It all started when Jack returned from his mission...
A few church members from the area of Russia where he served had planned for months to attend the LDS Helsinki Finland Temple. It was great timing and a terrific opportunity for him to meet with his friends. And he invited me along?! John arranged for air travel and accomodations - I love that guy!
Here is the aircraft taking us from Riga, Latvia to Helsinki, Finland - though it was only 5:45, you can tell it was already quite dark out.
Ever heard of AirBaltic??
Jack outside the Helsinki Temple - though it rained on and off during our visit, it wasn't bothersome.
This is a picture of me with the temple in the background - we were walking to the bus stop that would take us to the center of town.
We treated ourselves to a sit down dinner one night and then shared a dessert - yes, there are flower petals adorning the ice cream.
Another picture of me - this time outside the Helsinki main train station - I loved the architecture.
I wanted a snapshot of these stone statues on an entrace to the train station - the art deco globes are wonderful and the proportion pretty amazing.
There are some of church members Jack worked along side during his mission in Russia. They were very warm and welcoming to me.
This is us with one of the Russian church members (she teaches English) who made the two-day trip to travel to Helsinki - first an exhaustive train ride to St. Petersburg and then a bus up and around to Helsinki.
We happened upon the United Nations World Awareness of Violence Against Women Day in a plaza near Helsinki's city center. The artwork was terrific, but the cutout silhouettes were really the focus. Individual stores had been written up and posted on each frame. There was an information booth and free candle people could light in remembrance of this day. None of the literature was in English, but that didn't stop me.
After serving in the temple for two mornings and walking 8 hours a day (taking in the sights, sounds, tastes, and shopping of Helsinki) - I was ready to head back home to John and Flower and Joe. It was great traveling with Jack who had been to Helsinki 3 previous times for visa trips - he's a terrific guide.
Home for Thanksgiving... time with my people... visiting the capitols of Europe... dishes, homework, and laundry that keep things grounded is really where it's at.