How we spent our first seven days in Russia: from airport to the Christmas tree…
Our journey to Rostov, Russia began with a VERY LONG road trip to New York City. There were 14 people, including 9 children (one was a 7 month old baby) in a 15 passenger van. We were also pulling a small UHAUL trailer containing all our bags. The trip began about 4 p.m. in the afternoon of December 30th, 2016, and finally ended about 12 p.m. December 31st, 2016. Along the way we stopped in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Fr. Joseph picked up a newspaper that was very fitting for our trip.
After checking into our hotel, we ate lunch at a nearby Applebees. Our service could have been better, but we were all thankful to get out of that van. We returned to our hotel rooms, took showers, watched The Two Towers, and The Return of The King. Supper that night was pizza and soda. Yes, the children picked the menu! The next morning we packed up, and headed to church at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. Trying to park a 15 passenger van with a UHAUL trailer attached was rather interesting. In the end, Subdeacon Jeremy and Fr. Joseph ended up dropping us off in front of the church, and parking a few blocks away. We all thoroughly enjoyed worshiping together, and they were very friendly and encouraging about our impending journey.
After church we walked a few blocks to a small café, and had a delicious lunch. Next we walked several blocks back to the van, and went sight-seeing. The World Trade Center and Memorial, Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty were among the attractions we saw.
High praise goes to Subdeacon Jeremy for driving the van and trailer in New York traffic! Next, we headed to JFK airport. All total we had to check in 10 people, and 22 pieces of luggage (not counting our carry-ons). Thankfully we were able to get it all checked, receive our boarding passes, and then head on to security. . . .
The flight went very smoothly. The kids that were 10 and under were given a small bag that had games, crayons, and stickers in it. We flew out about 8 p.m., and arrived in Moscow about 12:30 p.m. their time. This worked well for our kids. They served us dinner, and then the kids watched a movie. Shortly after, they lowered the lights and everyone went to sleep. About an hour before we landed, they served us breakfast. The flight was about 9 hours long.
When we arrived in Moscow, we had to go through Customs. They looked at our passports, and stamped them. We headed to baggage claim to collect our 22 pieces of luggage. Another HUGE blessing was free carts to move our bags out to where Fr. Roman and a couple of other people were waiting for us. Fr. Roman and the other two men were very friendly, and loaded our bags into a van.
Then we began the 3 hour drive to Rostov . . .
Read the full article here: Our First Week in Rostov, Russia