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Apple Pickin’ 2013

We are having the MOST amazing Fall so far in Finland.  Things started to cool down in August and we all knew Summer had come to an end.  A mother from Adam’s school assured me that August is definitely considered Fall  (I had somehow thought August was the last “hot” month… not that it ever really gets “hot” here).  But we’re still having “shorts” weather!!!  Last year, I seriously NEVER got my shorts out!  When we wake up, it’s cool and a jacket is needed – but by the time Adam comes home from school (noon) he’s ready for shorts.

So…today was the 2nd annual (well, second time for Adam & I) apple picking trip with our Embassy CLO (website: .  I have very fond memories of last year – it was one of the last outings for just Adam & I.  I was super pregnant – ready for our family to expand sometime in the next month – very exciting time!  I remember making sure I had the CLO’s number in case of an emergency (at this point Justin was traveling).

We arrived early to the Apple Farm today, and while we waited for the group to arrive, we enjoyed the animals.  Adam must have good memories too – he immediately remembered the place and ran straight for the rabbits (his favorite activity last year).

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Abigail meeting the rabbits. Adam loves to feed them grass & leaves.

Lovin' my lil' apple farmer in his overalls!

Lovin’ my lil’ apple farmer in his overalls!

Lovin' fresh picked apples (though she loves a whole apple any time I'll let her!)

Lovin’ fresh picked apples (though she loves a whole apple any time I’ll let her!)

Cole & Adam - silly boys!

Cole & Adam – silly boys!

Our little family in the orchard.

Our little family in the orchard.

Tips for picking apples:

1) they are more fragil than eggs!  If you bruise it today, you better eat it soon.

2) twist the apple off the stem…don’t pull, as that will bring down all the apples on the branch.

3) pick apples from the outer branches and not the center, for the same reason as number 2.

After picking apples, we enjoyed a delicious lunch of apple pork stew with carrots & boiled potatoes – yum!  We also had salad, bread, pickled herring….and, of course, apple cake with coffee and tea.  The cake was wonderful – so light in texture.  At the end, there was an apple wine tasting for those who cared to sample the farm’s products.  It was just a nice time in the sun, letting the kids run and getting some adult conversation.

The timing of the outing was perfect for us – Abigail, who once HATED the car, has now become a very good sleeper in it (that is, if it’s close to nap time).  We lucked out today and she slept for the hour drive both to and from the apple farm.

We’re feeling super blessed that we still have so much sun this time of year – we’re doing our best to soak it up!  We “grill out” every weekend and just let the kids play in the yard.  Like a friend mentioned, you think it’s funny to see people just standing outside, eyes closed, facing the sun….but I totally understand that feeling now.  When the weather first warmed up, I just wanted to do the SAME exact thing… I’d find myself wandering out onto our porch to just sit in the sun.

Oh…and we’re hitting some more milestones.  Abigail has begun to “stand” from sitting – she’ll crouch down and then stand for a few seconds.  She has also started to use her “dinosaur walker” and pushes it all over the yard.  She’s really fast!  I think we’ll be walking much earlier than Adam (he was about 14 months old).  She is still doing her crazy crawl – where she doesn’t use her knees – kind of like a monkey crawl or bear crawl.  Not sure how to describe it, just that she refuses to use her knees.

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Iittala Factory Tour

Today we went on a little field trip with the CLO (Community Liason Officer) with an Embassy group.  It was to the Iittala Factory (read more about the company here: ).  This company makes beautiful dishes and glassware, they are also associated with Fiskars (the famous orange handled scissors) and Gerber (famous Swiss Army knives).

This was totally an outing that I had intended to skip, as I didn’t want a toddler (or reaching baby) to break any dishes!  I tried getting a sitter, but it’s hard to find one since the girls I use are in college.  The CLO assured us that kids were welcome….she even called me to see if I’d come…so I caved and tried it.  To be honest, I wasn’t too worried about Adam after our trip to Stockholm (the boy held a 400 year old cannon ball and didn’t drop it… that was nerve wracking!).  He seems to follow directions from others quite well.

