Saturday, August 4, 2012

A day of Vika

First off, no, "Vika" is not some Lithuanian form of Vodka.

Although... on that note, there is a bottle of wine on our counter right now, which was given to us by some friends that we invited over for games.  Since we're all LDS in this apartment and live by the Word of Wisdom (which you can read more on HERE), we don't drink alcohol, and therefore have been skirting around that bottle like it contains the plague itself.

Anyway, "Vika" is the cutsie name for "Viktorija", our AWESOME friend from the Lithuanian branch!!!!
All us ILP teachers with Vika (2nd from the right. Or 5th from the left. Or the one in a jean skirt and braids. Your preference.)
Vika invited us to go on a bus adventure with her, destination: Lake I-can't-actually-pronounce-slash-remember-the-name.  Long story short, it's a beautiful lake about 45 minutes bus ride from outside the city, smack in the middle of a forest, and with some of the cleanest water I've ever seen.
Walking through the forest (which suspiciously looked like Washington. Loved it.) towards our lake

All of us. Just getting a leg workout

It was so beautiful in the forest!

We also had a chance to observe the wildlife in their natural habitats. If you look really closely in this picture, you might be able to observe one of natures greatest wonders - a guitar with legs. And a water bottle.

After making a trek for a while, we came upon this. The exceedingly beautiful Lake He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (slash Forget-the-Name)

And Vika! I remember her name, of course.

It was a beautiful, beautiful day :)

As you can probably tell, I like it there. Felt right at home at the Lake. (Get it? Get it?!)

Elise, pondering

At this point, Vika had stolen my camera and was taking pictures of anything that moved. In this case, Areil and I were commanded to stop mid stride. Hence the awkwardness of this photo. And the flexed calf muscles. (Admit you - you all just check out our calves)

Areil. Not certain what she's doing?

Once again, caught mid stride :)

The beautiful Ms. Elise.

Areil was so happy, she just waded out in the water....

...And stood there for a while.

Janese, imitating the wildlife?

Bailey, looking like Waldo, and automatically obtaining Lithuanian fame by holding that Ukelele. Seriously, all Lithuanians love it.


Just enjoying the water.


The rest of us played around in the water...

... while Elise broke out her guitar and serenaded us from shore.

Oh, my. It was so wonderful there.

At this point, Vika started getting creative with the settings on my camera, and getting some great artsy photos :)


After sitting on the dock for a bit, we decided to get into the water!! I used my personal supply of lungs to pump up a floatie...
... Modeled with it for a bit... then got in the water.
Meanwhile, Bailey sat in a perfect little log/stump/chair and played on her ukelele.

After a while, a Father from a nearby campsite approached with his little daughter, asking if she could see the Ukelele. I told you she automatically obtains fame with that thing. All Lithuanians think it's magical.
Even the Dad wanted to touch it! Bailey was super sweet and played some songs for them, and the girl left happy :)
 Since taking pictures wasn't enough, Vika even broke out the video setting on my camera and got some recordings of us sitting on the dock:

 Some other memorable stories of the day:

1) At one point, Janese was in the water and starting pointing and yelling "Is that a ferrett?!" I turn around one shore, expecting to see this nasty creature:
Instead, I saw the neighbors little chihuahua, clamoring around the shore. Nope, not a ferret. Just as gross though.

2)  Janese had a really bad sunburn from our adventure to the Lake last week and Bailey had jolly ol' time picking off all her peeling skin. Delicious.

3)  Elise brought out the little floatie that she had bought, which was substantially smaller than mine. As in, she couldn't even get it over her thighs. Turns out, she had bought a Barbie floatie (which was on purpose) that was meant for 3 year olds (which was not). Pretty funny.

After we had finished playing around on the lake for a while, Vika and I decided to hike back into town and check the times that the bus would be coming back. Once we got there, we were greeted with bad news - the bus came in the morning (the one time that dropped us off), then didn't return again until about 9pm that night. Bummer. So! We improvised, stopped a man that was walking close by and asked his advice - he said that sometimes the bus would come by at 11:30am, even though it technically wasn't on the schedule.  We looked at the clock, realized the bus would (hypothetically) be coming in about 30 minutes, called the girls, gathered up quickly and booked it to the bus stop.

Once we got to the bus stop, we loved on the cats that we found in the parking lot, ate some Russian candy (which in my opinion, had the texture of wet cardboard), and discovered the the bus was not coming to pick us up anytime soon. So... improvise! We gathered up all our stuff, shurgged our shoulders and started the trek back to town.

4 km later, we got to the bus station, after a fun little jaunt through the woods of Lithuania :) It was actually really great - Janese, Bailey and I walked ahead and got some conversation in, while Areil, Vika and Elise walked behind and sang their lungs out. It was great :)

Eventually, we made it to the city, caught the bus, and got back home around 2 pm or so. Since the day was still young, we introduced Vika to s'mores (she loved them), watched 17 again, and went to Charlie's pizza for dinner. Overall, great day, albeit exhausting :)

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