Friday, September 25, 2009

Tallinn, Estonia

I rode up to Tallinn, Estonia with Lori and Claudia. We rode the day-tour bus of the city and got to see many different parts of the city.
Its interesting to see how similary the Baltic countries are in both landscape and buildings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fall and Dreams

Things are really slow right now at work. And this is before the Ambassador's OMS arrives, so WHAT am I going to do then?!?! I guess I'll just spend my days at work learning Latvian and Russian, oh, and updating my blog :) !
It's definitely turning to Fall. The sun is out, but there is a definite "bite" in the wind. Latvia has a whole bunch of festivals during the Summer, but not really sure what kind of festivals happen in Fall/Winter, but we'll see! Leaves have started to drop off the trees and it's making me excited for the upcoming holidays! (Pics to some shortly)
Dreams are funny things. I had a dream the other night that I just remembered. For some reason I was cussing up a storm at someone. I mean, I try to not even THINK cuss words so to dream that I am yelling at someone with a whole slew of epithets spewing out of my mouth was WEIRD! I don't even remember who it was, but they really annoyed me so the wrath of Mischa was unleashed! Glad that's not how I am really!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cake decorating

Since coming to Riga, I have further developed
my cake decorating. I made a cake for a baby-
shower and I can't just go to my local
cake supply store and buy pre-made decorations...
so I made my own! I made marizpan and then
colored it and sculpted the bear (those high
school art lessons came in handy :))

Saturday, August 15, 2009


For Riga's Birthday, two F-15's flew over the city at noon.
I was lucky enough to get to go to the Riga Airport
to look at the planes before the flyover.
Even though I know it may seem silly, I really
enjoyed viewing them. I'd love to fly a plane!

You know all those cool cadgets that are in your

car? Well, there are even cooler cadgets inside

the cockpits of these planes. We weren't even allowed to

take pictures of the cockpits...but some

truly "cool" stuff!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sigulda Castles

As with the rest of Europe, there are castles doting the country-side.
Just north of Riga is Sigulda, and there are 4 castles.
(They are pictured in the order visited.)
The above castle has been restored. It was mainly in ruins but
has been restored over the last 20 years. Many of the castles
in Eastern Europe have been damaged due to war and
neglect. Only years after being unihabited have they
been restored and preserved.

This and one other castle in Sigulda (which we didn't go
to because it doesn't even look like a castle) haven't
been restored. They are new enough that the owners
have been able to preserve them. We didn't get to
go inside this one because there was a wedding
taking place inside. One member of our group wanted
to crash the wedding, but all of us were dressed to
causually to even try and pull it off...not that I would've
done it anyway.

Rafting Trip

We went and rafted down one of the rivers just north of Riga.

It was a calm-peaceful trip, no-one feel out of the rafts.

I don't know when the last time was that I just did nothing

for two hours! Much needed...

Of course, it didn't take long for me to take off

my life-jacket (I mean, come on! I'm used to rapids!) and

turn around to sit on the outside of the raft to

view the scenery. It was really pretty and apparently

you can camp along-side the river (definitely next summer!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sassy frog...

Do I really need to say more?

I kissed a frog...

I was hoping that he'd turn into my "prince charming" such luck! I'll just have to keep looking!


The branch that I attend went on a ward outing to a small town called Kandava. On our way there, we stopped by an old manor house that served as a hosptial during wars. It is now a museum.

We also stopped by this place that has a large rock out in the middle of nowhere. Which is apparently a big deal. There aren't a lot of big rocks in Latvia. The kids, and some of the adults climbed it. It is in a pretty meadow and then just behind is a small river that feeds into a bigger river.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

More of Riga

Riga is near the Baltic Sea and is a port city. It also has a river, the Dugava running through the city. Unfortunately, the river has had a bunch of stuff dumped in it and so is not very clean. However, the locals do get in it and play and swim. One of the main bridges looks like the strings on a violin.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Riga continued

Riga has a lot of parks.
There is one across the street
from my apartment and many
near the embassy.

The above picture is a picture of
locks that are on the bridges in
the park. It is a tradition that a
couple puts a lock with their name
and the date of their wedding
on the bridge.

This is near a hill in one of the parks
that has a lovely waterfall where
birds swim and people just sit and enjoy the sun.

This is a park and a church in the
center of town that I've
walked a couple of times.
I actually found a little vendor
here who sells Pepsi! Yeah!

Isn't this a lovely water fountain? It's nice but don't get too close as the river isn't the cleanest and you don't want to be sprayed with this water! Although it is love to sit along the bank down or up stream and just enjoy.

I was finally able to get a picture
of me in the park to prove
I am really here!
Riga is a lovely city.
Too bad it isn't really known as a
tourist destination because it's a
great city and so lovely during the
spring and summer.
Now, winter, we'll see!
But so far it's been lovely.
Coming up next, my trip to Lithuania!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trakai & Vilnius, Lithuania

Midsummer's Eve, a friend and I drove to Lithuania to visit Vilnius and Trakai. As you can see, they really like big city signs. Even Riga has signs this big (just incase you weren't sure what city you were heading into :)).

