Last Minute Trip to St. Petersburg…sure why not!

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i just need to take a minute to be very proud of myself. i am currently winning the war with my travel anxiety! we decided 3 days ago that we should take a last minute trip to st. petersburg, russia since we are over here. my first reaction was to come up with about 7 excuses about why i shouldn’t go and then i thought “hey! don’t let this win again…just go with the flow and see what happens.”

farah and i stayed up until 3am trying to book flights (turns out a flight was cheaper than the seats left on the 9 hour one-way train ride) and after lots of obstacles…trip complete. we got up at 3:37am this morning to make our 7am flight and i continued to tell myself “just go with the flow and it will work out.”

now looking at this picture 17 hours later…i have only slight recollection of taking this photo.

the new wifestyle st petersburg russia tripit was a zippy 1 hour 10 minute flight from moscow to st. petersburg. i also experienced the fastest and one of the more terrifying taxi rides of my life (actually we decided ALL of our lives). we were definitely pushing 100 miles per hour for the majority of the ride. i cannot begin to think about the ride back.

thankfully they got us to our hotel and we immediately all took an unattractive nap in lobby while they prepared our rooms at the marriott courtyard st. petersburg/pushkin hotel. they woke one of us up (i don’t think it was me) and said they had 1 room ready if we would like to go snore in there instead of the lobby. okay…they didn’t say the snoring part but it’s true. thankfully it was double beds and 3 people piled on for each bed for a 2 hour nap before exploring. travel makes you close, people.

the new wifestyle st petersburg russia canal ryan and chelsea averydid you notice i’m slightly more fashionable? my husband wheeled and dealed in a market in moscow and got me a new grey coat. i’m a little in love with it.

we decide to grab some lunch at a small russian restaurant called “cafe USSR” that had some interesting USSR things inside of it but incredibly affordable and decent food. ravery and i ate for $10! this is compared to the $8 coffee i drank in the airport this morning-yikes.

the new wifestyle ussr cafenext we set off to explore the city like some straight up tourists….big red city bus tour!

the new wifestyle st petersburg city bus touri have never done one of these before and i will absolutely do it again in big cities any time i can! it was great to listen to an audio tour in your language to learn about what you are seeing. it cost about $15 a person and lasts 2 hours. here’s what i look like as a tourist:

the new wifestyle st petersburg chelsea avery bus tourthe city of st. petersburg is quite large and filled with a ton of history. unfortunately my brain is fried and i have to be up in 7 hours so here’s a few of my favorites.

“church on split blood” (pretend the top isn’t cut off because i couldn’t fit the whole church in from our double decker position).  this site is where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and is dedicated to his memory. completed in 1907.

the new wifestyle st petersburg church of the spilt bloodthis statue is of Bronze Horseman, Étienne Maurice Falconet’s equestrian statue of Peter the Great (1782) but what’s way more impressive to me is that it sits atop a 4 MILLION POUND STONE. even more impressive-it was moved only by human power. i know. let that sink in. it makes me want to start doing more push ups.

the new wifestyle st petersburg city tour 4 million pound stone statueagain…highly recommend  the city tour even though it blatantly calls you out as a tourist. also-remember to bring adequate clothing because my teeth were certainly chattering when the sun went down by the end of it.

the new wifestyle st petersburg russia city bus tourwhile we waited for our shuttle back to the hotel, we caught the sky bursting in to breathtaking colors along Nevsky Prospect, one of the main avenues of st. petersburg and best known streets in russia (or so i’m told in my audio tour).

the new wifestyle st petersburg russia sunset along nevksy prospecttonight we sleep deep and fast because tomorrow consists of a big day at the Hermitage Museum. i am beyond excited and told ravery i won’t be ridiculous and try to see all 3 million pieces of art, sculptures, artifacts but only like 1.9 million.

the new wifestyle: don’t let irrational fears or thoughts take control of your world because you will never know what will change you.

1) what’s the most last minute trip you’ve taken?
2) have you ever done a city tour of a new place on a bus? where at?
3) what are you looking forward to most about your weekend?


  1. Paula Howley

    September 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    WELL DONE YOU!!!!!

    • chelsea

      September 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      thank you paula 🙂 therapy dooooes work!

  2. Leanna

    September 14, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    I envy you visiting the Hermitage. I love art museums. I highly recommend the novel Madonnas of Leningrad. It is the story of how the art of the Hermitage was saved during WWII. It’s a great read.

    • chelsea

      September 21, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      this was an amazing place leanna-i feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to see it! thanks for your recommendation on the book-i will see if i can get it on the kindle for our upcoming travels-sounds like an interesting book!

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  4. david1levy

    September 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

    1) what’s the most last minute trip you’ve taken?
    As a kid, I was mowing the lawn when a buddy drove by (well, his mom drove by) and asked if I wanted an extra ticket to see Simon and Garfunkle play Shea Stadium (the old Mets stadium) in New York. Yes! Not much of a “trip” per se. …and most of my other sojourns since then have received adequate planning! Now ask me about the trip I almost DIDN’T take at the last minute. Always arrive EARLY people! Whew!

    2) have you ever done a city tour of a new place on a bus? where at?
    I don’t think so, but Cincinnati has this bus/boat that scoots up the river and then drives right onto shore and continues the tour! I keep thinking that I need to check that out!

    3) what are you looking forward to most about your weekend?
    Opening night! It’s fun to be acting again and with a friend as the director and several in the cast, it’s been a lot of fun working on this show!

  5. chelsea

    September 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    ohhhh you got to see simon and garfunkle-how amazing david! i feel on the whole ‘arrival early’ woooweee! you should totally check out the boat tour in cincinnati and let me know how it is so we can come back and eat ice cream too 🙂

    i hope you had a fabulous time at opening night-how exciting! i bet you knocked it outta the park (back to the reference to the old mets stadium-unless they aren’t a baseball team then ignore this whole thing).

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