…and we are off to RUSSIA!

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we are leaving for the airport shortly and i’ve checked my suitcase about 4 times so hopefully we are good to go! we’ve heard how incredibly expensive food is in russia and we are all about saving money in this family so i will sacrifice clothes for food any day. i expect to eat one jar of peanut butter myself.

couples traveling to russia packing with food

we will primarily be staying in moscow and exploring that unique city. we are extremely fortunate to be staying with a family friend and she lives in the heart of downtown! i’m so excited! i absolutely LOVE to travel but the actual act of traveling amps up my anxiety. i am armed with good books, dual headphone jack (because we are cheap and will not pay for 2 TVs but instead compromise on movies-but hopefully they are free), cards and a sleeping pill. please still send me your anti-anxiety vibes-please and thank you.

in ravery’s carry-on we have plenty of snacks, coats to wad up into pillows and travel scrabble! i have also made up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (my essential for traveling) and have other carby crackers and snacks too.

couples traveling to russia carry on gameswe fly from houston to amsterdam and have a couple hour layover so we will see how we feel when we land about walking around the city for a little bit. then we fly from amsterdam to RUSSIA! i am very interested and intrigued to see how different the culture and way of life is over there and i’m sure it will make for some interesting stories and experiences.

before we left, we obviously had to test out the mentos/pop explosion that we got for our anniversary! i let ravery set it all up since he hadn’t seen it before. his face is quite genuine and he was highly impressed. i absolutely drank some of the cherry pepsi…it was completely flat but still tasty since i don’t really drink pop anymore (it’s pop, not soda people).

mentos experiment with soda gyser

the new wifestyle: traveling can be a stressful event, do what you need to do to feel comfortable!

1) have you ever been to russia before? any ‘musts’?
2) favorite place you’ve traveled internationally?
3) what snacks must you have with you when traveling?


  1. Heather Hawkins

    September 6, 2013 at 11:42 am

    1) I have not gone to Russia and I don’t plan on doing so til they resolve their laws regarding the LGBT community. But I don’t hold it against anyone that does. Its just a personal thing.
    2) I love Iceland.
    3) I don’t usually bring snacks because of the ways that you have to declare food between countries and the possibility that they could tell you to throw it all away when you get there, and I’m not all about wasting my money.

    • chelsea

      September 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      yup the LGBTQ laws here are pretty horrendous…we had the trip booked a year ago or we probably wouldn’t have gone either. i have seen nothing enforced yet though. i know what you mean about customs and throwing food out. we are always sure to pack all commercially sealed things and eat everything perishable before we get there!

  2. Eric Winger

    September 6, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Our exchange student is Kazak, but speaks fluent Russian. If there’s any important phrases in Russian that you need, I can probably get you the phonetic spellings from her.

    Safe travels, and enjoy the trip!

    • chelsea

      September 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      thanks so much for the offer eric-that’s so neat that she’s fluent in russia! it’s a very interesting language to hear. we grabbed a little guide book and have gotten down a few phrases so far 🙂

  3. Tracy

    September 6, 2013 at 11:48 am

    1) I HAVE been, and it’s fantastic!! Be sure to check out Ismailevski market. A big, fun flea market full of touristy things. And of course, don’t miss Red Square!! I didn’t get to see Lenin when I was there, though I think it would’ve been interesting.
    2) Rome was definitely my favorite place! There’s something beautiful and interesting at every corner!!
    3) International travel, snacks are whatever I have. When driving, I MUST have sunflower seeds!!
    Have fun!! Wish I could join you!!

    • chelsea

      September 8, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      tracy-we are going to “Ismailevski market” tomorrow, i think!! so fun you’ve been here and enjoyed it! i have yet to been to rome but it looks spectacular! ohhh sunflower seeds when driving…interesting!

  4. Paula Howley

    September 6, 2013 at 11:56 am

    1. Nope, but I’d love to.
    2. England because my family is over there.
    3. When we fly it’s usually across country- 5 hour trips so we always bring sandwiches and fruit.

    • chelsea

      September 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      it’s been beautiful so far and we’ve been having a great time paula! i have yet to visit england either but it’s on my list! there is something that just makes you feel healthy when eating fruit and traveling!

  5. Karen O'Keefe

    September 6, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Have fun and take lots of photos! Russians are nice people–but the country itself is complicated (from what friends have said). For goodness sake, try the caviar and vodka…and report back to the rest of us. My Russian friends make amazing food. Borscht may be my favorite thing on earth. Every family has its own recipe. We hear about it as a cold beet soup, but they tend to make it with chicken or pork or beef and onions (and beets) and serve it warm.

    If you want to bring back something special, the country is known for their Matryoshka dolls (each one has a story illustrated on it), for amber jewelry, for lacquerware, and for their wooden combs (they are practical, easy to pack, and inexpensive).

    1. Although I have never been to Russia, I helped friends prepare for a trip there for several weeks to adopt their two kids…and then I got to hear all about it when they got back. My friend brought me a nesting doll. So pretty and special.

    2. My favorite place I have been is Australia–and I was only there for a few hours. Still, I made some lifelong friends while climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

    3. I generally bring nuts, carrots and celery, and string cheese to eat on the plane…and then shop locally. I also bring hard candy–which comes in handy if you are sitting next to children on a plane or bus….especially if they get wiggly. Parents are generally astonished and happy (assuming I ask them for permission to give a piece of candy to their wiggly kids).

    • chelsea

      September 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      wow karen-thank you SO much for your recommendations on what to bring back-totally helpful! i have already had my eyes on the stacking dolls 🙂 i’m not sure about trying caviar but we shall see if the opportunity presents itself. i can check off vodka! interesting about the borscht-i feel leery of that too but maybe after some vodka i’ll become braver!

      amazing that you made life long friends after a few hours in australia-that’s on my list too! smart about wiggly-kid-syndrome 🙂