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Here we are flying to California for Russian Easter at the last minute. But let's start the story back a little bit...

As the semester wound down, sentimentality set in. Like last semester, both Anna and Jordy wanted pictures of their classes for posterity (or evidence).

This is Jordy's 1:30 class.

And Jordy's 3:30 class (with Jordy in the picture).

Let's play "Find The Teacher" (hint: she's the one in the cute anime buns and white socks).

Anna's 3:30 class.

One of Jordy's students, Julie, stopped by on the last day of class to show off her very non-Mormon T-shirt.

When we decided to fly out for Easter, it was done at the last moment (with Momthra's help) and during finals. This meant that we had to finish everything that would be due when we were to be in California before we left. Sleepless, study-filled nights ensued. Here Anna grades 1010 Cause and Effect research essays. Plegh!

But we got everything finished and turned in, and here Jordy and Anna hug because they are about to leave for the airport! Yeah!

If you're unfamiliar with Russian Easter, you have to understand that it involves church services. A lot of them. Four days. This is the Saturday morning service (note that I said morning, as many days there are both morning and evening services).

Upstairs in the choir loft, Anna, Momthra, and Diane prepare to sing the Saturday morning service. Their most difficult task comes that night with the actual Easter service which runs from 11pm until 3:30 in the morning, with the choir singing just about the entire service. It's Xtreme Choir™.

The payoff for all that church is Sunday when people go from house to house visiting, laughing, eating, and drinking vodka.

The party starts off right at Lana and Gary's house with a vodka shot toast.

Misha, the choir director, and his wife Diane were among the revelers at Lana and Gary's.

We couldn't understand why he kept telling the guests that "Quieter does not mean Slower."

Anna's great-uncle Dima and his wife Carol also joined the festivities.

And the hostess who pulled off the event pauses for a moment before taking out sugar and cream. Actually, to save time, she just hurled them through the door onto the table -- they landed perfectly upright without spilling. The guests were impressed. Momthra was nonplussed.

Next we went to the other Lana's house. Here Lana pokes Anna's stomach to make sure it's full. If it's not full, she'll send her back for more roast beef and homemade mayonnaise. Oh the humanity! Jordy, meanwhile, lists to port as he is so full.

Any Easter leftovers (including small children) must be offered to the menacing plant as a sacrifice. Here Clay and Tata act nonchalant, trying their best to ignore the plant shuffling behind them.

The plant soon demanded and received a sacrificial strawberry.

Oh my God, it's MORE FOOD AND VODKA!

At our next stop, Nina's house, the table was "groaning" and the good times were rolling.

Anna was able to catch up with her best friend Mara, who is about to graduate from USC med school.

"The doctor will see you now"

Jordy took Mara up on her offer of a free consultation in the back yard.

"Look what Mara found -- it's not a tumor!"

Okay, really it's a zhavaranka, a Russian pastry shaped like a bird that Mara's mom, Tania, made for Anna's brother Misha, but insisted Jordy have one when she learned he'd never had one.

I assure you, it did not taste like chicken.

Nina and one of her sons, Boris, took a stroll in the yard before the rain started to fall.

"You're not full! Eat! Eat!" Nina insists as Gary pleads for his life. Momthra is nonplussed (still).

Momthra and Gary pose for a post-feast shot.

As everyone got up in preparation to go to the next house, Jordy snapped this picture of Mara and her uncle Boris in the doorway.

This would be a good time to mention that Boris's documentary, "Out of the Blue" will be on the Sci-Fi channel in June. He's the producer (not one of the abductees (it's about UFOs)).

Next stop was the Pizarev's house. Here Gary, Lana, Jordy, John, Vlad, and Colleen discuss strategies for taking the table from the entrenched Russians refusing to yield an inch.

The entrenched Russians.

Here Anita and some conspirators discuss plans to oust the entrenched Russians.

"I asked them to move nicely, but they just laughed at me!"

After successfully gaining a foothold at the table, we all celebrated with vodka shots.

"Oh, I'll pour you a shot, Jordy"

Vlad, his brother George and father Alexander visited Lana and Gary's house earlier in the day. Vlad had what he thought was buffalo grass flavored vodka, but instead was Jordy's hot pepper vodka. Now it was Vlad's turn to exact revenge. He pours the Pizarev house blend pepper vodka. Sinuses were cleared, eyes were teary, faces were beet red.

Momthra poses with Natasha Pizarev, the hostess.

The Pizarev was our last stop, since everyone who has been out visiting tends to end up there. After we left, we later found out, the formerly entrenched Russians re-took the table.

The following day, Anna and Jordy went out to the Palo Alto Baylands as well as out to the Dumbarton Bridge (in the background) to take pictures for Anna's thesis. Here Anna sits on a sculpture at the PA Baylands.

We'll leave you with this cute picture of us on Easter-eve.

We have another roll of film with some remaining Easter pictures that we'll put up as soon as we finish it.

We'd also like to mention that there were a great many shots that couldn't be put up here because our evil satan-posessed camera double exposed them (and then laughed maniacally at us). But thanks to Gary, who lent us his film camera (because everyone's doing digital, dontcha know), those double exposed shots will be a thing of the past!

See you all soon!