Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Finland Part 2

Part two came a little sooner than expected! (Thanks to the hard work and dedication of Sophie ;)

Did I make your mouth water with the pancakes yesterday? Mine was! Back to the dorm food for Abby. 

So where was I... Oh yes, we were leaving for the summer house. 

The drive took a little over an hour. We stopped at the last store before we hit the (the direct translation from Finnish is cottage, but I thought little cabin was more fitting) cabin. We bought all kinds of Finnish stuff for the night. 
My favorite part of the drive was when we turned onto the once gravel, but now snow packed road because the view was amazing. There was snow all around you, then huge green trees. Pretty, pretty--now only if the sun would have shown a bit more! 

We got to the cabin and just kind of sat down and planned our night. Then the first thing we did was have a tour of course! 

This is the cute little smoke house. 

These are pictures from inside the smoke house. Those are reindeer furs. 

 The cute cabin! 

The cute outhouse, but maybe not so cute if we had to use it? Most people don't have toilets in their cabins. They are lucky ones!! (and that means Sophie and I were too!! ;) 

A further away view of the cabin. If you look carefully on the right side you can see a red car. Then behind that you can see the outhouse and behind that you can see the smokehouse. 

And last but not least is the Sauna house. 

And the lake!!!! 

So, Sophie saw the snow mobile and had never been on one and really wanted to go. It was too warm out like 1 C out. Which is above the temp of water freezing, and so there was a little bit of water on top of the lake and snow mobiles will get stuck. So we went on a little ride just on the roads around the cabin (all gravel (i think?) but snow packed nonetheless). I found that it was quite hard to steer. Then when Sophie tried to drive--oh.my.goodness. I think it was the most I had laughed all trip. We were stuck in the middle of the road for 4 1/2 minutes just her trying to turn around!!!! Hahahaha, people from the South I tell ya what ;)

When we got back it was nice to go inside and get warm by the fire. Every time I went into the house I had to eat a cracker...or two. They are really salty so they are addicting. Ville missed these while he was gone, so it was obviously something I needed to try. 

I put butter on the crackers, and I think I would enjoy it with cheese or something as well. This is a beer that we tried. It was good. Better than a lot of beers that I have had in England! 

After we were warmed up just sitting around it was getting darker. We had one more thing planned for the night. For lack of better word or phrase I'll refer to it as ice jumping. Ville's father went out to the lake right by their dock and scooped the snow on top of the lake. Then he took his chainsaw and cut through the ice to make a square that was big enough for us to fit in. Although we were nervous we knew we had to do this while we were in Finland!! So Ville had started a fire in the Sauna after our snow mobile adventures. We sat in the sauna until we were going to pass out (or was that just me?? haha) and *very important step of putting on grandma knitted woolen socks* and ran outside to the ....dun dun dun.... little square out of the big lake. 

Now, I know what you might be thinking. If you jump in what if you can't find the hole, what if your body goes into shock, what if you can't lift yourself up from the water because the ice is slippery, what if something in the lake grabs you and pulls you down only to find out there are actually mermaids in Finland. These were the thoughts running through my head before I totally agreed to do this. Then when I expressed my fears/thoughts Ville kindly explained that we  would be able to touch. 

WELL, that solved just about every problem except the shock one--eh we will take our chances ;)

So with our wool socks we ran out to the lake and Ville was first (of course, like I was about to get in there) and he jumped in, dipped down, and got the *heck* out. I think Sophie was next, (remember this girl is from ALABAMA) she was like oh.my.gosh. and got out. 

Remind me, why am I doing this again? 


Fine. I jump in. Holy s**t that's cold. Ok get out--run back to sauna, in there for about 2.3 seconds when I about die from suffocation--run back outside into the winter air soaking wet with ice cold water, and----- relief. I had to stand out there quite sometime before I could go into the sauna. Maybe this is what I am made for??? 


Go back into sauna. Plan our next activity. Rolling in the snow. 

Now if you were to guess which would be colder... jumping in a lake? or rolling over in the snow once which would you guess? 

Ville was the first in the snow and he was back in the sauna before we even were started. That seemed promising. Sophie and I went at the same time. Knees, belly, arms, and roll. I shot up out of that so fast and into the sauna. My goodness. I wouldn't have thought that it would have been different than the water, but yes, yes, yes it was. So much colder. 

