Nutcracker & Tsaritsino Park – December 12 & 13

Nutcracker & Tsaritsino Park – December 12 & 13

The morning John and I arrived back in Moscow it snowed. And it snowed. This time it didn’t go away; it stuck, finally. It was getting colder. I kept looking at the next week’s forecast as the weather was supposed to drop even more. This is good as I was thinking about asking for a refund if the weather didn’t change. I come all the way to Moscow for a Russian winter and I get a California one?! But it was beginning to change… My first three finals went well this week and I was able to cancel my Algebra final with the three cancellation problems. Whenever I get around to typing them up I’ll put them on here. The proofs are pretty sweet. I must give credit to those who helped though: Lenny & Adeel (the other students in the class with me who also needed the solutions), Connor, Dan, and one of Adeel’s mysterious friends on a forum he frequents.

Anyway, Saturday morning we went and saw the noon showing of the Nutcracker:

Front Row: Jordan, Christina, Me. Back Row: Dan, John, Will.

Front Row: Jordan, Christina, Me. Back Row: Dan, John, Will.

It was wonderful. I loved every minute of it. The music was very entertaining and the storyline was childish enough for me to appreciate it. Most of the dancing was not as flashy as Swan Lake; nevertheless, I liked this ballet more. And when the dancing did get impressive, it got super impressive. Take this move the male from the yellow doll couple: first watch this video (it will help me describe it). In the beginning of the video the dude does a 540, and his upper body goes kind of horizontal. Starting at 20 seconds he continuously does leaps in a circle. In the Nutcracker, the yellow doll did those continuous leaps in a circle around his partner, but with the height of the guy’s 540’s and with his body more horizontal than the 540’s. It was insane. I can’t remember the last time I was more impressed. So here is the amazing ballet master:

The amazing barrel roll leaping ballet dancer and his partner.

The amazing barrel roll leaping ballet dancer and his partner.

The Nutcracker Prince and Marie.

The Nutcracker Prince and Marie.

The whole cast. Check out the vertical black line in the middle right of the photo. That's the godfather's (magician's) cane. It stands up on its own. How cool is that? Oh the couple dressed in red danced the Trepak, my favorite part of the ballet.

The whole cast. Check out the vertical black line in the middle right of the photo. That’s the godfather’s (magician’s) cane. It stands up on its own. How cool is that? Oh the red girl with the fan and the red dude behind her dressed in red danced the Trepak, my favorite part of the ballet.

It is by far my favorite part because the accompanying music is: Trepak. If I have ever wanted to get up and dance to a tune, it would have been this one. I got pretty antsy in my seat when they were dancing to this, and a big grin filled my face, because this piece is too happy and energetic and uplifting to not be smiling. So I left the theatre at the end happier than I’ve been in a while.

View of Moscow from outside the Bolshoi Theatre.

View of Moscow from outside the Bolshoi Theatre.

And then I went for a run whistling/humming/singing the Trepak theme the whole time. It was fantastic.

And then I ate some of this. The infamous poppyseed bun: variant 1. These are the bane of my existence, as I am gaining weight like no other; well, at least I think I am. It's probably a good thing I'm leaving Moscow so I won't be tempted to eat these anymore (I'm bringing one on the plane).

And then I ate some of this. The infamous poppyseed bun: variant 1. These are the bane of my existence, as I am gaining weight like no other; well, at least I think I am. It’s probably a good thing I’m leaving Moscow so I won’t be tempted to eat these anymore (I’m bringing one on the plane).

The next morning John and I went again to the souvenir market. And this is where my blog’s ratings drop faster than my plane’s speed from Moscow to Zurich, just like every Hollywood movie’s ratings do when a dog suffers on screen:

I wasn't sure if it was alive when I approached; but it lifted its head when I got close, which is good. Luckily, this heating exhaust is here. Enough said, I can't look at it anymore.

I wasn’t sure if it was alive when I approached; but it lifted its head when I got close, which is good. Luckily, this heating exhaust is here. Enough said, I can’t look at it anymore.

Tanya invited me to Tsaritsino Park and it took my mind off the dogs (yes there are more of them, a lot more). It’s quite an amazing park, complete with a palace, pond, river, and bridge.

The entrance to Tsaritsino Park, with Catherine the Great's palace on the hill in the background.

The entrance to Tsaritsino Park, with Catherine the Great’s palace on the hill in the background.

Another lampshot. I like lamp posts.

Another lampshot. I like lamp posts.

The Cavalry Quarters, just at the top of the small hill.

The Cavalry Quarters, just at the top of the small hill.

A decorative bridge leading to the palace.

A decorative bridge leading to the palace.

Catherine's Palace, recently renovated in 2007 and opened to the public.

Catherine’s Palace, recently renovated in 2007 and opened to the public.

A closer shot. That's me in the center.

A closer shot. That’s me in the center.

We got to wear these cool booties that keep the floors clean, and create sliding fun for us.

We got to wear these cool booties that keep the floors clean, and create sliding fun for us.

What the palace looked like before 2007 and long after Catherine had died. It had crumbled and decayed considerably with nobody taking care of it.

What the palace looked like before 2007 and long after Catherine had died. It had crumbled and decayed considerably with nobody taking care of it.

A closer shot. The model even had little people walking around it. That would have been cool to do with the palace in that state.

A closer shot. The model even had little people walking around it. That would have been cool to do with the palace in that state.

The Gold Room. Every bit as impressive as the one in the Hermitage.

The Gold Room. Every bit as impressive as the one in the Hermitage.

The Ruby Room? (The second floor hall)

The Ruby Room? (The second floor hall)

The Wood Room? The third floor hall including a piano.

The Wood Room? The third floor hall including a piano.

Us walking toward the exit. Cool effect around the lamp though eh?

Us walking toward the exit. Cool effect around the lamp though eh?

Unfortunately, photos were not allowed in the palace without payment for a pass so our photos were scarce as we did not pay for the pass. But we got most of what was worth photographing. The other parts of the palace were museumlike in that there were glass cases with clothes worn by Catherine and other trinkets from her time. It wasn’t a total recreation like Peterhof by any means.

We stopped at Kievskaya station on the way home to get some groceries. I picked up one of these bad boys as they had been out of this style for quite some time:

Variant Number Two. Even more delicious and only 2/3 the calories. This is the type I'm bringing on the plane. It's in the fridge now staying fresh.

Variant Number Two. Even more delicious and only 2/3 the calories. This is the type I’m bringing on the plane. It’s in the fridge now staying fresh.

One more final…

One Responseto “Nutcracker & Tsaritsino Park – December 12 & 13”

  1. Jennifer says:

    hope to see you soon. Wendy and Paul say hi.

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