Monthly Archives: May 2012

Bike Trip to the Beach

Sunday arrived and it was beautiful, 22C. We decided to go on our first family bike ride. I was fine with this if we could get there using paths and not roads so thanks to our iPhones we headed out.

Natalie is a cautious rider still getting comfortable with hills. Ella is our dare devil training wheel rider. Christian rides to work quite a bit and then there is me. I have not been on my bike since hmmm… not even sure the last time I was on my bike.

We packed our picnic and set our apps and off we went. We took our time and got comfortable on the trails. We were enjoying our outing together. Everyone was doing well. Ella needed some pushes here and there and Natalie sometimes just felt safer if she walked her bike, especially on steep hills.

When we reached the coast we found a bench and sat and had our lunch. It was in a beautiful part of Espoo and I believe one of, if not the wealthiest areas in Finland. The homes were beautiful! I think if I lived in one of them I might not want to leave.

After lunch the girls jumped down to the water and decided to stick their hands in. Surprisingly since it was frozen just a few weeks ago the water felt nice.

We have a joke in our family because every outing we go one Christian runs into someone he knows. We can even say we saw someone on the trail. Christian seems to know so many people. This has only happened twice to me and I’ve lost count with him.

We kept on riding along the coast and came to Cafe Bella’s and a great little beach. People were sunbathing and kids were in the water in bikinis not wetsuits. The girls had ice cream and Christian and I shared a coffee. Ella had her first licorice ice cream. Verdict was that it was yummy.

After our break we walked to the beach. The girls rolled up their pants and jumped right in. There was absolutely no hesitation or shrieks. They were having a blast. It was one of those beaches where you can walk out a great distance and it stays shallow. It was difficult to get the girls out. They were soaked! This mom was prepared with an extra outfit. We changed their clothes in a nice clean restroom on the beach and got back on our bikes.

We decided to head back home. This time we didn’t stop so much. We arrived back home and our app said we did 13km. Not too shabby! We look forward to doing it again!












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Beauty at Its Finest

It took spring awhile to arrive, but as it did it delivered some beauties. They seem to be bigger and bolder than the very same flowers we get in USA. Here are some examples of Finland and Sweden’s finest blooms.























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World Championship Ice Hockey

Today USA takes on Finland for their second match up together.  If Finland loses they are out.  Finland and Sweden are the hosts to the World Championship so it will be sad for them to lose, but as Americans we will take that victory!

Last weekend we took SuSu into Helsinki and I stopped in the Hesinki Nike Store to see if they had any Finland or Sweden hockey shirts.  The most beautiful Scandinavian gentleman was working in there and of course we started talking hockey to him.  SuSu and I enjoyed looking at him.   😉

Nike was doing a promotion in their store for the ice hockey so we took part.  Here are few pictures from that fun!

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Jumping Around by the Ferry System

Two weeks ago we decided to try to take a ferry over to Estonia.  For this trip we selected the Silja line.  Basically these ferries look like cruise ships, but can carry cars, buses and trucks.  The ferry to Estonia is only 2 hours.  They have ferries going back and forth all day.  We selected the early morning ferry and then the 19:30 (7:30pm) ferry back to Helsinki.  We rode on the Star and SuperStar.  We spent around 100 euros for the family round trip.  Both ships were pretty nice.  For the early morning ferry we decided to book the buffet breakfast.  The food was only fair.  There are other options for eating then the buffet, but we thought this was the easiest with the time of the departure.

The girls enjoyed exploring on the ship and playing in the play areas.  You can book a room on the ship if you want to sleep.  No need for a 2 hour ferry ride.  We arrived pretty quick!! The phrase “Smooth Sailing” was just that!

One recommendation would be to catch a cab from the port up to Tallinn or grab that double-decker bus tour.  It is a pretty good hike with children if you are planning on walking around all day.  We actually planned on taking a taxi back to the ship at the end of the day, but did not spot one and walked.  It seemed faster on the walk back to the ship even with tired little girls.  The ship back to Helsinki was packed not much seating was available.  There is duty-free shopping on the ships.  I’ve never seen so many cases of beer being taken off a ship.

We look forward to more ferry experiences while being here.

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Carl Larsson Exhibit

The Ateneum in Helsinki has had the Carl Larsson Exhibit on display since February.  I became familiar with this artist through Christian’s mom.  It is one of her favorites.  I think is now one of mine too.  We decided to take the girls down to Helsinki to the exhibit.  I made one of my “Erickson Family Scavenger Hunts” for the Carl Larsson Exhibit.  The girls were very excited to go on a scavenger hunt!  The Antenum had over 100 works of by Carl as well as some furniture and interior designs by his wife, Karin.  He had over 1400 paintings of his family.  His daughters reminded me a lot of my two girls.  I think that is what I liked about his paintings.  I felt like I was looking at pictures of my girls.

Just a little info about Carl Larsson.  He was from Sundborn, Sweeden and lived from 1859-1919.  Christian’s mom has visited the home in Sweden and one of the last visits she had a tour from Carl Larsson’s granddaughter.  We hope to visit his home while living over here.  We saw an old movie which showed a lot of his home in Sweden and it was fun to see his paintings with the familiar backdrops.

The girls enjoyed the exhibit.  It was fun to go around and point out things in the paintings and to show them how to appreciate art.  Part of the exhibit was an area that looked like the inside of the Larsson’s home, but it was with his paintings and they were life-size.  You can see in the pictures below.

We look forward to sharing more art with the girls while being expats in Europe!!

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