Update And Random Road Trip Pictures

There’s no place like home…and my own bed <3. Right now I’m soooo exhausted. I had a blast during my five days on the road but now I’m paying for it big time. Stress dose, rest, stress dose, rest. I’m now on sick leave as my AI symptoms got so bad I couldn’t work – dizziness, tiredness and mind-boggling brain fog being the worst. Luckily headache and nausea are gone as I’ve taken double doses of my steroids for a few days now. I tried to tough it out and am now paying the price of steroid guilt – not being able to work and lift as well as feeling like shit are my punishments.

As a short summary, last Friday I drove to Hamina where my friend Matti kindly accommodated me with my bags full of training gear, clothes, shoes, knives, and heaps of cottage cheese and protein bars – everything a girl needs for her krav maga camp! As I’m writing this now, my most observant readers can probably deduce I survived last Saturday’s The Ultimate Utti Experience alive – with less war bruising and scratches than usual, actually. I’ll post a comprehensive insider scoop on our terrorist-hostage and knife-tag games later this week.

Ready, set, go!
Ready, set, go!

After Utti, Matti took me sightseeing as I’d never been to Hamina before and I had such a nice evening – will definitely be visiting this beautiful city again!

One of Hamina's boat harbors
One of Hamina’s boat harbors
I love these old churches <3!
I love these old churches <3!
Beautiful Saturday evening at Hamina
Beautiful Saturday evening at Hamina

My Sunday morning started with a workout. I decided to check out Hamina’s public swimming pool’s gym. I was supposed to do some deadlifting but as the only bar there weighed only 15 kg and the gym boasted the ample supply of two plates of 1.25 kg, 2.5 kg, 5 kg and 10 kg I had to change plans – I don’t do aerobics :D. Front squats and overhead squats it was, then.

Epic fail deadlift
Epic fail deadlift

After working out I drove to Savonlinna where I stayed until Tuesday with my friend Suvi. Our favorite band, Sonata Arctica, was playing at the Savonlinna Opera Festival (power metal at an opera festival – just how cool we Finns are? 😉 ). Sonata had brought us together with Suvi over 10 years ago so it was only fitting we celebrated our friendship by treating us with some quality time and quality music. The venue, Olavinlinna Castle, is one of Finland’s oldest medieval castles – it’s construction started at 1475 – and the atmosphere there was simply awesome:

Me and Suvi on our way to listen to Sonata Arctica at Olavinlinna Castle
Me and Suvi on our way to listen to Sonata Arctica at Olavinlinna Castle
Waiting for the evening's performance to start - what a great venue!
Waiting for the evening’s concert to start – what a great venue! Too bad we weren’t permitted to film the performance

Here are two songs we heard on Sunday from Sonata’s second album, Silence – it’s also mine and Suvi’s favorite album. Which one you like best?

 

Monday was sunny and warm, and we decided to take a cruise in the lake Saimaa – here are pictures from the cruise, including the Olavinlinna castle and beautiful Lake-Finland:

Ohoy, all aboard the Lake Seal!
Ohoy, all aboard the Lake Seal!
Leaving the Savonlinna harbor behind
Leaving the Savonlinna harbor behind
Magnificent Olavinlinna
Magnificent Olavinlinna
Yet another pic of the castle
Yet another pic of the castle
Come and visit beautiful Lake-Finland!
Come and visit the beautiful Lake-Finland!
Returning to Savonlinna harbor
Returning to Savonlinna harbor

Tired but happy, we packed our bags with Suvi to head home on Tuesday. As we had all day to drive, we visited my sister at Simpele. Most important to me, however, was to see my own “boy”, Amir. I had to give Amir away to live in the countryside due to my fiance’s and mother’s allergies (my mother was at the time living with me due to her illnesses she was recovering from) and it nearly broke my heart. It was yet again so relieving to see my beloved German Shepherd Maniac well and thriving and give a lot of hugs and get a lot of kisses from Momma’s boy ❤ <3.

Amir <3 <3
Amir
Momma's boy with his treasure
Momma’s boy with his treasure

We had a late lunch at Lappeenranta where we also checked out the annual Sandcastle exhibition, themed Heroes this year. Here are my favorite sand sculptures:

Guess why I liked this one?
Guess why I liked this one?
Heroes vol 1
Heroes vol 1
Heroes vol 2
Heroes vol 2

I hope you liked the photos! I’m heading back to bed to recuperate and wish I’ll be able to wobble to the gym at the end of the week without passing out. I’ll continue double-dosing my steroids and hopefully will feel better soon. This road trip was certainly a learning experience for me. I proved I can do it. Before my diagnosis, I once nearly passed out while driving alone and I’ve been so afraid of long drives by myself. Now I know I’m able to handle myself if I just take good care and listen to my body – although at a cost, as always.

Take care,

xoxo

Veera

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