On our way to see Santa…

[from Mike] At about 10am on Sunday, Mountain time, we’ll be boarding an overnight train with sleeper-cars that will take us from Helsinki to Rovanemei in the northern region or Lapland. This will be pretty cool – especially for the boys because Rovanemei is just inside the the Arctic Circle (no, we’re not talking about the fast food chain spanning in Ontario, Caldwell and Buhl–the real one). Rovanemei also serves as the Finnish home of Santa Claus.

Making the journey north was a last-minute change in plans; Saara’s parents, Juhani and Helena generously offered to send us on this excursion while they drive to meet up with Saara and us when we arrive Monday morning. We’ll tour the northern part of the country, hop over the border into Sweden for part of a day, and then drive south through Oulu, which is the home town for many of Saara’s extended family. We’ll be on the road until Wednesday-ish, when we arrive in Vaasa for a few days.

I’m not sure what sort of Internet access we’ll have between now and Wednesday, so if you don’t see anything from us, you can assume that we’re communing with the reindeer and/or dancing with the dog-sized mosquitoes that are rumored to inhabit the area for the eight non-winter weeks occurring around this time of year.

What a great adventure! Thanks for reading.

p.s. On a side note, I just read a book titled, Finnish Proverbs, translated by Inkeri Vaananen-Jensen. Here are a few of my favorites.

  • “The north wind is always cold, no matter where it comes from.”
    If I didn’t know better, I would have attributed that one to Yogi Berra.
  • “Advice is good; help is better.”
    Amen, brother.
  • “Do not loan your bicycle or your wife to anyone.”
    Apparently wives are (or were at some point) equal to bicycles. In modern-day Idaho, I suppose this might be, ‘Do not loan your V10 TurboDeisel Ford-Dodge-Cadillac Escalade Monolith SUV or your wife to anyone.’

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