When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Riga, Latvia, brings smiles to all

The Old city of Riga – the beauty of Latvia.

Alex in Latvia has awakened to life.

and had a first date

They went tube-sliding in a park.

Bonding with Dad – don’t they look like brothers?

Meeting cousins for the first time – and they adored Alex!

Grandpa (my dad) came from Moscow – his now-oldest grandson is his hope.

Everybody had a plan for entertainment of Oleg and Alex, showing not only city and parks, but love and family ties.

Oleg’s uncle Yura and his grandson Yura showing their passion – planes. Little Yura is a Junior champion in Latvia for flying those planes, while Uncle is a President of Charter Airline in Latvia (did I mention my Dad served 40 years in air force? It runs in family).

Watching those planes, from generation to generation.

Women cook traditional shashliki (shish kebab) …

…and serve table

while men spend time in banya (Russian sauna)

Nobody wanted it to end.


  1. Great pics, Olga! Beautiful family and a beautiful part of the world. Still looks really cold there though :-) Brrrrrrrrrrr!!!

  2. Lovely pictures. Thanks for sharing them Olga.

  3. Those are really great pics. Alex looks like he enjoyed Latvia.

  4. Wow really great pictures. Reminds me of my trips back home; lots of family, traditional food, old places, history.

  5. Wow, looks like a wonderful trip! Thank you for sharing!


  6. I have to echo Rick - I'm also reminded of trips to the fatherland in Germany - just an entirely different outlook and aesthetic. Thanks for sharing these wonderful "snapshots" of your other home. Alex looks very at home too. I love the plane tradition and the photo of the grandfather and grandson watching. Thanks, Olga.

  7. Wow, Olga, what great pictures! Have we told you about our friend Laima? She is 62 years old - her mother carried her across the mountains to escape from Latvia when she was about two. She speaks Latvian and is one of the finest athletes I know. She is a junior high PE teacher and great runner/marathoner. Arthritis has caused her to stop running marathons - so she switched over to tri's! She's my idol.

  8. Such wonderful pictures! Beautiful family!

  9. Very Very Nice PICS... I would have to be in the banya (Russian Sauna) about 80% of the time because of the cold weather--lol but hey 20% of the time would be great to see some sights...

    hmmmm wonder if I could rent a "Sauna Bubble" -- call Me "Sauna Bubble Boy" & push me around town -- haha

  10. Great photos Olga!

  11. Looks like a great time, enjoy. Thanks for sharing the pictures, happy Easter!

  12. Careful what you ask for, Bob!

  13. Thanks for sharing the great pictures of Latvia and your family. Ever notice how everyone in your family looks very healthy?

  14. Lisa B said...
    Careful what you ask for, Bob! http://tinyurl.com/2fwrjl
    LOLOLOLOL omg that is great OK I will wear that the next time I am in Russia:-)

    2 funny!

  15. Great pics Olga! Makes you wish you could beam yourself there and back like on Star Trek. *tc

  16. Thank you for sharing what looks to be a wonderful trip for Alex.

    I'd love to get your dad and my dad together to talk about the cold war. My dad was a pilot in the USAF in the Strategic Air Command. If your father ever comes stateside to visit let me know. I don't know if your dad speaks english or not but I'm sure that once they got talking about airplanes the old adversary training would fade away. My dad was at the Chuckanut start and when I mentioned to him that your dad had served in the Russian Air Force he looked at me like I was a traitor or something for having riden with you to the event.

    I decided not to do the Peterson Ridge Rumble but will be doing twelve summits instead.


  17. Love the pics. Alex looks happy.

  18. What a picture perfect weekend! I'm very happy to hear you had a wonderful weekend with your family and friends!

    Cheers too many more!

  19. Looks like it was a great time!