After a fabulous win on Saturday night by SaiPa, the boys were given the following Sunday &&& Monday off! Immediately after hearing this I had booked a room in Helsinki and had the weekend all planned; shopping, the market, eating, Starbucks, and Macarons.
The "weekend" (what do you call Sunday-Monday?) went exactly as planned.
We got a late start Sunday morning heading off to Helsinki and arrived around two o'clock. We went straight to Market Square and had one of our favorite meals. Sam had salmon and I had reindeer. Sam also had reindeer because as you can see in my pictures, its a lot of food for one
After that we went and got Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks. I always tell them my name is Sam when I am at Starbucks because its just not fun always spelling my name to everyone five times. I was with Sam, so clearly the name Sam was already taken... I told the barista "My name is tricky so you can just write Sam." He laughed and said, "Ok Tricky". Hence the name on my cup.
Starbucks in hand I ran down to the Stockman Deli and grabbed one of my favorite huge-pistacio-macarons. At this point my cheeks hurt from smiling, I was elated. After about ten minutes of shopping (in the men's section) we found out that dinner was in just forty five minutes with two other couples from the team. We ran back to the hotel, changed, took Raylan on a walk, and headed out to dinner.
Dinner was at Gaijin a Japanese and Korean restaurant. Its a sharing sort of restaurant where everyone orders the same six course menu... which I'm sure is nice when you are able to eat that menu. I was told that they could make me a short menu that would be gluten free, with no choice whatsoever of I was going to be eating. It was a true surprise every time they brought something out randomly when no-one else currently had food (not always a good surprise). Meanwhile for two + hours I watched everyone else share the tastes of at least six different animals.
We took Raylan on a walk around the Esplanadi with some friends, grabbed some snacks and headed back to the hotel.
The next morning we had breakfast in the hotel, & Sam took Raylan on a nice walk in the Rain. Next we headed to... can you guess?? Starbucks! I bought some beans to take back to Lappeenranta (Starbucks err day!!) Then directly to the Stockman Deli for a Macaron; I was ready to shop. We shopped for hours. Then we headed to lunch at a highly recommended place called Cholo for some burritos. They were delicious, not quite Chipotle, but we will be going back.
We were craving some sweets afterwards so I searched and found a bakery that looked worth trying out: Café Ekberg. Once we were inside I knew we had found a gem. Upon checking out truffles, and more Macarons I asked the baker a little about Café Ekberg and found out it was a fourth-generation family owned bakery that has been around since 1843. The treats were divine, a definite must in Helsinki!
After a little more shopping, I grabbed another Latte and we headed back to Lappeenranta. It felt really good to get 'home'. Crazy how in just three weeks how much our little house feels like home.
So in just over 30 hours I managed three PSLs and got Macarons three times. #winning