In any case, this is the porch that I spend my late afternoons and evenings on.
See what I mean when I say it's just big enough for the two of us and somewhat covered when it rains. See, also, why I worry when Ted manages to pull a sock off my foot and starts shaking it around!
Then once I walk across the street, I have a couple of choices for a view (usually these are appreciated in the morning and evening when Ted is busy, if you get my drift). The first is to the left: the soccer field.
Here it looks a little more barren because you can't see the soccer nets and the benches all around it. One of the smart, design features here is that the soccer nets move, so it's possible to set it up so that people can play a regulation-sized soccer game and yet other folks can still use the area for things like boules or just hanging out.
I saw this a few days ago and had to include it here. Is it just me, or does it look like this lady is walking an otter? (Please excuse the somewhat blurry image. I took the picture from a distance, because I didn't want her to realize I thought her dog was the strangest looking thing I'd ever seen walking on gravel.)
Okay, now that I've made my first rude comment .... If you look straight ahead from where I was standing when I took the picture of the soccer field, you get the entrance to the children's park. It's fenced off both to protect children and to keep dogs out. Trust me; there are these little Scotties with Xs on them on signs all over!
The park runs for about half of this VERY long block; basically it's about twice the size of the normal block I'm used to. It's not that Finnish blocks in general are particularly long--they aren''t--it's just the way this one was set up.
In any case, if I head to the right to walk down the lovely gravel paths that I take Ted on several times a day, once I get past the building that provides one of the indoor play areas for the kids, I get to the second, big, open area for children.
Some of the coolest stuff is actually a little hard to see from these pictures. For example, in the top picture, you can see in the background a ton of kids' toys in all sorts of animal shapes and a big, blue area that's actually a small wading pool. In the bottom picture, you can see a bit more of the wading pool and these great, ca. 3-foot tall camels, elephants, and rhinoceros that the kids can ride on--and that Ted barked at when he first saw them. Also, during the day kids are running all around the grass and riding these trikes that come with the play area all around the paths. Let me see if I can blow up these pictures to give you a somewhat better sense of how this works.
Well, better, but by no means perfect.
Once I get to the end of the block, the view back up the path is like this. The play areas are on my right now; they were on my left as I walked down from the Towers. I love the huge trees; some of them are at least 6 stories tall, and they are much broader than this picture makes it seem. I have no idea what they are!
Turning back around so that the play area is again on my left, I go across a street into another park.
As you can see, while doing these walks, Ted takes his responsibility to pay attention to me very seriously. And, no, he's JUST sniffing!
Then you cross a bike path and come to a big boat dock for private boats. The beach is off to the left, and there's a walking and biking path going alongside the water for miles. Here's a few shots of the beach itself.
Ted loves chasing the geese, at least as much as he can on leash. The Finns so far have cheered him on, when they say anything.
So that's my park and the 2-block walk to the beach in pictures. While Ted can't actually go on the main beach, there are lots of areas nearby where he can walk or swim, and I can take him for walks right next to it.
To give you a sense of what this is like and how close it is to where I live, here's an overhead shot. (And, no, I take no credit, although I did think about how to convince people I did this!)
The red circle near the top and slightly left of center is the Towers. You can see what I mean about the park outside my door.
Time for bed and a LONG charging of my camera's battery. Next entry: my official orientation--or Kay joins the Finnish pension system.