Link to 12/9 Photos
12-9-2004 Journal
Link to 12/8 Journal
Link to 12/10 Journal
Dec 9
It is our first full day at the Chagala Hotel in Almaty...actually about 35 minutes outside of the center of Almaty by car.  
We are located in the foothills of the mountains to the South in a gated community of very nice homes.  The hotel
itself has only 12 very spacious rooms and is set at the top of this small community.  On the grounds of the hotel there
is a covered tennis court and a basketball court.  Inside there is a pool, sauna and nicely equipped gym.  The dining
room is bordered windows which lookout into an expansive lawn with snow capped mountains for a backdrop.  The
hotel is actually owned by the Phillip Morris cigarette company and each room is named after a Marlborro Man add
from the 1970s.  On the door of each room is a different framed photo of a rugged ranch hand out on the prairie with
a cigarette dangling from his mouth…I am not kidding.

The service at the Chagala is a caricatures of the finest European spa/resort…none-the-less, the spirit of great
service is definitely there.  We are well attended to with cribs and strollers and homemade baby meals (pureed soups
and potatoes, porridge, etc.) brought to us every 4 hours for your feedings.  Everyone is very comfortable.

In the late afternoon we had to go to our adoption agency in Almaty and fill out paperwork for your U.S. citizenship.  
We also had some pictures taken for your medical records.  On Monday we have the medical appointment and on
Tuesday our final appointment at the U.S. Embassy.  The only reason we are flying out on Thursday is because we
could not find a convenient Wednesday flight.