Lance & Megan's Blog

1st anniversary adventures!

October19

Lance and I just celebrated our first anniversary together as a happy married couple!! We did not have a ton of time to get away, only the weekend but we managed to have an adventure nonetheless. We travelled to the city of Kaminets-Podilsky which has a lovely castle we’ve been wanting to see.

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The only thing we regretted on our trip, was that we did not plan ahead and make reseverations. We made the terrible assumption that it was October and the tourist season would be over so we shouldn’t have to worry. Wouldn’t ya know, they apparently were celebrating Oktoberfest that same weekend we were there… After trying four hotels, we managed to find one that had two rooms left. It was a narrow escape that we hope to never repeat.

View of the city from the castle

VIew of the city from the castle

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What a handsome guard!

What a handsome guard!

We kissed in a castle!

We kissed in a castle!

Our first stop was actually the view outside of the castle. As we walked up to the castle, there were hot air balloons just rising up over the castle. It was a spectacular site to watch 10 balloons float off into the distance. The castle itself is probably one of our favorites. We were free to explore most of the hallways and stairways through out the castle. There was a museum to look through, an archery contest was happening while we were there and there was a fabulous view of the city.

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The old city gate

The old city gate

Watchtower

Watchtower

After the castle we made the trek into the city to find dinner which was an exhausting chore. We ended up simply buying from food vendors on the street. The city was alive with action and everyone was out and about. The weather was fair and perfect for festivities. We ended up back at our hotel completely spent but we did look through photos of our first year together. It was fun to remember what our highlights were and what our hopes were for the next year.

Orthodox church

Orthodox church

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Breakfast also proved to be a difficult task but we did eat and then set off to explore more of the city in the daylight. We found some amazing sites and we were happy to walk all around the city before heading back home.

Castle on the way home

Castle on the way home

Conqueror of the castle

Conqueror of the castle

The way home

The way home

We made time to find two castles on our way back. We didn’t really know what to expect we just had a general idea of where they were. Our GPS always proves to know the way, we found our way down dirt roads that I had no idea were considered roads. Despite the crazy routes we went, we did find the castles. Both were in ruins and no one was caring for them, we just simply hiked up to them and explored. Our last castle provided a beautiful view with the sunset and a lazy river below. It was a perfect way to end our anniversary weekend.

Hike up to castle #3

Hike up to castle #3

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Sunset together at a castle

Sunset together at a castle

State of the Roberts Address… will be later

October8

Just a quick note to those who have followed this blog for more than a year. Normally this time of year, Megan wrote a State of Megan Address. Since being married and moving back to Ukraine, we will postpone the official State of the Roberts Address until January (which is more appropriate in many ways!)

Just know we are super happy here, loving life and will have lots to share in our official report. We celebrate one year of marriage on Sunday!! Yeah!

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A lovely Ukrainian wedding

October3

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, it had been raining the day before but the clouds took a rest for a bit on Sunday to watch the wedding of Marichka and Sasha.

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Marichka was Megan’s first roommate in Ukraine. They shared a bed for a year in their homey apartment before Marichka moved out for a bit before going to Russia. They went to Ethiopia together and Marichka was also a student in the first English For Missions school.

Lance and I had the privilege to be a part of our first Ukrainian wedding. The ceremony was simple, short and sweet, no extra fluff. Mini sermon, exchange of vows, exchange of rings and the kiss! I was happy to see that they threw candy after Sasha carried Marichka over the threshold of the church! Lance and I were only able to nab one piece each since it was such a free-for-all! IMG_1037

There was some time in between the ceremony and the reception which was at another location. When everyone arrived at the location, Sasha and Marichka greeted their parents by bowing three times before they accepted the gift of bread and salt given by their parents. A sign of blessing. We all filed in and found our places at the tables and sat down to a feast!

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Now many of you may think you have a feast at Thanksgiving or Christmas but I can assure you, you have no idea what a feast is until you come to a Slavik wedding. Lance and I had some idea since attending Ruslan‘s wedding in Moldova. The cold course of the meal consisted of sliced meat and cheese, pickles, salads, various sorts of fish dishes including stuffed herring (where you take out all the insides, blend it, stuff it back in, and cook it. There was rolled eggplant, fried chicken, sliced veggies and of course holodets, (meat jelly.)

The cold course

The cold course

There were hot courses that came out as the evening progressed. There was borscht, stuffed crepes, cabbage rolls, and shashlik with grilled veggies. Everything was so yummy! We really stuffed ourselves before we even had dessert!

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There were many blessings given at the wedding by parents and family. Sasha and Marichka also gave a gift to their parents to honor them for raising them. There was a fun slideshow and a few songs were sung. They evening began to wrap up with a few games. One game was quite simple, it was like mad libs. A few contestants were chosen and asked to write 10 animals, the emcee then came to the first person and said “When Marichka/Sasha wakes up she is like a _______.” They then have to read the first animal that they wrote. Some of them were quite hilarious! The other game was a different story.

This is where Lance and I made our mark. They wonderful newlyweds went around the room and picked married couples to participate in this new game. Lance and I were chosen naturally. The girls lined up on one side of the room and the guys on the other. When some music began to play the first girl had to dance down to her husband, give him a kiss and dance back. The guy then had to do the same thing. This doesn’t sound too bad except for two things. #1 You had to dance solo, completely by yourself in front of a mob of wedding guests who may or may nor know you. #2 You had no idea what the music was going to be, it was different for each person. Sasha and Marichka went first and had some Ukrainian folk song. Then the next couple had Indian music, the next had some kind of Asian sounding music, there was a sort of Gypsy song and then Lance and I were the last ones and we were blessed to dance to the tango. Yes, we danced the tango… solo. Neither of us profess to be dancers but somehow we hammed it up enough that everyone loved us and thought that we knew what we were doing. The photographer at one point while Lance was dancing his way toward me handed him a flower which he promptly put into his mouth and was the perfect prop. We didn’t do a simple kiss but a dip kiss seemed most appropriate for the tango. We were told later that someone wondered if we forgot others were in the room! We had quite a few complements on our apparent dance skills. As much fun as it was faking it, I would not recommend the game to most people.