"A very special and sincere thanks to my Georgian and Russian Friends!"

My friend Nino and her family treated me like one of their own during my stay in Moscow. Maybe they felt they owed me this in some small way, since I got roped into helping Kate and Alex, her sister and brother in-law, move on my second day in Russia.

I didn't mind; we had a pretty fun time and I learned a bit about Georgian culture in the process. For instance, I learned that in Georgia, whoever secures the big truck to haul the furniter does not have to help lift heavy objects. He is only required to stand outside by the truck and show off his new mustache.
Nino's family, from left to right:
Seda, (their mom), nieces Sophie & Nellie, Kate (Nino's sister), and Alex, (Kate's husband).

Alex taught me some amazing card tricks, and then I tried to teach him to shoot pool, except that he beat me. I think he's some kind of high stakes gambler who toyed with me for his own amusement.

Nellie and Sophie, even though I got to spend only an evening with them, were two of the sweetest little girls I had ever met.

Here they pose with my constant traveling companion, a stuffed gorilla named Ivan Grozny (Ivan the Terrible).

I am already looking forward to meeting the two of them again someday.
Nino and I visited St. Petersburg and stayed at the apartment of her friend, Galina, a former colleague. She was a wonderful host and put up with me dragging the two of them all over town seeing the sights and shopping for absurd little tourist trinkets.

For all she did for us, I felt bad the second night we were in town when we kept her out until five in the morning at a dance club, only to wake her up the next morning with a devastating hangover. "Sorry, Galina!"

Here she is in a wonderful restaurant, right next to Savior's Church, where we had dinner on our last night in one of the world's most beautiful cities.

"I want to sincerely thank these people, who made my trip to Russia one of the greatest experiences of my life. I can't wait to come back!!!"

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All contents and photos © 1997 by Skip Evans