You have to dine with a blogger to fully understand the saying “the camera eats first”. Dinner was painfully slow as the creators posed their food for the ‘Gram and clicked wine glasses together for Boomerang. They photographed stemware in every imaginable location – the porch, the bar, by the window… everywhere except in their hand, cleansing their palate between courses.
I was good and hungry by the time my reindeer steak arrived. My mouth was literally watering as I held up the remote light so Jenn’s food pictures would be properly illuminated. When I finally got to eat, it was delicious, and the variety of smoked fish and potatoes was mind-boggling. The Pihvipirtti Steakhouse served baked potatoes, country-style wedge fries, and old-style garlic potatoes with your choice of tatti mushroom sauce, game sauce, peppered sauce, Béarnaise mousse, garlic Mousse, and seasoned Butter À la Steakhouse. My undergraduate course in Combinatorial Mathematics told me there were 18 possible potato and sauce pairings, and I wanted to try them all. Luckily, I only needed a taste of each variety of salted fish from the cold buffet, even though they were all rumored to be traditional Finnish favorites.
Hunger abated; I waddled out of the steakhouse and into the deserted Levi streets. It was 11:00 p.m., but the sun was just as far above the horizon as when we entered. My jetlag brain couldn’t understand why the sun was out and nobody was around. As we walked back to the hotel, Diana, a Dutch outdoor adventure blogger, suggested we hike up the Levi Fell. Easy for her to say since she woke up that morning in her own bed.
I was having a hard enough time even understanding what the hell a fell even was. My brain kept thinking of the Frankish root, fel, which means vile or evil, like a felon. This far north, the word evolved from Old Norse, fjall, which coming from Alabama, I would assume is a double-conjunction of fajitas and y’all. Luckily, we were standing at the base of a ski area, so all Diana had to do was point to the hill.
This was my chance to see the midnight sun, and I wasn’t going to chicken out to a girl. Like when you’re on a sleepover as a kid and somebody says you must stay up until midnight telling ghost stories. My potatoey food baby wasn’t ready for bed either. Jenn was more prodigious with her dining choices and was perfectly willing to sit this one out. She even volunteered to swap phones with me so I could take the perfect pseudo sunset shot. If only she were as fastidious with charging said phone. The battery conked out as I attempted to film a story of me ‘discovering’ a mound of snow under a white tarp in the first ten minutes of the hike.
Diana was kind enough to share her photography, but I couldn’t help thinking of how Jenn could have captured the sunburst shining through the trees. Also, the world missed out on my unrecorded guilt-ridden Instagram story of meeting my first semi-wild reindeer only hours after eating my first reindeer. Maybe it’s for the best. I don’t do contrition well, even with a full night’s sleep.
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