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Photos from the Oregon Coast

Sea Lion in Lincoln City on the Oregon coast

While we are putting in the miles to find a place to rent/buy, we’re taking photos, too! Our target is someplace on the Oregon Coast that takes cats. Ultimately, we’d like to buy our own place and open a store/studios. So far, we like Yachats to Lincoln City, and Garibaldi to Gearhart. Lincoln City, Yachats, Newport, Seaside, Cannon Beach, and Rockaway Beach are pretty cool. While we were told we couldn’t qualify for a loan (because we’ve been out of the country), we are still hoping to find a place to rent.

Living on the coast would allow us to build our network and make the connections we need to be successful in the future. It would also provide a nice backdrop for our creative endeavors. Join us at Patreon — you get some great content, and you’ll help make our dream a reality. Our studios and store can use a few good investors. Get a penguin and have a companion to travel with.

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Sit before You Go: A Russian Travel Tradition

Confused cat on couch: Why do you have to sit before you go?

The first time my wife and I traveled on a long trip together, our bags were packed by the door, we were ready to go, and I reached for the door handle. She grabbed my arm and led me to the couch. “Let’s sit.”

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Tillamook’s Dream House and Other Considerations of Our Journey

three people standing near seashore viewing cliff covered with fogs

Within the next 24 hours, we will begin our journey back to the U.S. This has been a long time coming. We originally applied for my wife’s green card in Sep. 2018. We had her interview in March of 2020, and we received her green card visa the day before the borders were shut here in Russia. We purchased tickets for July 24 and didn’t receive a refund but only airline credit – the privilege for that cost us $280 in website booking fees with another $280 due if we use the credit to book a flight. Our insurance also wasn’t refunded and was only good if we got sick or quarantined – not the entire country. Each weekend after that, we purchased tickets but made sure to get those that were refundable. Now comes the big flight and big move.

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Returning to the U.S.? What to Do?

Man with passport and bag

Davy Crockett once said, “First, be sure your right and go ahead.” It’s a motto I’ve tried to live by. Make a (good or right) decision and move toward it as quickly as possible. Don’t let anything stand in the way. It’s gotten me into some dangerous situations, but everything worked out – and I have some great stories to tell. However, barging ahead doesn’t work when you have other people to consider. Now the question I face is “Do we move to the U.S., or do we stay in Russia?”

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Honolulu Cookie Company for Cookie Saturday

Penny Penguin, Jenya and I at Honolulu Cookie Company

Our short trip to Waikiki was filled with amazing sights, amazing beaches, and amazing food. Several of the experiences in the city stood out: The Top of Waikiki restaurant, expensive and worth it; the malasadas from Leonard’s Bakery, calling them “Portuguese donuts” does not do them justice; and the Honolulu Cookie Company.

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Utah’s Ruby Snap Cookies Create Memories Worth Reliving

Cookie Saturday Roly Poly Penguin

It’s Cookie Saturday, and you’ve got a cookie craving, but you don’t want or don’t have time to bake cookies what should you do? If you live in Salt Lake City, Utah, the answer is simple: Ruby Snap. The company delivers some of the best cookies ever made, and they’re open until 7pm on Saturday! If you don’t live in Salt Lake City, you still have options. Cookie dough is available in the freezer section of Smith’s, Harmon’s and Lee’s Marketplace. If you live even farther away, you can get the cookies by mail. (You’ll want to order before Saturday so they can arrive on time.)

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Sicilian Cookies Pale Compared to Grandma’s

Cookie Saturday Roly Poly Penguin

This story is brought to you by #CookieSaturday. Part of my family comes from southern Italy, specifically, Sicily. While I never had any plans to go there, when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance. My first sophomore semester of college I spent in Vienna. A friend and I planned a trip for our two-week fall break. We included Sicily in those plans. When we got to Palermo, we ended up in a street market where they were selling different kinds of cookies by the kilo. I found some that looked like the cookies my grandma made, and I had to have them just too see how close they were to my grandma’s recipe.

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Russian Wisdom: The Greedy Man Pays Twice, Especially for Razors

Maybe I should invest in one of these. The greedy man pays twice.

I’m not sure that this is the correct translation, but “the greedy man pays twice” or maybe “the cheap man pays twice” is something I’ve heard a couple of times while in Russia. My wife says it to me because I am always looking for the best price per unit. I know there’s something to be said for quality, but most of the time, the quality of an item isn’t worth the price increase.

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Cinco de Mayo in Far East Russia 2020

Nachos on Cinco de Mayo?

As far as I can tell, no one celebrates Cinco de Mayo in Russia where I live, which makes sense considering it’s between May Day and Victory Day. I have seen three “Mexican” restaurants in town. The drive-up never appears to be open. The one on a side road closed down and became something else, and the one at the mall actually serves pretty good Tex-Mex style food. The tortillas are all flour and more like wraps, but the salsa is often a fresh Pico de Gallo. If it weren’t for COVID-19 and the flood near the mall, we might’ve gone there today.

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March of the Immortal Army: Russian Victory Day, May 9

Victory Day has a parade and the March of the Immortal Army

On May 9 every year, Russia celebrates its victory against the Nazis and Germany in World War II. The army parades down main streets in ever city. There are marching bands, tanks, and patriotism on display. People line-up on the curbs and cheering as the different groups march by. It’s a lot like America’s Fourth of July celebrations. However, there is one difference. After the parade is over, another parade starts: The March of the Immortal Army.

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