I don't think we will ever have another anniversary like today. I am so grateful that God put JJ and I together. I got to marry my best friend 8 years ago today and I hope to have many more years with him. Today we had cereal and toast for breakfast. Neither of us was really motivated to cook a big breakfast. I did wash some dishes before JJ woke up. We had our usual morning routines of checking Facebook, blogs, and news websites. Things are still awful in Joplin. It sounds like the President will be visiting at some point. We got cleaned up and ready to face the day outside of the apartment. JJ had directions to a bowling alley. It was a direction we had never gone. Walking this new way was the first time I felt like we might get lost this whole trip. We wandering into one mall, but it wasn't the right place. Finally a nice lady on the street noticed we were looking at our tiny Ipod map and looking around at the buildings. She laughed when we asked "Do you speak English?", but when JJ said bowling and pantomimed she pointed to the building right behind us. We were in the right place but we didn't know it. We made our way upstairs to the bowling alley where we got stopped by a large man I can only describe as "the bowling alley bouncer". I really didn't think he was going to let us inside, but when JJ said English he pointed us toward a counter and a cute girl who said we could pay at the ticket booth in the middle of the bowling alley. Then "bouncer" man let us pass. Whew! Turns out bowling in Russia is very similar to home. On a weekday in the morning there was a large group of kids, probably on a field trip from school, and one birthday party. Oh, and two Americans celebrating their anniversary. They let you pay by the hour and we managed to bowl three complete games in one hour. It was about my worst bowling score ever, but it was so much fun. My last game I bowled the whole game Granny style. We had 10 minutes left, so JJ tried to complete a fourth game for each of us speed bowling. He made it to the 8th frame and he was doing an amazing job. Both of our scores were 100+. We ate lunch at a nearby McDonald's then we made the long walk home. We were super tired. Later in the day we got "dressed up" and went out to find a nicer place to eat. I had brought one extra dress. I noticed on trip one that Russian are not very casual in their dress so I thought it might come in handy. JJ had a button up shirt and jeans. I thought he looked handsome. We got directions at our favorite souvenir shop and ended up at a restaurant serving traditional Russian cuisine. It was very good. JJ got an actual steak. Amazing! I got beef stroganoff. We had a stuffed chicken at our table as an additional dining companion. We each tried dessert. That is the most I've eaten in one meal our whole trip and I was stuffed. We walked back to the apartment, but we made a stop at a lovely bookstore on the way. I found the perfect gift for our new friend Anna. She's going to translate for us again on Thursday. Now it's time to rest. I feel so blessed! Thank You, Father, for this beautiful day.
This is JJ's crazy good bowling score. He bowled both games in 10 minutes.
A steak in Russia!
These were called cottage cheesecakes. I really enjoy them, but JJ was done after one bite.
JJ enjoying ice cream. Again! =)
A cupcake in Russia. It was pretty large and didn't have any frosting.
Standing in front of the Kazan Cathedral.
The bookstore. I've heard this building used to belong to the Singer sewing machine company.