As some of you may already know, Finland is my original home country. That is probably, why I don’t think of traveling there as ”traveling”… maybe that is also the reason why it is the only one place in the whole wide world where I would go with two little kids, letting my husband stay at home. So when my dear daughter said she misses auntie and her grandma, and at the same time, my sister messaged me there is an emergency with our grandma, I thought, ok, let’s try it out.
So off we went, flying happily to Finland and back. And somehow, I almost didn’t sleep at all in about a week. Not to mention that both kids got sick, and the smaller one refused to go to bed in the evenings. And we met a lot of mosquitos and angry horseflies. On the other side, kids got to spend some precious time with their grandma and auntie, and I got to see my grandma for one more (last?) time. Was it worth it…? Let’s just say it took me nearly a month to recover.
It was one long trip – yeah, a full week that felt like an eternity – and I could write countless stories about all the sleepless nights and everything else that went wrong on the way, but this time I just decided to tell a bit more about our flights. We started our journey from Zürich, as usual, and flew with Finnair, as usual. On the way to Oulu, we made a five-hour-pit-stop in Helsinki-Vantaa. Flights could not have gone better. Both little travelers were behaving and enjoying themselves. But, I knew I was up to some trouble once we got to Helsinki. Every traveling parent knows, their little travelers need their beauty sleeps. For some little ones, falling asleep is no problem, but for us… oh my Lord!
My little guy has been hopeless with this topic ever since he was born. Life is just too exciting, you see… only way to get him to take a nap is to tug him into his buggy and cover it up with a FAMILIAR blanket, and then walk walk walk… until he’s out. Only, the buggy was not available. And according to Finnair, they could not take it out of the luggage in Helsinki, not just for napping. It had to go all the way to Oulu before we could use it again. Or sure they could have… but then we would have had to do the whole luggage procedure and go through security check again before the next flight! Not a chance. One time per day is enough with these little hooligans. I knew from previous trips that there are some airport buggies available in Helsinki-Vantaa but, they are in an upright position and are impossible to lower into a downwards position. I knew for sure that I was doomed but was desperate enough to give it a try anyway. Naptime was well past when we started walking down the aisles, hoping for the best. Naturally, the airport was CROWDED. Not a chance that our little guy would sleep sitting upright in this unfamiliar buggy, in this weird place! Some 40 minutes later, he was still going strong, but my little princess started to complain, saying she couldn’t walk anymore. So I gave up. By the time we got to Oulu and were in the car on the way to grandma, the little guy had been up 17 hours and counting. Oh boy, was he a funny little fellow at that point! Not to mention my wrecked nerves.
Check our other adventures (with beautiful photos) in Finland from the following links:
Let’s jump to the plane on the way back home. Luckily this time, we didn’t have to wait long in Helsinki. On the downside, we had to get up at 4 am to make it on time to Oulu airport. Of course, both kids, especially the younger, were awake and didn’t want to sleep in the car. The little one also didn’t want to sleep on the plane. And he didn’t want to sleep on the next plane… until it was time to land in Zürich. It was exactly then when all the past days with not enough sleep kicked in, and my little one finally dropped. What a timing, wouldn’t you say?
And he was sleeping SO tight that waking him up was proven IMPOSSIBLE. I ended up carrying 13 kilos of dead weight out of the plane with one hand, dragging my suitcase with the other, my princess tailing along. And of course, as always, the plane landed as far away from the luggage claim as is possible. Zürich airport is not exactly the smallest, I must say. My arms probably stretched a few centimeters while walking along the corridors. My sweet little princess realized that mommy is in trouble and bravely offered to pull our hand luggage to the luggage claim. And so she did. I felt sorry for her. Somehow we made it, and I managed to position the little sleepyhead to the floor on top of my pullover. Then I went to get our luggage, and just there it hit me! Of course, our buggy was not coming to the same belt as our other stuff. No, it had to come to the bulky items belt. Which was – of course – in the other end of the luggage claim area. So I got our bags and loaded them into the luggage cart, lifted the sleeping guy on top of the pile, and off we went to the other end. Finally, I got the buggy ready for the little sleeper and loaded him in. And guess what? Exactly then, he opened his eyes, wondering what on earth is happening… and refused to sleep more! Did I mention my wrecked nerves?
Please do me a favor and remind me about all these things if I am ever planning to travel alone with the kids again…
For planning a visit, please go to VisitFinland website
Bookaholic’s related reading tip:
The Unknown Soldier (if you don’t like reading, there are also several filmations available that are based on the book!)