Since I took us a bit longer to settle into Kyiv, I feel like our time actually went a lot faster. I think our first week in the city was really an adjustment, so looking back, it feels like we were really only here for three weeks. Here’s a reflection on our time in Kyiv:
My goal in Kyiv was 80-miles again. Even though I kicked butt in Amsterdam, I didn’t want to get cocky, so I stuck with the 80-miles. In the end, I did make my 80-miles, but it wasn’t as easy as Amsterdam. I got a nasty case of food poisoning our second week in Kyiv, so I was basically out for 5-days, which really hurts when you are attempting to make 80-miles in a single month.
I really enjoyed my loop after I got it down. It took me about a week to actually figured it out. I mapped it on RunKeeper, but portions of it were paths, not road, so it took me time to figure out where I was actually trying to run. I got lost several times before figuring out my loop. Though a little longer, I was also committed to the loop I mapped because it passed two impressive monuments and I really wanted to take the opportunity to appreciate what importance of what I was running past really. Finally, Kyiv is also really hilly, so the incline of my run kicked my butt.
In the end, I did hit my goal but it wasn’t easy this month. I was out for a few days with food poisoning, we took a trip to St. Petersburg, and there were several occasions that I really struggled making myself get out and run. I don’t love running in the city, so I am looking forward to Italy!
Total Miles: 80.1
Loop Distance: 6.7 miles
Best Pace: 8:42 average pace / mile (slower, but I blame the incline)
Here are a few pictures of my running loop in Kyiv.
The apartment had a single-cup drip maker, which I knew I was going to struggle. I tried it for 2-days, but quickly accepted having an actual coffee pot or a French press was going to make my life much nicer. I tried several shopping centers around the apartment but didn’t find any coffee machines. Anna, the homeowner, stopped by and asked how we were doing, so I asked her where I could find an actual coffee machine. Anna was kind enough to get me a full-size coffee pot.
The coffee pot did have a timer, but Nolan was actually disappointed he didn’t get to make me coffee in the morning, so I opted not to use the timer and Nolan “made me coffee” in the mornings. I’m a pretty lucky Momma.
I did try several different coffee beans, but ended up purchasing most of my coffee beans from Cuba Coffee.
Kyiv has a fantastic service industry, and everything is very inexpensive, so I took full advantage of my month.
I got two manicures & pedicures while in Kyiv. There were nail salons everywhere, but most all required an appointment. I researched options close to the apartment and ended up going to a place called Beauty Break twice. The ladies that did my mani and pedi spoke absolute zero English, so my first appointment required Google Translation a few teams. On my second visit, the same ladies helped me, so they knew exactly what I wanted. The manicure was really great, it stayed a full two weeks with no chopping. The pedicure was also really great. I’ve been running a ton, so my feet needed a little extra care.
It didn’t take me long to notice all the great eyelash extensions on the women in Kyiv either, so I knew I was going to be in luck. I tried popping into a few salons to ask about eyelash extensions but found quickly that appointments were required. I did some research again and decided to try Girls Dream Service. I opted for a blend between the classic (1:1 lash) and 2D lashes. They turned out a bit thicker, but I liked them.
I also did try researching Pilates studios in Kyiv but has no luck at all. About a week into our stay, I was feeling super stiff, and my back was killing me, so I decided to get a message. I again researched and made an appointment at Elephant, which is a Thai massage place. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I must say, it was a really great message. I did take advantage of the inexpensive services and scheduled a second message for a few days before leaving Kyiv.
What I loved about Kyiv:
- I really enjoyed all the coffee. I had no idea Kyiv was such a coffee city, and they take such care with their coffee. The baristas genuinely see making coffee as an art.
- Laundry and maid service — YES PLEASE. I know both of these were a total luxury in Kyiv, but it was really nice to have the apartment cleaned every 4-days and not having to deal with laundry was also lovely.
- Honestly, I loved reading and learning about Ukraine. There were several mornings that I sat down at my computer with my cup of coffee and just got lost reading about the country, its history, current news, etc. It is easy to forget how easy life is in the United States and Kyiv was a good reminder of how different the world is.
- The flowers. There were flower shops and women selling flowers everywhere. I typically don’t buy fresh flowers because I think they are so expensive, but I actually purchased flowers a few times in Kyiv. I liked having them on my desk.
What I didn’t love about Kyiv:
- Getting sick, which I totally acknowledge isn’t the city’s fault, but it was terrible. It took me down for a few days, and I know I’ll be avoiding olives for a while.
- The apartment was just ok. It wasn’t well stocked, so it was hard to cook at times. The space was also challenging. Since the main living area was basically one big open space, it was hard to have quiet time or space to work while Nolan still was able to play. As we book our next houses, we’ve decided to take in consideration the living area and levels to the house/apartment.
Overall, even though it was a harder adjustment, I am really glad we came to Kyiv. I can honestly say, I’m a little sad to leave and I could see myself returning. I didn’t get to do everything I wanted and there are part of the city that I still want to explore.