That’s how you know you’re alive.

First, I would like to say thank you to everyone who is thinking about me and praying for me on my trip. You are all wonderful and the thought that so many people love me back home makes this experience even better.

Second, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut is so beautiful. It is right on the water and practicing my monologue from Long Day’s Journey into night in the same place that it’s set was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done!

Now….RUSSIA!

We boarded our flight to Frankfurt at 3:10 Tuesday afternoon. After a most glorious flight of two meals, a lot of free wine, BRAVE and DARK SHADOWS, and flyrobics (exercises in your seats guided by the most glorious cartoon on the planet) we landed in Frankfurt. PS, everyone fly Lufthansa, you will not regret it.

In Frankfurt I met a woman from the place closest to my heart…IOWA! She teaches Russian Literature at George Mason and was traveling to Moscow to present a research paper. After a very short layover we were off to Moscow…another meal and a mimosa we landed! While in line waiting for passport control I met an elderly couple from….IOWA! What are the odds. MY LIFE IS THE GREATEST! They were traveling all over Eastern Europe and were just the most loveliest of people!

We hopped on a bus and 2 hours later we were at our dorms moving in! I will never love any shower as much as that first one in the dorms. NEVER. it was quite literally sent from heaven and made just for me! I intended to take a nap but that was clearly out of the question with all the exploring I had to do.

The first hurdle was to exchange my money! Next, we had to EAT! And then just walk around and look at the shops. I went in to a supermarket…about the size of a bedroom. Learning that Cyrillic aha bet is no joke! A lot of the words are cognates or are in very close relation to their English counterpart but you would never know it of you didn’t know how to read the words! They God I actually spent time learning that!

I am proud to announce that this morning I ordered my coffee at Starbucks COMPLETELY in Russian ALL BY MYSELF! I’m basically the greatest Russian speaker of all time.

And that brings us to right now! Stay tuned for more crazy adventures. My laughs and tears are all for you! I will try to tell you about everything as often as I can, but we are jumping right into school starting today so my free time will be severely limited!

Blue Skies

“That’s how you know you’re alive” came from a workout at the O’Neill taught by an alum of this program. When someone was really feeling the strain of the workout she just told him “that’s how you know you’re alive” and went on teaching. So, I guess I’ll be prepared for a lot of that in Russia.

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