These past few weeks…
-I’ve been in Finland.
-This was my first time in about 13 years that I’ve spent Christmas in Finland.
-Been to sauna twice. Saturdays are traditionally sauna days at my parent’s house.
– Visit four holiday markets filled with Finnish (and international) crafts and goodies. There’s so many amazing Christmas markets all around Helsinki during the holiday time, so skip the big box stores and head out to those for unique gifts and support small businesses.
-Enjoyed many cups of peppermint tea at the cozy Marikahvila that I believe I referred last year as my “Living Room in the City”. Great place to invite friends to meet, since my parents (where I stayed) live in the boondocks.
-It seems that my mom eats and cooks mainly soups so I’ve eaten days and days of sweet potato soup, beetroot soup + too many Karelian pies and rice porridge with cinnamon (traditional Finnish Christmas breakfast item). I also got to cook with Harkis (Fava bean) and Pulled Oats (awesome Finnish meal alternatives). So good!
-Had lunch at Date + Kale with my childhood friend since 1st grade. Thank you Facebook for re-connecting me with all these amazing people from my past! She surprised me with her 5-month pregnant belly. Seems that every time I come visit another friend is multiplying. Same happened last February!
-Sushi buffet at Fuku with my globetrotting journalist friend Mirva of Writer on the Move (she’s traveled to 70+ countries so far!). We had met at a cocktail party in NYC rooftop many moons ago and became friends. Can’t wait to visit her in Guadalope in the near future!
-Had 6 cups of coffee in 3 weeks, which none of them made me nauseous. Why does the coffee in US make me so sick and here not one bit? Weird.
-We managed to get 10 people together right before Christmas for our college reunion at Casa Largo. I’m so happy that we’re still in touch and organize these get-togethers to see how everyone’s doing.
-Celebrated quite traditional Christmas with casseroles of all sorts (rutabaga, sweet potato-carrot, sweetened potato), beet salad (cubed beets, onion, pickles, apple) and green salad (romaine, arugula, cherry tomato, green olives, sundried tomatoes, balsamic) + others had ham with mustard-breadcrumb glaze.
-Got in some playtime with my godson and his sister, and their mother of course, who’s been a close friend of mine since the 7th grade.
It’s been a good visit, but I miss my fur babies. I tried to Skype with them but they seemed quite angry and annoyed with me, no smiles or meows. Moses, who’s normally a total mama’s boy even turned his back on me and pretended to sleep while I was talking to him. I’m going to have to buy their approval back with some extra treats and toys, I guess.