The factory tour was interesting.  Iittala is celebrating 140 years and has some really pretty stuff.  (Note to self – must go back and shop – there wasn’t time with kids in tow but I’d love some new dishes!)  We began the tour by seeing the powders used to make dishes.  We then saw an “artist/worker” hand applying the decals to some bowls.  The dishes are put in the fire for 20 hours, then after cooling the decal is put on – at which point it goes back in the kiln for 5 more hours.  Apparently the last dishes to be “hand painted’ were in 2005.  We saw the two large “ovens” which they only turn off in July (the vacation month in Finland).  Apparently it takes one whole week to cool down the ovens and then another whole week to get them back up and running to the proper temperature.  Iittala used to have like 2000 employees, and now it’s run by about only 250.  We saw where they put the glaze on and then saw dishes being stamped out on the machines (the kids enjoyed that).  They also had a “trash pile” of dishes that hadn’t been “cooked” yet – before that the dishes are paper thin and easy to break in your fingertips – again, the kids LOVED this activity and could have sat there breaking dishes all day!  Even baby Abigail enjoyed breaking a dish – but of course she wanted to put it in her mouth!

We finished our tour in the showroom – where you see all the lovely masterpieces.  I felt bad about not bringing a camera – but it turned out to be fine since no photography was allowed inside the factory!  So…that’s why I’m blogging – so I don’t forget this fun tour!

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2013 – August – Moominworld

BACKPOST – 3 months after the fact!  Geez…gotta do better!  But uploading pics to the blog takes FOREVER…so much easier to share via FB.

We visited the Moomins in August (  Okay…this one confuses me a bit – there’s several ways to spell it – I guess it depends on the Finnish, Swedish or English translation you are using.  So we visited the Moomins (believe that is the English spelling – but you see is a Muumins, which I think is Finnish spelling).  Basically, this is the MOST famous cartoon character in Finland (creator is Finnish).   You see Moomi everywhere!  Adam as seen several of the cartoons on local TV, but of course it’s in Finnish, so we basically have very little idea of what is happening.  It doesn’t seem to bother him – and he still loves the character.  (Wikipedia explains the family here: )

We decided we should take the kids to the theme park near Turku, though we’d heard mixed reviews.  Most Americans expect a theme park to have “rides” – but this one doesn’t.  We were prepared with that fact, and thus I think our expectations were met.  It’s basically a HUGE playground with lots of “playhouses” – there’s storytelling, dramas, dancing, etc.  Perfect for the younger crowd.  As you can tell from the pictures, the houses were packed with interactive activities – lots of “hands on” stuff.

So…here’s our pics – they tell the story best!

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The Moomin House – where all the magic happens.

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Inside the Giant Pumpkin – this summers theme.

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New skill this summer – he loves going down the fire pole!

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Moominmamma (seems to be Abigail’s favorite character)

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The “Maxwell House” cracked me up in this one…reference to USA? Or hint the coffee is no good, only good for housing a mouse?

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Sweeping inside the “Maxwell House” coffee can….

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Our double-stroller – a beast! But it does fold down flat…now if both kids would stay in it…Abigial would rather be held. And it’s super hard to fit on buses!

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The last picture is of us walking across the bridge back to the buses.  Of course, like most things in Finland, Moominland is on it’s own island – this is the land of a thousand islands (or something like that).  And car traffic is not allowed, so you take a bus from a central parking lot to the gate by the above pretty church, which then you cross a bridge to the theme park.

We really didn’t stay too long (maybe 4 hours) – we arrived with about an hour or so of play time before the kids got hungry for lunch.  We “tried” to watch a few small performances – but when everything is in Finnish, it’s hard to keep one’s attention.  Adam and Mommy watched the “big play” at the auditorium, which had English subtitles (that Mommy whispered into Adam’s ears).  At which time, Abigail got a nice nap!  Adam’s favorite thing was the “fire pole” – he went back to the fire house at these 3 or 4 times!  He also enjoyed a GIANT maze – we did that several times too (I was surprised by this – to me, mazes can be a little tough since you can get “lost”.) Adam could have stayed all day, but Abigail was a little bored – it definitely wasn’t a “baby proof” park, nor was there a place to “let her loose”.

There was a storybook path to follow (of course, we went the “wrong way”) so we read those (luckily in English) but it really seems like a lot of the messages in Moominworld are “lost in translation” – there’s magic and witches and ghosts.  I guess Disney can be scary too, so I shouldn’t judge.  Wish I could find some Moomi material (DVD, Book) in English to get a better grasp of it, because Adam and Abigail seem to be drawn to it.  (On our recent trip to Stockholm, Abigail fell in love with a Moominmamma plush toy.)

