Bumpy ride

Beautiful morning in Tampere, I woke up at 6.30 even though my bus left after 9 am. Got cherries for snacking in the bus, mom cried at the bust station. The bus ride was fast, I was well on time in the Helsinki-Vantaa airport.

My overweight luggage and the brand new laptop bag in Tampere bus station

First bump in the ride: I had overweight luggage. So, I unpacked my huge bag and put all the candies etc. to a plastic bag I bought, to the hand-luggage (same weight to the plane, just in a different bag).

Then, I found out that the flight was overbooked, and I did not have a seat. This caused a mild stress, plus several inquiries to the staff on the situation. The gate opened 2 hours before take off, I played it safe and skipped all the tax-free to make sure I got on the plane.

Ratatouille, quinoa and tomatoes, salad, fruit salad and a gluten free roll

I was actually a bit surprised that I got the vegan meal I ordered. I brought one Grey’s Anatomy disc with me to make the flight easier – too bad it was the one I had just watched. So no season 7 finale or me, then. I also noticed, that I forgot the usb cable home. There was no personal screens on the 767 American Airlines, so I had to make do with Game of Thrones s2 I had on my computer.

At Chicago, I had a bit less than 2 hours layover. I had planned on going to check out the tax free, but…

Me, lots of oriental people, and a bunch of officials walking around in the Border Protection Office

Apparently I was suspicious in the passport control, since the man took my passport and made me wait for interrogation. No one told me anything, I was just to sit in the room and wait, even though my connecting flight was in less than an hour. I was scared, not to mention jet-lagged and frustrated. When I finally got to the officer, he told me that I would most likely miss my flight, since the airport is so big and busy, and I would have to drop off my luggage, go to another terminal by train and then through security check. Ha! I made it. Welcome to America!

American Eagle, ready for take off

In New York, finally after about 22 hours.

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Countdown

The hours are finally closing in. I’ve received confirmation emails from British Airways, my wallet is fat with dollars (no coins, weird!), and I am almost ready to zip my bag closed.

There is still few things left – I have to sleep one night before take off. I won’t even bother putting on an alarm, since I will probably wake up at sunrise, anyways. Not that I would need to, my flight to Chicago doesn’t leave from Helsinki until 2 pm.

Today I said goodbye to my friends. It was a sunny day, we had peas, sat in the park – just like summer should be.

I am no exception to clichès, I just couldn’t resist. Here it goes, New York here I come!

Family, food, what else is there to do?

The past two weeks have mostly been about eating, celebrating and seeing family & friends. My brother’s graduation, moving from my apartment to my mother’s place until I leave to New York, organizing the graduation parties (plural, since there was a version 2.0 in our summer cottage in Kuopio this weekend) have kept me busy – not much time to get used to the idea that I’ll be gone before I realize it – in 5 days, to be precise.

 

Peaceful sunset in Vaajasalo, a sight I will miss
True summer: Strawberries in the ferry, going to Vaajasalo island to the summer cottage (notice our retro Volvo)

 

After celebrating my brother with my mother’s side of the family and friends a week ago, I went to Kuopio to see my grandparents, and have another round of cake and champagne (well okay, it was sparkling wine) with my dad’s family in the summer cottage. Some might think having “two families” is a disadvantage, but at least it means twice the cake!

Midnight snacks and leftovers for brunch – notice the traditional “sandwich cake” on the lower shelf

In the summer cottage edition of the party, we had two types traditional Finnish party food called sandwich cake. It is basically bread loaves layered with mayo/cream cheese, fish/meat and then coated and decorated with fish/meat, fruit, vegetables etc. Very 80’s style food, I don’t thin anyone does it anymore, except for old fashioned confirmation parties and such.
In the evening we had a barbecue with fries and false morel sauce (I open-fire roasted few perch caught in the fish trap, needless to say it was my brother who gutted them).

 

The Graduate (who is very fond of his hat) taming the bonfire flames

 

I was supposed to go on another trip before the Big Apple, to Helsinki, but I cancelled that. Now I still have 5 days left in Tampere, and my feelings are mixed. Life will certainly be different in a weeks’ time!

Sophie taking it easy and chilling, as usual