These photos were captured using the Sony Mavica MVC-FD91 Digital Camera. All images are © TomSettle.Communications.
My long journey began on a United flight out of Washington. After lengthy layovers in New York and Frankfurt, I arrived in Helsinki on Wednesday afternoon…
Wednesday 14 June
My second-cousin Antti, his wife Minna and daughters Ella and Lotta met me at the airport. We dropped my luggage off at Raija and Ville’s (Antti’s parents) place, then went shopping for a new bike for Minna. Later, we had dinner (pizza) at Itakeskus shopping mall. They took me back to Raija and Ville’s where we chatted and played cards with the neighbors. Oh yeah, we had some vodka too!
Thursday 15 June
After sleeping about 14.5 hours (hey I was wiped out, and not just from the booze!), I did some unpacking and made some phone calls. Antti’s sister Anna-Leena joined Raija and Ville and I for lunch. After R&V left for their summer cottage, Anna-Leena and I walked to the grocery store.
Antti and his family visited in the evening…Lotta and mom Minna seen here. Ella and Lotta played while the adults talked about what was new. Later, I went with Antti downtown where he did some work on his office’s computer network. We grabbed a late snack at Carroll’s fast-food restaurant and returned home sometime after 2AM.
Friday 16 June
It’s been rather cool all week and today was no exception. We also had a steady rain and occassional hail throughout the day. Antti and family picked me up in the evening and we went to the new Jumbo mall. We bought groceries and a child seat for Minna’s new bike. Later it was off to Antti’s place where we had some sandwiches and adult beverages. I took the bus back to Raija and Ville’s.
Saturday 17 June
I went to Antti’s for an early dinner, then he and I joined some of his friends for squash and badminton. Later, we went to his friend Kimmo’s work place where about 10 of us went to sauna (95 degrees Celsius, I believe) and consumed lots of beer, cognac and pizza. Regrets, yeah I had a few the next day…LOL!
Sunday 18 June
Washed some clothes, did the dishes and packed up my stuff. I went with Antti and his family for an ice cream and a drive around Helsinki. Despite the cool temps, it was rather crowded downtown. We also saw some nice boats, including this one. My cousin Harri and my parents came to pick me up and take me to our family’s summer cottage in Ala-Pihlaja. On the way we stopped for dinner and to buy groceries. In the evening I went to say hello to my uncle Teuvo and Aunt Meeri, then back to our cottage to play cards.
Monday 19 June
My first day out in the country…always an adjustment to living without indoor plumbing! It was cloudy and cool. Ron made chili to warm things up. I visited Teuvo and Meeri in the evening and showed them some pictures from last summer. Went to sauna.
Tuesday 20 June
Ron and I fetched some water from the well and Liisa did the wash. I went for an afternoon walk and took some pix of…the beach, covered with dried seagrass…the bay…a large rock in the forest (typical Finnish terrain)…the remnants of an old boat (I later learned it had been my Grandfather’s) and a “kokko” ready for the upcoming Juhannus (Midsummer) celebration.
Teuvo stopped by in the evening. He was hauling some wood and ran into some problems with his riding mower/tractor (it turned out to be a dead battery). Liisa and I helped him push it back to his house where we attempted to analyze the problem. Later, Liisa cooked up some makkara on the outdoor grill.
Continue to Week #2