Friday, February 15, 2008


LONDON! Oh, I Loved London. I finally got to see all the sights I have seen in History books since I was little! I stayed with Pam, and she took me to some of her favorite places in London. The first was Notting Hill, and we got to see the famous Portabella Market, and the Travel Bookshop (yes, the one from the movie... :) ) Next was Camden Market, (all decorated in it's very punk-ish style) and then Primrose Hill, where you can see the city from above! Afterwards we made our way to King's Cross Station, where THERE ARE ONLY 8 PLATFORMS!!!!!!! (yes, it's true, there is no 9 3/4) Oh my goodness! Then finally to Big Ben (which is much shorter than the pictures make it look) and Parliament, and Westminster abbey, and Buckingham palace, ending with the London Tower. It felt very weird to be seeing these places, it almost feels like you are just staring at a giant picture, because I couldn't believe I was actually there, so I have this picture of me hugging the Palace gates, to try and make them feel more kinda worked I guess.... ;-).

On the first night I got to London, Pam and her roommate(Angie) took me out to dinner, on this street where there were quite a few Indian Restaurants all in a row (English eat a lot of Indian), and because they were all so close to each other, each restaurant would have a guy standing out in front trying to persuade you to come into their restaurant. It was amazing, they would all lower the price of things on their menu, and offer free bottles of wine. Sometimes you would get 2 or 3 of them all trying to out-do the man next to him. We eventually bargained 30 % off, free appetizers, and free drinks! It was cheapest sit down meal I have done since I got here!
The London Tower Bridge was one of my favorite parts. We went on Sunday, and because we were planning on going to church later, I was forced to walk around in those highly impractical high heels I am wearing there! (they just happen to be the ONLY Sunday shoes I brought, what was I thinking!???)
I can't wait to go back to London, and I will go at the first chance I get!!!! Which may be soon, Pam and I are planning a trip to see Wicked. Can you believe it? Wicked in LONDON!
I miss everyone at home so much, and I hope you all remember my birthday coming up very soon! ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2008


HEY! (Hello in Finnish!) I am back from Finland! I LOVE Finland, and the very first things I have to say is, if you ever go to Finland, just skip Helsinki, and go to Tampere. Here are some pictures of Tampere, which was our (Kim and I) favorite city. Tampere is beautiful, and very clean, and everywhere we went we felt so safe. There is a lake, and a river, and wonderful churches to see on every other block and some very pretty random buildings, and parks. Here are a few pictures here.

I learned a little bit of Finnish, I am practically fluent. For example, "kitos" is "thank you", and "hey" is "hello" AND "goodbye" and anything that starts with "ava-" is most likely talking about some sort of opening, like a door, or a window.....and that is about it!!!! :) Like I said, I have learned loads!

It was cool to have everyone driving on the correct side of the road. I don't think I am going to have any trouble adjusting when I get home again.... :)

Kim is SO amazing, we really got to know each other really well on this trip. Here we are kissing the most amazing snowman named Eric. He wanted to come home with us, but just like Frosty, we told him it would be better if he traveled to the Lapland (where the Finns claim Santa lives) where the snow never melts!

My all time favorite part was defiantly the Temple in Helsinki. It was very hard for us to find, and took us a couple hours! It was frustrating because the farther away you get from the city the less you find people who speak English, and we knew what bus (or train) we could take to get to the Temple, but we couldn't figure out which direction to go! finally we just got on bus number 270, and decided that we would ride the entire loop around until we found it, and we were hoping/praying that you could see the temple from the road. Probably one of the scariest things I have ever done. Sitting on that bus, wondering if we would end up lost in some foreign country. Then all the sudden Kim says "Kara! there is it!" and sure enough! there is Moroni poking up above the trees! We sat in the front porch of the temple (because it was closed) for a while, and read the Ensign. Afterward we ran into some Couple Missionaries from UTAH! (where else are they going to be from I know, but STILL) It was AMAZING to run into some Americans, who lived 30 mins from my old house, on the other side of the world! My biggest regret from this trip is not staying and talking to these missionaries for hours!

Here is my advise to any travelers to Finland, go into Helsinki, and then go to the main train station, get on bus 270, and get off when you see Moroni, then when you are done there, go BACK to the train station, and get a train to Tampere, and enjoy your vacation in Tampere. You won't regret it, it will be a fantastic vacation (but check the weather first, as I am sure you wouldn't want to come when it is 30 below!) Especially if you can manage to get a tent and go spend some time next to a lake somewhere! The few lakes I saw were beautiful, and when I go back someday, I want to spend I few days just floating in the middle of a Finnish lake, breathing, thinking, and relaxing.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Quick Hello

Hey!!!! from FINLAND!!! I only have few mins, it's the middle of the night in my Hostle, and I was waiting for my email account to load, and I thought I should post a random hello from a random country! Hello! I will update on my trip asap!