Linda Ballard

Linda Ballard

Over the years this traveling pair has seen some unusual sites and at the end of each trip have plans made for the upcoming year. This year, Kilgoreites Carol Hinton and Pat Applewhite chose Russia for their vacation spot and recently spent nine days learning as much as possible about the culture.

“We boarded out of Dallas and flew in a Russian aircraft called an AeroFlot,” Carol said. “It carried 400 passengers. We were in the air 9-10 hours for our flight to Moscow. Upon arrival, we were served a very nice welcome meal. Our tour group consisted of 37 people.”

Moscow, the capital of Russia, is not only the political center for the country but also the most populated city for its industrial, cultural, scientific and educational institutes.

“I loved Moscow,” Carol said. “It was nothing like what you had imagined. It was so clean and the people were well dressed. It was just amazing. The women did not wear casual jeans like here but wore dresses. Pat and I dressed up to go to town.

“Moscow had a buku of boutiques and shops. I was just surprised, it was totally unexpected.

“The people were very helpful and nice. Our money had to be exchanged for rubles and for every $100 we received about 6500 rubles. Daylight began between 4 and 5:30 a.m. to midnight. There were lots of parks and statues and the women just casually strolled the streets at all times of the day. I just loved it.

“Our tour guide was wonderful and so knowledgeable about the places we visited and the statues. We did see the monument of Ivan the Terrible, the first of its kind in Moscow and the Kremlin museum is one that we visited.

“My favorite place was to visit was St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, Moscow. The stained glass windows was just absolutely beautiful,

“Oh, yes, we saw the office of President Putin and we waved at the window.

“Our tour guide took us to the subway system and we rode it for six or seven stops. Each stop was highly decorated in jewels and other ornate decor.”

Pat and Carol stayed three days and nights and Moscow before traveling by high-speed train to St. Petersburg where they spent four days before flying home. It was in St. Petersburg they toured the Hermitage Museum. The museum is said to have more famous original paintings than any other in the world. It was here they learned about royalty over the centuries.

Chicken, they learned, is a very popular food item in Russia so they ate a lot of chicken until the last meal when they were fed beef stroganoff, a dish that originated in Russia.

“All of it was very good,” Carol said. “The trip was a historical lesson in learning the culture. It was a very valuable trip to us and I would go again in a New York minute. People have asked us if we were afraid while there and my answer is absolutely not. We wouldn’t have made the trip if it had been unsafe. Our tour companies watch out for us. Our rooms were 4-5 star and tour guides knew their stuff. We used Gate One Tour Company out of New York. This is the third time we have used them and they are wonderful. They are also less expensive than some to the others.We strongly recommend them.”

Next year, this pair will be flipping a coin for Egypt or Vietnam.

THE KILGORE CITY “HAS AND HAS BEENS” were seen at the Backporch Restaurant this week enjoying a meal and a catch-up time. This crew wishes they could get together more frequently than every few months, but considering they are only part retirees they will settle for the time they can get. The group consists of Debbie Dane, Linda Fontineau, Nancy Dunaway, Lawana Williams and Amanda Nobles. They were having a grand time.

CONGRATULATIONS to our Publisher Jerry and his wife Ruby Pye on the birth of their fourth granddaughter, Peyton Grace Tubbs. She was born Monday, July 29, weighing in at 7 lbs. and 20 oz and 19 inches long. She is the daughter of Jessie and Karen Tubbs of Sterlington, Louisiana.

“She may get her looks from her parents,” Jerry said, “but, she has all of my good qualities.”

May His Love and Laughter Fill Your Homes Throughout the Week. We may be reached at chitchatlinda@aol.com or 903-984-2593.

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