Thursday, July 15, 2010

Goodbye good friend...

Well, I suppose you could say that this current weather pattern is here to stay. As such, "Change in the Weather" is now officially ending with the post of my parent's last days here. We wanted a place online that felt a bit more like it belonged to both of us. So, if weeks and months go by with no updates, everyone can blame me AND Kristina equally!

From now on, we'll be over at "Two Capstan Row", So, update your bookmarks, RSS feeds, etc.

-Weslie + Kristina

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Midsommar food, final round

In addition to the beef and fish, there was some of this:

But mainly, lots of this...

and this....

and this....

and this! A great time was had by all!

Midsommar food, round two: Smoked whitefish

The next big thing was smoked fish.

Here is the fire going in the bottom of the fish tower to get it extremely hot.

The salt-cured whitefish on the rack, ready to go!

Said fish being lowered into the "oven" with smoking, fresh juniper branches and alder wood chips.

Now, we wait...

20 minutes later, you get this! Yum!

Midsommar food, round one: Beef Loin, part II

Here, Kika and I are carefully (for all parties involved) unwrapping the beef.

The final product.

Cutting with an invisible knife? I have no idea what's going on in this shot.

Midsommar food, round one: Beef Loin, part I

The night before we went to the cabin, Kristina and I prepared a beef loin with olive oil, salt, pepper, Southern Flavor (!), and various fresh herbs.

Early the next morning, Tage and Sara went to the cabin to dig a small hole and start a fire on a collection of rocks to heat them. The fire went for about 4 hours or so to get the rock at the right temperature.

Here is the beef being lowered into the ground with a layer of heated rocks underneath.

More rocks are placed on top of the beef with a final layer of sand to seal everything in. Another fire is started so the oven effect can really work its magic.

Here is the beef after 2 1/2 hours...

Midsommar at the cabin

For midsummer, the entire family headed out to the cabin for some relaxing fun in the sun.

Some tried fishing...

Others tried fishing...

Still others tried fishing...

And finally had a "little" success!

Boating, II

Our true destination was Tankar, a nice little island that is the midsummer place to be if you've got a boat. People have been living off the waters surrounding the island for many, many years, so the village also acts as a sort of heritage destination as well.

There is also a functioning lighthouse on the island.

The landscape sort of reminded me of southwest Ireland.

Neat little chapel on Tankar. Some of Kristina's friends were married here not too long ago.

On the way back...a little romance. Or maybe he's trying to convince her to get a boat like this?

A-boating we will go...

Just before Midsummer, Kristina's uncle Hans offered to take us for a nice trip on his little boat (sarcasm intended).

Two First Mates, Kristina and momma bear.

Owning a cabin on the sea or a lake is a very big part of living in this part of Finland. Here is a rather large, but interesting one we saw.

Capitan Hans pulling into port for lunch. You see what I mean by "small" boat...

The Capitan training the next generation, Lukas.

Wayne takes a turn navigating for the Capitan.

Edgar Sundström

Kristina's brother Patrik and his wife, Martina had a son just before we returned from the north:

Heading north, II

Once we saw the midnight sun, we had to head a bit further north to pass the Arctic Circle. The circular stone in the ground is a marker for the line of the Circle.

The other reason for heading up north was to actually see reindeer. We had plans of heading to a reindeer farm, but were hoping to see some in the wild. We topped a hill in the road, and this is what we saw! Pretty exciting!

We headed on to the farm which was operated by a family, and as no one else was there, we were able to feed the reindeer and interact a bit with the owner, who was a very nice man.

Kristina takes her turn...

And then everyone joins in the fun!

Heading north

You'll have to excuse the long delay in updates. Before my parents went back to the good 'ole U.S. of A., we decided to take a trip north...way in above the Arctic Circle. One purpose was that it just sounded good. The other was to see the famed "midnight sun".

Here we all are in a nice, tall tower just after midnight. The sun was out all evening, but clouds rolled in just before midnight, so we experienced, but did not technically see the sun above the horizon at midnight.
This is what I mean by "experiencing" the midnight sun. This is a shot from the tower of the surrounding countryside after midnight.

Picture of one of the oldest churches in Finland (I think) taken around 11:45 pm.

Grill-masters trying to beat the wind at the cabin.

Kristina and I at the river that separates Sweden (on the far bank) from Finland. This is a sort of salmon fishing bridge.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blog updates

Well...we're in England and having a blast! Unfortunately, I left the transfer cable for the camera in Finland, so there won't be any blog updates until the middle of next week. Also, we decided to bring Kristina's laptop with us since it's smaller, but we forgot that all of the Finland photos were on my computer. So no Finland photos until next week either! Maybe you'll get some wedding pictures since not everyone is on Facebook.