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My husband spent countless hours trying to make this trip an Experience to Remember. He booked theater tickets, restaurants, and all kinds of attractions without disclosing any information. I was told that I will know on a "need to know basis". He wanted me to be surprised and happy at all times.

It's one of the Russian traditions and customs to visit the "Banya," the bathhouse. For people that enjoy getting their naked butt whipped with leaves in a 130 degrees heat is truly an experience. As for me, this is an activity I can definitely forgo, so my hubby took our sons to visit one of Moscow's old bathhouses, Sanduny 

concert

 

Here are the pictures to give you a glimpse of how much fun they had.

My surprise came later on in the evening. I was told that we were attending a concert in the Chaikovsky hall. It was a Karnaval Show with the "Big Band," a popular Russian orchestra band and a very well known singer, Larisa Dolina. Changing outfits three times prior to selecting one that I deemed appropriate, I was thrilled and excited.  

I'm not a big fan of Russian concerts, but my husband loves it, and I thought it would be a great experience. As everything in Moscow, tickets were outrageously expensive and I was expecting a show of a lifetime. We ran into the theater, after being in the worst traffic of our life time (New Yorkers listen up, traffic in New York is non existent compare to Moscow, WOW, I have never seen anything like this. They have to many cars, not enough roads, and to many new drivers trying to maneuver themselves on the streets).

As we took our seats I quickly observed that the theater was nothing to write home about.  The stage looked similar to what one would see at the community town hall. My husband and I exchanged looks and sunk into our seats.  

concert

 

When the band began to play beautiful jazz music, we were even more confused. Shortly, the star of the show appeared on stage and announced the Jazz Carnival Celebration- we really didn't know what to expect. As the evening progressed, we were treated to pleasant Jazz sung by a Russian performer with a heavy accent trying to impersonate Alberta Hunter 

concert

 

Both of us were trying to be good sports, after all it was our fault. I guess my hubby didn't really read the fine Russian print when he booked the concert. The singer sang the blues, we kept on smiling, the band kept on playing, and the Russians ate it all up. What threw us off, was when at the end of the evening, the stars of the show dressed up as Santa Clause and Snow-White and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

concert

 

I whispered in my husband's ear: "They didn't get the memo. It's December 29th, what Christmas?" After the show we conversed with our friends and found out that Christmas doesn't come until January 7th every year.  We both laughed at our own ignorance and all we could say was "Ooops," we did it again.

Stay tuned for my next blog, the “Pushkin Experience”
Yana



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