So… that was our trip to Moominworld – feel like we checked one thing of our Finland “to do” list. :)

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Art Meets Ice 2013 – Helsinki Zoo

Last weekend was the Art Meets Ice competition at Helsinki Zoo (hosted for two weekends – we attended the second).  Last year we didn’t brave the cold temperatures to see it (if I remember correctly it was like -15 C or something).  This year, while the temperature was nice (balmy 32 F or 0 C), it was snowing/raining.  Not ideal, but you definitely can’t wait for perfect weather to get out, otherwise you’ll always be inside.  We have definitely learned to just dress for the weather and get out of the house, when you can.  Daddy and Adam braved the snow to see the exhibit, while Mommy and Abigail enjoyed staying dry at home (maybe next year!).  Anyways, trying to improve my blogging to keep friends and family updated on our happenings.  Here are some of the pictures from our latest outing:

Crossing the bridge to the zoo (it's on an island).

Crossing the bridge to the zoo (it’s on an island).

Ice Sculptures

Ice Sculptures

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Abigail cozy and dry in cute PJs from Grandma O'Kelly. (3 1/2 months old)

Abigail cozy and dry in cute PJs from Grandma O’Kelly. (3 1/2 months old)

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Introducing Abigail Violet

As they don’t do hospital photos here when the baby is born, I attempted to make my own birth announcements for Ms. Abigail.  I guess we could have taken her to a photo studio, but they really didn’t recommend leaving the house before 1 week old and limiting outings before 2 weeks old.  So, we’re waiting for the 1 month mark before we spend the extra money on professional photos.

Clever Cadence Pink Baby Announcements
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Long Overdue Update

Adam turned 3 last Thursday.  It seems his energy level has exploded since then.  He’s definitely got a hyper thing going on.  I’m not sure if it’s a “getting older thing” or “things are a changing”…baby sister is due to arrive any day (well, technically in 8 days!).

I wanted to document some funny things he says…but with all the cleaning, seems I’ve lost my notes.  But here are some good ones from the top of my head:

– “It’s too big!” – This is an excuse for ANYTHING he doesn’t want to do or doesn’t like.  For example, he hates wearing jeans these days  (not sure if it’s because they are hard to pull up and down for potty or if he doesn’t like the “feel” of jeans) so he’ll tells me “No Mommy, jeans are too big!”.

– He still calls the trash, “crass”.  I don’t correct it – I figure with time, those things will be corrected on their own.  I just find it cute.

– He started saying “so”.  I don’t know, but I find this funny too.  He’ll just be rambling and say “so…..”.

– “Maybe not” – this is usually in response to us saying maybe… funny :)

– Today he was talking about Santa (not sure when he figured out that) and he told me that since it snowed, “Santa would be coming with presents!”.  I asked him what he wanted and he told me, “Marbles”…that one took me a few minutes to decipher.  Then he told he me he wants the kind that “go down”.  I’m thinking like a marble run – thank you Baby Einstein videos for influencing my child.  With new baby on the way, I wanted to hold off on that type of toy for a few years…no luck, seems I might need to get on Amazon and do some shopping.

Adam is keeping up a pretty good schedule.  He has play groups twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) and on Thursday we have Kindermusik with Ms. Darlene.  He loves this class, and even when we start daycare/preschool – I hope to only do part-time partly to keep him involved in this activity and partly because I’m not sure I’m ready to part with him more than 3 half-days a week.  Potty training has gone well too.  We still wake him up before we go to bed for one last “empty the bladder”, but I think we could almost skip that now.  We did skip it one day last week, but then he woke up at 6am – we’d rather he sleep an extra hour, so we’ll keep up the routine (especially since his world is about to be rocked).

We’ve been trying to get Adam into preschool all summer, and it’s been a nightmare.  As diplomats, we don’t “follow” normal procedure for application to such places.  Of course, we can pay an arm and a leg to go private – but many of these places are either full or don’t do half-day programs.  There is no way I’m paying full price, for a part-time schedule.  We also had the problem of nothing near our house.  We were happy to put him into the Finnish system, but without a KELA (social security card) there just wasn’t a way to get in.  Though, surprisingly, I just got an email today about him entering something near our house – going to have to investigate that next week…days before I go into labor, great timing!

The pregnancy has gone really smoothly.  They decided about 3 weeks ago that I was a good VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) candidate…so here we go!  Knowing my last birthing experience was personally disappointing, I’m trying to better prepare myself for labor.  I took some private Hypnobirthing classes (don’t let the name fool you – it’s not hypnosis – it’s about about relaxing and breathing through the pain) and we hired a doula to assist with techniques during labor.  We’re already feeling much more prepared.

