Week’s Favorites, 1st of January 2017

New Years Eve

This year flew by so quickly, I can’t even believe it! So much has happened, and now here we are, in Russia with my parents!

But let’s start from the beginning.

December 26th we went to Konrad’s parents for a nice family lunch.day after christmas

Favorite Salad

I wish I took the photo, but the salad was so good it simply vanished as soon as my skoonma put it on the table.

It’s called an Overnight Salad and it’s made with lettuce, pepper, celery, green peas and mayo.

It was wonderful and I should try and make it here for my parents as well.

Favorite Adventure

My skoonpa took Jen and myself for a plane ride!  This little plane is called microlight and the experience was indescribable!

microlight

You sit in the back behind the instructor, you only have a lap belt to protect you from falling, and you can even steer!

The instructor, very cool and friendly guy Roy, explained us everything, how to navigate, how safe it is, etc. Jen was the first one to go but she looked a bit scared because before that Konrad said we would be jumping out of the plane.

When she came back she had such a huge smile that I don’t think I’ve seen before! She really enjoyed it.

As for me, I was stoked! We took off quickly and went up into the sky. South Africa is just so beautiful. You see the land, the hills, the cattle and the gorgeous sky. I had a chance to steer the plane but it was pretty hard because of the wind. I was hoping I wouldn’t do anything wrong so I was very subtle with my steering.

We spent about half an hour in the sky but the rain was approaching and we had to land. The landing part was scarier for me, but it wasn’t any less fun.

I truly enjoyed this trip and if you want a bit of adrenaline rush, or if you want to see once more how beautiful Johannesburg is, book yourself a flight with Roy!

Jen and I tried to finish our puzzle, but it finished us. Empty cups of coffee and nowhere near completing the puzzle. That’s ok, we will do it next time Jenn is here.unfinished puzzle

We got hungry so we went to Wimpy in the Mall of the South for some breakfast. My fries weren’t the best, but the latte was nice and warming.

wimpy vegetarian breakfastwimpy latte

Nika had fun playing with these sugars.

We saw Jen off later that evening. Can’t believe how quickly these two weeks passed.seeing jenn off at or tambo

Favorite Cheesecake

On Friday my skoonma took Nika and I to this new place, that I haven’t been to yet, called Buca. The view from there is breathtaking!

buca restaurant view

They have a really nice and smooth berry cheesecake. So if you have a cheesecake craving, check this place out.buca cheesecake and latte

Most of the week I was packing for our trip to Russia. I needed to think of the toys for Nika to play on the plane but also didn’t want to pack too much because I’d have to carry it around and it’s an extra weight.

toys for the plane

Originally I packed all these three types of toys – stacking cups, wooden puzzle and dress the bear, but then I decided to leave the bear out and didn’t regret the decision.

Saturday came so quickly!

konrad seeing us off

Konrad took us to Mugg and Bean for breakfast and I had a Mango Berry freeze duo. I highly recommend the drink. It’s a combination of sweet and sour tasty and very refreshing!

mango berry freeze, mugg and bean

After that we spent the day at Konrad’s parents, swimming and tanning.

playing by oumafamily feet

My skoonma made her special iced coffee that I love so much, and then we went to the airport. My skoonparents and Kelly and Ali joined us.

We had a dinner at Cappello. Can’t say I love this place. The first time, when we were seeing Jenn off, it took them half an hour to get us a cup of coffee, this time I had a bug in my salad.

It was bitter sweet because Konrad wasn’t coming to Russia with us this time. Our flight was an hour delayed, so we spent an extra hour together.

Finally it was the time to say goodbye. I’m such a cry baby when it comes to goodbyes.

New Years Eve

We wished each other a Happy New Year, kissed and hugged and Nika and I left.

leaving south africa

While we were waiting for our flight, Nika wanted to walk back and forth wishing everyone a Happy New Year in her baby language.

We finally boarded. As a woman (I still can’t get used to calling myself a woman. Oh these 30s) with a child, I had a priority seating, so Nika enjoyed having a seat to herself for like half an hour.

emirates seat to herself

We flew with the Emirates, and Nika got a soft toy/blankie and some washing/cleaning gift from the airline. Ain’t it cute?

emirates washing and toy gift

Awesome Thing

2017 was the first New Years that we celebrated on the plane. It was something totally different and cool. I was expecting to see the fireworks and though I’d have the best seat for it being up in the air, but no fireworks could be seen.

Favorite Airplane Movie

When Nika fell asleep I decided to watch some movies and my favorite was the Mother’s Day. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. It’s pretty sweet and funny.

I was eating my veggie lasagna dinner and the whole New Years in the sky experience was somewhat romantic.

dinner on the emirates plane

Our first flight was delayed, so upon arrival to Dubai we had to run, quickly get on the bus and quickly get on our second flight from Dubai to Moscow.

All Time Favorite Flight

This Dubai to Moscow flight was my top favorite out of all the flights I took.

over dubai on the emirates plane

It was EMPTY, which is something that everyone would love, but apart from that the crew was incredible! They were so friendly, helpful and fun! Nika got two more gifts, another soft toy/blankie and a writing board, they took a polaroid photo of Nika with the Emirates hat on, and just overall were super awesome.

emirates gifts for babies nika loves the emirates giftstight hugs, Nika loves the Emirates gifts

Even though I didn’t get my vegetarian breakfast, they were super helpful and tried to accommodate every way possible. I just took the easiest to separate meat option and they even offered me another one, but my breakfast was quite filling so I thanked them but refused.

lunch on the emirates plane coffee break on the emirates plane

So here we are, approaching the Moscow Domodedovo airport. Flying from the heat of the South African summer into the cold of the Russian winter.

south african sunset, summersouth african sunset, summer The scenery wasn’t very welcoming, but I knew my parents are super excited to see us.

russian winter

I was supposed to get our suitcase in Moscow but it was left behind somewhere in Dubai, so I had to go and fill out the form to pick it up in my hometown. We were short on time, but the lady there in Domodedovo Lost and Found quickly assisted me.

We finally got on our third flight, from Moscow to Kurumoch. We were flying with S7 and it was tiny! I was so grateful it was only an hour and 20 minutes, and that Nika was sleeping on this flight.

Winter Sky Above Russia

We finally arrived to Samara!

samara kurumoch airport

One good thing about getting your suitcase lost is that you don’t have to wait for it and can go directly to the gate. As soon as the door opened I saw my parents standing there, all bundled up with such happy smiles on their faces! Mom ran to hug us, then dad gave us a hug and we started changing Nika into her new warm winter clothes.

She wasn’t too happy as she wasn’t used to having so many layers. Her clothes that she came in, another sweater, warm pants, warm jacket, warm boots, warm hat…

I quickly put on my warm clothes and we went outside. Oh wow, I forgot how cold it can be! The air that I was breathing in made the my nostrils touch. I pulled Nika closer to me, and quickly jumped into my parents car.

It wasn’t even 7pm but it was already dark. We finally made it home, Nika was more than awake. My parents showered her with her new toys, we ate a bit, took a shower and jumped in bed.

Wow, what an incredible New Year!

About the author

Olia Voronkova

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