly to Alaska and visit Sitka, Alaska. Visit the The Russian Bishop's House, which is one of the oldest intact Russian buildings in North America. Also I would have to go see the New Archangel Dancers. Also while in Alaska visit Kodiak, Alaska and see the Baranov Museum which has some great exibits on the collonial Russia period in Alaska. I would also have to visit Juneau, but most of the Russian heritage has been lost there. Except St Nicholas's Church, here is a better photo of it.

Currently there is no easy way to go between Alaska and Vladivostok so most likely I would need to fly, but there has been talks of a bridge between Russia and Alaska or a ferry. So if it takes forever for me to take this trip then who knows how I will get between the two places.

Then I would cross over to Russia and take the trans-Siberian railroad from Vladivostok to Moscow. Currently there is one company major company that deals with Trans-Siberian railroad tours....that I trust. Most of their tours go West to East, but I know I don't want to go West to East, I want to go East to West. Their only East to West tour starts in Bejing, but I would want to start in Vladivostok which is a different spur of the Trans-Siberian railroad, it is the origanal rail.

So start in Vladivostok then head to Lake Baikal, maybe have day at the lake and hanging out at the beach. Then head on to Irkutsk visit some of the museums and historical landmarks there. During both the Decemberists Revolt and the civil war after Bolshevik Revolution had major battles in Irkutsk, so plenty of Historic sights.

Then on to Yekaterinburg, a place I have always wanted to visit. It is the city the Last Tsar and his family were executed. The house they were executed in was torn down by order of Yeltsin. It is also where Gary Powers was shot down on May 1, 1960, to it played a major part in both the Revolution and the Cold War, it is a must see during this dream vacation.

Then off to Moscow....there are so many things I want to see again in Moscow, that I wouldn't know where to start listing them. I love Moscow it is clearly a city built up around a fortress. If you look at a map of Moscow, you see the Kremlin in the center of circular roads. I am not going to bother to retype the history of the Kremlin go see it here if you are interested. So Moscow grew like a tree adding more circular roads as it grew.

Then I need to see the Moscow Metro again....when I saw it in 1986, it was amazing. it was clean and wasn't like any subway I have ever seen before or since. It had carvings on the walls, paintings on the ceilings, and chandeliers. It also has these very very steep very fast esculators. I need to see how the Metro has handled these really rough decade or two.

I have to go see St. Basil's again, it looks amazing in photos, but in person it is awe inspiring. Then there is Cathedral Square with all the other amazing Cathedrals, it is where all the major events happened during the Tsarist period until Peter the Great moved the capital to St. Petersburg.

There is enough stuff in Moscow that I would loved to do that I could spend months there without a problem, but then I sill need to make it to St. Petersburg. To me there is only one way to get from Moscow to St. Petersburg and that is one of the daily night trains. I would pick the Red Arrow because that is the most famous one of the it was the one I rode when I was there 22 years ago. I remember being way too late it leaves around midnight and catching the train and getting into Leningrad the next morning and it was well run and my first train experance so there is a soft spot in my heart for it.

Now with going to St. Petersburg the timing needs to be just right. I want to be there during the white nights. I need time to visit Tarskoye Selo.......hmm..I just realized that I can't narrow my list down to just a few places I want to visit there. Check out this virtual tour if you want to see why I can't narrow it down. I have to say Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, is my favorate city in the world. It is amazing. It is beautiful in a way most cities aren' is historical in a way I love. The major problem is coming to grips with the number of people who died while building the city for Peter the Great. About 300,000 people died building the city do to illness and lack of food and other things. So sometimes it is hard to balance the beauty with the horror. Also there is the amazing WWII history around St. Petersburg.

Oh one of the things I need to take a long time exploring is The Hermitage...I only had a day to see it last time and I didn't even make a small dent in it. I think at least a week would cover a good amount.

After all that I will fly home to Maine and take a long rest.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Flickr Mosaic

I had to copy this from One Feather Tail who copied it from Are We There Yet.