I’ve only gained like 8 lbs (vs. 20 with Adam) – I’m not complaining – but I guess with no appetite, running after a toddler, and doing housework (all things I didn’t do while pregnant with Adam) it’s just hard to eat right.  I know I’m not eating as healthy – in Cameroon, my lovely housekeeper, Mary, kept the fridge stocked with fresh fruit salad and vegetables.  I sure do miss that!  Now when my sweet tooth kicks in (which I do agree, seems to be stronger with a girl) – I reach for cereal or cookies – bad mommy!  This time around I can eat meat just fine – but with Adam, meat was not appealing at all.  I would eat a few bites because I knew I needed it, then pass it along to Justin.  I would say overall, this time around food in general just never sounded good.  I don’t really crave anything (well, sweets) – eating is more of a chore.  And the poor boys…I don’t even want to cook for them, because I know it doesn’t sound good to me – so why cook?!

Justin has started playing basketball on a Finnish team – he practices twice a week and just started games once a week.  He’s loving it and feeling good – which is great.  We both tend to get stuck in the house doing the “parenting thing” and forget to take care of ourselves.  He begins his “paternity leave” on Monday for a month – it will be nice to have him around so much.  Justin’s mom arrives Tuesday night, so fingers crossed “baby girl” waits until at least then before making her grand entrance.

Sahara is crazy, but so good with Adam.  He harasses her EVERY day – but at times she kind of asks for it.  She doesn’t seem to miss Lucky (who I can’t believe has been gone for almost 3 months!) – but she has started getting nervous lately, so I think she knows changes (ie baby) are on the way.  We don’t give her the exercise I know she needs, but with our nice, big backyard – she has plenty of room to do her “crazy” circles once a day.  Walking with her is still a headache – she has a very nasty bark at any dog that crosses our path (very embarrassing).  We have a citronella collar now – and sometimes I *think* it works, while at other times I think it’s another waste of money.

Summer in Finland was not what we had hoped, but from what we hear, it was very typical.  Seems the previous two summers were “abnormally warm”, so we were a little misguided on what to expect.  It never got too warm and we seemed to have a fair amount of rain.  Fall has been wonderful and seems to have lasted a long time.  I remember when we arrived last year during the second week of September, and already feeling like Fall was over.  I would say Fall ended last week, at this point – until then the temperatures hadn’t been so bad.  October has been especially rainy, though.  So even if the temperature was fine, you didn’t want to venture out in the rain.  It also made for a dark month – it felt like we didn’t see the sun for a good two weeks.  When you’re 37/38 weeks pregnant (so already tired from baby and not sleeping comfortably) and then throw in no sun – it makes it VERY tough to keep your eyes open!  Poor Adam… but the sun has been around all week (even with today’s snow), so that has been nice.  Well, enough for tonight, but hope to do better and blog about baby girl soon!

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Raseborg – our first castle visit!

We’ve decided that while the weather is good, we need to make the most of our weekends and take day trips to surrounding areas here in Finland.  We drove about 1.5 hours to see our first castle in Snappertuna, Finland (yes…that is the town’s real name!).  Oh…and Justin and Adam had a “Father – Son Day” the previous day where they biked up the hair salon, got cute haircuts, and had lunch at a burger joint.  Adam looks so grown up with this new haircut!

Snappertuna is very small town, but they do have the castle, an open air museum, church and hostel.  The Raseborg Castle ruins date from 1370s.  Much of it has been rebuilt, and it seems to be a small castle (in terms of castle size).  This was a first for ALL of us – our first castle visit!

Adam and Justin at Raseborg Castle

The sign says something to the effect of “enter at your own risk” – definitely no safety features here.

“Momma…come see this!” – we couldn’t believe how much he enjoyed the castle.

He wanted a picture “under the bridge”. I was trying to explain “moats” to him.

Leaving the castle…beautiful surrounding forests.

Once in Snappertuna, we realized they had a few more things to see.  The cathedral was closed for the day (it was Sunday), but the open air museum opened at noon…we were there right at opening!  It was a great last minute sight!  By the way, until a few weeks ago, I had no clue what an “open air museum” was, but basically it’s a place where they keep buildings from long ago to show what life was like.


This picture shows the dates (1709-1846) when these houses were used…can’t imagine spending a Finnish winter in these places! Brrrrr…..

