I never did blog about our trip to Yerevan in November 2012, and I really want to.
If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you may know that Jeremy and I met in Yerevan in 2005. I was at the Embassy for my first tour, and Jeremy was finishing up three years in country - two in the Peace Corps and one teaching 5th grade at the international school - when we met at a poker game. Shortly after I departed post, we got married. So for me, Yerevan is filled with memories of early dating, falling in love and wedding planning.
We wanted to take our kids back to the place where we had met, so we drove down from Tbilisi over Veteran's Day weekend.
View on the road:
We spent two nights at the Aviatrans hotel in downtown Yerevan (good location, reasonable accommodations for a reasonable price) and spent most of our time reacquainting ourselves with the city and making the rounds to see old friends.
The girls in front of my old voice teacher's apartment building.
My teacher, Susannah, and her daughter Astghik had us over for lunch.
Natasha was into sticking her tongue out in pictures. Thank goodness that phase is over!
Just strollin' around town ...
Taking in the sights ...
Posing for old time's sake in front of Mount Ararat. Seeing this photo made me feel so old.
We took the girls to Square One, the "American" burger joint that really isn't, but which was the closest thing available eight years ago.
And to Tumanian Shwarma, which was one of our favorite spots for a quick lunch back in the day. Natasha liked the shwarma.
Zoia, not so much. (I was about six months pregnant with Gabriel at the time of this trip).
We took in a great music and lights show at the Republic Square fountain one night.
And had dinner at another old friend's house.
Then it was time to go home. Past Lake Sevan ...
... and stopping over in Dilijan, to have lunch with Jeremy's host family from Peace Corps language training days.
It was good to visit, but hard, too. Georgia has made such strides since the last time I had been here. I had forgotten all of the challenges Armenia faces - its geographic isolation, closed borders, extreme poverty and the ongoing tug-of-war between Russian and Western influence. Sadly, not much has changed there.