We Made It!

We are finally here. After months of preparation for this trip, we have finally arrived. I must admit at the airport it was a little subdued. Not much talking, no smiling to the customs officer. We arrived at the same time as a Turkish airlines flight and let me tell you, the young men were being taken one by one somewhere private where I imagine authorities have a closer look at their passports/visas and paperwork.

Of course, us Canadians, with our great passports and new visas, we were allowed in, no problemo. No smile, but we were allowed in.

I had arranged for an airport transfer and as soon as we stepped out of the baggage claim area we were greeted by a sign with “Peter Cooper”. He took us to his nice Toyota Highlander and off we went in the direction of downtown St. Petersburg. Took about 35 minutes so the airport is somewhat out of the center of town.

Funny thing, we left at 9:30 am London time, were in the air for a little over two hours and with the three hour time difference, we arrived just in time to check in, change a bit (get the mitts and hats out, it’s -6 degrees) and get going for our dinner reservation.

Had a nice Russian dinner at the Russia Vodka Room. Also had to taste some vodka. I just found out Mackenzy likes vodka….maybe he has some Russian blood? He is never cold, he likes literature and loves vodka. Things are starting to add up.

After dinner we just tried to get our bearings by going for a nice walk around the city center. I leave you with some of the pictures I took.

A little video of the square across from the Hermitage Museum.












It’s Official!

We picked up our visas today and we are going to St. Petersburg for New Year!

Last Sunday when Mackenzy and I arrived back in London the four of us went to get our visa photos taken. The man in the store was really loud and asked, “which country?” When I replied the pictures were to get into Russia he repeated loud enough for Sarah to hear. At that moment the kids found out their BIG Xmas gift. A trip to St. Petersburg. Well, that was if we got the visas…

Monday morning the Cooper family left the house at 7:30 am and made their way to the Russian Visa application office. We arrived at 8:15 am and got in line with the rest of the people who were waiting. After a security check to enter the office we took a number and patiently waited for our turn. One after the other we met with the “baboushka” and signed the forms. We left our passports, our new photos and paid extra to get the overnight service. Thank goodness the flights are on points!

This afternoon Sarah and I made our way back to the visa office and found out we were allowed into the country. Woohoo!!!!

Can’t wait to go! First, Christmas. Merry Christmas to ALL and to ALL a good night!


A YUL Update

Peter and I have been in Montreal for a week and we have been busy.

Last Saturday, we met the Cooper clan and attended a very good BCS Christmas concert. We got to hear Thing 2 play his trumpet and sing his little heart out.

Sunday night we had our Christmas dinner in St. Lazare with the Bouchards. We exchange gifts, ate lots and got merry. My brother Louis cooked us a wonderful dinner. Thanks Bro!

Monday and Tuesday we ran errands, visited some friends, worked out at the MAA, spent some time with Sarah and just enjoyed our city. Speaking of Sarah, she is in major study for your finals mode. She is living like a hermit. I take all technology away from her all day and she gets phone access once a day for about an hour. The other night when Peter was watching a clip from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon we heard her mutter, “haaaa Jimmy. I really miss him.” I told her not to worry, he would still be there on December 18th when she comes out of hiding.

Wednesday night Peter went to the Habs vs. Boston game with his dad. Too bad they lost but what can you do? I hear it was still a great night for the two of them. While they were at the game Nanny and I went for a walk and dinner in Old Montreal. Lovely evening for all.

Thursday was more of a relaxing day. Couple more errands and one last dinner with my brother before he left town. He was leaving at the crack of dawn this morning.

Our week is coming to an end. Peter returns to London on Saturday night. Today we got a glimpse of condo #2 that is almost done. Let me tell you, the views will be pretty nice.


The view from our bedroom.


View from dinning room.


Kitchen is almost done.


View from living room.

We can’t wait to take possession in February/March.

Tomorrow we will drive to Mackenzy’s school to watch swim in his last swim meet of the year. Looking forward to see him in action in the pool.

My Dad

Many of you have asked how my dad is doing. Physically he is doing better. He is strong and will get stronger as soon as he gets to eat solids. I was there yesterday and he keeps on pulling his feeding tube out, so that’s an issue…apparently the site is getting quite raw…but I think as soon as he starts to eat some real food he will be up and walking for long walks in no time. Unfortunately he has lost a lot of his memories. He speaks (and swears) very well. Both in French and in English but still doesn’t remember any of us. He is confused most days. Talks about a lot of stuff we don’t understand but every so often there is a clear sentence, or he recognizes you for a minute of two, so there is hope. I am here for another week. I will keep you up to date on his health.