Friday, February 11, 2011

Flat Stacys (and the Mounts) visit Astana

Recently, Kayla Stacy, Jenna Stacy, Georgia Stacy and Graci Staci (what a great name) came to visit us as ambassadors of Marcy's former Girl Guide unit in Calgary.  We knew they wanted to see something geat while they were in Kazakhstan so we took them to the capitol Astana to see the Asian Winter Games.  We got to see Speed Skating, Figure Skating, and Hockey - all exciting and Kazakhstan won gold in all three!  We had a mandatory photo op with the mascot - a snow leopard named Irbi:

It was hard to get photos at the events because ushers kept scoldong us in Russian and we weren't sure why - no photos? no photos with flash? no eating? no drinking? no putting feet on the seat?  Everyone around us was doing all of the above so we were really unsure and just stopped doing it all.  But I did get this photo of the gold medal winning Kazakh men's 1500m speed skater:

The Stacys really enjoyed the games but honestly they didn't realize that going from Calgary to Kazakhstan would not be an improvement in weather.  It was -15C and snowing during our stay in Astana.  They were ready for some heat so we found a great indoor water park at one of the malls.  Here's this funky mall (photo from the internet because my batteries died as usual) and the interior:

The water park was great and just what we and the Stacys needed.  They even had sand on a heated floor so you could bury your feet and pretend you were at the beach.

The girls tried out the hamster ball on water.  The Stacys opted out on that and decided to watch from their spot in the sand.  The hamster ball was very difficult and only Olivia, who went last and learned from the others mistakes, was able to go more than about 3-4 steps.

It was a great time in Astana and we had a great time celebrating with all the Kazakhs.  We bought a Kazakh flag and wore Asian games hats and scarves.  The Stacys even got some commerative gold medals to take home (I think they were for coming from farthest away to experience the games!)

While the weather was cold we did enjoy some North American luxuries while in Astana - TGI Fridays (twice), American-style breakfast buffet, and a nice soft Ramada bed.  The Stacys were happy to get a rest and prepare for the long trip back to Calgary!

Thanks for coming Stacys!!!

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