Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Riga, Latvia...Friday - Saturday


We visited the Car Museum in Latvia. It was very fun and interesting! They had old cars, unique cars and historic cars...we have lots of pictures from there, but they don't do it justice so you'll just have to take my work for it. :)

After the Car Museum we went to an orphanage that Calvary Chapel - Latvia (Christa & Vitaly's church) has been visiting to share God's truth with them. We had a time of singing (in both English and Latvian), then we divided the kids by age and shared Truth with the younger kids as well as with the older kids. After that it was time for a great game of sand volleyball! The older kids wanted to take on the Americans (most of the people that were there were American when you consider the fact that just with Dan's family we were 6 of the people out of 10ish)...they won. :) All in all it was a lot of fun!!


Travel day....we left Riga, Latvia at 2:40pm (their time), landed in Minneapolis around 11:30pm (our time). With an 8 hour time difference that adds up to around 18 hours of travel...YIKES! After that we drove to Joe and Chrystal's house, then headed to St. Cloud to spend the night...we crawled into bed and collapsed at 2am that Sunday morning. EXHAUSTED! The trip was a blast and memories were made that we will forever cherish! Thanks again Christa & Vitaly!!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Riga, Latvia....Thursday

The rest of our trip....

Thursday we enjoyed shopping at the mall. The prices are more expensive so there weren't many purchases, but it was fun to shop around! Then we enjoyed lunch at a delicious restaurant called Lidos. Unfortunately it rained (I mean POURED!!!) while we were eating and so the boys didn't get to enjoy any rides that day, but it would be a fun place to go with a family...great food and then great fun!!

To end the day...as we did most days...we visited our favorite Latvian grocery store...REMI!!! We went there a couple days in a row to start the trip and then decided we should make it a 'tradition' and go every day. Remi and Nerts became a daily occurrence and they were both FUN!! :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Riga, Latvia...Wednesday

Wednesday we visited a beautiful town called Yurmala. We walked down a street with lots of little shops and stands of people selling things. One thing we noted almost immediately (and we knew this because Christa will often shop here in the states and not there) was that the prices for things were A LOT more expensive there then here. WOW! After Yurmala we went to a beach on the Baltic Sea, relaxed on the beach and walked in the water. After that we found a great place to grill. They have 'portable' grills there...they are SOOO cool! You can grill on them and once you're done you throw them away. It's a tin pan with small legs, coals wrapped in kindling and a tin grate...we took a few of them back home because they were such a simple design, but such a great idea!!! Then of course…NERTS!

Riga, Latvia...Tuesday

Tuesday we visited a Soviet Bunker...I expected that it would be interesting but I had no idea how interesting, how HUGE and how elaborate it would be. Very interesting...for my history teaching husband it was FABULOUS, but he wasn't the only one that enjoyed it...we were all blown away. There were only a few areas where we could take pictures, but I'm really glad we took the time to find this place and tour it. After the bunker we visited the Cesis Castle and an old windmill. Tuesday was a full day but we had a great time!!

Riga, Latvia...Thursday - Monday

We're BACK! We had such an AMAZING time in Latvia and we can't thank Christa & Vitaly enough!! Each day was a filled with interesting places, a new adventure, great conversation and lots of fun. To fill you in on the whole week in one blog seems impossible so I'm going to share a few days at a time...ENJOY!

Thursday July 9th we dropped off the kids with grandparents and headed to the cities to stay with dan's brother and sister in law (Joe and Chrystal), they were also joining us on the trip

Friday....T....R...A...V...E...L...it took a long time, but it went well. We would have been a day late, but God took care of even the small details and because we were at the airport so early, we were able to make the earlier flight to Chicago because our original flight was already set to be delayed. Had that not happened we may have missed our Chicago flight, been late for our flight to Poland and from Poland there is only one flight a day to Riga and we would have for sure missed that one. HE took care of us...no doubt about it!Saturday...we ARRIVED in Riga, Latvia!!!

Sunday we were able to fellowship and worship at Christ and Vitaly's church. What a blessing! It's a very small body of believers and so after church we were all going to go out for lunch together but the place they normally go had had a fire that day and so instead we enjoyed grilling at C & V's house. We had a great time and great conversation (they all spoke english)!! That evening we went and toured the sites in Riga from C & V's past....where they met, previous places they've lived, where Vitaly grew up, various landmarks...very interesting and a great way to ease our jeg lagged bodies into the week. We ended the day as we did each day...with a game of Nerts...it's multiple player solitaire. It's a family tradition to play this game whenever we're all together. FUN!!!

Monday we started by visiting where Vitaly works...what a nice place!! Then we headed to Old Riga and saw some gorgeous buildings, ate some great food and walked in an area that was originally built between the13th and 16th centuries...you don't find that here in ND!!! Then of course...we ended with Nerts!