Honeymoon: Mother Russia

Spb_collageAhhh the mother land…  and the splendor that became St. Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great. Leaving Boryspil International Airport in Kiev we arrived Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg in roughly 2 hours.  As a private planed marked with the Royal standards of Italia, for our nationality is of Venice, our plane was deposited into the private area of the airport reserved for dignitaries and visiting heads of state.  The red carpets were placed under our feet as we deplaned which still had a somewhat alarming effect on my new bride.  It would take some getting used to. A limousine awaited us as handlers and valets packed our belongings into its trunk and then graciously introduced the driver to us, who opened the door to usher us into the vehicle. Evgeny, our driver, then drove us through the 20 or so miles it takes to get from the airport to our hotel passing through the many canals and rivers that surround St. Petersburg.  “It’s so similar to Venice in a way, except for the machines everywhere.” Merida commented to me. “Ah but my love, St. Petersburg is perhaps 4 or 5 times the size of Venice thus it allows for the roads that sustain the transit of automobiles and the like.” I retorted.


The Hotel Astoria was opened in December 1912 serving all the major dignitaries, political figures, and celebrities all over the world. It sits in the heart of St. Petersburg at St. Isaac’s Square which was a perfect place for us to be. As the limo turned onto the street, I could see and feel Merida’s excitement which made my heart flutter, if it cannot beat.  She rolled the window down to take in the cold air and the sights all around her.  It was magical to watch her.  I had been to St. Petersburg many a time, but she… she was new to everything.  It made you feel like you too were new to it all watching everything through her eyes.


St. Isaac’s Square is probably the most famous part of the city with its statue, The Monument to Nicholas I which is six-meter bronze statue that was a technical wonder of its time. It was the first equestrian statue in Europe with only two support points (the rear hooves of the horse), with the only precedent being the 1852 equestrian statue of President Andrew Jackson in the United States. This focal point of the city is really what makes it grandiose and breath taking. Many visitors stop in front of it for some pictures to which Meri quickly started to snap pictures of her own.  She had taken a fascination with the camera from her trip to Earth before with Bianca and it had only become more ardent during our honeymoon.  I had to make sure she understood we couldn’t take these back to Sosaria with us. “No, but you could paint them and we can certainly take the paintings back with us.” She smiled at me with her pouty mouth that I cannot resist. “Yes I can, my love.” I said.  Her eyes lit up and she continued to snap away at almost anything she could focus on.


Once we circled around and finally arrived at the side entrance of Hotel Astoria, the bellhops and concierge were awaiting our rival with bows of their head.  But again, no formal announcements were made. Regardless, everyone in attendance at that time, which was roughly around 9 o’clock in the evening, noticed us.  The entourage of hotel employees that escorted us and those that followed us made it quite obvious that we were of importance.  Of course, I wore my traditional Italian Royal Garb and Sash, which Meri absolutely refused to wear… “Nah uh, I am not wearing a bulls-eye for people to gawk, point, and stare at me, Armand. You are out of your ever-not-breathing mind!”  She exclaimed back in Venice when they first presented her with her Royal sash as Baroness Merida de Romanus.  Again, this acclimation will take it’s time. The bellhops excused themselves as they made their way to our suite, which of course had its own butler and maids ready to unpack once again our clothing and travel items. The concierge continued to tour us through the hotel making sure we had our key cards and knew how to access every part.  They had arranged for all the staff to reserve tables and spa treatment rooms and poolside cabanas for us to have our privacy. Of course, they first showed us the lavish interior restaurants and alcoves and then toured us through the back chambers that include the gymnasium and spas as well as an interior pool.  Then escorted us to a private elevator that took us to the top floor where their lavish suites are housed. Upon entering the Royal Suite, my Meri’s mouth dropped.  Alas she saw her favorite colors in the finest combinations imagined… of deep blue. This hotel was quite beautiful, more so than most hotels I’ve been at… Merida fell in love with it as much as I did. She, once again, took out her little camera and took a bunch of pictures of it all.

