Christmas was simple this year. On American Christmas, I went to work. Taught 5 lessons. Received a ton of candy and other sweet gifts. Cooked far too much food and watched Elf.
On Ukrainian Christmas, I returned to Burty. My first visit since Rachel's week in July. A long overdue return. Drew, Sam, Dima, Maxim, Yulia, and Igor were all in town for the 3 days flew by. We climbed the tallest, longest street and spent each afternoon racing down it. Of course, we ate a lot and visited around town. Nothing new or strange about that. Burty is a constant source of sleep, eat, and repeat. Sledding was new. I've never been in Burty when there was no much snow and ice. Pretty combination for our old fashioned sleds. The boys get them sharpened and repaired before each day.
After we got tired of the street, we headed over to a hillside. A hillside that ended with a slide on to the frozen lake. Dima sits right at the end of ice.
After a few trips up and down, we all ended up with this much snow attached to us.
Yulia brought her dog out to enjoy the snow and play with us.
Waiting for our train in Kyiv.
Ignor, Serhiy, Vanessa, and Drew
Yaremche, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast
Where Ukrainians go on vacation.
The powder was perfect and kept coming down. Of course, our inner children began a snow ball fight of epic proportions.
Our second day, we went to a ski village called Bukovel. It's national known to be expense to live in but easy to visit and ski for a day. Yulia and Yulia did some skiing, the guys went snow boarding while Vanessa and I took our sled all the way to the top of the slope.
Yulia making sure our cabin was secure before we left for skiing.
To get to Bukovel, one must hire a driver in a four wheel truck to
maneuver the narrow, icy, cliff slide road.
My first and only photo of Bukovel. It is a stunning beautiful valley sprinkled with cabins. But on this day, I put down my big bag and big camera in exchange for several slides down the hillside.
Thank you Vanessa for your handy dandy pocket camera and these photos!
Vanessa and I spent several minutes sitting at the top just looking around. Bukovel is like nothing I've seen in Ukraine. Being from Houston, this winter is Vanessa's first winter to make a snow angel and skit and experience real snow and ice. We sat in awe of our surroundings. We sat long enough that other skiers and sledders were bugging us to get up and get moving. We insisted we would, after we had had enough of just looking at it.
Snow covered and delirious after a crash landing in drifts as tall as a car but very happy.
Our last day of holiday, fried ice cream and exploring the Ivano-Frankivsk center.
Igor, Vanessa, Serhiy, Yulia, Yulia and Drew