10 Tips to Travel Azores

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  1. Azores is the new must-have on your dream vacation list. It’s a nirvana for nature lovers, but don’t underestimate the cultural life which is blooming there.  For example, on Terceira Island there is a wonderful history museum you can easily spend a half day in and great musical events (ask me details if interested).
  2. Don’t try to speak Spanish in Portugal. None. Nada. If you know some Spanish words and assume that the Portuguese will understand you – forget it. They probably will understand you, but it won’t do you any good. They don’t like to speak Spanish and don’t appreciate others confusing them with Spaniards.  You’d be better off by gesticulating with your hands and smiling.
  3. When travelling Portugal, stay in a Pousada at least once. A Pousada is a hotel located inside of a real medieval castle of …
  4. Try seafood anywhere you go. It’s all as fresh as it can be. If the waiter tells you about the catch of the day, trust them/ It will be the best catch you can have
  5. You don’t need to run far to catch an amazing sunset. There are tons of places (Miraduro in Portuguese) specifically created to enjoy the view
  6. Everyone who goes there starts by checking out the volcanos: there are different types of volcanos -horizontal, vertical, old or acting. See them all
  7. A local travel group created a lot of hiking trails of varying difficulty. Ask about maps in tourist offices or your hotel.
  8. There are no wild animals you to avoid, only domestic bulls. Locals say that be careful especially of those who are alone. Run fast or climb a tree.
  9. Pineapples are grown in the Azores natives. There are a lot of local cheeses and other dairy products. As well as wine. Don’t leave the islands without trying them
  10. The Portuguese have a sweet tooth. There are signature desserts you have to try such as donna Amelia cake and the famous Pastel de Nata. Don’t forget to order coffee Galao (espresso and steamed milk).  It is served in a tall glass

The final advice is: Don’t waste your time, don’t google it! Just go there!

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Labor Day is over

Labor Day weekend is over. First time I didn’t go anywhere. Before, we always tried to go somewhere far to catch the last summer fun. (For example, last year we flew to Budapest, Hungary-we bought tickets at 10 AM for 5PM flight the same day). Well, this year Continue reading “Labor Day is over”

Theater Culture in Russia

On March 27 was the World Theater Day.  From early childhood, I love theaters. In past, I lived in front of theater and always watched crowds and actors to go in and from work and went to almost every play. I also played in school theater (of course-who doesn’t).Theater is a big part of Russian culture, and I really miss it in the United States. Of course, if you are in New York or San-Francisco, you probably will have enough to feed your theatric curiosity, but not everywhere in the US. When I go to St. Petersburg during summer, on the second day after arrival I run to Continue reading “Theater Culture in Russia”

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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THANKSGIVING… I like the way it sounds,…and even if this holiday has absolutely different idea behind it, it is just sounds right to thank for everything and everybody: for long days and short nights, for my family who tolerates me, for my kids who teach me how to live, for my friends and potential friends, for pain of unconditional love and comfort of mutual love, for sunshine of Central Asia and heavy rains of Saint-Petersburg, for beauty of Rome and unbeatable charm of Europe’s cobblestone streets , for American South with its’ hard to get accent and honey sweet attitude, for BBQ, for irises in earlier in spring in my Gramma’s garden, for Gin and Tonic, for Long Island Ice Tea, for Long Island itself, for NYC and Broadway, for good books which are already written and which are not written yet, for fresh coffee in the morning from clay Prague mug, for Turkmen carpets, for Italian language I never learnt, for Atlantic Ocean and cute Pacific seals, for San-Francisco’s everything, for Russian birches, fairy tales and New Year eves, for shortbread cookies, fresh seafood, for good old movies and classic theaters, for Russian churches, for glintwine on Christmas market, for poetry, for crepes with caviar, for green tea with mint, for Moscow metro, for mutt dogs with smart eyes, for Central Asian markets with mountains of watermelons and hills of bullheart tomatoes, for fried eggplants, for apple pies with melted vanilla ice cream on it, for smell of fresh cut grass, for my exhausting but inspiring nostalgia, for hopes, for all little and big things I deeply loved, or love, or may love in the future. Thank you!

Do You Also Need a Vacation After Vacation?

 

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Vacation season is over. At the end of any vacation I am always thinking that I need another one. I guess it is because vacations are stressful. It’s surprising that something which is expected to help us to relax and bring us to a stress release environment carries such a strong pressure itself. Stress unwelcomely appeared at all stages such as planning, booking, packing….and, finally, jet lagging. It’s also funny, that being a travel addict, I passionately hate to Continue reading “Do You Also Need a Vacation After Vacation?”

“Carlson on the roof” – SWEDEN CITIZEN WITH RUSSIAN PASSPORT

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Few days ago a lady in a book club I visit from time to time asked everybody “What was your first favorite book you read, liked and remembered?”. My American counterparts shared their favorites, and then it was my turn. I think my first book was what my parents read to me, and it probably was Russian fairy tales and fairy tales by Alexander Pushkin. But when I started reading myself, it was “Pippi Longstocking “by Astrid Lindgren followed by “Carlson on the Roof” and so on. Astrid Lindgren was and still is one of my favorite children’s writers. It’s strange that Continue reading ““Carlson on the roof” – SWEDEN CITIZEN WITH RUSSIAN PASSPORT”

White House Petition “Alaska Back to Russia”

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I love it!
It’s not a joke-I saw it today in the news and couldn’t help but wanted to share. The truth is that The White House will have to issue an official response to petitions on the official website if they receive 100,000 signatures in 30 days. This petition’s deadline is April 20 to reach that goal. A similar petition was created in 2012 calling for Texas to leave the union. It received over 100,000 signatures and the White House responded.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/03/27/thousands-sign-official-white-house-petition-to-return-alaska-to-russia/

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Today is St. Patrick’s Day. This year it went unusually quietly for me. The best thing came from my Zumba instructor, Janice. It turns out that she is Irish ( this, of course, explains a lot, especially her irrepressible energy charge). Janice brought to class all sorts of green hats and handkerchiefs, was fun and cheerful, and even made ​​us dance under few Irish songs.

And I remembered my acquaintance with this cool holiday in one of my first Continue reading “Happy St. Patrick’s Day”

The Birthday Cake Mystery

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For two weeks we have been babysitting a dog with a sweet name, Moonpie.  Her owner, my good friend Lynette , left for a month to save the world ( Africa in particular), and brought the dog to us.  Moonpie, as you can see from the picture, is a Basset Hound and she looks like a hybrid of crocodile and cow with the cutest face.   Lynette adopted Moonpie from a shelter when she was 3 years old. Doggie happens to have a past and some psychological problems. When she is nervous, she begins to eat books, especially the ones that you are now reading. She gets nervous quite often, almost always when left alone.  My husband and son approached this habit with deep understanding…They both ( famous dog shrinks), explained to me that when Moonpie eats the book it’s probably the same as when kids bite nails.  When Lynette brought the dog to us, she went around our house and advised that we move up some of the books.  Aside from her neurosis, Moonpie is Continue reading “The Birthday Cake Mystery”

Happy International Women’s Day!

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According to Wikipedia International Women’s Day (IWD), originally called International Working Women’s Day, is March 8.  Started as a Socialist political event in the early 1900s (first in the US, then in Europe), the holiday blended into the culture of many countries, primarily in Europe, including Russia. In some regions, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love for women. In Russia, following the October revolution, the Bolshevik Alexandra Continue reading “Happy International Women’s Day!”