About two months ago we decided to book a ski trip to Finland – I was very-very skeptical because I’ve always been very sure I hated winter sports. You know, one of those annoying people who have never tried it but still bitch and complain about it. But H and his mom made me promise to at least give it a fair shot and I went along with it.This is taken in the buffet on the ferry – the little one downed her first ever grilled sausage (questionable choice of nutrition, but she really liked it) and was finishing it off with a cup of water. It ended up all across her chest so grandma went and got her the smallest little t-shirt she could find in the shop. The cutest little tourist in her little jeggings and oversize t-shirt!
We packed our bags, skis and snowboards and took off on Friday the 22nd. We took the ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki, then drove about 260km (with a stop for gasoline and groceries, which turned out to be a mistake – we should have kept driving as long as the kid was still asleep) to Riihivuori near Jyväskylä. Driving up the hill in the dark on the icy road was a bit of an adrenaline rush, but when we arrived at our cottage, it was all well worth it. It was surrounded by a little village of cottages and located right next to the ski lifts. We even had nice neighbors!The cottage itself was huge and really cozy. Either the little one was so exhausted from the drive or she gladly embraced the cottage as her new home, but she instantly scattered her toys all over the floor and crawled around the house giggling with excitement. When it was time for bed, we just put her in her travel crib and she fell asleep instantly. She wasn’t scared at all of the new environment 🙂
The first night was spent in the company of warm sandwiches and TV, H prepared our snowboards and I unpacked all of our stuff. I love that there was a lot of closet space so there’s enough room for everyone’s belongings. We pushed the beds together in our bedroom and fell asleep excited about what the morning would bring 🙂
Because I wasn’t (emphasis!) much of a snowboard enthusiast, I suggested that H and his mom go conquer the slopes first thing in the morning and me and the little lady would stay home and prepare lunch. I even baked an apple cake (it was pretty extreme because I barely had any of the ingredients or kitchen tools needed, but it turned out delicious!). Then me and H would start with the snowboard lessons at 4 p.m., after we had eaten and rested a bit.
When we first started I was completely terrified to death – not sure of what, but I was. The first times I started going downhill, I held onto H so hard I doubt there was any blood circulating in his fingers. I kept looking down at my feet and was so consumed by my fear (of failing miserably, probably) to such an extent that I was sure I’d never get down the pathetic little children’s slope all by myself and in one piece. Getting back up in the ski lift (which on the kids’ slope was just a rope to hold on to, nothing too dangerous) was an absolute nightmare at first and the thought of going up and down an actual slope was out of the question. Until we started trying it out. On our second afternoon of practice I let go of one hand, then I agreed to let go of both if he promised to stay close by. Before I knew it I was going down the green slope on my very own with H waiting for me a bit further down. Eventually I didn’t need him close at all (except on the ski lift, those things scare the living crap out of me and I refuse to ever take one back up the hill alone).
There’s still a lot to learn, but I’ve mastered a part of the wondrous skill of snowboarding and yes, you guessed it – I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! The worst part is my knee injury that starts reminding itself when I’m going downhill at a faster speed and it’s incredibly sad. My eyes teared up quite a few times because it’s just so unfair! H, on the other hand, is an amazing instructor, made me feel really confident and kept telling me how great I was doing. And obviously he’s so much fun to spend time with and we laughed so hard I had to sit down every now and then. I’m so thankful he taught me to love snowboarding because otherwise I’d still be clueless of what I’m missing out on.
I’ll do a part two later, WordPress is having trouble running this thing already and posting at this rate is infuriating…