International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. Originally, in Russia, it was a day to celebrate working women, but today it salutes all women, young and old. In Russia it's a federal holiday, so schools are closed, and yesterday, some of my friends surprised me with flowers and sweets.

The gingerbread tulip cookie was made by a student's friend and I can't wait to dig into it, but I'm having trouble taking the first bite because it's so pretty.

I love these hazelnut chocolates.  The lip balm, which you can't have enough of here, is the creamiest stuff I've ever used, and the sweet smell of banana makes it nearly good enough to eat.

The next morning, on the official day, I enjoyed coffee in bed, delivered to my by Tyler, spent the rest of the morning doing homework, before Lisa picked us up for a beautiful late afternoon of skiing. We fetched Zina on the way and headed off.

Lisa brought her GoPro and I can't wait to see the end result from our ski trip.

A few kilometers in, we stopped per tradition for a spot of tea and lucky for us, homemade blini, courtesy of Zina once more. She even said that she'd film herself making blini for me, like a personalized cooking show!

You know they're good when there's no need to add anything and eating them plain leaves you just as content.

Our topic of conversation revolved around a specific Russian idiom, "The big pinecone" which is equivelant to Americans', "The big cheese." Naturally, Tyler and Zina then proceeded to point out the various pinecones found on the trees.

The last sunlight of the afternoon lit our way, pouring through the trees and onto the slick snow.

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By the time we got home, we were ready for hot showers, a hot meal, and more hot tea. I couldn't have imagined spending the day any other way.