I believe there are no such thing as coincidences and that everything happens for a reason. So it was at first strange to me that Ronn would do his first European concert in a place like Estonia. When the request came in months ago, I wasn’t really thrilled to go anywhere that was obviously very very cold during the month of December, but after visiting Estonia, I have become quite impressed with the people and their hospitality. First of all many people may not know how tech savvy the Estonians are and that they developed Skype, among other notable things and that they are a very small country of only 1.3 million people. They have built themselves up from gaining their independence from Russia 26 years ago! And yes it’s quite cold there, but the people are very warm and welcoming.
We were immediately greeted by TV 3 at the airport for interviews and gifted yummy cupcakes that had the original B&B characters on them and we were told that two generations of Estonians learned the Finnish language due to watching Ronn on that show. It was obvious from our visit that Estonians grew up watching Ronn and he was truly loved there and like every country we visit, everyone wanted a photo. The concert was really beautiful and a lovely first experience for Ronn and the amazing Jawn Star as a result, we are happy to announce a European tour is now in the works for the fall of 2018.
Since we were so close to Finland and had some friends come by the boat ferry over to Estonia, we decided to travel back with them to celebrate their 100th year of Independence from Russia, which turned out to be quite an experience for us. It was beautiful to learn more of their history and see the pride they have for their country. Apparently, there is a movie called, “The Unknown Soldier” that is all about the Finns and how they gained their freedom against the odds from Russia. Even though the Russians had over a million soldiers against the Finns with only over 200 thousand, they won their independence because they are a strong group of people who love and take a lot of pride in their country. We had visited Finland back in 2013 when Ronn did a commercial there and it was also obvious that they all loved and adored Ronn, so going back to celebrate this milestone was really special for us.
Now when I think of the Baltic region of Europe, I will have fond memories of our visit and look forward to returning for Ronn’s European tour later next year. It was wonderful to see our friend Henri Alen who has opened two new restaurants, “Sue Ellen” and “Finnjavel.” Some of you may remember that we guested on his cooking show, “American Food Battle” in which he challenged me in cooking gumbo. Seems southern cooking is what inspired him to create unique dishes for his restaurant, “Sue Ellen” and yes the name was inspired by that TV show, “Dallas.” We had wonderful crab biscuits, pickeled okra, fried green tomatoes and champagne to toast their 100th year of independence. “Finnjavel” which Henri told us means, “Finnish Bastard” a nickname the Swedish gave them was quite a different experience in dining. We had 7 course of typical Finnish inspired dishes with Henri’s signature twist of artistic flare that included, Reindeer! Even Prince enjoyed Reindeer which tasted very much like beef and loves chef Henri’s cooking! Thank you Estonia and Finland for making us feel so welcome, we look forward to our next visit!