Monday, November 24, 2014

T-Minus 30 Days...

We have less than one month left in Vlad.

So crazy!!!!

With all the preparations for the move to Australia and a LOT of upcoming travel to look forward to, I found this coat check tag to be particularly appropriate...

Something to remember in this time of travel snd change. :)


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Halloween and Fall Food Experiments

Kristen says...

Halloween has come and gone (silly costumes aplenty), but pumpkins are living on at the Fink home...

I can't say I'm a huge fan of pumpkin pie (or, really, a fan at all) but that hasn't stopped me from tackling something I never thought to try, making a pumpkin pie from scratch!

It was particularly intimidating because I was doing it in Russia, and pumpkins here don't really look exactly like pumpkins in the States...
Green Jack o'lanterns?
 Especially not this type of pumpkin ;)

 Anyway, I started out by cutting the pumpkin in half, scooping out the insides (don't think I didn't roast those pumpkin seeds later, yum yum!)

 And then I steamed the pumpkin for a few minutes (20 or so)
 Scooped out the soft pumpkin
 And blended it until smooth
 7+ ingredients and an hour and a half in the oven later...voila! Pumpkin pie from scratch! Woot!

I had some ulterior motives for going through this process:

So much fun!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Vladivostok Tour

Kristen says...

Well, the weather looked like this at one point over the weekend:
Why, yes, that is snow!
But a couple weeks ago the sun was warm when we had a delightful guided tour of Vladivostok's important cultural and historical sights:
Chris, Kristen and the Bridge to Russiky Island
How lucky for Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova (the first woman in space!) she gets to enjoy that view every day:

We also checked out the Vladivostok train station:

And visited km 9288, the end of the Trans-Siberian railroad!

Interestingly, there is also a former Trans-Siberian steam engine at the station...

With this plaque attached, explaining that the train was part of the Lend-Lease Act! Sweet!

 We finished our trip with a visit to the Eagle's Nest Mount (our first trip back since last winter)

What a difference a few months makes!!


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Recent Cultural Experiences

Kristen says...

We have been involved in a couple different cultural experiences over the past weeks here in Vlad. The first was a quasi-American experience, while the second was very, very Russian.

Just like last year, we were recently visited by a few American actors who were in town for the Vladivostok/Pacific Meridian Film Festival including:
Stephen Baldwin
Michael Madsen (again)
Oscar Winner Adrien Brody
 I also got to meet (and chat with for quite a while) the delightful Alexander Pyatkov (Александр Пятков), a well-known Russian actor and a funny funny guy.

This past weekend we were invited to attend a really well put together Folk Dancing Festival, in which the various types of dance found in and around Russia were showcased.

We were treated to everything from traditional dances

to ballet,

modern dance,
the dance above was about colors, the one below about pancakes!

international flavors,

all the way to the downright adorable!

 So cute, right?!

Anyway, lucky us, culture is so fun! We're trying to soak in as much Russian culture as we can before we leave...which is amazingly soon...yikes!