1. What is your first name?

2. What is your favorite food? right now?

3. What high school did you attend?

4. What is your favorite color?

5. Who is your celebrity crush?

6. Favorite drink?

7. Dream vacation?

8. Favorite dessert?

9. What you want to be when you grow up?

10. What do you love most in life?

11. One Word to describe you.

12. Your flickr name.

1. Horcruxes para Squibs, 2. Happy Kiwi, 3. 2007 Lobster Bake 30.jpg, 4. The Photographer, 5. drew barrymore [for becca], 6. Ice music, a winter xylophone, 7. Girl on the Platform, 8. 57/366, 9. ST. BASIL CATHEDRAL, Moscow, Russia, 10. duck to duck to duck..., 11. Got milk?, 12. My First Computer

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Today it hit me....Horse Girl will be in Third Grade in the Fall. To me Third Grade is where they start to use the reading, writing and math skills they have been working on since Kindergarten to learn other things. This caused me panic a bit. Normally I am the one who feels that everything will be ok with Horse Girl and things will be fine it will just take time. I am able to draw from my experience of being a kid with dyslexia. Though every once and awhile I worry. I am guessing it is what Fly Guy feels most of the time about Horse Girl...he listens to me and my experience and that makes him feel better, but he has no personal experience.

I told Horse Girl's resource room teacher I needed to talk and she was able to reassure me that we have support in place for her and she has placed Horse Girl in a classroom with other kids who also have learning issues and they will share an Ed Tech. I am glad to hear that she is sharing an Ed Tech with kids with learning issues...this year she shared one with a student with behavioral issues and I expressed concern at one point that I was worried how she would be preseaved by the teachers if she is always with this kid with behavioral issues. She also told me that Horse Girl could always come down to the resource room in the afternoon to work on homework or projects, if we were having trouble supporting her at home.

I realize I have high hopes for next year, because third grade is when I started reading. I didn't read at grade level until 7th grade. So I hope Horse Girl will follow in my footsteps and I am also scared that I have put too much hope into next year and I am going to be disappointed because things don't work out.

I am so glad the Resource Room teacher is always so wiling to make me feel better when I worry. It isn't often, but it happens and today was a big worry. She calmed me down and got me back to my normal state of being being sure everything will work out if given enough time.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Things have been busy here so posting has been the last thing on my mind. School is winding down for the girls so I have been busy trying to take care of things at the school and I have been getting ready for Summer. Horse Girl is having trouble with the idea she does school stuff over the Summer and other people don't. I told her that it will help her make it to her goal of reading chapter books. It makes me sad when she says stuff about how she isn't like everyone else. I know she isn't, but it doesn't make it easy when she says it. I also have been working on over coming my fears of open water swimming, so that has been taking up a lot of time. Well it is time for me to get ready to go to a Girl Scout thing. Hopefully I will fine time to type more sooner rather then later.

The ABCs and XYZs of me

Stolen from my August Mom friends

The ABCs and XYZs of me

Accent: Some sort of Maine accent...but not Downeast Maine or northern Maine. I have to remember to not put an R sound at the end of idea and that parka doesn’t have an R sound in the end and fork does have an R sound in it.

Bra size: 36A a size that is hard to find

Chore I hate: Cleaning

Dad’s name: Thomas

Essential make-up: Green tinted mostorizer with sunscreen

Favorite perfume: Victoria

Gold or Silver: Silver

Hometown: Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Interesting fact:

Job title:stay at home mom/lunch aide/a little bit of everything

Kids: two kids

Living arrangements: Married with kids

Mom’s Birthplace: Portland, ME

Number of apples eaten in last week: 5 or so

Overnight hospital stays: I was in the hospital for about 10 days when I was 10 years old because of a car accident. My Dr. told my parent’s I nearly died, but I never felt that way. I have to say this event has had major effect on the rest of my life. It caused me to start swimming so I could build up my lungs again. I wonder why I lived all the time. There have been other events that made me wonder why I lived. Then I was in the hospital for the birth of both girls. In the hospital over night for another car accident. Overnight for a bladder infection during one of the pregancies because it was causing preterm contractions.

Phobia: Spiders

Question you ask yourself a lot: Why am I here? What the heck am I doing? Am I insane?

Religious affiliation: Marian Catholic

Siblings: one brother

Time I wake up: 5am when I am swimming in the morning and around 6:30am when I am not

Unnatural hair color: my natural hair color is brown. Currently I have a blonde streak just for fun...I have had a red streak, but that that fades quickly in the Summer sun.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: brussel sprouts

Worst habit: the fact I am a bit of a slob...there are so many wonderful things to do in this world why waste it cleaning

X-rays: More then I can count. Mostly to check to see how my lungs are doing, some to check for bone injuries

Yummy food I make: Linguine with white clam sauce

Zodiac sign: Aquarius