Thu, July 31, 2014

Lublyou: Yellowstone CanyonLublyou: Yellowstone BisonLublyou: Old Faithful Inn YellowstoneLublyou: Old Faithful Inn roomLublyou: Old Faithful Inn East Wing BathroomLublyou: Yelloowstone Black Sand Emerald poolLublyou: Yellowstone Bison Lamar ValleyLublyou: Yellowstone bison on the roadLublyou: Yellowstone National Park elkLublyou: Yellowstone Lower Falls Artist Point sunsetLublyou: Old Faithful geyser YellowstoneLublyou: Yellowstone Geyser basinLublyou: Yellowstone National parkLublyou: Baby bison Yellowstone

As I mentioned in my previous Yellowstone post, we spent most of the first day at the colorful hot springs slowly approaching the heart of the supervolcano.

In the evening we arrived to the famous Old Faithful geyser and checked in at the Old Faithful Inn. I’ve been to the huge wooden lobby of this historical hotel before (I recommend getting their ice cream — so good after a hot day of hiking!), but I couldn’t imagine what the guest areas were like. We passed the reception and walked down the long windy corridors, towards our room in the east wing.

I thought I had been teleported to one of the old university buildings in Moscow, or maybe some soviet hospital – the ceiling is very tall, the walls and doors are painted white, and it’s very quiet like everyone is in the class now and any minute students will start pouring out left and right from the rooms. Our room was very simple but charming, I loved the bathroom, but we all wished there was A/C.

We dropped our bags off in the room and continued our adventures to the lake. Soon it got dark and started raining, we were about to turn back but instead kept going, and I’m so glad we did! We saw a gorgeous double rainbow above the lake, two huge elk resting on the side of the road and when we entered Lamar Valley, there was no rain but there were so many bison! When I saw those cute baby bison walking along the blooming meadows I thought it couldn’t get any better.

But we kept driving and 5 minutes before the sunset we finally reached the destination – the Lower Falls of Yellowstone Canyon. It was magical: the air still cold and fresh after the rain, the empty parking lot, a few stairs down, then up… and the most glorious view opened up to us! Just as we walked onto the Artist Point cliff the yellow rocks of the canyon, the opal blue river, the clouds and the sun all started their evening performance. I felt like I got the front row tickets for the rarest show and surprised my family with it. No one else was there and it was so special!

В продолжение моего альбома из Йеллоустоуна я хочу добавить следующее:

  • Детёныши бизонов – невероятно милые, и всё время проведённое в пробке из-за бизонов, переходящих дорогу, того стоило. Я бы ещё пару раз развернулась и постояла в этой пробке, только чтобы проехать мимо них снова.
  • Моё самое любимое воспоминание из Йеллоустоуна – закат на водопаде. Я так рада, что мы не испугались дождя и продолжили путь к каньону, что там было так тихо и безлюдно, что мои самые любимые люди на свете были рядом, и природа нас осчастливила таким красочным шоу.
  • Восточное крыло исторического отеля Old Faithful мне напомнило коридоры университета МЭИ и здание больницы на Таганке советских времен. Эти высокие потолки, белые стены, уходящие в бесконечность и огромные двери вызывают именно такие ассоциации. Но мне там понравилось, честно!
  • Мы провели ночь в центре супер-мега-вулкана! Расскажу потом внукам, какие мы были дерзкие и отчаянные.

Wed, July 30, 2014

I’m ready to continue our photo journey! Last time I posted about our time in Glacier National Park, now I’m going to fill this page up with Yellowstone National Park goodness. Warning: lots of pictures!
Lublyou: Mammoth Hot SpringsLublyou: Yellowstone National Park TripLublyou: Mammoth Hot SpringsLublyou: Yellowstone National ParkLublyou: Yellowstone NP ElkLublyou: Yellowstone national park Opal PoolLublyou: Yellowstone National ParkLublyou: Yellowstone Grand Prismatic SpringLublyou: Yellowstone Hot SpringsLublyou: Yellowstone Black Sand BasinLublyou: Yellowstone Black Sand BasinLublyou: Yellowstone Lake Rainbow

After spending two days in the mountains of Northern Montana we drove for a whole day down to Bozeman. It’s a very special place for Ben and me – we met and spent some really great time there! Ben also went to school in Bozeman and I worked there for two summers during school. It’s a great town and we still sometimes wish we lived there.