red-haired-rose-meriThat same evening we had a lovely table set up for us in our private terrace that overlooked St. Isaac’s Square. The staff served us tea with a shot of Vodka, of course… Russia’s favorite liquor. They of course put down some sconces and other pastries that we could never touch, but we knew enough on how to fake it for mortal’s sake.  As we sat there taking in the beauty of the night, the life of the square which seemed to never end, we talked about our lives and how happy we were to start this new chapter in them, together.  We laughed and Meri joked with me, in her usual sarcastic tone of course.  We probably could have talked for hours upon hours, it always seemed we conversed so well.  The conversation did turn to one particular little girl, Rose, who was waiting for us at home. This child had captivated our hearts and we were so eager to make her part of our family. Meri said she couldn’t help herself and had taken a picture of the girl to bring with her on the honeymoon.  She was excited to show me the picture so she ran off and went about digging in her belongings. When she found the picture she came rushing back and the smile on her face screamed the pride of a mother. How did I get this lucky?  I asked myself. Could two vampires really have it all despite their affliction? But when she showed me the picture, as beautiful as Rose was in it, my mind couldn’t help but fall back to Claudia.  The vampire child that I… in a much darker time in my life… took away from Louis, who was as in love with her as Meri or I are with Rose.  I now understood why Louis could not let the child die… his love for her was all consuming. And the thought entered my mind, could I let Rose die if something dreadful happened to her in her childish years? Would I have that strength? Meri noticed something was racing through my mind, but when she asked about it… I simply smiled and said, I just missed Rose. I just did not want to ruin our moment of happiness there… in St. Petersburg.  I shoved the feelings and angst down into the pit of my soul. That night I made love to my wife; soft, sensual, intimate, explosive.  She returned the favor.


The following day, we awoke at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon which is pretty early for us.  We took full advantage of the spa and got ourselves all pampered as a couple. She absolutely loved it!  The whole experience was so new to her that I indulged her every curiosity.  I think we ended up having two aromatherapy sessions because she loved them!  In all we tried the mud bath, the deep tissue massages, aromatherapy, and the hot sauna — some a few times — along with getting manicures and pedicures. That part Meri didn’t enjoy too much, the pedicure made her giggle like a school girl she was so ticklish with the lady messing with her feet.  I knew if I didn’t take over she’d light the bitch on fire!  So I asked the ladies to leave the room and that I would “take over”.  They politely and apologetically did so, and I did take over.  With me, Merida is always at ease… she loves my foot rubs, so I was able to calm her down.  Perhaps a little too much because at the feel of my tongue on her big toe, she jumped on me right there and then on the floor and I think the whole area was closed down after that.  Needless to say, we got out our poisons. By the time we came out, it was 8 o’clock in the eve’ and the city awaited us with vigor! It was time to show her this beautiful and amazing city that I connected with so much.  I probably connect with St. Petersburg much more so than with Kiev, even though Kiev is just as beautiful and the land I was birthed into. But there is something so magical about St. Petersburg… its history, its charm, its people.  I felt at home here, like I do in Venice.

State-Hermitage-Museum-EntranceOur very first stop this evening would be the State Hermitage Museum at the Winter Palace, one of the most famous museums in all the Earthly world.  What a sight it was as the night’s clouds drizzle its reflective waters on the cobblestone park in front of the museum.  L’Hermitage houses some of the most famous art collections in the world, including Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Piccasso, Rembrandt, Pierre Renoir, Claude Monet, and the incomparable Vincent Van Goh. We simply could not miss this! As we walked through all of the exhibits, it really was da Vinci’s work that captured the interest of my bride. How much his work resembled my own was one of her most repeated comments.

peterhof-palaceNext on our trip, after a few revisits to the Hermitage, was the Russian Palace of Peter the Great known to the world as the Peterhof. Any splendor of the modern world wouldn’t come close to the richness and decadence of this palace and to imagine it in its hey-day with the Tsar of Russia inhabiting it with his family. You can literally feel the family as you walk through its walls. Peter’s wife, Catherine I, besieged him to build this palace for them and you can tell just how in love they were with the place and each other. Peterhof is actually a series of palaces and gardens laid out on the orders of Peter the Great that was hailed as a labor of love with each subsequent addition of greater grandeur than the one before it. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the “Russian Versailles” for their exquisite use of unfathomable wealth.

For the next few nights, we either visited new sights or revisited those that stood out to us the most.  Once we had had our fill, my wife had requested that we visit her native land of Scotland, where her heritage is. So we had our bags packed, left the wondrous Hotel Astoria in our wake, and flew back to Paris and then she worked tirelessly to plan a brief visit to Scotland. While there, I received a telegram from none other than my dear Louis. Apparently a concert was being planned in the modern western city of New Orleans; Louis’ home.  The main bill of the concert was my little sire-sister, Mary Drown with accompaniments by none other than Lestat de Lioncourt himself.  Merida nearly begged to go! Of course, her every wish is my command… but first, Scotland.


(OOC: Tour the State Hermitage Museum and some of the best Russian Palaces in the entire country, who call St. Petersburg home, in the YouTube playlists below because it really is worth the look… and not many of us will be able to travel to Russia to experience this in person in our lifetimes.)




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