I still have a lot more to post about Russia but have been inundated with emails.
One tip to the American traveler going to Russia: Bring a heavy parka but no sweaters. We found out very quickly that the weather can be bitter outside but inside they keep the temperature at nearly 85 degrees. It was visibly uncomfortable for all the americans but so normal for the locals! Saves a lot of suitcase room if you don’t pack heavy clothing!! I thought the girls were going to faint on the bar because they were so hot!