In 2007, I took a couple of road trips through Ukraine. I explored rambunctious Odessa, its nightlife and beach life. I also wanted to explore less traveled areas. I went to see what village life looks life surrounding the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. There I was invited to join a family celebrating their grandmother’s birthday and had a wonderful time. I also drove to Eastern Ukraine, stopping at Cherkasy and Kremenchuk. There, Lenin still stands proud in city squares amid hulking concrete buildings.