My 29th birthday was this past week and my husband was here in Russia visiting me.  On my actual birthday, I decided I wanted Sean and I to get on the train and head to this little village I remembered seeing during the summer months while I was on my way home from Oranienbaum.  For some reason, I remember Сергиево (pronounced “Sergieva”), being much more charming during the summer months.  Perhaps this could be attributed to the beautiful weather on the day I went to Oranienbaum, the lush green countryside and all the sunflowers.  However, Tuesday was very cold and overcast….. needless to say, the little village was not quite as quaint and attractive as I recall.  In addition, there were many yards filled with large scary dogs who kept barking at Sean and I over shallow fences.  After traipsing along the muddy roads for some time, the cold air became too much and we decided to head back home on the warm train.  Although I remember  Сергиево being a more charming village, I was still glad to go there with Sean so that he could walk through a “real” village outside of the city center.  The one thing I did not do that I wish I had was take at least one or two photos of the new Russian-style McMansions, recently built amidst the old cottage homes – Sean and I found the contrast really funny 🙂  I hope you enjoy the photos and please do try to picture the adorable little marshy village during the beauty of the summer months!

The Little Orthodox Church.

Russian Banya (Bathhouse/Spa).

and some houses just fall apart.....

Red and Orange.

when in Russia, if you need to park a car somewhere, apparently sidewalks and yards are good options!

The signs read something like, "Do not throw trash in the ditch - here is not a dump," and "Do not throw trash in bags in the ditch - here is not a dump!"


Sean and I were trying to figure out if this house was abandoned or occupied - it was occupied.

At the Station.

Осень в Питере (Autumn in Piter)…..

I am well aware that an update to my blog is well overdue – my apologies!  Upon returning to Russia following two lovely weeks with my husband and families back in the States, I jumped right back into my courses and English teaching and I have had very little time to devote to sightseeing and exploring the Motherland.  My mind and time have been occupied by Energy Security, my Russian courses and Post-Soviet Political and Economic Development, not to mention trying to develop my dissertation thesis (the beast that it will be!)….. and of course, I love to spend time with my stellar friends here in Petersburg!  However, this past Saturday, my husband arrived in Piter for a visit and we celebrated with Caucasian food and time with friends, a walk in the park and a visit today to the Kirov Apartment museum (which was really interesting)….. tomorrow we plan to hop on a train and visit a small village outside of the city that I first spotted back in the summer months.  Everything is changing color here, although yellow seems to be the dominating mood and I feel like I am part of a Van Gogh painting every time I run or walk through the park.  In honor of Autumn and the changing of seasons, here are some photos I took this past weekend which capture a bit of the fall foliage and morning light (outside my window).  I hope you enjoy and perhaps, this will bring an end to the “occupation” of my FB wall 🙂  Happy Autumn!

the “late” morning sunrise outside my window….. this is what I see every morning when I look outside to scope out the weather.

Furshtatskaya Ulitsa.

Tavrichesky Sad.

Two Babushkas walking in Tavrichesky Sad (there are a few photos of this dynamic duo).

The two Babushkas, again.

yes, I was stalking the Babushkas for a bit….. but it was so sweet to watch them walk and talk!

changing colors.

people stick leaves in tree bark. go figure!

silouette of Sean…..

feeling like I am part of the “yellow period”

the burning bush…..

when everygreens turn yellow and orange…..

crowns of leaves – apparently, it is the thing to do here in Autumn!

the lost crown amidst the algae pool…..

yellow and orange everywhere…..

bridge in Tavrichesky Sad.

the corrider that leads to my home (all the way up to the top and looking down).