Valentine’s Day is celebrated as “Friendship Day” in Finland.
Which I think is lovely. It is basically the same idea, isn’t it? Or at least it should be. Plus we were spared all of the people celebrating “Singles Awareness Day,” which always irritates me. Let happy people be happy. Celebrate love with your family, your close friends, or yourself! Treat yourself to something! Its a day about love, not love with a partner.

No worries, the stores still had heart shaped candies and and over load of pink and red stuff. But it was not nearly as overwhelming as it is in the States.

My Valentine’s Day always begins with a bouquet of roses from my Dad. Every year, for as long as I can remember, he has always given myself and my two sisters one dozen uniquely colored roses, as proof that he is always our first Valentine! My roses are -obviously -always pink! Apparently it has been my color forever..

“I like pink. Pink is my signature color.” -Steel Magnolias

 Daddy has never failed to get those one dozen blooms to me. Not when I went to college, not when I spent a semester in Italy, and not when I moved to Finland!

He’s the best!
This year, I came home from my hair cut (which didn’t go too well) to find a huge bouquet leaning against my apartment door! An instant pick me up and the best way to end the day!

Thanks Pops! I love them and it means so much that you always get them to me!

This year for Valentine’s Day, I got up and made Jimmy’s dad’s sweet rolls for breakfast. We ate them and drank coffee and watched Friends.

We took a stroll around town and later got cleaned up for our dinner reservation.

This year, I made the reservation and just told Jimmy where we were going and when. I had been dying to go to this restaurant -Kappeli -since we moved. It may not be the best place to go in the city, but it is just so beautiful that I wanted to eat there once for the experience. This was the perfect excuse!

As you can tell, it is a stunning glass and iron building placed right in the Esplanade Park, a swanky shopping district. So romantic!

Our dinner was really fantastic. We started with a bottle of wine and the “Taste of Finland” appetizer, which included a cauliflower and mushroom soup shooter, an elk meatball with mashed potatoes, a small beet salad with smoked reindeer, and beef cheek with barley risotto.

Not a bad start.
We continued with Roasted goat cheese chicken on pumpkin risotto for me and beef cheek on barley risotto and mushrooms for Jimmy.
It being Valentine’s Day, we went big and each got a dessert. I had the chocolate cake with mocha ice cream (and a glass of champagne) and Jimmy had the creme brulee. Which was amazing, so he won on dessert.

About halfway through our entrees, a man speaking English sat down at the table next to us by himself. The tables were, literally, right next to each other and separated only by a small glass partition, bistro style. We both noticed that he was wearing a distinctively American brand shirt- Vineyard Vines -that we have not seen on anyone since we left. As our desserts came out, I started up a conversation with him -awkwardly, around the glass -and the three of us chatted through the rest of the meal. He was really a nice guy, in the video game industry, heading back to Chicago the next day. It was fun to chat with another American for a while. He commented that we looked very happy and wished us a Happy Valentines Day.

We broke our short walk home at a bar with big couches for another glass of champagne for me, and a glass of port for Jimmy. And, of course, we were both dressed appropriately for the holiday. Jimmy in his salmon pink pants, and me in a bright pink sweater. The tutu was a product of my sewing class the last few weeks (never working with tulle again).

I perfect evening with the best company around!


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