Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A little bit of Everything

Lviv is truly amazing. There's so much to do and see here!  Here are just a few of the things we've been up to.

Ballets at the Opera House

The Creation of the World and Act I of Swan Lake

When we left Swan Lake, Annie started dancing like a "swan princess" - ballerina arms and everything!  :)

There's a market just a few blocks down the street from us.

The fruit and veggies are great:

I love the tubs of spices and spice blends - it smells so great!

The plucked chickens with the feet left on is a little odd, but what do you expect when there are whole pigs hanging up in the meat/dairy tent?

Down by Center we found a cute Book Bazaar.  Now if I just spoke Ukrainian...

Igor (a friend from church who's also helping with the laundromat) brought us a huge box of strawberries from a local harvest... twice!  They were absolutely delicious.  The second time around we had fun squishing them all and making strawberry sorbet.  

Remember those darling mini strawberries we got at the market?  I ended up using them in a strawberry cake with a lemon glaze.  Yum.

I love seeing all of the local talent at the souvenir bazaars.  

The art is beautiful and some of the matryoshka dolls are positively amazing!  

The hand-made textiles are stunning

I'm kind of a sucker of these hand carved wooden plates and boxes. 

Along with all of the traditional tents for people to display their goods, there are also tarps laid out with all sorts of things for sale.  You never know what treasures you might find.  :)  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Life in Lviv

We've been in Lviv for almost a week now.  It's been something of a whirlwind adventure getting here - I drove to Utah with Meagan and the girls and got to see my family for a couple days.  Then I met back up with Meagan and Benj at the airport and we were off to Paris.
Sunset in Kiev

Paris was great, but I have to admit - I sometimes feel like it's a bit overrated.  Especially when you look at the prices!  But regardless, I had a great time there and thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the incredible architecture and eating delicious food.

After Paris, we flew into Kiev for a day before continuing on to Lviv.

Before we got here, I was a little bit worried about where we'd live, what we would eat, where we would shop, etc.  I don't know why I worried.  This place is incredible!

Around the corner is a "Metro" - a huge Costco-like store with everything you could ever want or imagine.    There is a whole aisle solely dedicated to noodles (this is especially great since Meagan and the girls like to eat them at least once a day)!  What's really cool is that they sell small/regular sized packages, and two of these wrapped together, as well as huge bulk packages.  It's the same way with cheese - normal sized blocks of cheese all the way up to cheese wheels roughly the size of a small tire!  Half of Metro is dedicated to food, while the other half has clothes, kitchen equipment, toys, exercise equipment, you name it!

Today we went to a food bazaar.  It was amazing - and it's only Wednesday!  It gets really crazy on the weekends.  There were long lines of tables with people selling all sorts of fruit and vegetables. On other side, there was a whole meat and dairy room with every animal body part you could need - and then some.

 We bought some peas and the most adorable miniature strawberries I've ever seen!  I can't wait to make something with them.

Between Metro and the bazaars, we're pretty much set for life.

We had a fun experience on Sunday.  Since I was here last, Lviv now has it's own free-standing LDS meeting house - the first in Ukraine!  The branch is pretty small and there were a few key people missing, so when we went to primary, there was only one other family there, and no teachers.  We all jumped in - Benj taught a lesson, two-year-old Annie said the prayer, and I played the piano.  (Actually it was an electric keyboard that they brought in for me!)  :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Plans

For those of you that don't already know, Ben and I have some pretty great summer plans this year.  Ben was hired as a legal intern in San Francisco and I'm so proud of him.  Internships for first year law students are like gold, so this is wonderful.  He's learning a lot and really enjoying himself.

Before Ben got the internship, our friends - the Beckers - told us they were moving to Ukraine and starting a business.  They invited us to come over with them and help out.  We thought it would be fun and decided to go along... and then Ben got the internship.  Since we had already accepted their offer to go to Ukraine with them and help out and Ben was going to be really busy with his internship, we decided that just I would go.

It was a hard decision, since that meant we'd be apart for about 2 1/2 months, but the opportunity was too incredible to pass up and with Skype, we thought we'd make it through.  Ben will also be coming out to meet me at the end of the summer and we'll get to spend some time together in Europe before starting back into "real life."

I'm currently in Lviv, Ukraine and absolutely loving it!  Honestly, this place is incredible! It has everything you could ever want or need!  I can't believe how much it's changed since I was here last.

For photo highlights of Paris, check out my design blog!