To prove that I was there, I had a picture taken of me with the castle in the background. I

really liked Trakai castle. It was basically in ruins until the 1990's when it was restored.

There are still ruins of the outer walls that were really neat.

This is Lori and I as we cross the wooden bridge to the castle.
Castles are fun to visit and imagine what happened there over

centuries. Its is also interesting to see the difference that the
US places on historical sites. We try to preserve them so that we

don't have to try and restore them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Midsummer's Eve

Even though the sun "sets" on Midsummer's Eve, it doesn't really get dark when you are this far north. We were out walking around Trakai and it was still light enough, you'd think it was 6 pm instead of 10!

I love Pepsi

So glad that I can find Pepsi!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Last weekend I went to a craft fair in an open air museum. There were acres and acres of crochet, linen, pottery, wooden wares, leather, honey and meet. I found this cute hat.

This tea set reminds me of all the pottery that I saw and is just perfect for a tea party with its pretty "flowered" look.

And this pretty teal tea set...

Along with this dessert plate...

I am ready for my first tea party in Latvia! Wish you were here!
Love ya, Mischa
P.S. More to come soon!

My home continued...

Okay, okay! I know! I'm a little bit behind. Sorry it's been fun adjusting and everyone's been so nice and welcoming.

Anyway, I promised more about my house, so here goes!

This is the entry-way and the "formal" dinning room.

Here's a picture of the living room. You can't see them, but I have two bookcases in the living room and another in the entry way. Too bad I gave away all my books! Oh, well, I guess I'll just have to fill them with my DVD's!

This is the second bedroom, where you'll be staying if you come to visit!

This is the loft that over-looks the living room. I can't wait to put my Christmas tree here!

And this is the third bedroom that is currently a "sitting room".

Coming soon, pictures of my kitchen and bedroom (now that I've got all my clothes put away :))

Friday, May 29, 2009

Riga, Latvia The start...

Okay, where to start?!?! Well, let's start with my home.

These two pictures are the entrance into my building. Every where I walk in the city, I can look up and see these amazing buildings with amazing detail. Riga has the most "art nouveau" in Europe.
Coming soon pictures of the inside...

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Today I drove to Gettysburg, PA and visited the Gettysburg Military Memorial Monument. It was so sad to see all the tombs of unknown soldiers, over a 1000. So many who gave their lives for a country that they loved. They had a postcard that you could fill out that would be sent to a soldier who is currently serving. It was very sobering to visit a place where so many gave their lives. At the visitors center there was so much to do and see. Definitely a place to visit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Raleigh, NC

This last weekend I drove down to Raleigh, NC to visit Jennifer who I hadn't seen in four years. We've talked and emailed over the last four years, but it was the first time we were able to get together. It was so great to see her.

Saturday night, I also was able to catch up with Karsten. He drove up from Fayettsville and we went out to dinner and talked. We were out until 1 o'clock so instead of driving home, he crashed on the couch.

I was bad because I forgot to take pictures with both Jennifer and Karsten and I don't know when I'll see them again. As you can see, I did have my camera with me but I just forgot.

I also got to go to the Raleigh Temple. It rained while I was there, so that added to not taking picutres. North Carolina is definately a pretty place that I'd love to visit again but we'll see what time dictates.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Arrival in DC...

Hello! I am now in DC and now feel more settled in. I have met some really fun people here, both at the apartments that I am staying at as well as in my training class.

We got done with training early today, so a couple of us headed back into downtown DC to see the cherry blossoms.

Friday, March 27, 2009

On to Washington, DC!

Wow! I can't believe it, I am sitting at the airport waiting to board my plan to Washington, DC. For those of you yet unaware, my medical clearance came through at the last moment and they wanted me to come to the March 30 training. What a crazy week and a half! First I was going, then I wasn't, then there was a chance that I might go, then I wasn''s just been crazy! However, I got everything in order at my house (and my lovely sister and mother graciously offered to be at my home when they come to pack me out). Since I was on my way to the airport this morning anyway :) I also dropped my mom, Aunt Shelia, and Karen Peterson off at the airport as well. They are meeting Ruth in Boston (I was supposed to meet her but then the training come through and I had to cancel). They will have a great trip and I hope that as I start this new adventure that I will as well (which I totoally think I will). I will miss family and friends, but I really feel as this is something that I need to do. Until I "see" you in DC!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Roosevelt Lake

This past weekend, for Mom's birthday and the end of the kid's spring break, we went to Roosevelt Lake. It was amazing to see the lake, it is currently at 106%! I've never seen it so full of water. We camped on the lake and the fishing was great! See Kendra's big bass? Cody and Dad also caught a couple of good sized crappies, so all in all it was a fabulous weekend! I didn't buy a fishing permit this year since I'll be leaving Arizona soon. I did help dad catch a fish though, he couldn't see the bobber go under and I said "jerk! jerk!" luckily it was quick enough that he was able to set the hook. It was a little basser-rasser, but still, I felt that although I didn't fish, I earned my dinner!