Winter ChillZZZZs, and Folk Dancing in RigaDecember, 2002

While Silvija recuperated from her broken ankle, it fell to me (Peters) to accompany my father-in-law, Henry, to Latvia. He had set his mind on going and had been packed for at least a month before leaving—but it's a bit difficult for him to get around, so we try not to have him travel alone.

I had been to Latvia in winter once before, for New Year's, but it had been uncommonly mild. This time, it really was winter—the perfect opportunity to

  1. get really c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-cold! and
  2. catch up on my sleep (that's the ZZZZs)

It was a long way from the warmth of Virginia—a fact of which I was reminded by Silvija's pictures of finches [right] happily munching away at the bird feeders she had set up all over her dad's front yard—pictures which were still in the camera when I took it to the dead of winter in Latvia. Actually, these pictures are how Silvija broke her ankle in the first place, but that's another story!

It's a long trip as it is—but this trip was a true test of wills to try and get to Latvia. It was the first major blizzard of the season in New York. No one wanted to drive to the airport! Finally, one of the local car services agreed to take me to Newark. The normally half-hour trip took over two hours! I showed up at 5:30pm for our flight, which should have departed for Copenhagen at 5:10. But that wasn't as bad as Henry's trip to Newark from Virginia, arriving seven hours after his scheduled departure on what's normally a 45 minute flight, arriving at only 7:00 in the evening! As it was, our departure for Copenhagen was delayed enough that we made our flight—with hours to spare!—but missed all the morning connecting flights.

We should have arrived bright and early. We were lucky to arrive at all, actually! By the time I got "home," it was too late for niceties... the body clock was screaming for sleep! Henry was off to the Radisson, where he could engage in good food, good company, and roulette without braving the winter weather and ice, and I was off to our small apartment to spend time with my mother.

I didn't wake until well past noon. It took another half hour of microscopic movements to get me to a sitting upright in the bed position. I had planned to "take care of a few things" while I was in Latvia. This was not an auspicious start! Not enough time to "do" anything, but, at least enough time to go out and see Riga in the winter and take a few picture before I lost the light...

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