Falling in Love With Finland- Lifetime Lovers of Lapland-Part One
We never know when we’re heading somewhere just how it will be. Usually, if it involves flights way-out-of-the-way-especially-to-this-one-spot or ships (which we are really loving lately!), taxis, rental cars and a lot of moving, in advance, we kind of sigh and know that we’ll have to get through the economic toll and the physical and emotional hardships of transition. (We’re still not, and I don’t think we’ll ever be, smooth-sailors of the transition part).
As travel bloggers hoping to get some media passes in Finland, we grew discouraged as the days drew nearer and nearer. We weren’t getting the response we had hoped for and just sighed again and got ready to experience Lapland like normal, everyday traveling family vacationers do. And then, and then, and then, the stars aligned, the fairies danced, the winds conspired and it all just appeared like magic from the benevolent wand of Salla at the Rovaniemi Tourist Board. As our Lapland, Finland time loomed near, we got excited. We hoped it would justify all the hub-bub of getting here, all the detours and side-swerves, and OMG! it was beyond our wildest imaginations worth it!
Important Note of Shocking Proportions:
We’re used to Perpetually Barefoot and Voluntary Homelessness. We’re used to living long-term with the locals, volunteering our way through expenses, working for hostels, and suddenly, around Year 2 these things started to happen out of nowhere. Suddenly, having a world family travel blog had value and we were blessed with unreal sponsors like HPL Hotels, BackHome Hostel, and others like Savedra Dive Center who gave us (in our holes and backpacker clothing) 5-star treatment. We felt so much like Jack from the movie Titanic when he says,” Last night I was sleeping under a bridge and tonight I’m dining with fine people like you.”
That’s totally us!
So, here are all the unreal gifts, these sponsors who say, “Come,” and enable us to have these unreal 5-star experiences that we can share with you. Now these are just ON THE WAY to Rovaniemi! Chew on that for a while. I’m telling you, loves, like I always have, open a family travel blog yesterday, and if not, then today.
Cruise Highlights from Tallinn, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland
So our ferry cruise was that wonderful. It was so short in comparison to our first cruise from Stockholm, Sweden to Riga, Latvia [great video in the middle of the post!] and the ones that followed, but it was a golden ticket to get us fast, sweet, and comfortably from Estonia to Finland. And, without a doubt, The Port of Good News in Tallinn, Estonia was our favorite of all of their terminals thus far.
And the shuttle cruise itself:
Our favorite Tallink Silja Cruise Facebook album (It’s the next cruise after this one- Helsinki, Finland to Stockholm, Sweden- blew our minds!)
Arrival to Helsinki, Finland
We arrived in Helsinki, Finland and though the capital looked lovely and that huge ferris wheel brought back The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom; we went from port to hotel and stayed there. The Scandic Park Helsinki was a pure joy and exactly what we needed so as not to be over-exhausted in this multi-staged transition to Lapland.
And then we discovered, right around the corner from the Scandic Park Helsinki with like a 2 euro delivery charge, are you ready?
GLUTEN-FREE PIZZA!!! We were (kids included) all doing gluten-free at the time. Today, I think we’re back to the adults only. OMG! I bow down to Koti Pizza for making the pool-sauna-Kalukee-card-game-playing evening PERFECT! GLUTEN-FREE!!!
Our night in Helsinki was supposed to be the most visible one of the Perseids meteor showers in the Northern Hemisphere. I kept waking myself up to see if I could see what I could see. Meteors- zilch. But, instead, I got to re-appreciate how comfortable the bed was each time I’d fall back asleep, and I was privy to one gorgeous shifting sunrise over Helsinki.
Breakfast, and onward towards Lapland and Rovaniemi….
Thank you for having us Scandic Park Helsinki Hotel! Both in this stay and in the one after Rovaniemi, we could not get the kids out of the pool and sauna! Loved it!
Flight to Rovaniemi
Carrentals Baltic Summer
This would be our second summer with Carrentals.co.uk. This is our favorite video from the Eastern Europe Road trip last summer:
(I know I digress but a- it’s been really hard to see me this focused and b- we have adored every single experience with them. This summer, we took their cars three times, two sponsored, one on us, and they continue to be our favorite company- hands down. Thank you, thank you, thank you Carrentals!!!! We love you!)
So, focus… here I go. Focus, yes.
Arrival at Chalet Hotel Rovaniemi
So, you know those rare moments that you totally are not expecting when you walk into some place and they treat you like royalty because of your blog? Well, that. Times ten.
Thank you for having us Chalet Hotel Rovaniemi. We were beyond impressed and spoiled by your rooms, that river, your staff, and that all-awesome breakfast! Definitely, positively, for-sure, we’ll be back!
We go through tons of seasons and rhythms on the road of life. Some are hiccups that hurt each time anew, some are rain for the soul, and some are marvelous little windows of reality in which the cosmic dust settles and we know we are living out our life purpose. There are hysterically fun times with friends, and sad times, and more than a few insane moments. But, it’s all what we are meant to dance through. And now, we’re closing shop for a return to ‘normal’ life scheduled for the summer of 2014.- from Street Smartology and New Endings After the End (Philippines)
This is just the start of our love affair with Lapland, Finland’s goldmine, a tiny town called Rovaniemi. There is more to come, and we will return, one winter, to see it in white. Forthcoming is one unreal floating sauna, a tour with reindeer and forest-dwelling Irene and Santa, a ropes course that left us on a total high, and a camp-fired lake-side Finnish sauna dinner evening to die for!
Just go to VisitRovaniemi and see all the unreal options for families. More than you can dream of. Summer or Winter or anytime, the place is unreal gorgeous! Thank you VisitRovaniemi! We love you!
My heart is full, my tummy too! I’ve just eaten half of a huge purple yam (never knew they existed!) that my mom baked for me. I’m here, with her, again, for our third solo visit together and it feels so deeply good. It’s fixing broken waves years and years old. Here’s an insight from yesterday:
Kobi is sick with a really nasty cold, and yet I’m hoping he’s still finding the Unreal Joys of Domesticated Life. I won’t lie, being A Single Mom wasn’t easy, but there were bits that once you find your groove, worked really smoothly as a one-woman captain.
Have a great day. I’ve played with the neighbors cat (who was scraped up pretty badly, so I just spoke to him loving words); I’ve eaten that chunk of purple yam (which we’ve already talked about); I’ve done an hour of coaching (she is the most amazing young woman!); and now I’m going to exercise for an hour and a half (you can read about the body dysfunction part or the healing journey at Solitary Misery, Insanity…- they are both great!). And yes, have an awesome day!
You know I loooooove your comments, and now that my brother fixed it for me (LOVE HIM! AND HIS PARTNER!) you can leave comments on the blog again.
Other Awesome Articles About Our WTF Dreams and Making them Come True
Great Articles You May Enjoy About Different Ways to Travel As a Family
Liquified Homelessness– all time classic with great pics
I Hate This Home, and That One and This One– really great videos and shots from around the wold
Oh The Places You Will Go– a sum up of a three year world adventure in amazing photos
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Thank you dearly,
Gabi, Kobi, Solai, Dahnya, and Orazi