Monday, March 4, 2013


As we get further into the academic year, my blogging has slowed due to the realization of deadlines coming up. My Finland trip was amazing, and i've been slow to get it posted--so here it is! 

We landed in Finland after having an amazing day in Sweden. We had two hours to drive after 4 hours of sleep, two plane rides, and a packed day. I thought that I would be dead, but being in a car is a weird feeling--so that alone probably could have kept me up. We were all fine (at least I thought) on the way home with weird conversations (that happened a lot). 

We arrived at Ville's mother's house. She was so kind and greeted us right away! (Again, how fortunate we are to have people learn our language--wow) Their house was beautiful (and I am ashamed that I didn't think to take any pictures--oops!), Sophie and I even got to have beds and share a room. We had had such a long day of traveling that we went to bed right away, after a short tour of the house. 

The  next morning after we had showered, breakfast was served! 
As you can probably see there was breads, yogurts, fresh blueberries, hard boiled eggs, tomatoes, cheese, butter, cream cheese, rolls, juice, milk, coffee, more fresh fruit, and karjalan piirakka which I will explain in a couple pictures down. (which to use would mean karelien pie) which is like a rice pudding in middle then the dough on top is some kind of rye dough. 

Ok, karjalan piirakka (which to use would mean karelien pie) which is like a rice pudding in middle then the dough on top is some kind of rye dough on the left side. Then for the topping on the right side it is egg butter that you put on top. It was like hard boiled eggs with butter all mashed up (as you can see). This is traditional for Finnish breakfast. So, of course I ate it, and it was great! I would definitely enjoy more for breakfast (or snack!) 

This bread (above and below) is rye bread. It is different than any bread I have tasted. When Ville was in the US, Linda said they tried to find this bread all over Omaha and KC! 
It is really thin as you can see in the picture above. It was also pretty dry, but from what I could tell was used frequently with butter, cheese, slice of meat, and maybe cucumbers or tomatoes. 
I had one of these before we left for the airport the day before, and I had to eat another when we were at Ville's mom's for breakfast. I did like it, but I always had to have something to drink otherwise it went down chokingly slow for me. 

I tried pretty much everything on the table for breakfast karjalan piirakka, rye bread with stuff on top, yogurt with fresh fruit and honey (oh my goodness their honey is so good. it is different than our in a little squeeze bottle or jar. i think it may be taken out of the hive sooner than the honey we buy (but hopefully we have this stuff and i've just never seen it before??) but if you look at the table picture you will see an orange with green bottle and you squeeze the honey out of there. How awesome and non messy is that? Great! (except i would probably squeeze it into my mouth too often. :)

After breakfast and my photo shoot with food... I ate a chocolate. Just a little wrapped chocolate and when I bit into it mint spilled into my mouth. Oh yes. It was like an Andes Mint but chocolate with liquid creamy mint inside. Yeah. Just think about that. 

So, after we are stuffed Ville takes us on a car ride around his town.  It was a dangerous combination. It was like giving a baby a bottle and taking them in the car so they can fall asleep within 5 minutes (that was me, but with some will power my eyes stayed open). His town was like Logans! (Ah, good to be home ;) 
I thought it was a little more spread out, but when you are new to a place you think every turn is taking you somewhere different. It was lower population and everyone knows each other--sounds familiar. They had more schools than Logan though. I guess not everyone can get by with preschool through 12th grade in one building. haha. 

Then one of the greatest parts of the trip happened.... dun dun dun....

He took us to his grandparents house (and bless their hearts neither of them spoke English!), but oh what a great time it was. We were happily greeted and instantly taken to the kitchen to sit for (more food!! breakfast was only an hour ago... big girl pants Abby... taken quite literally) tea or coffee? I've almost always taken tea being in England or even Finland in this case. I drank a red tea that was from Egypt, it was delish. Still not the best part.. 

His grandpa went right to the stove. He had his pancake batter made, and as soon as we sat he started his magic. Sophie was the first. Thin pancake landed on Sophie's plate within minutes. Not knowing what to do Ville graciously coached her through it. 
First, you put the freshly whipped cream on your pancake. 
Second, you sprinkle some sugar on the cream that is on your pancake. 
Last but not least, you choose your jam. Homemade raspberry jam or homemade strawberry? 

Take your pick. How you pick I don't know. But she went with the raspberry. 

Before Sophie was done dressing her pancake----bam!!! 
My first pancake had landed on my plate. At the time I didn't know that it was literally one of the best things that I would have ever put in my mouth. 

Cream, sugar, and raspberry jam it was for me. 


That is all I have to say. I have never tasted heaven before, but I would assume this was the closest thing I have ever eaten to it. 

I probably don't have to mention that since the pancakes were so fresh right out of the skillet the cream and jam started melting and yeah. I have nothing else to say. I am going to cry if I don't get to taste these again. 

In the picture above you can see how we weren't just eating pancakes! We had boxes of chocolates, biscuits, more chocolate, (not shown but were their--because I once again tried everything) were buns that had vanilla pudding and apple jam type things in them, and homemade sour dough bread. 

Can you say spoiled? 

We didn't just stop at one after Ville's grandpa served Sophie, I, Ville, and Toojya (Ville's mom) then he went back to Sophie, me, Ville, Toojya... and Ville warned us that if we didn't tell him when we couldn't eat anymore that we would just keep receiving. I wanted to try other things on the table, so after my second I told him that I was done. (One of the worst decisions of my life--what was I thinking!?!?) 
But after we were done eating (at least one of everything!! haha) we sat and talked. Ville would translate some. His grandpa would show us books and his grandma showed us some of her knitting. 

It made me miss my gram. 

Turns out grandma and Ville's grandma had a ton in common! Not only the exact same age, but baking and sewing were top on their list of hobbies. I told his grandma that they would definitely be friends. :) 

After an eventful afternoon (and probably a little crazy with two people only speaking English, two speaking only Finnish, and two that are bilingual with both!) we had to say goodbye. His grandma gave us a Finnish chocolate bar and a hand towel with Muumi on it. Muumi is a really popular cartoon in Finland that has been on for over 20 years. At first I wasn't too sure about Muumi, but I have fallen into a deep love with him. I don't know why but as we were leaving the airport I went into every store and didn't want to leave him! 

Below is a Muumi drink. 

Muumi statue awwww

And below is the towel I got with the chocolate bar. The girl on the towel is another character from Muumi. The bowl with chocolates on the top left is that gift that Toojya gave us. 

We were SO spoiled. And we are so happy to have had them let us stay at their home. 

After our tea time with his grandparents we took off to the summer house. I will have to wait and continue this post soon (whenever I can get the photos from Sophie, because those will be important to the next post!) So, you will have to wait just a weeeee bit longer. In the mean time, I may post about a few other things that have happened or that I have tried. But my Finland post isn't complete and you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be!! The last post is quite exciting. 

Until my next post, feed my wolf---Wags. She likes steak and howls at the moon. A certain someone said they were unsure about my pet.... hmmm... what do you guys think about my new pet? 

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