We arrived in Bozeman in the afternoon, walked around the significant streets, visited the Museum of the Rockies, took photos with Big Mike the T-rex, watched a show in the Planetarium, ate at the CO-OP, almost got lost in the Music on Main crowd… I might just write a separate post about how much I love Bozeman and why.

The next morning we headed to Yellowstone National Park and crossed the border into Wyoming, adding a 4th state to our road trip. We entered through Gardiner, MT, went down to Mammoth Hot Springs, then stopped at almost every hot spring basin on the way to Old Faithful. The colorful pools, blasting geysers and boiling mud puddles never get old.

It was hot and sunny and we should have applied more sunscreen, but we had no time for things like that. This place is marvelous! It was my third and definitely favorite time in this park — seeing the excitement on the faces of my parents and brother was priceless.

Mama was nervous about the idea of being in the middle of a supervolcano, especially with all of the recent media speculation about the upcoming eruption and the bison running away from the park. Well, nothing major happened during our visit, but it felt extra exciting to walk around there this time.

The animals didn’t seem too worried about the end of the world either, I’ll prove it in my next post about Yellowstone later this week!

Сегодня делюсь фотографиями из национального парка Йеллоустоун, где в центре супервулкана можно любоваться разноцветными горячими источниками, большими и маленькими гейзерами, кипящими и булькающими грязевыми лужами и, конечно же, дикими животными. Далеко не уходите, через пару дней будет продолжение про бизонов, водопады, каньоны и ещё много чего интересного!

Sun, July 27, 2014

Lublyou: Dover Bay City BeachLublyou: Dover Bay IdahoLublyou: Dover Bay Beach ParkLublyou: Dover Bay ParkLublyou: Dover Bay Beach

After living in Sandpoint for 2 years we still manage to find a new place to discover every now and then. On Saturday we walked to the Dover Bay beach park and took the camera along. We should have also brought some drinking water: it seemed so close to home (compared to our recent trips) that I didn’t even think of it as “hiking.”

Also, I have to admit I’ve developed an addiction to floral skirts. I don’t know how this situation even happened, but now it’s quite serious. This is the newest addition to my floral maxis collection and I have to remind myself that it’s not the only item in my wardrobe — I reach for it every morning, I just love it so. I found some similar skirts online:

На этой неделе нам удалось найти несколько совершенно новых мест в городе, которые мы каким-то чудом обходили стороной на протяжение 2 лет. В субботу мы прогулялись на пляж в пригороде Довер Бэй – это примерно в пяти минутах езды от нашего дома, но нам всё казалось, что мы уехали куда-то далеко-далеко.

А лицо у меня на фотографиях такое довольное еще и потому, что моя коллекция юбок с цветочным принтом недавно пополнилась вот таким чёрным экземпляром. Особая ценность этой юбки в том, что мы её нашли с мамой, прогуливаясь по местным магазинам. Даже не верится, что уже прошла неделя, как моя семья вернулась в Москву. Я по вам так скучаю, спасибо за отличный отпуск!

Mon, July 21, 2014

My favorite place + my favorite people = my dreams come true!

I visited Glacier National Park for the first time 5 years ago and I clearly remember hiking along Saint Mary lake and losing my breath at the amazing emerald waters, crisp fresh air and the giant mountains. I kept repeating: “I need to bring my mama here, she’ll love it so much! I have to come here with her one day!” I didn’t know how or when it would be possible, but I knew I had to show it to her.

Five years later my whole (now extended!) family and I hiked along the same lake and awed at the same magnificent view. No need to say I’m overwhelmed with happiness.

