Saturday, May 31, 2014

Russia's American Pastime

Kristen says...

Happy Memorial Day! (A week late...oops!) :)

Last weekend, (Memorial Day weekend) members of the Consulate communities in Vladivostok were invited to play a friendly game of baseball vs. a local amateur team, the Vladivostok Tigers.

So, we did!

Three of the Americans from our Consulate were joined by two members of the Indian Consulate to form the core of a team supplemented by some local university students...
Chris wasn't able to attend due to some ongoing shoulder pain, poor guy!
 I'm not going to say we were awesome (I think the most recently any of us had played baseball was maybe 5-10 years, if ever) but we did have a WHOLE LOT of fun!
I played softball from the time I was 5 or 6 (tee ball) on through the summer after my junior year of high school...actually the shirt I'm wearing here was from my major league softball days (age 10-12) in Iowa. Good times!!

The Tigers were not only good at baseball, they were also good sports about throwing hit-able balls to us baseball novices...I was up to bat 4 times and got 4 hits! I even outran two balls at first base and scored a run in the last inning!

One of the best parts of the day was teaching the two Indians how to play baseball. They were both well-versed in cricket, but had never played baseball before. I had a great time explaining the intricacies of the game to them, and was even able to use my (very small) cricket knowledge to compare and contrast a bit.

What a fun and American way to spend our Memorial Day weekend! I love the small moments that make even the farthest-away places feel like home! :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

When Did April End?! April and Early May Happenings.

Kristen says...

And then it was May! Crazy how time flies! :)

We have been very busy the past few weeks, doing this and that...

For example:

A couple of weeks ago, Lawrence "Trooper" Johnson, a Paralympic wheelchair basketball champion visited Vladivostok and held a training camp for local players. At the end of the week they had a public scrimmage between all the players. I'm not much of a basketball fan, but I really enjoyed watching them play!
Chris also showed off his basketball...skills :)
We've also had pretty decent weather recently (at least, better than 10° and snowing!) paired with two long weekends, so we have gotten out into the city a bit more.

On our way to the basketball game we stopped by this famous Vladivostok statue, the hitchhiking sailor. This isn't as odd of a thing as you might imagine, as hitchhiking is quite popular here.

 After the basketball game we checked out one of Vlad's newest restuarants, an official Paulaner brewery with chef and brewer imported from Germany. Needless to say, the food is good, the beer (according to Chris) is great, and the pretzels are AMAZING!

 This weekend is Victory Day in Russia, so after work on Thursday we went to Syndicate, a 1930s America-themed steakhouse that most of us really love. We were surprised to be treated to Victory Day concert, which was very nice!

Today the weather is AMAZING, so Chris and I had a nice BBQ and Chris even got out the Birdee Golf set and practiced his short game!

Awesome! Yay spring! :)