The morning of New Year's Eve we were all picked up by bus and taken about an hour north to a reindeer farm. I don't think too many people have typed that sentence before! The family who owns the farm has had it and their herd for many years, and makes their living off of all things reindeer. This was no tourist show, although they host many, even the traditional Sami dress is something they still wear. We booked our tour through Destination Lapland
We started the day with a sled ride, ours pulled by Rocky, and each couple got their own sled. The reindeer were harnessed together with one being the lead so there was no need to drive or do anything except for enjoy the ride. As they got to running, Matt & Vio's reindeer who was behind us, tried to pass! We were all laughing and having a great time!
When we finished our ride we were invited into the owners' home for lunch. There was homemade reindeer soup (don't be the slow sled puller!), fresh baked bread, and blueberry juice. The owner told me she also grows her own vegetables for the soup. It was all absolutely delicious.
After our lunch it was our turn to feed the reindeer. They eat dried moss and the farm owners buy it in bulk. They get pretty excited when those bags of moss come out!
With both people and reindeer being fed, we gathered around a toasty fire, the logs covered with pelts, and were offered coffee and cookies. They passed around some horns so everyone could feel how heavy there are and then taught everyone how to throw a lasso, practicing around some mounted horns. There was a traditional teepee to check out and also a little museum they had put together of their family history and artifacts of the Sami culture. It was all so interesting, cool, and fun!
Once we got home Forest and I walked (with sleds) to the grocery store and returned to make a nice dinner for everyone. We stared with some lovely foie gras that Forest & Thibault had brought from France, as well as some patė, and elk sausage we had bought in Estonia. And cocktails of course! Then we cooked a nice baked salmon dinner with roasted potatoes, cucumbers in yogurt, and green salad.
We watched as the lanterns floated peacefully up into the sky, little lights twinkling (mine crashed and burned in a tree!), drank our champagne, and then walked home through the snowy night.