Lublyou: Glacier National Park Going to the Sun RoadLublyou: Glacier National Park Going to the Sun RoadLublyou: Glacier National Park Bighorn SheepLublyou: Glacier National Park Ground DogLublyou: Glacier National Park Logan Pass SnowLublyou: Glacier National Park Snowy Logan PassLublyou: Glacier National ParkLublyou: Glacier National Park DeerLublyou: Glacier National Park Iceberg Lake HikeLublyou: Glacier National Park Iceberg Lake HikeLublyou: Glacier National Park BearLublyou: Glacier National Park Saint Mary Lake

We stayed on the East side of the park at Swiftcurrent Motor Cabins in Many Glacier. If you don’t want to camp (or plan on arriving in the evening) and want a choice of lodging book a long time ahead if you can. We got what seemed like the last available room for a family online in early June.

I recommend stopping by Park Cafe in Saint Mary for the best huckleberry ice cream ever. Only eat at the Swiftcurrent Restaurant if you are in this part of the park at 9:30 p.m. and don’t have any food to feed a family of 5 — it wasn’t the best dinner (or value) we’ve ever had but we’ll be more prepared next time.

There is so much snow in Logan Pass in the beginning of July! Can’t hike to Hidden lake (unless you brought your skis along) but there are many sheep and very few people around, I really liked it!

Tue, July 15, 2014

Lake Pend Oreille_kayakingKootenai Falls BridgeKootenai FallsLake Pend Oreille Kayakingletterssparklers_heart

We’re in the second week of our family vacation right now, we’ve already adventured all over Montana and North Idaho and had no cell reception or wifi in most of our destinations.

Right now we’re back in Sandpoint just about to go up Schweitzer mountain to pick huckleberries. I have a few quiet minutes to post an update! Here are some photos from the very beginning of the trip: we went to Kootenai Falls, kayaked all over the Lake Pend Oreille, played with sparklers and fireworks on the 4th of July and ate way too many donuts and peas. We’re headed to the Oregon coast tomorrow!

You can follow me on Instagram for more photos and updates!

Sat, July 5, 2014

Lublyou: drive through WashingtonLublyou: Washington driveLublyou: Snoqualmie PassLublyou: Snoqualmie Pass WALublyou: Jumping Horses MonumentLublyou: Columbia River WALublyou: Sunset

It’s finally here – family vacation time! On Thursday night Ben and I started our adventure with a long drive to Seattle, where we had a $3 meatballs date at IKEA, did some shopping and then MET MY FAMILY at the airport!
The next two weeks will take us all over the Northwest, and you’re coming along – I’ll make sure to share the experiences and snaps here and on my Instagram. Let’s go!

Tue, July 1, 2014

Lublyou: Russian folk shirtLublyou: Russian Green Onion and Egg Pirozhki RecipeLublyou: Russian FolkLublyou: Russian Green Onion and Egg Pirozhki Pies

I have lots of green stuff to share here tonight! First of all, totally unexpectedly, my shiny new 10 year green card showed up in the mail! Now I feel whiny and silly for complaining about the process taking forever, my papers getting lost and my old card being taken away. I was told to wait up to 6 months, and then the next week I got this happy mail! Unbelievable. Thank you all for your nice wishes and thoughts, it worked!

Also maybe inquiring about it so much and driving to Spokane a bunch of times paid off…?! We’ll never know but, it feels great to be documented and all around legal again. Bonus: my photo on the new card (quickly snapped by an officer on Monday morning in Spokane and not shown to me at the time) looks great! So much better than the previous photo. I can’t believe I’m saying this about a photo on a document!

On to the next exciting thing: Ben and I finished our second Whole30! It was not as grand as the first one, but the celebration included Russian green onion and eggs pirozhki, so no one complained. These little pies are Ben’s favorite and they only usually happen around here in May-June when we have lots of green onion in the garden.


  • 1,5 cups milk
  • 6 Tbsp. sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-2 tsp. yeast
  • 2,5-3,5 cups flour

Warm up the milk to room temperature, add 1 Tbsp. sugar, a pinch of salt and all of the yeast, let it sit for 20 min. in a warm place. In another bowl beat up an egg, softened butter and the rest of the sugar and salt. Add the milk and yeast mixture. In a large bowl place 2.5 cups flour, make a hole in the middle, pour the yeast mixture there and start kneading the dough for about 10 minutes. If it’s too sticky add more flour. Cover it with a towel and let it rise for 1.5h in a warm place.


