This last week of work was pretty rough.  I knew that soon everyone would be leaving, and the break was looming over me instead of being something I was looking forward to.  Admin also informed me that I would be working on Saturday for 8 academic hours (6 ‘astronomical’ hours).  I had to finish a present for my sister and just make it through the week.  But on Thursday we had a Secret Santa exchange that was really fun.  I took lots of pictures that are up on my web albums, but none that I am in (except at the bar…).  My Secret Santa was Elizabeth, and she got me a little Christmas tree!!  I was thrilled, since I will actually BE here for the holiday and don’t have any kind of decoration. Pictures of that later.

Today was a deliciously good day!  Slept in till 11, made some french toast, cleaned the kitchen.  Aaron (of Aaron and Cassie, roomies of mine) made me coffee… Then the three of us went to the far southern boarders of St. Petersburg to ‘Mega Mall’, which includes…. wait for it…. IKEA!  We all got what we were after.  Cassie – winter coat (they’re from California, so…she needed a real winter coat), Aaron – tiny laptop, and I got a puffy purple comforter, a dusty purple curtain, a nail file, eyeliner, and so on.

After we got back to the flat, I watched my FAVORITE tv show ever, Brothers and Sisters, had a little cry (its a GOOD show) leftovers from last night (that potato bake recipe that Mike sent me, only WITH brussle sprouts!) , a beer… checked my email.  Then Zahra came home and gave me my REAL mail!  I was so excited, I practically dropped everything to follow her back to her room where my card was waiting.  My Grandma sent me a Christmas card!  So so lovely – she wrote me quite the note inside too.  Will have to write her back, for sure.  Also, I have a package waiting at the post office!!  No idea who’s came first – but probably my mom’s, since she sent it BEFORE THANKSGIVING!

Tomorrow I have Russian Lessons and I will pick up my package.  Then I will probably go to get my International Student ID Card (ISIC) so that we can get into the Hermatige for FREE! (among other things).  This 3 week paid vacation thing is starting to turn out quite well, I think!