Thursday, February 21, 2008
More on our Almaty Adventure
Hi all, so sorry for the delays in posts, I am learning that being a mom takes a bit of time. :) Time well spent of course. I wanted to include some addtional photos of our 'girl time' in Almaty. Mom (Grandma), Aunt Becky, Zahri and I have great memories from our time there, although our time was minimal, and jet lag was setting in, we have many great memories that will stay with us for a lifetime.
Our visit to the U.S. Embassy was wonderful, the gentleman that helped us (by giving us our immigration paperwork and conducting our little interview) was so wonderful. You could tell that this man understood the magnitude of the situation and the joy that our family was experiencing. The Embassy is on the 17th floor of a building in downtown Almaty and I was told that there are only elevators, no public staircase. That made me nervous; I guess there is a secret small staircase, but even my translator, who visits the embassy often, didn't know where it was.
In Almaty we shopped at the Tsum Market 3 times, it was a lot of fun! There were really reasonably priced souveneirs and tons to choose from; this mall was much more reasonable than the shopping in Aqtobe. We also went to a jewelry store just across the walkway from the Tsum Mall, and I bought a beautiful aquamarine and silver ring. Both Z and I were born in March, so our birthstones are aquamarine, so I thought it would be fun to get a ring to pass down to her when she is 16 or 18. :) We did learn that the diamonds are real at the front of the store, but nearing the back they are actually cubic zarcons, which was a sad realism after my mom bought $400 in jewelry and found out that the diamonds are not even real. Ugh! It was still a nice purchase, as the Gold is a bit different (Russian Gold) but she probably would have passed on the $200 bracelet had she known about the diamonds.
As mentioned before, our apartment was very cozy and super clean and updated. Here are some photos, the inside photos just don't do it any justice, but I had to hurry and take snaps at 6:00 am as we were leaving for the airport.
This is the great little coffee shop that we visited several times, it is called Biscuit.
We also weren't so adventurous when it came to eating out, I think that we ate Italian like 3 times. hehe
Check out the ice on the street. Holy Cow!
Here is a photo of Marina (my rockin' coordinator in Almaty), Zahri and I.
Here are mom, Becky, Zahri and I at the Chinese Calendar monuments just across the street from our apartment. It was so cool, there was an indoor underground ice sculpture building and then the Chinese / Kazak Calendar monuments were in a park just beside the ice sculpture building. The ice sculpture place wasn't yet open so we didn't get to see it. :(
My sister made Z the sweetest travel blanket, it matches her snowsuit that Aunt Becky also bought for us. Both are the cutest ever..........and they aren't even pink. :) The blanket is even embroidered with Z's name, it is the best and came in super handy in the chilly weather. This is a photo of Auntie Becky showing us the blanket for the first time!
Although Almaty was a pretty nice city with many current shopping centers and very nice buildings and restaurants, there still were some older, pretty run down looking, soviet style apartment buildings. I found this huge apartment building in downtown Almaty interesting.
Here is a photo of Z and I, Z is in the Kozy carrier which I love, in front of a monument of a Kazak man with his Dombra. I really should know more about this statue, but I don't, so here it is. haha
More to come on our plane ride home and life at our home!! :)