  • 2-3 bunches of green onion
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, cut in small pieces
  • Salt
  • 4 Tbsp. oil

Cut onion in small pieces, fry in oil until soft and bright green, add eggs, sprinkle with salt to your taste.

When the dough is ready, put it onto a well-floured board, pinch off pieces approximately the size of golf balls. Shape each into a small circle using your hands. Place 1 1/2 spoonful of filling in the center, fold the sides together and pinch to seal. Flatten the pirozhki slightly to make them a more even size.
Fry on a hot oily pan for a few minutes on both sides until golden.

Сегодня у меня сплошные зелёные новости! Во-первых, по почте прилетела моя новая 10 летняя гринкарта (да, она действительно зелёная), которую мне обещали не раньше октября-декабря. Я и не жалуюсь, особенно радует, что на фото я получилась прекрасно, что весьма не характерно для документов.

Отпраздновали мы мои новые документы пирожками с зелёным (тут особенный акцент!) луком и яйцом. Это Бенины любимые пирожки, тесто у меня каждый раз получается разное, так как я забываю записать рецепт, но тут главное – начинка. Сегодня в тесто пошли следующие ингредиенты: 1.5 стакана (360 мл) молока, 6 ст.л.(70г) сахара, 30 г сливочного масла, 1 яйцо, 1 ст.л. растительного масла, 1 ч.л. соли, 1-2 ч.л. дрожжей, 2.5-3.5 стакана (400-600 г) муки. Теперь, наверно, запомню.

Thu, June 26, 2014

Wednesdays are kind of fun since they are mini-Fridays but at the same time, too routine, like the cup of tea I’ve been sipping for a while now which is getting cold, but I can’t see the bottom yet.  This Wednesday wasn’t so regular. There was something funny about it from the morning and I knew it required impulsive action.  Right after work and before dinner I did it – I got a new hair cut!

It’s a big deal around here. I usually only cut a bit every now and then and it’s totally unnoticeable. This time as the weight of the hair was falling off of my shoulders I felt like summer cheerfulness and bounciness had arrived. I also loved the reactions: Ben’s mom just said “Hooooolly cow!”, my mom noted what a pity it was to let go of so much hair, my co-worker couldn’t believe I just chopped off “all of those long locks?!”  The little rebel in me is really enjoying it.  My brother and Ben both agree that they like my new cut, so the opinions are balanced here.

Mon, June 23, 2014

Sandpoint ArtWalk 2014Sandpoint Food CourtSandpoint Farmers' MarketSandpoint Saturday MarketKaren Robinson Art at the Sandpoint farmers' marketLublyou: Idaho Lavender Huckleberry Jam

It was a long and wonderful weekend. On Friday night after work we headed downtown for Ben’s first art show reception – “ArtWalk” – where he has 5 of his recent pieces hanging. Ben has a post about it on his blog, too. If you’re in Sandpoint this summer you can see it at Bricks&Barley. Try their thin crust pizzas, too, — my favorite in town!

On Saturday we woke up late and went to the farmers’ market, where I got a souvenir for someone very lucky back in Russia — a jar of Idaho Huckleberry-Lavender jam! We visited Ben’s mom’s booth where she sells her watercolor prints, circled a few times around the food court and promised ourselves to come back in a week when we’re done with the Whole30. It’s a whole other post, but my second experience with the program is quite different.  I’ll write about it next time.

In the afternoon we drove to Spokane for Brian&Amanda‘s Solstice BBQ. It was just what we needed: good food, old friends, new faces, kids’ laughter, golden light, fun conversations. But the longest day of the year was not that long after all and we headed back when it started to get dark. Oh, and I didn’t take any pictures even though I had my juice box film camera in the purse. Sometimes I have too much fun and forget about pictures.

Всем привет, мне кажется, самое время для краткого обзора новостей за выходные. К нам наконец-то вернулось лето, все дни были жаркими и солнечными, у нас даже носы, лбы и плечи обгорели.

В пятницу после работы мы отправились на презентацию выставки Бениных работ на ежегодном мероприятии ArtWalk – Искусство-прогулка? Народу было много, Бен со всеми общался, а я ела свой салат с прошутто и виноградом и с гордостью за всем происходящим наблюдала.

