Things To Do With Kids – Traveling

Last month my children landed in Moscow wearing a perfect shade of San Francisco Pale on their skins. These city kids were raised where outside requires constant adult supervision, they had only minor encounters with nice weather, and were yet to experience a water or electricity outage.



In 3 weeks they were completely transformed into tan Russian-speaking sun-loving kids who had a bite of freedom and lots of bites of freshly grown produce right outside of their great- grandmother’s house!


Their only swimming experience up till now was in a heated pool. I don’t quite get it, but apparently swimming in a river with cousins, fish, ducks and frogs is much more fun!


Grandma’s garden was an endless source of entertainment and nourishment. Apples, cherries, currant, strawberries – and that’s just the begging of the list. The kids had a blast playing in all this lusciousness!



They even found it cool to be washed outside with water heated up by sun.


Though, you should have seen my son’s excitement when he got back home and went to the bathroom: “Есть вода!” (The water is on)! Hmmmm….


Here are some Instagram favorites from the trip. Enjoy!

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Plum Pie


This report has been brought to you from a special place where we had no internet, only 2 and a half TV channels, intermediate phone service, and issues with water pressure… Yet, the 3 weeks we spent there are beating all the awesomeness charts!  In June I gulped a can of courage pills, loaded my 4 and 2 year-olds on an airplane, waved bye bye to the husband, and took the kids on a 30-something hour trip to my homeland!

So, here are some shots and recipes from our visit to Russia, where my children were running in my grandmother’s garden, in the house where my mother was born, where I spent so many happy days, and where you don’t need special photo props to give recipes a hint of old country.






My son met my babushka, godmother, and two aunts. All these ladies were introduced to him as babas. One evening I asked him, “Who do you love?”

“Mommy, daddy, Pea, baba… [silence] … baba …. Baba…. Baba… baba…. Baba…. “




Russian Mom Reads

Somehow I missed this book during the Perestroika era.  It was a time of a big change in Russia – the newspapers started criticizing everything they were praising just a day before; new stories were written, new books published … Strangely enough the same faces remained in Kremlin pushing the new politics…

I was a naive and still well brain-washed 10-year old, wearing my red pioneer scarf against all the new propaganda.  Even though I was the hugest fan of Rybakov’s famous children’s novels “The Dirk”, “The Bronze Bird, and “The Shot”, I completely ignored all the fuss about Children Of The Arbat.  

Finally, I set down and read this story of the Moscow intellectual youth during the Stalin’s rule. The novel was written in 1966 and 1983, and published only in 1987.  If you open this book, you will understand why publishing it earlier was unfeasible.

It’s almost impossible to comprehend how a regime, where you could be exiled for a tiny thing, like not publishing an article in a school newspaper, was tolerated by so many people.  Even stranger to know how well the country was brainwashed.  My babushka still remembers crying when Stalin died…


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