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Sunday, June 05, 2011

Today was long, but fun! We were, as instructed, ready to go by 9 am (for me after a couple of hours of work), but our ride (host mum and youngest kid) didn't turn up until 10:20 so we waited for them outside and did gymnastics and chatted with friends back home on ping (best iOS app ever!), which was lovely.

When Zane and Mix finally showed up, we went to get her sister from next door, and then drove about half an hour away to an absolutely massive outdoor living museum. It was started in 1921 and has over 100 buildings on over 87 hectares. It's pretty crazy! The buildings are from all over Latvia and from different regions and time periods, serving different purposes. They were all actual buildings before getting picked up and moved to the museum in a continual and ongoing process.

We went today because they were having a huge fair, with tons of craft stalls and also food and performances (we saw some traditional dancing, which was fun), and people dressed in traditional Latvian costume, etc. We also saw the President of Latvia sitting around having lunch, which marks the second time in less than a week that we've seen him out and about. Funny.

There were some gorgeous arts and craft pieces there, lots of jewellery, fine leather work, some woodworking, crocheting, etc. Also tons of gingerbread cookies decorated like cars and cartoon characters, small instruments, pottery, etc.

There were a few sets of pony rides, which were interesting because instead of a couple of older scruffier ponies and their older, scruffier owners, they had these sleek and expensive show horses with riders in full seat johds leading them around. Nevermind a change from home, it was miles and miles away from the pony rides we gave at Dunhaghi in Iceland!

Some of the buildings we went into were VERY interesting (and made for not very big people, back in the 1700s) and one of the churches we went into was absolutely gorgeous with intricate scroll work and paintings on the ceiling, and lovely fresh flowers all over the place.

We hiked all around for several hours, with a pause to let the little one swim in the big lake it's beside, and then headed home around 4:30. I haven't been getting much sleep recently, so I fell asleep in the car, and then when we got home and Zane asked if I wanted to have a nap, I gratefully fell up the stairs into our loft for the next three hours.

There was a party at the club, so I think we were meant to stay out of the way anyway--we watched a Friends, chatted with T, and then ate a yummy pasta meal Zane cooked us. After that, we did some plant watering for her and then ended up playing with Aguta, the 8 year old rhythmic gymnast who lives next door. She was very cute and came by and said 'are you good for the tricks?' and when we said yes, she smiled and said 'in 14 minutes.' We were like sure....14 minutes it is haha. Playing with gymnastics was super fun, except for the gazzzzzilllion mosquito bites I got, through my clothes, and despite my OFF. Her friend was there too and we ended up getting on our bikes and riding over to the friend's grandparents house across the canal to play more. I felt very much like a 9 year old, except no one called me in to bed at 10:30 with the other two.

We're calling ourselves to bed, though, as tomorrow we start actually working--moving dirt around the canal or something.


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