Merry Christmas, lovelies!

I hope you had a beautiful holiday season, full of wonderful diet-breaking foods, family traditions, and love and joy.

Here is what ours looked like:

Jimmy and my great friend, Leah, came to spend the holiday with us. She is spending the year teaching English in Ibiza, Spain, so she took her winter break away from the island to come up north.

She was set to arrive in Helsinki via Barcelona on Thursday, December 18 at approximately 4pm. At the end of the day, and after a series of very unfortunate events, she arrived past midnight on Thursday, via Madrid and Berlin. Long story short, the problems started before her first flight, which she never made it on. As you may imagine flights from an exotic Mediterranean isle to far-north Helsinki, Finland are hard to come by. However, being the amazing friend and determined person that she is, she went through ridiculous stresses and hoops to re-route in order to make it to us that same day. And we are so happy she did, because we’ve been having so much fun!

…also, being my father’s daughter, I already had plans set out for nearly every minute for us that weekend, so she just had to get here!

She and I spent Friday having a long lunch and shopping around the city, getting in to the proper Christmas spirit.

 Saturday, Jimmy joined us for a walk around to the sights of the city; around the waterfront, by the Orthodox church, through the Market Square and the indoor market, up the shopping district, and into some fun Christmas shops. We, of course, took a break for a warm adult beverage on a barge. We had a rare sunny -and even warm (nearly 40 degrees Fahrenheit) -day, which was just perfect for our slow wanderings through town. We stopped home for a rest and to heat up some gloggi for our thermoses before heading out to the Christmas Markets for the evening. 

Credit to Jimmy for the lovely photos…


 

 On Sunday, we took a slow morning, made breakfast, and made for the ice rink by the central station. After making it to the rink, we decided to wait for the zamboni to pass through, as it was quickly piling up with thick snow. So we ducked into a pub to wait it out. Well, after the pub visit, we decided to go get a sausage from the Christmas Market. And then after that, we needed some coffee.
…Eventually, we made it back to the ice rink, but not before Leah had slipped and fallen on the ice, coffee flying through the air, and laughing in full laughter.

Considering the start, it was remarkable that no one fell while skating. It took us a while to get a feel for the ice, but we spent about an hour making turns around the small rink, among tiny daredevil kids and awkward tourists using ice-walkers for support. At this point, the sky was a dark, rich blue, and sending small little flakes down to us on the ice. It was -to quote White Christmas– ideal.

Monday was spent making lists and shopping in preparation for our departure to the cabin for the days over Christmas, which I will detail in the next post!

Happy Boxing Day, everyone!

I hope you were all able to take time off with your families! Remember all those hard working people who work over the holidays to keep us safe and healthy!

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