So let's pick up where I left off, which was right after Christmas. A few days later were visited by my sister Liz, her boyfriend Eric, and our good friends Ted and Michael. We proceeded to light up the town, which was still mired in darkest winter. Among many highlights was a night that we went out to Rymy-Eetu, which is a German-themed bar where there are big long tables which you are encouraged to dance on, not unlike Hofbrauhaus near Cincinnati. I am semi-proud to say that we were easily the loudest group in the place, which the band appreciated so much that they started to play mostly American songs. It was easily one of the funnest nights we've had in Helsinki, to the point where I don't want to go back to that bar because I don't want to dampen my memories of that night.
Then there was New Year's Eve, which we spent at our friend Tommi's house. It was an excellent party made more excellent thanks to the Finnish custom of setting of fireworks to celebrate the New Year. Why do Americans settle for watching Carson Daly on New Year's Eve? Let's go outside and blow stuff up! Lyndsey took advantage of the opportunity to continue her long, proud tradition of getting hit with stuff falling out of the sky (bird poop, squirrel poop) to get hit with a spent firework that dropped directly onto her head.
Then I turned 30. Elina and Maija had a big party and we celebrated not only my birthday, but Maija and her sister Miia's as well. It was pretty epic. Before the party, a small group of us went to sauna and did the traditional (or so they tell me) Finnish naked roll in the snow. If there is a word to describe this sensation, I don't know what it is. It didn't hurt, it didn't even really feel that cold. My brain was basically just demanded that my body to get the hell out of the snow and back into the sauna but my body had trouble complying because all my motor neurons were firing at once, causing me to roll around in the snow not unlike one of those toddlers on America's Funniest Home Videos who falls into a puddle and is not only surprised but completely indignant to find themselves in such a position and is calling on their arms and legs to rescue them but their arms and legs, being unequal to the task, just splash around and make it worse. But, when I eventually made it back into the sauna, I really did feel like a million bucks.
In other, less embarrassing news, we fly to Paris one week from today. Neither of us have ever been to Paris; I hope by this time we look and act European enough that the French people won't recognize us as coming from the land of Freedom Fries. Also I recently realized that I scheduled myself to be in France during the Super Bowl, which I hope does not somehow disqualify me for American citizenship. Go Giants!
Lyndsey and I are moving to Kansas City when we get back to the States. I'll be working for the Johnson County Public Library system. I'm pretty pumped. Everybody please come visit!