Archive for March, 2010

March 22nd, 2010

Easter in Russia

We have been pondering on travelling near and far recently, but none of the trips have been so straightforward that we would have decided to take it. Instead, we’ve been a limbo for a while. But that ends soon, as we’ve booked a trip to St. Petersburg on Easter. The city should provide enough things to see, a lot of exotism, and some shopping possibilities, too. And it is a few hours train trip away. No need to queue at the airport, no security checks, and passport checks in the train. Should be good.

I’ve been in the city once back in 1998 and rest of the family have never been there, so it is mostly undiscovered turf for everyone of us. With two full days, we won’t discover that much. The basic idea is to spend one day with museums and such, and the other day shopping and strolling around Nevski Prospect.

Our hotel has a full-fledged spa (not a day spa that is), so we’ll probably spend some time there, splurging in the pools and trying out different saunas.

March 2nd, 2010

North Carelia with kids

I, Aapo, and Niilo visited my parents in Polvijärvi, North Carelia, during the previous weekend. I had some training business in the nearby town of Joensuu, and it was handy to bring in the boys and bunk at my parents house for the weekend. Everyone won: boys saw grandparents, grandparents saw boys, Sanna got some time of her own, and I could bond deeper with the boys with this special dad-sons excursion to the wilderness — or something along those lines.

We took a train from Helsinki to Joensuu, and had our seats in a children car — an excellent choice, I must say. Aapo and Niilo spent most of their time playing, reading, eating or watching DVDs. I fixed three issues in a customer project, and read a couple of Aapo’s comic books. As the train left in the morning on Saturday, we had plenty of time in Polvijärvi after my dad picked us up in Joensuu. Saturday evening and Sunday was spent playing in snow — there as a slide built by my dad — and just fooling around the house.

I boarded a bus on Monday morning and rode to Joensuu. Boys stayed in Polvijärvi. The training / seminar took six hours, and after that we had a family reunion in Joensuu — my parents and sons picked me up, and we headed to the airport. Apart the waiting time — that was kept hectic by Aapo — the flight was uneventful. Both Aapo and Niilo sat obediently on their seats throughout the flight, and behaved well also on Helsinki-Vantaa airport where Sanna was waiting for us.

The flight was the latest one leaving from Joensuu, and well beyond the normal sleeping hours. Maybe the boys were so tired that they didn’t have energy to argue and to do mischief. Or then the flight was so exciting experience, as I was not sitting with them but on the other side of the aisle.

All in all, the trip was way better than I though it would, especially as all practicalities were so smooth. Next trip is probably middle-April, hopefully my good luck continues…