Today was a great day!! I woke up at 8am and was able to find my girls on Skype, so I talked with them for a while. They all had things to show me and I loved it! Lizzie and Jazzy showed me some pictures that they colored and Daizi showed me some piece of paper that she found with in reaching distance for no good reason. :) It was rather funny!
I must note that when I woke up, I had HORRIBLE stomach cramps. I'm not sure if it was from something that I ate last night at the Jelly Belly (it's the name the Russian Restaurant we ate at last night) or if I am just coming down with a stomach bug. Either way, I was miserable from about 8am - 10am. Konstantin came and met me and I told him that I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to follow through with our plans today because about every 5-10 minutes my stomach would knot up and it was some major pain. I'd never had this type of thing happen before. It was pretty weird...
Anyway, Konstantin took me to the local Trade Center so we could get some breakfast and buy me some shoes. :) I was able to get a nice pair of Russian shoes that are made for the weather over here. They sure beat the hell out of my New Balance running shoes. After shopping for shoes, we went to a very nice restaurant and got some omelets, but I wasn't able to take a single bite. :( I should have just not ordered anything because Konstantin paid and I just let it sit in front of me. I told him that the next time we eat out, I will pay and he can not eat... He agreed. :) It was about this time that we decided medicine was the best thing for my stomach issue, so we went to the local pharmacy and got some powder for my stomach. I think it helped honestly, because my pains were fewer and farther between. Most people that know me, know that I'm not one to take medicine unless I realllllly need it; well today I realllllly needed it.
Something that I noticed that was different with the stores around here is that they have lockers that people put their stuff in when they come inside the store. I was amazed by this! Basically when you walk into a store, you take all of your items and put them in these lockers and then take the key with you while you shop at the store. When you are done shopping you take your things out of the locker and leave. I asked Konstantin if it cost anything for this and he said "No. Why should it cost anything?". Good question! But it would in America. Like, if WalMart had lockers like this, I imagine that they would probably cost $1 or something. Anyway, this was something different that stuck out for me today.
After our shopping extravaganza, we headed to the local ski resort to do some cross country skiing. I had wanted to do 15 km's today, but due to my stomach pains, I informed Konstantin that we'll start off with 5 km instead. :) Good thing!! I found out today that I'm not a very good cross country skier. :)
We met up with Alex and headed out to the ski path. Amazingly enough, if you don't need to rent ski's, you can come and ski on this path anytime you want... for no charge! This is so odd to me. I was trying to explain that in America, you have to pay to get through the front door of any ski resort. After about the first 100 yards I realized there was NO WAY I was going to be able to do 15 km today. I would be lucky to do 1 km at this rate. I felt like an unbalanced unicyclist, only I had 2 ski's and 2 poles. Konstantin and Alex made it look so easy, but I kept falling for the silliest things. For example at one point, I was trying to do the "run & ski" motion, but my left ski got tangled up with my right ski and I did an instant face plant. The best ones were when my ski's got criss-crossed and I fell gracefully, but looked like a turtle on his back trying to get up. I had to un-click my ski's many times to stand up because there was no way I could have gotten them untangled otherwise. Here is a quick video of a single downhill with a double fall:
The course was setup to where there were turn around points all along the way. So, for example, at the 2.5 km marker, you could turn left and take the return path back to the ski house. They had these setup at various points, but we turned around at this first one for my sake (thanks guys). :) By the 2.5 km mark my arms were very sore. I found that I had been skiing with my arms the whole time and not so much with my feet. It seemed that any time I tried to pick up my feet or move them I would either loose my balance or just fall. At one point, I broke one of the rental poles while I was trying to stand up. Alex was very quick to give me his poles and he was able to show me that it is possible to ski without these things, for he did it the rest of way. Amazing! I want to also point out that there were about 2 or 3 hills that I was able to go down with no problems. Here is a video that proves this fact:
Anyway, I felt as though I was getting better and better at skiing as the day progressed. I have a whole new respect for cross country skiers; my shoulders were sore and tired, my legs were tired and my feet hurt from climbing the hills on these things. I'm sure that if I knew how to ski, I would not have been in so much pain, but I didn't and I am. When we were all done, I mentioned to the guys that I might like to try this again before I go back to America. They agreed that we could possibly do this next weekend or the following. I'll be sure to post my experience if we do. Until then, I'm going to let my body heal from all of the torture I had put it through. :)
After the skiing adventure, Alex went on his way and Konstantin came back to my flat for some pizza. He called his wife to join us and we had a great time. They are newly weds and Irrene (?) - pronounced Ee-rrr-ee-nah - brought their wedding pictures to show me. They are very happy together and make a very cute couple. I had to explain what "cute" meant, and that made them even "cuter". :) Jennifer and I have always been labeled the "cute couple", so it was nice to see another couple that is just as happy together as we are. If Konstantin comes to America, we all agreed that Irrene will have to come with him so that she can visit her friend in Illinois and go to a warm beach in Florida, for these were the two things that she wants to do most. :)
When they left around 5 o'clock (I think), I went strait to bed and slept all night... I think I'm still trying to adjust to this time change (if that makes sense). I don't know, I was just beat and needed some major sleep!