В субботу мы встали поздно и решили заглянуть на фермерский рынок. Там я купила баночку чернично-лавандового джема для кого-то очень счастливого в Москве, мы навестили Бенину маму в её шатре с акварельными этюдами, пооблизывались на ларьки с барбекю и мороженным и пошли обедать по whole30 домой.

После обеда поехали в Спокэн к друзьям на вечеринку в честь летнего солнцестояния. Вот и прошли самый длинный день и самая короткая ночь в этом году, хотя в Айдахо тут свои порядки, и в 9 вечера было всё равно темным-темно. Только щёки продолжают гореть от обилия солнечных лучей, как напоминание, что лето тут еще только начинается.

Wed, June 18, 2014

no more green card (plus goose eggs!)

Posted by Katie

benkatie_filmLublyou: Spring ForsythiaLublyou: goose eggs for breakfast

Floral photos - 35mm taken with a Holga

I don’t have a green card anymore! Yep, they took it away. Here’s the story.

I mentioned it earlier here, my 2 year temporary card was going to expire in July, so I applied for a new one in April. In return all of the applicants get a letter with a receipt and a one-year card extension while the documents are being processed.  Well, I didn’t get it, it probably got lost in the mail. At my biometrics appointment a month later at the Spokane USCIS office I was told not to worry and wait.

Another month later we went to Spokane again to stamp my passport, as I read online, to give me some proof of being legal after my card expires. A very nice lady officer took all of my documents, looked me up on the computer, put a stamp in my passport and when we were almost done she said: “Oh, and I keep this, haha!” taking away my green card. I didn’t expect that. Usually people get a receipt in the mail and carry it around with their expired cards. Not only did I not get one but they also took away my green card!? I mean, thinking about it later, it makes total sense, why do I need it if it expires in two weeks anyways? But as I was leaving the office I was so lost and upset that I just wanted to cry. A few tears even rolled down my cheeks, to Ben’s confusion.

I guess being an immigrant for the past 2 years has made me super paperwork- and document-conscious. I need to always know where my documents are, what expires when, where to check the status, when to reapply for stuff, what to carry around with me and how to explain to people what this or that card says or means. When I left my residency card behind I felt bare and vulnerable to even walk down the street. It took me some time to calm down and convince myself that nothing has changed, it was just a card, I’ll get a different one sometime later. Hopefully before my stamp expires, haha.

On a good note, the same day, Ben and I ran out to get some whole30 snacks at the nearest healthy foods store, and Ben found something that made me jump to the ceiling with excitement – goose eggs! I carried them each in one hand all the way back to work and then home, like a treasure. I shouldn’t have worried about their safety so much, they are actually pretty hard to break, I had to struggle for a bit this morning. They are so huge and I liked their taste better that the duck eggs we had back in April. Next on my egg list – pheasant, emu and ostrich eggs. Any ideas where I can get them? I also read somewhere that in some Scandinavian countries and in Great Britain people eat gulls eggs. I’m thrilled.

Не прошло и двух лет, а у меня уже забрали грин карту. Правда, я тут всё ещё легально, у неё истекал срок годности, и новая карточка должна прилететь через пару месяцев-полгода. Но всё равно, без гринки сейчас себя чувствую, как без одежды. Я даже прослезилась при расставании, потому что оно было для меня неожиданным, и я такая эмоциональная. Так странно: мы всегда и везде были вместе, а теперь мне не нужно перекладывать её из сумки в сумку, показывать в ресторанах и аэропортах и переживать, что я там на себя не похожа. Теперь снова возвращаюсь к российскому паспорту, там у меня новый красный штамп, где написано, что я резидент.

Чтобы мне было не грустно, судьба мне послала неожиданную встречу в магазине – гусиные яйца! Мы уже наелись утиных в апреле, так что само собой размер должен со временем увеличиваться. Гусиные яйца не разочаровали, они мне даже больше понравились. Такое яйцо даже разбить – целое приключение! Следующие в списке – эму и страус. Где бы их взять?