Adam kept calling these “treasure chests” (1797, 1785) – where he got that from, I have no clue – but very cute!

Snappertuna’s Open Air Museum

We were all getting a little hungry at this point, so we promised to take Adam on a picnic lunch at the park.  He kept asking “The park is for me?” – yes, the park is for you while Mommy and Daddy got a little sightseeing in.  Getting to the park was about a 20 minute drive to city of Raseborg.

Happy to be at the park.

Views of the waterfront in Raseborg – very cute, little town.

Finally…a picture of Mommy and Adam on the pier (though the wind was quite fierce!)

Pretty fields on the drive home.

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Strawberry Pickin’ – another first!

The CLO (Community Liaison Officer) planned a group outing to a local farm for strawberry picking!  Unfortunately, it was a drizzly day and during Adam’s normal nap time – but we still managed to have fun.  Adam had fallen asleep on the way to the farm (just my luck!) so I let him get about 30 minutes in before waking him up.  Luckily he wasn’t in a bad mood…never can tell when you interrupt his sleep!  We grabbed a bucket and then we were directed by the workers at the little farm to which row we were allowed to pick from.  Here are pictures from our little outing.

Ready to start pickin’.

Picking his first strawberries!

Only pick the red ones…first lesson of the day.

Mommy & Adam…among the rows & rows of strawberries.

Time for the weigh in…. only 6 euros for all those delicious strawberries!

Finally…time to eat! One happy little boy.

How he didn’t get a tummy ache, I don’t know…he ate quite a few!

We’re in the 2nd largest city in Finland…but it still feels country!

Relaxing after a game of “tag” with our Embassy friends.

After picking our strawberries, they had a sink with soap to wash our hands.  Didn’t realize it, but your hands do get quite sticky and red from picking.  We then weighed our basket, which only came to about 6 euros.  In the stores, you pay about 8 euros for 1/3 of the strawberries.  Definitely worth picking them yourself!  After weighing them, Adam got to eat finally eat strawberries – he was in heaven!  Since we had a about a 35 minute drive back home, we stuck around to chat while the kids played “tag”.  Adam even tried to play with some Finnish kids – at first I think they were scared by him, but then I think they enjoyed the games as well.  We all can’t wait to go strawberry pickin’ again!  What a fun outing!

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Tampere – Day 3

Our final day in Tampere was nice and relaxed.  After buffet breakfast, we changed into our swim suits and robes and headed to the “spa” for some mid-morning swimming.  Check-out was at noon, so we had plenty of time.

I should mention here that we were a little nervous about Adam’s stay in the hotel.  First, he’s newly night trained in the potty department.  We started potty training mid-March.  This was NOT a one weekend process, like I’ve heard many people claim.  Maybe he was a little young to start, but the book we followed suggested doing it NOW rather than closer to 3 (which is what I thought the pedi had suggested).  In fact, he was doing well, but then had a horrible week about 2 weeks before vacation.  But we didn’t give up…and he got back on track and did so well.  For night training, we get him up once at night before we got to bed and holds it until morning.  However, for the hotel, we got him up two times at night – 1) knowing he was SUPER tired and might not wake up and 2) he probably had more liquids closer to bedtime than we normally do at home.  We made sure to bring our mattress protectors, just in case, but Adam did wonderful.

Then second thing we worried about in the hotel was that he would be staying in a normal bed without a rail.  He’s only been out of the crib since March too, and at home he has a toddler bed (low to ground) with rail.  He did roll around a lot on the pull-out couch bed, but he never fell off.  It’s so nice to hit these milestones!  He’s becoming such a big boy and it makes travel easier!

After our swim, we checked out of the hotel (a little early, slightly after 11am) and walked the dogs along the LARGE lake the hotel was situated next too.  We then packed everyone up and headed home…where Adam had us stop once for a potty break (good job for him telling us to go in the car).  It then began to rain, and Mommy and Adam got a nice nap on the way home.

Daddy & Adam with lake behind them.

Dogs ready for their walk…notice Sahara has a “new” leash – Halti for pulling!

View of observation tower at amusement park from our hotel.

View of our hotel.

