On Sunday afternoon I flew back to Finland. I left an unseasonably warm Vermont (75 degrees) and landed in Newark, which was unbearable (85 degrees). The flight to Stockholm, Sweden was long, but decent, although the weather there - foggy, raining and cold - was just a hint of what was waiting for me in my new hometown. I was there for less than 2 hours, but that was long enough to enjoy my last real Starbucks establishment and to freshen up in the Arlanda airport's pristinely clean restroom facilities.
Seriously, once you've been in some of these restrooms over here, you will think twice about using some of the public ones in the US.
I stepped off the plane in Tampere, Finland at 10:55am and immediately began to shiver. It was 45 degrees, but felt much colder due to the fog, rain and wind.
It was so great to be back at the shop with my staff last week. I am already looking forward to my next trip back (2 weeks during Christmas and New Year's). I had so much to do, and felt I hardly scratched the surface. It was neat to see so many familiar faces and to meet new folks visiting from out of town. I was able to drop off the preemie hats at Fletcher Allen on Saturday at the NICU.
Walking through the hallways with 3 large bags filled with colorful hats certainly turned a lot of heads!
And one of the nurses has already posted on our FB page that "Finding the bags of hats was like Christmas, Valentine's Day, and a birthday all rolled into one" so that's great news!
My latest yarn acquisitions made it home safely, and didn't take up much space thanks to the Space Bags I now travel with. As long as the person I stay with has a vacuum, I'm all set! To keep me busy, I've got Tilli Tomas Artisan Sock, Malabrigo Chunky, SMC Juvel, Manos del Uruguay Serena, Melody Superwash, Lamb's Pride Bulky, as well as a number of others.
It was so great to see Marc and the girls - I really missed them! Helen was so glad I was back that she insisted on cooking dinner for us. If you knew Helen, you'd know this is a really big deal. She made "Molly's Meatballs with Onion Sauce" from her "Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook" and served it over tagliatelli. It was quite tasty, and I'm looking forward to her next creation!
Today I walked to meet the girls after school and we hit the French market that's been set up in town since last Monday. The girls have been walking home each day and buying a little snack... either a baguette or a pain au chocolate, and practicing their french with the vendors. We bought 2 piping hot baguettes, which kept me warm as I hugged them close to my chest and walked home (directly into the wind). Despite the bitterly cold wind and occasional rain, the bread was still warm when we got home. It was delicous!
While I really miss everyone in Vermont, I am excited to be back with my family and in the cool weather. It's certainly easier to knit with it like this!