Sauna once more. Sophie wants to go in snow again--I was skeptical. She went in bum first this time, and she was half way there so I yelled to do a snow angel. Then I was thought what a good picture this would be---hold it there soph!! I'm going to get your camera!! "Uh ok, hurry!!" 

Abby!!!! You are going in the wrong room!! Oh my gosh this is cold!! 
Where is it at in this room??!?!
In my pocket!! Hurry!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Found it, now hold still.... say cheese..... oops one more... ok. 

I am not quite sure how she did it. Maybe it was for all those back home and her will power to prove that she could? Well she sure beat me. I had no interest in laying in that snow again (and my first time was 4 seconds long compared to her at least 30 or more). 

And you guessed it..... back to the sauna. We had one last thing we wanted to do. We wanted to do a round two in the lake, but get some evidence. 

I know this is a bad picture below, but I had to share this. Sophie wanted to prove herself once more. 
**Fun fact you lose 90% of your body heat from your head. 
What did she do? She went completely under!! (which none of us had done, but it's sort of dangerous and wayyyyyyyy too cold). 
She did it. Way to go soph!! ....and she lived to tell about it... even better!!!!!!!! ;) 
Take that Finland! From an Alabama girl. 
(Made that quote up. She didn't actually say that, but it pretty much was said with actions.)

Welp, lets put on some real clothes and eat some supper--yep. 
Back to the cabin where we would put some sausages (like brats) over the fire and eating some Finnish pies (pastry with meat in the middle) and, of course, I had to try their chips. They were still potato chips with grease and salt, so of course I loved them. I even ate the rest of the jar of pickles. (Ville, don't tell your dad it was me. I'm sorry, but then again not, because they were so great.) 

We ended the night by watching an episode of Muumi and even though we couldn't understand anything I loved it. Ville translated a bit, and if you just use visual cues you can get enough information! ;) 

It had been a long day with sooooo much food and awesome activities. Time for bed. 

The next day, we packed up our things and had to say goodbye. It was pretty sad leaving the cabin. It felt like we had been there the whole weekend or at least more than 24 hours (which we didn't even spend a full 24 hours there). We headed back to Ville's mother's house and had one last Finnish meal. 
Meat balls, mashed potatoes, and a sauce to cover all. I could have eaten, and eaten, and eaten it.  It was delightful. Not only that, but she made a homemade pie with the rest of the fresh blueberries from the morning before. AND his sister had made muffins (that were like dense cupcakes) MMmmmmm. Everything was amazing. 

Then, you wouldn't have guessed it!!! We graduated from Finland High School!

These are what their graduation hats look like, and they always hold a bouquet in their pictures as well. So we joined in. :)

After a minor worry session of me forgetting to look/write/ or actually KNOW when our plane was leaving we figured it out after twenty minutes or so ;) silly me. 

We said our goodbyes and how grateful we were to have been able to stay there or be there with them!!!! Such an amazing amazing trip. 

We left his hometown. We drove to where he goes to college and he showed us around. It was really nice. Then back to the airport for the 5th time in 3 days. Our flight was delayed 25 minutes. Not a big deal. But it was a big deal when we had a connecting flight to get to in now 15 minutes. We landed 5 minutes before we were supposed to board our next flight. We just took off. Starting sprinting. Had the whole airport looking at us. Ok whatever.... asked the guy at customs how far our gate... oh... well it's not that far.... 
Yeah in what world is at the clear end of the building that far. We took off sprinting once again then had people yelling at us... can you not run in airports? I didn't know because I didn't speak German! (Where is Hunter when I need him?) Then something we did know... ma'am ma'am... Sophie turns around... my coat fell out of my bag! Well my goodness, thank you sir. :) 

Made it to the gate panting and we got on... just in time!!! One of the more hurried moments. But hey, we didn't have to stay in Germany for the night... couldn't decide if that was a punishment or reward anyways.... 

We made it back to Birmingham!!! Obviously :) 

I'm proud of myself for getting this one up so soon! hehe self pride. My next will be about Oxford/Food :) I'm pretty excited even though I have so much more English food to try! 

Have a good week :) 
Feed Wags :) 

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