From Seoul to Helsinki in 30 days! travel blog

Hello All!!

First I wanted to say how wonderful it has been to get all of your messages. I haven't been able to email all of you back yet, but I definately will!!!

So, right after I emailed you all from Seoul, we had huge thunder and lightning storms. So I waited a little, then finally borrowed an umbrella from the woman who ran the guest house, went out and bought my own umbrella, and it cleared up. :) So, overall Seoul was nice, hot and incredibly sticky, but nice. I wonder what the locals must have thought when they saw Beeb and I wandering down the streets (one very confused, very sweaty American girl and one older fellow who looked like a pipe smoking sailor). I think we must have cut a fine figure on the streets of Seoul! The other girl who is coming to Vladivostok, arrived that evening, and we went out just down the street from where we were staying and had a really nice little dinner, with some Korean wine that tasted like Boones Farm.

So the next morning I was up bright and early again. (I made sure to buy a little alarm clock this time, so I wouldn't have to rely on mother nature.) The only thing that was strange about my flight to Vladivostok was that our tickets said the flight was 10am - 2pm. Well on the plane they said our flight was only 2 hours. What Beeb and I hadn't realized was that there is a two hour time difference between Vladivostok and Seoul, which makes no sense, but that seems to be a very Russian thing to do. :) So we were picked up at the airport by the Asst. Director of the theatre, Valentina and a translator named Anastasia. Valentina looked a little serious at first, but she really funny and VERY nice. After getting dragged around the theatre for a little bit, they dropped Beeb off at his hotel, and then they took me to my appartment. It doesn't look like much, (the paint in the hall is bad, and the elevator looks more than a little scary), but it's pretty nice. It's a little bigger than the appartment I have in San Diego, and it has one of the biggest tubs I have ever seen. So, I got dropped off at about 6pm, and I was exhausted. They said they would come back at around 7 to take me to dinner and out for a little sightseeing. Well they finally showed up a little after 8, and I wasn't feeling too enthusiastic. But Anastasia, Valentina, and Valentina's niece (Ana) showed me a FANTASTIC time. First we had a really nice dinner, then they took me to the grocery store to pick up some stuff for later, and then we went to a giant celebration for Vladivostok's 145 birthday. Basically, we went to this giant open square in the rain and saw a pretty cool concert, and then we saw a fireworks show. Now, this had to have been THE most incredible fireworks show I had ever seen. We were standing right under the fireworks, and some of them were so big that I could see the whole thing without moving my head. The only down side to a show like this, is that some sparks actually made it down to the groud where the people were. So I've decided that the fireworks show does a good job of explaining life and driving in Russia: A little disorganized, some times a little unsafe, and one of the most impressive things I've ever seen!

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