Monday, September 17, 2012


This weekend I took a short little trip to Zhytomyr (zhih-toe-murr) with my host family. Zhytomyr is about an hour and a half from Kiev and it's a much smaller town in comparison. Probably as big as good ol' PG. Andre's parents live there and it was his mom's birthday and his grandparents' 50th anniversary so we had a big celebration.
We left on Friday night and it just confirmed my promise that I will never try to drive here. People do U-turns ON the freeway. It's nuts. When we arrived in Zhytomyr I was introduced to Andre's super nice family. Andre's mom is actually an English teacher and she kept correcting everyone's grammar, telling them to use present imperfect tense and future participles, etc. I don't think even native speakers know what that means. I don't! It was super funny. The next day, my wonderful guides Vova and Yulia took me around Zhytomyr to a cosmonaut museum, city square and an awesome park, and to a chocolate cafe. 

Here's Korolyov's cosmonaut museum. Korolyov was born in Zhytomyr and made the first space apparatuses for the Soviet Union. Smart guy. So the museum was made in his honor. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the inside! My favorite part was learning about the dogs that were sent to space. One of the dogs' puppies was given to Mrs. Roosevelt as a gift.
While we were in the museum alllll these bikers piled in. As you can imagine, seeing  about a hundred Ukrainian bikers in a cosmonaut museum was quite the sight. 
Walking to the awesome bridge.
View off the bridge! Zhytomyr is so beeeeautiful with all the trees.
In the park there are all these old amusement park rides! Super cool.
We rode this one.
Writing on the ground 
Statue of Korolyov in the square 
So this cafe we went to is called the Lviv Chocolate Company and it is a dream. There are a handful of locations across Ukraine. It is just a cafe with a chocolate theme. I had tea with chocolate and mint, sweet mercy it was heaven. And we had chocolate covered marzipan too. Those of you who are familiar with my marzipan obsession can imagine my enthusiasm.
Here is Andre's parents' house! Flowers everywhere.
Grape vines above. They make their own wine
Two cute dogs! I can't remember their names...they also had a kitty named Fila. He was  such a nice cat.
Tiny church down the road 
The end of Zhytomyr. This picture doesn't do it justice. It was gorgeous.
At Andre's parents house that night we had a huge dinner and there were lots of toasts and it was just really fun. We came home yesterday and more fun events were had but that's a tale for another day. XOXO

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