Today, Zhenyaâ€™s father was leaving so Zhenya Grisha and I all headed out for a day together. First we went down to Tretyakovskaya to meet Katya and Sasha for lunch together. We went to Pronto again for a quick lunch. I had a pizza that was pretty good.
After our lunch together, Zhenya Grisha, Sasha and I took the train to see him off at the train station. It was really great to see him againâ€¦to think that I first met him in 1996 at the airport in Atlanta where our parents were able to discuss me and Zhenyaâ€™s first trip the next summer. To see him again in 1997, then 2003 for the wedding, and now. I feel tremendous love from the Baryshev family as a whole, and seeing the father off feels like Iâ€™m saying goodbye to my own relative.
We then decided to go up to the panoramic view from Moscow State University. We rode a bus up the hillside where MSU looks down at the city below. Iâ€™d been here just 4 years ago yet in the cold freezing weatherâ€”so cold that my fingers were unable to operate my camera buttons due to lack of feeling. Yet here I was standing and getting pop sickleÂ from a vendor.Â Which, by the way was the best pop sickle Iâ€™d ever had. It was a tropical flavor, but in the core was a sweet center filled with something that popped like the old candy Pop Rocks. It was such a great refreshing taste.
After looking around a bit, we headed for the gondola that took us down to the river for us to get on a boat ride. Weaving through the Moscow River, it was really great to see the city from a different vantage point. I didnâ€™t realize how much of the city was really nearby this river. After a nice ride with some great pictures, we then headed back to the metro yet all of a sudden a huge downpour came complete with thunder and lightning.
We found a Subway Sandwich shop and got a bite to eat while we waited out the rain. While we ate though, such loud cracks of lightning were happening all around us. Finally the rain stopped and we made our way to the metro stop to head back home. I wanted to do a little shopping at the mall before going back home so I sent Zhenya and Grisha home ahead of me while I went to Kurskaya.
While in the mall, I found some good deals at Celio, a French brand I hadnâ€™t seen in a whileâ€”seemed like a lot of things are on sale throughout the mall touting 50-70% off, yet the prices still seemed regular. I then got a call from Katya saying that she wanted to go to TGIFridayâ€™s for dinner. I wasnâ€™t super hungry, but since it was where I was, I agreed.
Of course by the time we got seated, I was hungry and ready to order J We had our dinner along with some WiFi time and decided to go out to a club in the evening. We went home to go get ready and took the subway back basically to where we were to hit the club.
Unfortunately, everyone smokes here and thereâ€™s still smoking and non smoking sections in restaurantsâ€”given that cigarettes only cost about $2 a pack, I can see itâ€™s a cheap habit to stop. In any case, when we weaved our way through a neighborhood block, we heard the music of the club we were going to. We paid our entrance and headed upstairs in this warehouse type venue with great Russian pop/and Top 40s type songs. We got our dance on and it was fun to see how young Muscovites spend their clubbing evenings. Funnily enough, itâ€™s practically the sameâ€¦
After a couple of hours of dancing, we decided to head home. We got a car and were driven all the way back to Novogireeva while our drive Vitalik shared to us his interest in the US.
It was an extremely eventful day!