SOCHI -- Hello from Russia after a looooooooong travel day.

Team Star Tribune -- myself, Olympics veteran Rachel Blount and star photographer Carlos Gonzalez -- have arrived in Sochi to chronicle the Olympics. A snow storm that hit New York on Monday -- the NFL dodged a bullet on that one -- added an extra layer of stress and challenges on getting here.

Our original flight out of MSP for late Monday morning was cancelled so we were booked on an early morning flight. That left us with an eight-hour layover in JFK airport. A four-hour delay followed our layover, and we finally left New York for Moscow at 11 p.m.

The delay, however, meant that we -- and tons of others on our flight -- missed our connection in Moscow. In the process of all this, my reservation somehow got messed up by the first canceled flight, which lead to a few anxious moments in the Moscow airport. At one point, I thought Moscow would literally become my final destination. I thought I was stuck.

But I can't say about about the Olympic volunteers and one nice worker for Aeroflot in particular who went out of her way to help get the problem fixed. She took me to three different counters but they eventually solved the issue and I made the connection with the others. I can't tell you how much I appreciated the way she handled the situation. 

The processing at the Sochi airport and in our media "hotel" went pretty smooth. I say hotel because it sort of feels like my freshman dorm room at Tennessee. We took a quick walk to get snacks and we saw some workers still putting the finishing touches on one of the buildings. But hey, I have fast wireless and beef jerky and hot water in the shower I'm told, so all is good.

Our plan is to visit the main press center tomorrow and get settled in. We'll check back tomorrow as we lead up to the Opening Ceremonies on Friday.

Good night.

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