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Thursday, May 26, 2011

One Day in Helsinki... sort of

Hey there world! Well, here I am in Helsinki-Vantaa airport. If you have to be stuck in an airport, this is a great one. As it turns out - this trip has already turned out to be an adventure. One very naughty little boy on this trek from Chicago to Thailand - and boy do I mean NAUGHTY. He climbs walls, jumps on airport furniture, runs in women's restrooms and opens exit doors at gates. I feel bad for his mother who is traveling solo with him, but seriously. He needs a spank!

Anyway - we started off in Chicago and no sooner were at cruising altitude when the captain announces that we are going to make a landing in New York. City. WOO HOO!!! I don't want to land, but I have never seen the big apple, so I am stoked. I was sitting in elation - looking at the view of Central Park from above during our descent, when the captain announces that there will be police cars, emergency vehicles and firetrucks on the ground waiting for us. WHAT??? Just a mere formality he says. Yeah. Right. So, after getting checked out for about an hour (and I had to pee so badly that I contemplated squatting in my water bottle right there), we finally get the ok to get to a gate. Wait... gate? Are we getting off the plane? Yes, we did. So with $10 in the form of a voucher from American Airlines, we headed to the food court. In the process we made a friend - Dennis from Sweden - a college student heading home for summer break. He was very cool and funny and we spent an enjoyable couple of hours in JFK airport. Back on the plane, we sat for another hour before take off. As we sat, my vision of a day in Helsinki was starting to fade. I had made an appointment for a deluxe massage and spa treatment at Hotel Kamp in Helsinki - an old world, luxurious hotel. The appointment was for noon, and we were now going to get in Helsinki at around 1:30. So a quick phone call home, and an email to cancel my appointment, and we were back in the air.

I have never been on a flight that long. Sleep - not usually my friend in travel - eluded me on this flight. So, I sat with my headphones on and listened to some meditation type stuff. About the time I started to drift off, the sun was already up (long daylight up here in Scandanavia), so me and Angry birds finished out the flight. Other than my seat mate vomiting at landing, it was a smooth ride into the city.

At the airport, we decided to just hang out due to entering and exiting and customs and baggage, etc. I was happy to find a spa right here in the airport. Massage on!!! So, I had a traditional Finnish spa experience, sauna, steam room, Finnish sauna, mineral pool and shower with ice to cool off the heat. Then, I had a back, leg and shoulder massage with a slimming treatment on my legs... heavenly. It was much needed after such a long trek so far, and with an even longer trek ahead of me. Not a bad way to kill two hours during the layover.

On I continue - flight to Bangkon and then train to Chiang Mai. :)

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