Sunday, September 30, 2012

Georgian wedding

We were fortunate to be invited to a Georgian wedding yesterday. Groom was American, bride Georgian, and their wedding ceremony was held at a park on top of Mt. Mtatsminda, which houses the landmark radio tower as well as a very well-kept amusement park for kids.

We armed ourselves with Google map printouts and a potty chair in the trunk (such a cute photo I have of Natasha sitting on it, but something tells me decorum prohibits me from posting said photo). We were remiss, however, in not taking into account the fact that Saturday was the last day during which pre-election demonstrations were permitted. Our route to the mountain was stymied by this:

and this:

By the time we made our way to the park, the wedding was over. That was pretty crushing.  But we had some time to explore with the kids before the supra (huge Georgian dinner featuring lots of wine and entertainment). So they got to ride on the choo-choo.

And we got to take some photos overlooking the city. We could actually see our house from here.

With a little luck (and a chance sighting of other diplomatic cars while we were circling in search of the restaurant), we made it to the reception.

There was an obscene amount of food. This was just the first course.  Due to little girl bedtimes, we ended up leaving before the main course was served (two hours into the dinner), but we were all already completely stuffed.

There was great entertainment. These guys demonstrated why Georgia is famous for its male choirs.

My girls were enthralled by the dancers.

And even did a little entertaining themselves.

I debated including most of these photos because they are all so terrible, but I figure anyone who was reading this blog for the photography is long gone ...

Friday, September 28, 2012


I am back. Hopefully for a long spate of more regular blogging. I blame my absence on a month-long spell of what-the-heck-did-we-do-coming-here. Having been to Georgia a few times before, and having lived in the Caucasus for two years, I figured we'd adjust just fine. But our life is quite a bit different now, than it was then. Having kids, we chose to live in an area quite far from town, but close to the Embassy, and with a couple of paved roads ideal for bikes and scooters. We are also very isolated and I think I had underestimated my love of city life. I sure miss it now.


Our car arrived. We are all very excited. Even Natasha. Yesterday she pooped on the potty for the first time. While sitting there with her pants around her ankles, she said (in Russian): "Mama! I pooped in the potty!  And our car is here!"  There you have it folks. The arrival of our car is right up there with poop in the potty. It was a big day in our house.

The girls and I embarked on a journey to a nearby produce market today. I didn't hit anyone and no one hit me. We made some vendor friends and bought some raspberries. And there was a playground across the street. We even found some sidewalks that could accommodate our stroller. We took a walk. It felt freeing. For the first time in a month, I was happy to be in Georgia. YPA!*

Believe it or not, this sight made me very happy.

Bucket o' raspberries ... about $8 for more than three pounds.
On the road again ... so glad to be on the road again.
*YPA is Russian for "hooray." Pronounced "oorah!"

Saturday, September 15, 2012

In Georgia

It has been so long since I have updated this blog that I have been putting off an update. It's just very overwhelming to think about. But there is no law that says I have to post about everything we do (and in fact, it's probably better not to), so here is a photo Cliff's Notes of our almost-three-weeks in Tbilisi.

We arrived in Tbilisi on schedule, but without our bags, which spent the night in Moscow. My suitcase arrived the next day, sans my jewelry case (yes, I know I should have put it in my carry-on ... and now I am out my beautiful Middle Eastern gold jewelry and my favorite Russian egg pendant :sob:) and the Coach badge holder I was given as a going-away gift by a friend in Moscow.

We have a beautiful house on a hill with a nice view of the city. Not going to post a picture of the outside (I know my security responsibilities, thankyouverymuch), but here is one of our living room windows. Yes, that is a cow. More on that later.

We've done some biking.

We've eaten some gelato.

We've done some sightseeing (this is Mtskheta, the spiritual capital of Georgia, about a 15-minute drive from our house).

We've learned that Georgians give the Russians a run for their money when it comes to the art of posing for photos.

We've visited the zoo ... and decided not to return. This hippo was swimming in a filthy vat of sewage.

Natasha celebrated a nameday.

Jeremy took a trip where he ate good food ...

 ... and saw cool stuff ...

... including this view of the sunset on the Black Sea.  Who, me, jealous?

More later.