Sounds like a children's book title, doesn't it? Mr. T travels to Finland. Hmmm... Maybe he and I should work on one together??
The first photo has a story. Mr. T and I facetimed Mr. D from the airport gate (I was given a gate pass to get him that far), to make sure facetime was working fine. After we talked
I had some really sweet photos of his last day in USA (in addition to these five), but they do not want to make their way to flickr, so maybe they are not meant for the blog.. I might add them here later, if they do show up at some point.
This photo Mr. T snapped in the airplane. Even though our family travels a lot, and Mr. T has been to Finland many times, this was the first time he flew alone. He has flown domestically with his sibling, but always as unaccompanied minor, getting assistance from the airline. He is now 14 years old, and while we could have gotten him assistance for the connection, we decided he didn't need it for an additional $150 (r/t). Instead, we explored the airport website, watched the videos there, and tried to think of different scenarios that could happen. He did just fine. This momma didn't sleep well at all.
We were so glad we had given Mr. T an iPad mini for Christmas. At that point we weren't thinking of Finland yet, so this was another God-thing, preparing us for his time in Finland. He had worked so hard on school, and had been getting into stop motion animation movie making, and needed a video camera. He also reads a lot, so the iPad mini seemed like a logical choice.
Since he didn't have a cell phone to take with him, it gave us all peace of mind to know he could use the iPad mini also for sending us messages, facetime us and take pictures with. I downloaded his favorite Bible and a few books to the iPad, so he had plenty of reading material for the trip. The iPad holds about ten hours of charge time, which should have been enough. Mr. T did have a converter with him, in case he needed to charge the iPad during in London.
Here waiting at London Heathrow airport for his connection. At Logan airport there was free wifi to use, but in London you had to have a Boingo account and pay to go online. I really wanted him to have a way to connect with us, so we created the account, and purchased iTunes Boingo wifi credits for him to go online with the iPad mini.
And it worked!! About 5 am our time we were all able to facetime with him, and hear all had gone well on the flight and in London. He had about four hours to wait at the Heathrow airport, which made the trip long, but we wanted to make sure he had plenty of time to go through security, find his gate (fortunately it was in the same terminal), and get himself a meal.
At Heathrow airport all major currencies are accepted, but we picked up a VISA gift card from TD Bank before he left. (You can get VISA gift cards at other places, too, like RiteAid, but there is a fee to buy/activate them.) We added enough money to it for him to use during travel for food, drink and any emergencies he might encounter. (You can register the card online in case it is lost or stolen.) Mr. T reported it worked great for him, and thankfully there were no emergencies.
The Captain and I can both be quite impractical at times.
This picture is blurry, but I love it! Mr. T arriving in Helsinki all exhausted, but excited. He made it!!! Woohoo!!! Thank you, God:)
Mexican Train with grandparents, choo-choo:)
The report from Finland is good - while Mr. T is still struggling with jetlag (could be also the teenage-part, keeping him staying up late and sleeping in every morning), he is starting to get settled. Once he gets his routine in a groove, we'll do another blog post.
Meanwhile the rest of us are trying to get used to being a six person family, remember not to set him a table setting, stop calling him to come to car/table/wherever. We miss him so!!!! Fortunately the other kids are trying to fill in: yesterday I saw Little Miss had drawn mustaches and glasses on the children of the Critical Thinking catalog I had laying around. Just little Mr. T likes to do. And a few times Mr. D has impersonated Mr. T, making us all chuckle a bit. And miss him again!!! Waaaaaaah!!!!!!
Mr. T pääsi turvallisesti Suomeen, ja vaikka jet lag vaivaa, niin muuten kaikki on hyvin. Kunhan saa asetettua uusien rutiinien kanssa, laitan uuden postauksen. Tässä yllä matkakertomusta englanniksi, ja kuinka matka onnistui 14-vuotiaalta yksin. Ikävä on kova!!!!!!!