Greetings from St. Petersburg, Russia. I've been Internet challenged the last few days so for those handful of loyal readers, forgive me for not posting. Yes, I'm blogging from one of the most beautiful cities in the world, hence the title of this blog. It's about 9:15 p.m. here and it will remain light out for another two hours. In another month it will stay light well after midnight.
It's a trip with a dual purpose. The first was to travel to Riga, Latvia, the Czarina's birthplace. It was a chance to visit my step-daughter, her husband, and a granddaughter I've never met. I would be remiss to say it is my first trip to Riga. It was a trip I supposed to about five years ago but sometimes the best laid plans go awry.
The other purpose was to travel to Russia on a mission for the U.S. State Department. Now before you think I'm some big wheel it's not quite that exciting. I'm spending some quality time with some Russian television journalists at one of St. Petersburg's new "private" TV stations. All I'm doing is getting them familiar with the American way of putting together news stories and the structure of American newsrooms and news gathering. I'm not sure that I'm the best teacher because I know a lot of people who are much better at explaining the art of TV news but the folks here seem entertained.
The most interesting thing about this station is that it runs no commercials. I repeat, the station runs no commercials. They still haven't explained to me how that works but the owners have very deep pockets and own other media properties, radio and newspapers, that are for profit.
I will return to Riga at the end of this week for a little more family time before heading back to the good old U.S.A. Have I mentioned already that I miss home? I will offer a more detailed series of accounts about this trip complete with pictures in the coming days. Paca!