"No I didn't give you the gift of life, but life gave me the gift of you!"

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!! :)


Karen said...

Glad to hear your meeting with the Embassy went so well. Almaty looks like a cool city to hang out. We'll have a day there on the 2nd of March with Sara and Juilan from Canada before we head out to Uralsk the following morning.

Hope you're adjusting to life as a new mommy. (At least it's supposed to warm up this weekend, so you can take Z out for a walk.)


Tasha said...

Welcome home!! I can't get enough of your photos and reading of your adventure!

Karla & Ben said...

Welcome home! We're glad you & Z are safely back.

Alysa said...

Finally! ;) Welcome home! I'm sure things are still hectic and jet lag is still an issue for all of you.

It has been such a joy to follow your journey and I really appreciate all the great info on Aqtobe and Almaty. It will come in very handy. You have done a fabulous job of documenting this incredible event -- what a wonderful gift for your daughter!

Hope things are going well at home.

Liz said...

welcome home! cant wait to see you guys!

Karen & Glenn said...

Welcome home! And thank you so much for continuing to post. We are thrilled that your life together in the US is underway. Congratulations!!

Patrick & Eileen said...

Welcome back!! Great to see photos of your last view days in Kaz. Memories for a lifetime. Looking forward to hearing about traveling all the way home and life in her new home (dogs, etc).

Take care,

Angela said...

So glad to see that you are home! Sounds like you had a great time in Almaty. Congratulations on finishing the process!

Susan said...

Christy, she is so adorable and you win the prize for the most informative and complete blog ever. Z will treasure this when she is older. I love the picture of you getting the travel blanket. :)

So glad you made it home safe. You made the whole adventure so real and I'm so happy for you!!!


Stacy Peters-Walters said...

Glad to hear that you are settling in! I agree - mommyhood is very time consuming but worth every moment of it!

I love all of the pics of where you went! stac

Kelly and Sne said...

Welcome home and thanks for the update. You've got me psyched for shopping in Almaty! Zahri looked like she was a real trooper as her first time as a tourist. I can't wait to hear the rest of the story and how you are doing at home...

Regina said...

Thanks for all the new pics and the update. Sweet sweet sweet! I too am now psyched to do some serious shopping!

And thank you for the great tips you shared about Aqtobe. Turns out they will come in very handy for us in May!

Have lots of fun with Z!

flyingfish347 said...

OOPS! I posted this on "Leavin' On A Jet Plane" by mistake. Here it is again, on the right blog entry:

I love having you girls back home. Not that MN is right around the corner from CA or anything. I just like knowing that you're only 2 time zones away instead of 14.

And if I may pat myself of the back, I'm so excited that I could read and deciper the name of your favorite Almaty coffee shop all on my own! My Russian classes are starting to pay off!


Anonymous said...


Zahri gets cuter every day. I know you are such a good mom and welcome back!


Izaak, Elijah & Ty 'Bear'

Izaak, Elijah & Ty 'Bear'
Cousins (Izaak wants to name my daughter (his cousin) Isabella, Sant (for 'Santa') or Hershey (his friend's dog's name.) Hmmmm I told him that if we name her 'Hershey,' that would mean that we get to give her a lot of kisses.

Kolter Matthius Simon

Kolter Matthius Simon
Littlest Cousin......possibly. Kolter may indeed be the same age as his little girl cousin in Kaz. :)