Thursday afternoon Tim Konrad (God), Jeff Wright (Filmer), JT Holmes (JT Holmes), and myself began our journey to the Freeride World Tour. The first stop of the Tour is in Sochi, Russia which has brought us to St. Petersburg. After almost loosing Jeff, due to ski boot misplacements, and about 26 hours of traveling we arrived. It was a relief to see that customs in Russia does not exist especially after the stress we have all put ourselves through the past couple of weeks. Between Tim and Jeff stressing over the film equipment, me stressing about getting my two months ration of suns through, and JT stessing about… nothing actually, we all couldn’t help but to jumped for joy as we rounded the corner in the airport to see nothing except two sliding glass doors that lead straight to Russian soil. After nursing our jet lag the first night we awoke to a standard St. Petersburg day, cloudy with a chance of snow and 10 F. Coming to this from Squaw Valley was a shocker to all of us. We put our nickers on though and headed out that morning to check out the Hermitage Mussium. This was by far one of the most spectacular collections of art and antiques I have seen, not saying much but it was pretty awesome. We spent a good couple of hours in there with only the first little bit checking out the art and the rest trying to navagait our way back through what was almost like a labyrinth style of architecture to the outside. Once outside we enjoyed wonderful Russian Hot Dogs then trekked back to the strip to meet up with one of JT’s many fans.
We sat munched some food and sipped coffee upstairs in this enormous book store while JT’s fan gave us a layout on the night life of St. Petersburg. We took some pictures of this church on our way back to the hotel to nap before giving the city hell. We woke up from our nap around 9 pm (8 am PST) and decided that we would give Russian sushi a try on our way to the club. The sushi turned out to be fanomanoul, to my surprise with very nice surroundings. We finished up eating then be lighted it for the club. We found what seemed like a nice quite corner at first until the Fooz-Ball table next to us got out of control. I don’t know what it is ether with everyone listening to soft 80’s U.S. Rock in clubs around the world. I’m not sure if people remember the intro song to the show “Friends,” but when that came on the whole club went A-Wall. At this point I decided that I would try my luck with the taxi services and find my way back to the hotel before this turned into one of those South American raggers and I start getting sweetie palms. I found a nice looking Russian girl who kindly agreed to share a cab with me so that the taxi didn’t drop me off on the other side of town, take my money, and drive away. To my surprise , even with the Russian Girl, I made it back to the hotel way easier than I thought. I’m not sure on why the stereotype of Russians is mean because everyone here is super nice. I paid the nice gentle man, thanked the young lady and headed for the door. I brushed my teeth and dove into my sleeping bag thinking about how rad it’s going to be when I get to do my first backflip in Russia.