Guess I should update on Lucky – our faithful friend.  We discovered he had prostate cancer in April.  He had just been to the vet in March for shots, but they, of course, did not check the prostate.  He started having seizures, so I had to make an emergency visit to another vet – who has been very helpful during this process.  Lucky has had a heart murmur for a few years, so when they did x-rays for the prostate – they noticed he had heart disease too.  So he’s on three meds – anti-seizure, heart, and stool softener (to make doing his business easier).  Right before our trip to Tampere, he started a new symptom – leaking urine.  Found out he had UTI and needed an antibiotic.  That has now been cleared up, but he’s still leaking – so we’re trying a drug to help with that (but it’s not working).  Other than that, Lucky is in excellent spirits – eating well and happy to see us.  I fear he’s a little too faithful to me… he’s going to hold on until the last-minute (much to Justin’s dismay).  He is losing weight rapidly and the vet noticed at his last visit that his back is tender (probably in pain from straining).  He has a little weakness in his back legs and the seizures still occur – but not frequently.  He’s a trooper for sure… just wish there was a way I could tell him it’s “okay to go”.  We’re of course hoping he falls asleep and doesn’t wake up, but I’m sure we’ll have to “make the decision” one of these days.  He’s a fighter…well more a lover of his Mommy – he doesn’t want to leave me (that much I know for sure – the most faithful dog I have EVER had!).

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Tampere Continued – Day 2 – Angry Birds at Sarkanniemi Amusement Park

Breakfast was included in our resort package.  It was quite impressive – waffle bar, deli meat/cheese bar (don’t understand that morning food), yogurt, cereal bar, coffee/tea/juice, hard boiled eggs, mini-pancakes, etc.  I’ve been impressed so far with how many restaurants offer bibs and feeding utensils( bowl, cup, plate, spoons) for kids.  I’m so used to carrying all this stuff around with me in the diaper bag – so nice to pack a few less items!

After breakfast, we picked up our tickets to the amusement park from the front desk.  As part of our resort package, we got two adult tickets and we were able to purchase Adam’s ticket at the hotel desk too.  We were ready to slather on the sunscreen and head to the park.  This was Adam’s first time to an amusement park and we were quite impressed at how much he could do and enjoy.  It was a fun day for us just seeing the happiness on this kid’s face.  Obviously I couldn’t do any rides (minus a few kiddie ones with Adam) but Justin even found time to do three roller coasters (there were several more, of course, but this day was for Adam).  I was impressed that they had the latest trends in roller coasters – hanging, flying, etc.

First ride ever – merry-go-round with Mommy!

2nd ride with Daddy – showing no fear of rides!

Seeing the Angry Birds section of the park was our whole purpose for visiting Tampere.  We couldn’t wait to see the excitement of our little boy!

Entering into Angry Birds land.

3rd ride – getting to drive a car – we did this one twice!

Another ride – super happy on ALL the rides he could do – I think he LOVES it!

Gotta have a play park…it is Finland!

Favorite part of the Angry Bird scenes…sling shot!

Adam was too “star struck” to approach “Red Bird”…surprising.

Of course, screens to play the game… ugh.

View of our hotel from Angry Birds park – over the massive lake!

The park also had a small aquarium (which Adam loved, regardless of size) and planetarium (which we didn’t do – just a video on planets/stars).  Inside the same building was also the Observation Tower – wonderful views of Tampere, which is located between two massive lakes.  I believe the largest inland lakes in the Nordic countries.

Cute old organ.

Angry Birds from above.

Hotel at the top.


After lunch, we waited for the next Dolphin show.  They had five dolphins performing a twenty minute show (five times a day in the summer).  Adam really enjoyed it and the show was quite entertaining.

Dancing dolphins

Playing basketball – Adam still talks about that trick.

After the show, Adam and I ventured in the Petting Zoo area and found yet another play ground.  This one also had “play houses” which Adam enjoyed sweeping the porch and playing in the kitchen.  The did have pony rides, but for additional fee…we passed.  Justin in the mean time tried out his first of three roller coasters.

Our day was about done, but we ventured back to Angry Birds to use our game tickets up (after some ice cream, of course!  Which Justin and I enjoyed a coke float together – so yummy.).  They had a duck game where everyone was a winner (fishing for duck with magnets) and Adam enjoyed this as well.  This was by far the warmest day any of us had experienced in Finland since arriving last September – it was a wonderful day to be at the park.

For dinner, we were tired of fried food so searched for Italian on the GPS.  After striking out the first try, we found a “hole in the wall” place downtown which was perfect.  It was called “Dennis” and the wait staff were friendly (surprising) and the food tasty.  Adam crashed immediately when we got home and Justin and I enjoyed a movie on public TV.  What a great day!

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