Monday, January 27, 2014

Today's the day!

One of my favorite swim coaches used to proclaim "today's the day!" on the mornings of bigger swim meets. It's the only phrase that comes to mind as I look at all of our mostly-packed suitcases around the house. Today is the day. Today we will fly to Russia. Crazy.

We left school and drove to Atlanta (where Phillip's family lives) to fly out of the international airport. We had a caravan of sorts and it was a puzzle to fit everyone and our stuff in the tiny cars.

Because of our different start dates, we have been leaving in waves. On Saturday we explored Atlanta, eating at the Varsity, walking downtown, visiting Centennial Park (from the '96 games) and Little 5 Points. Most of our group hadn't explored the city, so it was exciting to watch them discover the same places have grown to love over the past few years.

But today we're leaving. We fly from Atlanta to Frankfurt to Moscow. Some fly straight to Sochi, others of us (like me) are spending a few days in Moscow to explore and see the sights.

Today's the day!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Preparing for Russian warmth?

Honestly it's embarrassing how infrequently I utilize my blog (sorry, Aunt Mary Ellen!). Since I last posted so much has changed in my life, and if you're in the Hillary-news loop, you probably know that I'm about to embark on another adventure: Russia!

When I first made my blog, I thought I'd be more dedicated. Instead, this has mainly turned into a way for me to process my days when I travel, and to keep my family and friends updated on my whereabouts. I hope you enjoy it!

When I tell people that I'm going to Russia, their first response is usually something along the lines of "You better be ready to bundle up." While my time in Moscow will be cold, my time in Sochi will not be that bad because of its location on the Black Sea.

To put it in perspective, here is a comparison of Wilmore, my little college town, and Sochi:

This morning it was -4 when I walked to class! I'm pretty sure it was the first time my Floridian body was subjected to the negatives. One of my friends pointed out C.S. Lewis' comparison of the cold to the devil. I think he was on to something. Even though I consolidate my trips around campus in this weather, and I like to say "say no to snow," I decided today was the day that I would play in it for the first time since being in college.

Phillip, my fiancé, and I sledded down the hills of our school's athletic building and I actually had fun and wasn't completely miserable. One of my roommates made soup for dinner and it definitely hit the spot!

Ironically, I'm actually hoping to avoid the winter when I'm in Russia. I will try to post as frequently as possible while overseas. I'm excited and nervous and appreciate your prayers.