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Finland 2011

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FC: FINLAND | Wainionpaa Family Trip June 14-28 2011

2: June 14, 2011 We are so excited to be leaving for Finland, but why did we have to get up so early? | We had a 5 plus hour layover in Chicago. We walked around 3 miles in the airport to pass time. Here is the giant dinosaur in the terminal. Then had to kiss in front of the picture in the terminal. | We visited the busiest Starbucks in Chicago and did what we could before getting on the plane for our 9 hour flight.

3: So excited to show off our passport stamps. Above, Luke, Sophie, Ashleigh and Anja walking in terminal after arriving in Helsinki. | June 15, 2011 The kids were snacking and playing I pod games while we were getting our cars | Erik got upgraded to this great BMW. Everyone loved the car. Then we saw this grass covered car while driving to our hotel.

4: There were these cute bears outside the airport so we had to take pictures of everyone with a bear.

6: After arriving in Helsinki at around 9 am, we walked and played to stay awake. We went to bed a little early, but stayed awake all day. It was so strange to go to bed and wake up early and the sun is still up. Here we have a picture of a Helsinki map, a funny rock sculpture and the kids playing in the park across the street from the hotel. Also a view from our hotel room. We had dinner at the little outdoor garden.Then the National Museum of Finland. | We walked to the train station and had our first makkara (Finnish hot dog) with sunapia (Finnish mustard). Yummy | JUNE 15, 2011

7: June 16, 2011 Went to the Market square before heading to Suomenlinna. The kids loved the turtle car pegs. Then there was the information guy that some of the kids had to hug. Had the whole family's picture taken at the statue in the center of the market square. This is the famous church in Helsinki which you will see more pictures of later too.

8: SUOMENLINNA FORTRESS | We took the ferry over to the island. Anja and Sophie liked finding these "noses" and sticking them to their noses. | Kings Gate | Suomenlinna is a fortress built in the 18th Century when Finland was still under Swedish Rule to protect them from Russia | There were the most beautiful and huge lilac bushes all over.

9: This is the church that is on the fortress. It is the only church that doubles as a light house too | The kids "hanging" out and other nice shots of the island.

10: Our tour guide was great. Sophie had to ask her if it was ok if she held her hand while walking on the tour. | The burial place of Augustin Ehrensvard, founder of Suomenlinna.

11: This is lovers pond. At one point there was a maiden and a solder who vowed to kill themselves. The soldier decided to go first and succeeded. Then the maiden went and another soldier saw her and rescued her. The maiden and the rescuer wed some time later. | There are tunnels throughout the island in case they needed to escape. We got to go through one on the tour. | One of the world's oldest dry docks still in use. Now used to restore old wooden ships. When the Russians invaded, they turned it into a giant swimming pool.

12: Inside one of the tunnels on the fortress island and other objects. | Below is Heidi between sets of lilac bushes. | While eating lunch at Suomenlinna. There were a ton of little birds that were trying to get our food. It was comical and annoying at the same time.

13: An old German Submarine that Finland used to fight the Russians. While walking to the Submarine, this duck followed us. Sophie loved the duck and took a bunch of pictures of the duck following us.

14: Beer Tram June 16, 2001 | Erik, Erica, Spencer, Sinikka, Anthony & Heidi

15: After Suomenlinna Island. The three "big" kids and spouses went for a tour on the Beer Tram. It was a fun ride around the city and the beer and cider were great. Then we went and had another drink at the ice bar. It was below zero and everything was made of ice. We found a new favorite liquor, Minttu. | At the bar the only thing on the restrooms were an M and N. We had no clue which bathroom was which so we were trying to ask the bartender. Once she figured out what we were asking, she laughed and informed us that the Mens was M and the Womens was N. Sinikka and Erica were in the bathroom and on the way out a guy walked in and said something in another language and just continued to walk into a stall.

16: June 17, 2011 We did some shopping and site seeing of Helsinki. We believe these were prayer flags down one of the streets. Erik and the kids waiting outside of the shops while the rest of us shopped. The kids were all playing gadgets while waiting.

17: Sculptures in Helsinki.

20: Some of us on the bus for our tour of Helsinki. To the left is our tour guide. She was great!

21: Took this picture on a moving bus, would never be able to do that again. | Security Camera in a bird.

22: Post Card of the top of Rock Church. | There were angels that were along the rock walls where water would run down the rock wall.

23: Being built inside a rock, this church was amazing and beautiful. We liked all the different angles in the pictures that we got.

24: A head sculpture or Sibelius. | Since Sibelius was from Finland. This park was in his honor

25: Sibelius Park It was so much fun to stick your head or body in the tubes. They were made to look like organ pipes.

26: Finger sculpture in the city building.

27: There was a parade going on in the city while walking around. | We had meat pies for lunch, which are very yummy and then ice cream of course.

29: This was the hotel that we stayed in for Ukko's service. It was also built inside a rock. A majority of the hotel was under ground. Ashleigh also had to show off her toes.

32: Celebrating the wonderful, long life of Ukko, Tauno Rapo. Paul, Seppo, Heidi, Sinikka, Erik, Andrew, James and all the kids at the church.

33: Jukka performed the service and he is a part of the Tallbalka family (Ukko's Mother's family). He was also the Chaplain of Chaplains for the Finnish Navy. One of Linda's cousins, Sakari, said that in Finland it is a sign that you had a happy life if it rains on your coffin. It was down pouring on the ash box and know that Ukko was talking to us in the thunder. After Seppo placed the ashes in the ground, everyone was given a flower to put over the box. It was very special for all of us.

35: Sharing fun memories of Ukko and Mummo.

36: Family talking & kids playing in grass after reception for Ukko.

37: This lake was the backyard of the hotel. It was so peaceful and beautiful.

38: Some of the kids and family decided to try swimming in the lake behind the hotel. It was really cold.

39: Family eating breakfast the morning after the service. Luke was sleeping with one leg up in the air.

40: Family saying goodbye as we are getting ready to part ways for the rest of the trip. | Kids swimming in hotel pool before we left for Rovaniemi. | Erica went to the sauna and in Finland at the hotels, they have separate mens and womens saunas and you go in naked. This morning Erica went into the Sauna and it was 90-95 degrees Celsius (203 degrees Fahrenheit). She met a woman from the US in the Sauna which made us both giggle.

41: These pictures were taken in Rovaniemi at midnight. It is crazy that at the Artic Circle in the summer it does not get totally dark. Also notice the McDonalds across the street from the hotel.

68: We hated saying goodbye to the Waugh's!

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  • By: Erica W.
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