How was our trip? Well, Yuri picked us up at our house last night around 9 pm and drove us to the train station. Our train was already there when we reached the station, so we boarded right away. The train left at 10:55 pm and we arrived in Kiev at 7:15 the next morning. From there we took a 30 minute taxi to the airport. We flew out at 10:30 am and arrived in Poland at 11:50 am (Ukrainian time). Tired and hungry, we jumped into a comfy van for about 1 1/2 hour ride to Krakow.
Now how boring life would be if that was all there was to it? Straight-forward moving from one goal to the next. But it's never that simple. There's always an adventure between the times. This was our adventure...
Yuri arrived about 15 minutes early, which was good because it took them about that long to figure out how to get us all in the car! Have you ever seen a group squeaze as many people as they can into a car? Well, that's about what we looked like - only with luggage and people. I don't even think I can begin to describe his car except to say I have never owned a car that small (and rarely ever driven in one). But, we all made it. Then came the task of getting it all up the stairs of the train station. I'll have to take a picture of those because I don't think I could count them. (Okay...a little bit of an exaggeration, but there are quite a few.) Usually I am a pretty light packer, but my sister and I probably encouraged each other in the wrong way. Poor Eric.
The girls are always excited when they first get on the train. Maybe it's the little table in the cabin or just because we always do it, but they also always think they have to have something to eat. I layed out the mattress on the floor and the girls slept there. Sammy slept with me. I didn't think it would be a big deal because he use to sleep fine, but he likes his space now and moved and moaned all night. We were all anxious to get off the train by the time we reached Kiev because they are always roasting hot. It was nice to get some fresh air while waiting to get into a taxi. The taxi ride was probably the easiest part of our trip since the driver had us laughing the entire time.
At the airport, we checked in and didn't have any problems besides the fact that our double stroller wouldn't fit through any of the doors until we got to customs. If you receive our prayer letters, then you heard about the new law here in Ukraine that says that those with ministry visas do not need to get registration stamps in their passports. Well, laws here change so much that no one actually knows any of them. They held us up at the customs window for at least 30 minutes...calling over and consulting with other people as to what to do because we didn't have a registration. Fortunately, Eric had printed out the law and was able to show it to them. They told Eric it was a good thing he did otherwise we would have been charged a fine. After we passed customs, the girls ran back and forth in a little open area to get off some of their energy and watched the planes. They really enjoyed the plane ride. Sammy had a little bit of a hard time and was ready to be out. Thankfully, it is a short flight.
As we were getting ready to get off I dropped the "baby seatbelt", quickly picked it up and stuffed it in the pocket in front of the seat then we all started walking towards the airport. I happened to glance down at my purse and hanging out of it was that baby seatbelt! Our laughing and jokes caught the attention of one of the workers, and he came over to get it. When we landed, we went straight to the taxi/van. Sammy and Lydia fell asleep almost immediately and Anna sang the entire way.
What we have enjoyed so far (of course pizza...though not Pizza Hut yet)...
A walk through the center.
(Aren't the flowers beautiful?)
Juice in the mall.