Okay, so the big huge snowstorm in Chicago only cost us 2 hours! Not bad...we left Chicago for St. Petersburg only about 2 hours late. The flight was long but perfectly uneventful. Nice group of people -- there are 30 or so rabbis from the Chicago area travelling together. We were scheduled to see some cemeteries during our layover in Frankfurt, but the 2 hour delay made that unfeasible, so we hung out in the airport. Frankfurt's airport is very boring!!!! And I haven't been in Europe lately...all the smoking made me nuts. But no big deal, and you could certainly get a beer easily!
Then we were on our second flight, to St. Petersburg. The flight left on time and arrived on time (this sounds almost boring, but trust me it was really nice!) Then we landed...and the first thing I saw was a young woman standing at the bottom of the gate, wearing a soviet-style green coat and big Russian hat....but it was all much better than that. Passport control was easy -- we murmered about what it must have been like to visit when it was the USSR -- so many of our colleagues made visits here to see refuseniks...but it was nothing like that. We found all of our luggage and we are now in St. Petersburg! It's very warm here (32 degrees Fahrenheit! like summer!) and the city is lovely, at least what I could see from the bus (and you all know how much I love bus rides....). We are staying at the Grand Europe Hotel, and it is really one of the fanciest hotels I've ever seen.
And of course, it's almost 1am and we have a 6:15am wake up call. So I'm off....and I'll tell you all more tomorrow!!!!
I miss you all already...but I'll keep in touch!