I flew to NYC on Wednesday and stayed at a friends house. I met a few of her friends, went around the city, and had a lot of fun. On Friday, I took a cab to the airport and met with the people that were going to Russia.

The first flight was from JFK airport to Helsinki. It took a little over 7 hours, so it was not bad at all. I didn’t sleep at all, I watched two movies, a few shows, and listened to music. Another interesting thing was that in the row in front of me, there was a 3.5 week old baby, it was so small! I’m not sure why the parents travel with such a young baby, but it seemed to go ok, the baby did not cry for more than a few seconds.

The second flight was from Helsinki to St. Petersburg, that one got delayed one hour, but it was not a problem. The flight itself only lasted for 40 minutes. For some reason, Finair (the airline) decided I was vegan, and only gave me vegan meals. They had my name and seat number, so I couldn’t really say it was not me. I ended better off than the non vegan meals, I got fruit, salad, and other stuff, which was more than what the normal meal was.

After we got to St. Petersburg, we took a bus to Novgorod. I slept for most of the ride, I think it was a few hours, I really don’t remember.
The bus dropped me off near the apartment complex where I am staying. My host father went to pick me up there. Once I arrived, I met my host mother, grandma, and sister. They were all very nice. I still have a very hard time communicating with them, but we are doing just fine. I also had a great dinner. I don’t usually eat strawberries, but I figured I would try them because they grow them here in their garden. After I ate one by itself, Татьяна, my host mother, told me to cut them and eat them with milk, like cereal. It was very very good, and with some bread on the side, made a great dinner. I also went to get a SIM card for my phone, an internet card, and got some money from the ATM. I went to bed around 9pm/ After not sleeping for a day an a half, I was very tired. Also, at some time during the day, I called my dad using Skype. I have an ATT calling card, and a Russian phone number I need to call to use it, but I haven’t figure out how to dial it from my phone.

Today I woke up around 7:30am, showered, and later had some sort of fruit mix with something else for breakfast. Around 10:30, I took the bus to the Kremlin and met with all the other exchange students. We were given a tour of the Kremlin, we saw the Millennium of Russia monument, the St. Sophia cathedral, and several other things. We then had lunch in a restaurant that is actually inside the Kremlin walls, which I thought was pretty cool. Tomorrow I will start class at 9am, so that should be fun. Waking up has not been a problem for me, since we have almost 20 hours of daylight.
I think I’m going to go buy some notebooks and pens for tomorrow, I have to figure out where, but it shouldn’t be a problem.