Well, did you have a nice New Year's? Although Jeremy and I had been invited to ring in the new year with our buddy Dan, we were beginning to feel a little partied out, so we declined the invite and just spent a cozy evening together. Jeremy had been talking about taking me to this nice restaurant in the Renaissance hotel a few tram stops away, so braving the bitter cold (it was 5 degrees), we took a walk there for dinner. Unfortunately the restaurant wouldn't be open until 10 for a New Year's party. I had been hoping for a cheeseburger and fries, but luckily the cafe below it had a few choices. I had the roast beef and potatoes, a glass of wine and apple strudel, so I am definitely not complaining about us having to resort to plan B. We also walked around the hotel a bit. There was a ten foot tree and two large gingerbread houses in the lobby and an odd mix of Christmas songs could be heard, putting me in good spirits.
Afterwards, we headed home to find someone had left some fir tree branches in a jar of water and sprinkled a few strands of tinsel on it for us and our neighbors to enjoy when we leave our apartment floor. I think I might add a peace crane and ornament to it... we then enjoyed time together and watching Godfather Part 2 until firecrackers boomed and fizzled outside. We watched them glitter and disappear for a bit before surprisingly found they were putting us to sleep. I read one last Russian folktale to my love before we said good-bye to 2006 forever.
I haven't made any real resolutions since I kind of started thinking of a new strategy for my time here a few weeks ago anyway. The plan is to practice my Russian lessons without Katya around to gain come confidence in speaking. Just Saturday I went to the market and got myself a very nice head of cabbage. I understood everything the lady there said to me- success! I am also going to start making new friends and spending time outside of the ELC. I am beginning to feel a bit used, so I think distancing myself will do me some good.
Today I made blinies (if you click on the word bliny you'll be privy to my recipe) and we finished the Godfather which got me in the mood for Italian so I whipped up a spinach lasagna for my love. I am glad 2006 is over although I don't really believe it has come to an end. It might take me a few days.
Another factoid about the Russian holiday
In Russia, some people get dressed up in costumes for New Years, especially kids so it's kind of like New Years, Xmas and Halloween rolled into one day.