Thursday, August 30, 2007

Getting ready to go ....

Hello all ... Chris and I are taking off Saturday for our long awaited, three week vacation to Finland, Sweden & Norway! This is going to be our journal while we're traveling so stay tuned for updates on where we are and what we're doing abroad.

For those of you wondering "why Finland, Sweden & Norway?" ... here is a little summary of why we are so excited to go: I was an exchange student in Finland my junior year of high school. It was a wonderful year and I have wanted to go back ever since the day I left! The country is beautiful and everyone I met was so friendly and welcomed me with open arms. I loved my exchange year. I'm so excited to see my host family again - Kassu, Sari and their kids - Henri, Mette & Noora. I have kept in touch with Mette through emails for 12 years and most (ok, all) of my communication to the rest of the family has gone through her since I don't remember most of what I learned of the Finnish language (apparently one of the hardest to learn). Every time I try to think of a Finnish word or phrase, I get it mixed up with the Spanish word or phrase and can't decifer which is which; it's quite frustrating. I'm interested to see if I'm still able to understand any of the Finnish conversation. I doubt it. (sorry mom - it was still money well spent!)

Sweden will be the second stop on the trip. The first few days we'll be in Stockholm before heading South to visit our friend Carin. Many of you know Carin, or have at least heard me mention Carin because ever since my senior year of high school she has been one of my best friends and, actually, I consider her family - my sister :) Carin was an exchange student to the States in 1996/1997. She was paired up with my friend's family and It became apparent early on during her stay that things weren't going to work out with that family. We had met in classes at Dixon High School, became good friends and so it was decided that she would come to live with me, my mom & my brother, Brian. The rest is history! We were inseperable and did almost everything together until the very sad day that she had to go home. Fortunately, she has been able to come back 3 or 4 times to visit since leaving in '97 and now it's our turn to endure the long flight to visit her home. Of course I had been to Sweden during my year in Finland but I was never able to go further than Stockholm and was only there for a few hours at most before we all got back on the boat to head back to Finland. Now that Chris has met Carin a few times, it's a great feeling to share the excitment of visiting her during our trip.

Norway will be our last stop and ... well ... we don't know anyone there so we don't have any other reason to visit besides 'why not, we're so close that we might as well go there too!' Chris loves different landscapes and to be able to visit the fjords of Norway will be icing on the cake!

We'll be traveling by every kind of transportation I can think of ... planes, trains, automobiles, boats and buses ... can't wait to tell you all about it in the next few weeks! Please send up some prayers for us on Saturday that our flights are on time and uneventful. LOL Smooth skies and alert pilots :)

'til next post,
Jenn & Chris

(please feel free to comment or say hi to us while we're away. our email is