Hi Everyöne! We are literally near the top of the world in Saariselka, Finland. Internet access was a bit dodgy in Ireland since my computer cord was broken. I have to say that I was completely wrong about Lapland. It's stunning.
The snow is like frosting all over the trees and it's not at all touristy where we are (the above hotel is 10km away and we aren't staying there.) They gave us very warm snow suits, socks, mittens etc. so what makes me grumpy in Rhode Island (Snow. Cold. Husband changing the thermostat to 54F when he thinks I'm not looking) isn't even an issue here! Plus Santa lives somewhere close by, of course which is the reason for our trip. There are toboggans everywhere so we pull the kids around, push them down plowed hills and there's a 1.2 km tobaggan hill down the way. We do have to be careful because distinguishing roads from hills is difficult since everything is covered in white all the time, despite snow plows.
Tomorrow I am being dragged to the Ice Hotel for lunch after our Santa visit. But when I say I äm being a good sport I mean it - like the best sport of my life. Husband and I just went on a midnight walk in the snow. Yes, it was even voluntary on my part. I didn't complain once and I didn't even tell him that we wouldn't see the Northern Lights since it was snowing.
We are meeting Santa tomorrow in his home, somewhere a half hour husky driven sleigh ride into the woods. I'm not ice swimming, however, no matter how much they sweet talk me. The woman above (me)? She looks cold. The woman below (clearly not me). She looks NUTS!
We are very close to Russia and 250 km north of the Årctic Circle! During the 4 hour plane ride there were songs, contests and we stood in the aisles chatting with other passengers. Did you know you can buy a martini at 615am on British planes? Luckily nobody brings toddlers to visit Santa, so there's no need to dull screaming tantrums with 100 proof liquid breakfasts.
In fact, as you can see from this photo, Junior and sister are involved in a scavenger hunt, since we'd just completed the "Toilet Roll" game. The two sides of the Airbus were in competitionto see who could get the roll of toilet paper from the front to the back of the plane without breaking it. The FAA would be so proud. It's late now and I have to go to bed even though there is no sunrise tomorrow. Hope everyone is doing well and I'll try to update soon since I have some good stories, like the mandatory naked sauna here at our hotel.