Flew in yesterday from Sheremetievo on Aeroflot--9 hours of comfortable (all things considered) flight--then 5 hours in JFK and then 5.5 hours on a wonderful JetBlue. But no amount of great leg room (JetBlue kicks ass, and by a monstrous margin, of ANY US carrier with superb comfort even for steerage) and a fleet of brand new A321s could off-set 4.5 hours of non-stop (stopped only after we crossed into Idaho airspace) violent bumpiness and... drum roll--two rows behind us poor little thing (no more than 1 year old) who had the pipes good enough for death metal band and who screamed non-stop all flight long. There went my sleep. By the time we landed in SeaTac I had it, as did most of people on our flight.
Happy to be back home. Need to sort out and process some impressions and recover a bit--Moscow and St. Petersburg will do this to one and now I really need a vacation after such a "vacation"--we spent only one night in our family village and that was a real rest and relaxation. What to say--Nevsky is magnificent (as is most of Leningrad-St.Petersburg) and we walked it all back and forth--from Moskovsky Station to Admiralty and back. The best Georgian cuisine in St.Pete's is behind Kazansky Cathedral in a cellar with purely Georgian moniker Suliko (no Jack, though, only Jim Beam). Best Azeri one in Moscow is Bakinsky Boulevard--man, did we have a gastronomical experience. So, back home, happy to escape by an inch first SPIEF (St.Pete's International Economic Forum--we left on Sapsan one day prior, imagine security in the city) and, second, World Cup. We booked our (traditionally wonderful) Holiday Inn in Moscow for around $74 a night for 8 days. Try $300+ now. World Cup is coming and so are prices on hotels skyrocketing. In general--I will not be able to live anymore in such cities as Moscow, St.Petersburg or anything of such scale--sensory, physical, emotional and all other types of overloads--not good for one's health. Not for me anymore.
But now I have a beer mug (a genuine article) specially manufactured for officers and NCOs of Peter The Great nuclear missile cruisers (you know my background, right? And my academy class-mates commanded both Kuznetsov and Peter, just FYI) proudly displayed at home (photos will follow). In general, though, happy to be back to good ol' USA and to my chicken fried steaks, job, colleagues and my beloved Pacific Northwest. As John Mellencamp sang in Jack and Diane--"life goes on". In conclusion--Ozzy kicks off his farewell tour in St. Petersburg on 3rd of July.