Today is beautifully sunny and quite cool. The sun is welcome after the rain of the last two days, the cool air the aftermath of the front responsible for the rain. We meet with Dana @ 10 AM: There is a soccer match in town on June 29, and we are going to try to get tickets at the stadium box office this morning. We recognize the walk from our trip to Victory Park last week. The rain has left puddles on the streets and sidewalks and mud on the footpaths, and we navigate carefully.
No tickets on sale today: We must return Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. We do decide where we'de like to sit and how much it will cost: 300 Tenghe ($2.50) for seats in the middle of the park among the first several rows in the second tier! Let's hope they're available when we return.
On the way back to the hotel, Dana points out a small grocery store and recommends their sweets (pastries, cakes, etc.). We all get a little something and find a sunny park bench on which to sit and indulge. We attract a flock of pigeons in no time....
We're back in the hotel with about an hour to spare before heading out for our walk to the baby home. We journal and eat yogurt.
No sign of activity outside when we arrive, so we head inside for the kids. Bob, Beth and I head for the boys' room: The boys have not been fed, so Bob and I saddle up. Aidan eats like a champ, finishing his maroon stuff and 1 1/2 shots of juice/broth. Bob has his hands (and the front of his shirt) full with Nicholas, who is distracted and loses interest midway through.
Alli shows up at about 12:15. She'd gotten to Molly's room to find our little one sitting quite contentedly while having her nials clipped. Alli didn't want to interrupt a good thing, so she played with the other children while the nail clipping ended. She and the Butterball set out for the marble room only to find it locked. So they headed up to find us. We wrap up around 1:20 and everybody's off to the marble room, which has been opened for us in the interim.
Molly's not quite herself today: She's congested and has a runny nose. She plays a little, and I get her to giggle pretty good by rubbing my whiskers on the bottoms of her feet. However, by 1:50 she's fussing and rubbing her eyes. Alli picks her up and rocks her. She finds her thumb and crashes for the rest of the visit.
Aidan is in good spirits. He climbs on me and tells me a story that sounds a lot like the story he told me yesterday. I get him to laugh when I lie on my back, hold him in a sitting position in my lap and pretend to drop him through my legs. He gurgles through a gummy, drooly grin. Just before time to go, he makes a try for my glasses. Denied, he starts to fuss and we all begin to pack up.
Alli takes Molly back: As she's going down, she pops her head up and smiles at Alli. Alli pats her bottom and she drifts off happily. The boys go down with a bit more effort, but the care-givers have installed blankets between the cribs to minimize distractions at nap time. Lights out....
After walking home, it's straight to the internet cafe. In our limited time before dinner - we arrive a little after 3:30 and Dana is due to pick us up at 5:00 - we both post a blog entry and check e-mail. Alli tries to send a new photo, but downloading takes a long time, and time is too short. We'll try again tomorrow.
We set out for Baron Munchausen's at 5: We arrive to find them set up for a big party and no room for us. Plan B is the "Mushroom Soup Place," but Dana has not been there and we're not exactly sure where it is. Un-deterred, we trek in the general direction & stumble right onto it. It's too cool to sit outside, so we go inside. Once again a large party has reserved the dining room, so we are shown to the seating area on the lower level. Alli and Beth are pleased to find beet salad, and Alli tries the mushroom soup again. Those enjoying entrees opt for chicken and everything is good. The Baltika - a Russian beer - is cold and we enjoy trying to answer Dana's questions about USA as opposed to her answering our questions about KAZ.
We walk Dana part-way home and stroll back to the hotel, arriving around 9. Alli continues her journal and I watch a very good FIFA Youth Tournament game: Netherlands v Nigeria. It goes to penalties after extra time, and all eleven players (including both goalies) shoot without deciding the winner. The rotation begins again: The first Nehterlands player is stopped, his Nigerian counterpart converts and it's all over.
It's cool tonight, and though it's Saturday night, we decide to sleep with the windows open. Lights out at eleven....
HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY ED RAU!