Europe 2015 – July 14th

Our plan for our first full day in Finland was to explore Riihim√§ki, so after a good night’s sleep and breakfast at Arto and Tarja’s, we all set off on foot for two main (and adjacent) attractions: the hunting museum and the glass museum. I cannot stress enough how park-like it was. So much land! Here are a couple of shots from outside the hunting museum.

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For a non-hunter, the inside was a little much …

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… but the kids seemed to like it.

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Here they are doing some sort of dance.

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They also liked the shooting simulator, and got pretty good at it thanks to Arto’s help.

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When we were done at the hunting museum, Arto and Tarja took the boys to a nearby playground which allowed Bruce and me to thoroughly enjoy the glass museum. The displays — both of Finnish glass through the ages and how it was made — were impressive.

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After a quick break, we walked over to another area of town that has become an artists’ colony and there were some guys blowing glass in one of the studios. We got to watch for quite a while.

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From there we walked back to the house …

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… and after lunch at a surprisingly satisfying mall buffet we went to Anne’s studio to see some of her art. Here’s Tarja checking out a work-in-progress.

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She also makes jewelry.

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We ended up buying one of Anne’s¬†paintings and it’s now proudly displayed in our living room.

After the studio visit, we went with Kari and Anne to a strawberry farm. There were bunnies.

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After picking up a huge box of strawberries …

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… we went back to Kari and Anne’s house for berries, ice cream and champagne in their lovely backyard.

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With our California drought in full swing, it was even more of a pleasure to sit in such a lush and peaceful garden.

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The kids enjoyed the peas, too. Shelling them as much as eating them, I think.

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And Howard the Beaver, Ezra’s hunting museum souvenir, got to have a snack, too.

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After a while it started to rain, so we went inside. The boys didn’t mind at all, especially since Kari offered up his computer for them.

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Bruce and Kari compared notes on technology for a bit …

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… and we fielded questions about Bob and his family since he visited them many years ago.

The day ended with another delicious dinner at Arto and Tarja’s and a second boys’ sauna. A great day!

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