Monday, August 15, 2011

Daugavpils Olympic Center---and VICTORY~

Ahhhhh, the sweet taste of victory!  We have TOWELS!!!!!!!!!!!  Whoopie!

Anyway, we went to the Daugavpils Olympic Center with the kids today.  Once again, the contrast was seen between the modern multi-million dollar state of the art Olympic center and the surrounding buildings.  The Olympic Center is enormous and very cool--it's sleek and modern and has some really neat things going on.  For instance, you pay at the desk to use the pool by the hour and rather than giving you a locker key with a wrist band or pin on key, they give you a waterproof neon band (different sizes) with a chip in it.  You scan the wristband to go through the turnstile and your "hour" begins.  The lockers all use the wristband with the chip to open and close, but yours cannot open another locker--I checked  :-)  You can also check your time left at the pool on a little scanner at the pool area--kind of like doing a price check at Wal-MArt!

So, as usual, there are some weird differences in American style pools and Latvian.  They seem to be virtually NO rules enforced.  No one fusses for hanging on lane ropes, no one yells at children for running, no one really bothers the kids at all....UNLESS!!!!!! UNLESS, your kid happens to have her hair down!  AAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGHH!  Natasha kept telling me she needed a rubber band and I kept telling her not to worry about it (they always fall out in the water anyway!)  As soon as that child jumped in, some woman was on her like white on rice, pony tail holder in hand!  I think the exchange must have gone something like this:  LADY:  YOU!  HEY YOU!  You MUSt wear this in your hair RIGHT NOW!  NATASHA:  YES!  I tried to tell my insane American mom, but she did not listen to me!

Oh, more oddities..you CANNOT wear your outdoor tennis shoes or street shoes on the pool desk or even in the locker room.  YOu must leave your tennis shoes in a basket outside.  But I had flipflops on and they let me wear mine in the locker room.  The kids anticipated this and had brought flip flops.

Big major oddity was tons of old, hairy pot bellied guys walking around in weenie bikini's, but that's not a Latvian oddity, just a European one  :-)  One guy in particular had Micahe and I in stitches bc he reminded Michael of an older, drunken colleague from years ago.

So the kids had fun jumping off the starting blocks, playing in the kids pools, etc.  Then I sweet talked some woman who worked downstairs by telling her how progressive the center was and that Michael was an architect of sports centers in the US and could we please photograph it?  She was pleased and let us go.  WHEW.

I really think Dima is going to die of an ulcer before he is 16.  That child thinks we have never used crosswalks or purchased things in a grocery or really anything.  Michael assured him at one point, "Dima, Mom and Dad have traveled to many countries.  We've got this one, man!"  BUt that poor child just gets very stressed out if we aren't doing it his way.  HE has taken to walking about 10 steps in front of us.

So now we are off to dinner. They want to go eat Chili Pica (pizza) AGAIN, but they ate it for lunch and two times yesterday.  We refused.  We are going to Gubernators, the place with all the dead animals.  The food is gooooood and the menu MUSt have SOMETHING they can eat.  IT's about 10 pages long!

SO, see ya later!


A BAR!!! OF COURSE!





View form the top of the Olympic Center--housing 


Looks like basketball, but it's being used for hockey now


3 comments:

  1. Glad you got to swim! We went twice while we were there. Yeah, SO hear you on the Speedo thing...WHOA!

    We ate a few times at a place called "Southern Fried Chicken" which is just down the road from the hotel. We laughed and laughed about it, but when you get hungry enough, you'll try anything! We ended up eating there several times, and it was decent. I ate the ceasar salad, and while you can't go in expecting and actual ceasar salad, what you get is fairly good! We also ate once or twice at a small "restaurant" at the top of the escalator above the Iki.

    LOVE seeing your pictures! So many memories there! Praying that time would go quickly for you all and praying for your little ones at home!

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  2. Your pictures are fabulous and what you write is so interesting! Thanks!

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  3. I still experience that thing of Sabina telling me what to do and how to do it. When we were in Kraslava she drove me nuts! She seemed to think I would be arrested if I stepped out of line at the market even!

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