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I finally made it to Russia! Judging the Miss Universe pageant gave me the opportunity to travel to Russia for the first time in November. I spent five days in Moscow, which was beautiful, yet very cold. I am surprised I never made it to Russia while touring during my competitive career. I have so many friends in the Figure Skating community that are from Russia so it was great to see them and have them show me around while I was there. Thank goodness they were there, because boy would I have been lost without them, literally! I brought my good friend Kelli along for the ride and it was so nice having a friend to share this experience with. The Kremlin and the city in general were breathtaking. The architecture is so unique and unlike anything I had ever seen before. It was a mix of old Europe with an eastern influence.

I am a picky eater so I thought I might have trouble finding food I like, but I realized quickly that if I only ate Blini’s (crepe’s) the entire trip I would be just fine. The language barrier proved to be a little more difficult, which is why I have started taking Russian lessons for my next trip to Russia. Leave it to me to try and learn one of the hardest languages in two months. Miss Universe was such an incredible experience but I am looking forward to heading back to Sochi, Russia for the Winter Olympics in February. It will still be cold, but I cannot wait to see more of this beautiful country. I always look forward to the Olympics but this will be my first time being a part of the NBC family as a broadcaster and analyst and I could not be more excited! Although Sochi is my next stop, I still have my sights set on getting to St. Petersburg.