What can I say? It’s been a while since I’ve updated. I’ve just been busy. Between teaching last year, which was full of drama, COVID, and graduate school, there just wasn’t much to update about or planned trips.
I knew I was going to Finland about a year ago. I didn’t say much about it because with COVID and then the Russia-Ukraine War; I wasn’t even sure the trip would happen.
Last year, when I was home briefly, my mother mentioned how she wanted to see Queen in concert, but they were not coming to the United States, only to Europe. Queen is one of her favorite bands. She and my brother danced to a Queen song for their mother/son dance at my brother’s wedding. My dad abhors Queen (He also hates Journey) and said he wouldn’t go to a concert with her. So she asked me to go instead. I have a very limited summer schedule because of teaching and how the school year works in Texas, so there were only a few dates that I could go. I told her I would go with her if there was a date in Finland. Sure enough, there was. The concert was originally going to be in Helsinki. Still, with the Ukraine-Russian War, it got moved to the Nokia Arena in Tampere because Russia owned the original concert venue in Helsinki.
So, I had one day between the Colorado road trip and my Finland trip. So the one day I had between the trips involved a lot of laundry. I took the dirty clothes out of my suitcase, washed them, and repacked them. I had a flight from Houston to Dallas, then I met my mother at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, and we flew to Helsinki from there. Not much to say about the flights. My mother got business class tickets for us, so flying to and from Finland/Texas was a lot of fun. I even managed to get a few hours of sleep on each flight since the seat was converted into a bed. I watched the newest Spiderman movie on the flight to Finland and enjoyed it. I also played a little bit of Persona 5 Strikers and Xenoblade DE. However, I’ve become a pescatarian since the Colorado road trip because we drove past so many kill farms, which made me really depressed and sad. I also am deathly allergic to nuts. Therefore, I was limited in what I could eat on the flight, but I still managed to find some things I could eat. We landed in Helsinki at around 10 am, and we had a car pick us up and drive the two hours to Tampere.
We stayed at a Mariott Hotel in Tampere. There’s not much to say about that; it was a typical hotel. I enjoyed their breakfast. Finnish oatmeal is amazing, and I am trying to experiment with oatmeal here to mimic the oatmeal there, and have not succeeded yet. They also had a really good dish with tofu and vegetables. The first day we got there, I walked around the city using a map to find a grocery store so I could buy vegetarian-friendly meal choices like yogurt to keep in the room refrigerator, and a took a few pictures.
To be honest, there’s much to talk about that. It was rainy the next two days, so I didn’t get out much. I spent most of my time in the room, playing Final Fantasy XV on my new laptop, which I enjoyed immensely. However, shortly after I returned, Xenoblade 3 came out, and I’ve been obsessing over that ever since. I’ll eventually get back to my Final Fantasy game.
We arrived in Finland on Friday morning, and the Queen concert was on Sunday night.
I wouldn’t say I am the world’s biggest Queen fan. I enjoy some of their music. I don’t hate them as my dad does. I honestly would NOT have spent my own money to go see this concert, but my mother loves Queen, and she wouldn’t travel alone, and the only way she was going was if somebody accompanied her.
Overall, the concert was a really good show. Adam Lambert was great. He had amazing makeup, and I wanted most of the shoes he wore at the concert. I enjoyed the concert, but again, it’s not a concert I would have chosen to attend personally. We got to the show, and I waited in the long line to get my mom a Queen tee-shirt since her knees were hurting, and she couldn’t wait in the line. Most of the crowd was maskless. I wore a mask because there were so many people there. I also wore masks at the airport and on flights. I also wore earplugs because I didn’t feel like losing my hearing.
Here is a picture of my mom and me at the show. For the record, I look like my dad’s female clone, and my brother looks more like my mom.
This was the setlist:
Hammer to Fall
Somebody to Love
Don’t Stop Me Now
In the Lap of the Gods… Revisited
I’m in Love With My Car
Fat Bottomed Girls
Another One Bites the Dust
I Want It All
Love of My Life
These Are the Days of Our Lives
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
A Kind of Magic
I Want to Break Free
You Take My Breath Away
Who Wants to Live Forever
Tie Your Mother Down
Radio Ga Ga
We Will Rock You
We Are the Champions