The Dacha

Last Sunday, Tyler and I joined our friends for a late morning ski and an afternoon of grilling, eating, sipping on tea, singing songs, and detoxifying in a sauna. It was a true Russian experience and exactly what we needed.

After gearing up, the six of us started down our usual route through the forest, but Marina (that name is in vast supply here) suggested we go through the field, a great suggestion.

We all managed to slip to one degree or another on the icy snow, but it was easy to ignore with such a beautiful sky overhead.

We passed the huskies on our way back in and inquired about a dog-sled ride. If the weather holds up, I know what I'm doing next weekend. Stay tuned!

After just a short drive down the road, we pulled into our home for the remainder of the afternoon.

There are a cluster of dachas (cabins) you can rent, each one complete with its own personal sauna, indoor pool, and all the necessities needed to have a great time.

The food was unpacked onto the large dining room table and prepared for lunch.

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Just outside our dacha, was our own impressively sized grill and covered patio.

Zina skewered the shashlik (marinated cubes of meat), while Lisa manned the grill.

Everything tasted so good, as is usually the case when its grilled outside, in the cold, surrounded by snowy forest.

Even the bread, toasted over the coals was perfection. If you look closely enough, you might even catch the steam rising from the toast.

Everyone nibbled and pecked at the food as we stood outside, and took turns warming our hands.

After a feast of grilled meats and veggies, we took to the sauna. It felt incredible! The felt hats (pictured below) are used to keep your hair from getting too hot, and surprisingly keeps your head cool.

We followed our sauna lounging by running, screaming and giggling, out into the snow, rubbing it all over our bodies, and sprinting back in, more invigorated than ever!

The rest of the time was spent gathered around the living room, drinking hot tea, picking at sweets, and singing everything from Soviet rock songs to the Beatles.