Friday, December 25, 2009

Lapland or Finland

Pine Mountain News

It is Christmas at Pine Mountain Ranch. Jeff and Squeekers have joined us to make this a memorable and joyous occasion. We had a large breakfast and have just finished lunch.The presents have all been opened and Laurel and Grace are trying to get Squeekers to spell his name with scrabble tiles. Squeekers is being his usual obstinate self. It is hilarious to watch them.

Poem of the Week


The ground is whitened with snow
It means there is no more grass to mow

Cold and piercing are the stars at night
Fading from sight in the full moonlight

From the fireplace comes warm waves of heat
Washing over the man on his seat

Through the air flies the owl
Off in the distance the coyotes howl

Underfoot the snow crystals crunch
While on a cookie the man does munch

Across the heavens a meteor does streak
And a wish to be granted a woman does seek

The snowflakes on the winds twirl
Around the corner of the house they do swirl

Darkness comes early it seems
Off to sleep go the people to their dreams

Weekly Travel Adventure

Lapland or Finland

by Roxana Arzamazova

Lapland met us snow-covered, with a light fros
comfortable bus brought us quickly from the airport
to hotel in about 20 minutes. We received our room
keys,unloaded our luggage and proceeded to a dinner
at restaurant " Mango" . The dinner before us was not
included in the vacation package and cost on the
average of 35-40 euros for two. The menu was not too
extensive, but it was tasty. I heartily recommend a
fried venison in port wine sauce. I also recommend
the salmon soup.

Next morning we had breakfast buffet (included in
the vacation package)fritters, rolls, sausages,
ham, very tasty house cottage cheese, and local
dishes of type of baked puddings not giving in
to the name, omelets, boiled eggs, fruit salads,
yogurts, kefir, milk, juice, cocoa, coffee, tea,
and for certain something I have forgotten still.
All of it was very tasty and fresh.Having
properly filled our stomachs, we rested to
digest our food then decided it was time to visit
the local tropical aqua park.

The way to the aqua park lay through the general
locker room. In the locker room area per besides
the shower there was a Finnish sauna, and a
Turkish steam bath.The aqua park had various pools
connected by beautiful bridges and transitions,falls,
a jacuzzi,and the stream had a current like a river.
There was a 30-40 meter hill, a bar at the water,
and a children's splash pool.Palm trees and other
trees created the effect of tropics.The water was
beautifully highlighted from below,and the temperature
in the aquapark was really warm (25-30 degrees centigade).

We visited this summer place every day , our spirits
soared in the saunas, and in the jacuzzi.We sunbathed
on the aqua park beach. It was very pleasant to us.
When you transition from winter to summer at the aqua
park, after you come from skiing or cross mountain skiing,
it is really great!

In the evening of the second day (and evening in the
conditions of polar night is at 3 PM)
, we decided to examine the small town of Kuusamo.
Even Santa was there.

We arrived at Kuusamo, Finland. The main
street was elegantly decorated with firs and
garlands, it made lovely impression, with one
and two storied houses on either side of the
There were a lot of little shops, souvenir
benches, markets, small restaurants, all clean
and sparkling. Local residents ride bicycles
on the streets even in winter.

We also saw fantastically beautiful sleighs
going through the snow. In an hour of walking
we have seen all of the small town and have
bought some souvenirs at a bench kiosk. We
then proceeded in the opposite direction to
the road service station and from there in
15 minutes to Ski base A and from
there to the hotel.

Around our hotel there was a remarkable pine
wood and nearby a frozen lake. We could not
pass by it without enjoying the beauty. On
day 3 we have devoted ourselves to studying the
vicinities. We began by crossing the lake and
climbing up on a porch of a private small summer
house. We were photographed against a garland
by a small lamp placed next to a deer statue.
Very beautiful. We then passed to shined ski
lines and walked on them for an order of 5
kilometers, admiring the beauty of the snow.

On the fourth day of our stay we could not
avoid visiting a place called "The Hand"
that is 20 km from Kuusamo. The Hand is a
well-known Finnish mounting skiing resort
in which draws skiers and snowboarders not
only from southern areas of Finland, but
also from Europe, Russia, and the Ukraine.
The same Ski bus delivered us for 5 euros
per person for 20 minutes directly to the
slopes. The road goes to picturesque places,
to the left and on the right is a line of
fine wood. When we came closer to the slopes
there rising over us were majestic mountains
covered with pine trees.

It was a very remarkable week.

Pine Mountain Evening

Christmas is drawing to a close. We
have just finished a dinner of prime
rib and mashed potatoes with a fresh
vegetable salad and apple pie for desert.

We are now gathered in the family room
and are playing an interactive game about
a caveman and what he has to do to survive.
It is interesting you have to survive the
sabre tooth tiger attack and find a cave to
get out of the storm and make a fire and
so on.
I am now relaxing in my easy chair
while my fine dinner digests. I am trying
the sample coffee of the week from Tonight my
sample coffee is
Chocolate Mint. This
American roast coffee tastes like coffee,
chocolate, and mint all rolled into one.
It goes great with some after dinner
sugar cookies.

Well my coffee is done now and it is
getting late. Christmas is over for another
year. Join us next week as we welcome
the New Year. Good night all.