The biggest surprise and the biggest delight of our recent Black Sea adventure was our visit to Odessa. After countless naysayers had decried our plans to stop in Ukraine, given the recent uprisings in the eastern part of that country, we disembarked in the harbor, climbed the Potemkin Steps and were treated to a beautiful, sophisticated city that suggested Paris in the 19th century. Pink, turquoise or lemon-colored buildings with white Wedgewood trim. Charming and lovingly tended parks with fountains and kiosks. People enjoying themselves and their city, like these schoolkids happily on their way home on a Friday afternoon.