I am a lot of things, but a special agent you ask? Well almost…
As I sit down to share this post, I’m having a hard time believing that this really was my life 6 months ago. Maybe it’s the dark hair (I’m getting blonder by the minute) or the fact that things have changed so drastically since, but uploading these photos was a bit surreal. From globe-trotter to community college-r, it’s been nothing short of a wild transition.
Like My Shanghai Secret, my incredible visit to Moscow had to be kept under wraps. MOSCOW! Taking spouses along on a business trip was frowned upon at Samsung, but quite frankly having your husband away more than he is home wasn’t exactly making me all smiles SO we compromised. Unlike my visit to Shanghai, the hotel Andrew stayed at in Moscow was swarming with Korean men in suits. Because of this and being a child of the 1980s when Russia was SCARY, I spent the week feeling a bit like a top-secret-spy-special-agent.
Ok – so maybe I don’t look much like a spy, but I certainly felt like one.
Moscow was beautiful. The golden onion domes seemed to fill the sky every which way you looked.
My first full day there was a Saturday so Andrew and I explored the city together visiting the Kremlin and Red Square.
It was mid-July so it was absolutely gorgeous and SO sunny.
And everywhere we went there seemed to be a bride.
What a perfect day to get married.
Weddings make you feel good no matter where you are in the world.
They seem to fill you up with hope.
And they have a way of being just a little bit tacky no matter what.
Best part – they make you love the one your with just a little extra.
Brides aside, I loved all the people in Moscow. I just found myself engrossed in everyone we came across.
These soldiers seemed so young. It was hard not to think about the World Wars and imagine just what that looked like all those years ago.
I always envisioned Russian military to be so harsh and evil, but these guys don’t look so bad. Right?
The grounds of the Kremlin were gorgeous and in full bloom.
The Red Square was people watching heaven.
We met some top-secret allies for lunch.
And goofed around in the Square after a few pints.
You should see how many attempts it took to get these right.
This one was easier.
The world is such a fascinating place. I feel so lucky to have seen so much it. Since we were in Russia and it was mid-summer it stayed this light until nearly midnight. Can you imagine??
Day #2 we decided to visit Lenin’s tomb then venture to a flea market to find some Russian nesting dolls – the colorful ones that stack inside one another – amongst other things.
Lenin’s tomb was weird. We were forbidden to take photos and had to wait in line for more than an hour (you can see it in the pic above) to walk through in complete silence in under a minute. He looked just like this photo I am stealing from Google images. As if time has stood still since his death in 1924. It is someone’s job to keep him preserved – they have to wipe him down with chemicals like regularly. Ew.
Anyway. It was worth the experience, but I had way more fun going to the market.
Being the world travelers that we are we decided to take the subway there. Taxi cabs (and everything else) in Moscow are REALLY expensive or they are really shady (like you just hail any old car driving down the street for a ride – those are called gypsy cabs).
There was zero English in the station so we had to take our English map and put it next to a Russian map and then try to match the words on the signs all the while trying not to look like tourists as Moscow tends to be a little rough and tumbly. I’m pretty sure after I snapped the shot above Andrew told me to put it away and stop looking so obvious. What seemed like a few high-stress hours later we arrived.
And it was well worth all the trouble.
We shopped for a few hours.
And bought some nesting dolls and several amazing antique prints.
I later had these framed and they turned out great.
And how cute are the dolls?
All shopped out, we settled into a lovely lunch of delicious street food.
The food in Russia is so yummy.
And not exactly light 😉 They put sour cream on everything. My kind of place.
We took our time making it last.
Another successful day.
Then an amazing evening of ballet at the Bolshoi! We didn’t bring our camera so I only had my phone but the theater and the ballerinas were breathtaking. I seriously have never seen more beautiful women in my life. Between the dancers and the attendees, it was like a Victoria Secret runway.
My date was pretty handsome too ♥ He said he barely noticed the other girls…
We went to dinner late after the ballet and ate in a famous aristocratic (pre-communist) restaurant where we feasted like czars in an ornate library. Unforgettable and unfortunately un-captured on film.
..why is it that I don’t get the good stuff, but I have pictures of my dirty feet?
I’m pretty sure I took that because I wanted to show Choq. Proof that while he was at work I was out walking.
And walk I did. (Note: look at how large that gate is!)
Because the train was scary enough with Andrew, I opted to do all my solo sightseeing on foot.
And the weather was beautiful so I just took my time taking it all in.
It’s funny because I look like I could be Russian more than I look like I could be Asian, so I was more nervous here than in most places to be on my own. I felt like I had to stay very alert.
I remember seeing those cops and being afraid. Not sure of what.
Then I would see something like this and forget all about being by myself in a very foreign place. Wow.
And while my Russian friends from Seoul warned me that Moscow-ites are some of the rudest people on the planet (maybe that is why I felt scared?), I never had any problems.
I even managed to have some fun 😉
Posting 6 months later is a bit tough because I lose bits and pieces that I probably thought I just had to write about so I would never ever forget.
Posting 6 months later is also an amazing distraction from where I sit today and a good way to feel grateful for all the things I have experienced in my life, including a top secret undercover trip to Russia.
Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend. XO.