Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Day in Finland!

At the end of April we received a phone call from a friend offering us tickets to go to Finland {on a boat}.  The tickets had to be used by the end of the month.  We got the call on Tuesday evening, April 26.  This meant that we only had four days to use them.  Since we had never been to Finland, we decided to use this {free} oportunity to visit.  The only day we had that we could make the trip was Friday.  So we began making some plans.
The boat left at 8a.m. from Tallinn.  We were told to be there at 7a.m.  So, when some friends who live just outside of Tallinn offered to let us spend the night with them, we took them up on the offer.
Our morning started {very} early Friday morning.  We drove into Tallinn and easliy found the port and {FREE} parking.   

While waiting in line to board, we looked out the window and saw the {huge} boat that we would be making the 2 1/2 hour trip on.  Cars and trucks were being loaded on the boat.  Not sure how many it can hold, but it must be a lot!

Finally, it was time for all the people to board.  We were at the front of the line!  Once we got on the boat, we had no idea where to go, so we just started looking around and investigating.  Here are some of the things we saw....elevators (there were 9 levels), restaurants, a level of sleeping cabins, a store, shopping carts, slot machines, etc.  We decided to go outside on the top level.  It was chilly, but the sun was shinning and it was beautiful.  Thankfully the picnic tables were right in the sun and this is were we enjoyed our breakfast that we brought with us.  

Daniel and Caleb enjoying the view from the top deck

leaving Tallinn
Once the boat started moving it became a little too chilly for us and so we found a spot inside by a window.  There we enjoyed lots of warmth and sunshine and a great view to watch our progress to Finland.  The kids had brought books to read, coloring books, crayons, and little things to keep them busy.  It was a quiet, relaxing ride.

Helsinki, Finland

 Once we arrived in Finland, we really didn't know where to go or what to do.  We had found a map on the boat and saw that Helsinki had {several} Pizza Hut and Ikea. 
We all agreed that we wanted Pizza Hut for lunch.  We went in and saw the menu.....33euros {$47} for ONE large pizza.  "REALLY???" Ron asked.  So, we turned around and walked out.  Our family would have needed more than one pizza to fill up, but even one at that price was too much.  Well, no one promised that life wouldn't have disappointments.  We ended up eating at Southern Fried Chicken.  Nothing to write home about, but we all had something to eat and a drink for about the cost of the one pizza at Pizza Hut.  The kids all enjoyed a pizza/soup/salad buffet....Daniel ate 9 pieces of pizza and Andrew had pizza and four bowls of tomato soup.  

Next we headed to the bus stop to ride the {FREE} bus to Ikea.  We spent a couple of hours looking all around in that huge place.  Sure wish we had one in Estonia.  
Before we left Ikea we enjoyed some delicious sweet rolls with tea and coffee {with FREE refills}. 

Sarah found a "stroller" that she could get a ride in

Caleb getting in a quick nap on the bus
 By 7p.m. we had looked, shopped, and explored until we were ready to drop.  The boat didn't leave to head back to Tallinn until 9:30.  Although we had gorgeous weather all day, the evening brought with it some cool weather.  We decided to go wait in the warm building at the boat port.  First we took a few pictures....I love pictures!

Helsinki, Tallinn ~ April 29, 2011

♥Ron and I♥

there were people everywhere selling big mylar balloons
The boat ride home was a bit more lively than the ride there.  I'm guessing that it was because it was a Friday night, but it was hard to find a seat since the boat was much more crowded and it was too cold to be outside.  Thankfully, we were able to get room for our whole family in a semi-quiet area. 
Once we arrived back at Tallinn, we headed out for our 2 hour trip to Toila.  Our final destination - HOME SWEET HOME - was reached about 3a.m.
It was a fun, but very long, tiring day


  1. What a fun day for your family! I think it's good to take a spontaneous trip once in a while.

  2. Oooo! That sounds so fun and exciting...even more exciting that it was {free}. ;) I was jealous about the Pizza Hut when you first mentioned it, but then felt great pity when you couldn't get it. :(

  3. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

  4. Ikea IN Finland!! That would be the highlight of the trip for me! ;)
    Glad you guys got a chance to go and have some fun!

  5. Now that sounds like a winner of a family day! Great pictures!

    And I love the giant anchor. Looks like the anchor picked up a little red sea urchin from the bottom of the sea:)


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