Tepa & Riia

Picture taken on September 20, 2009

We are Finns currently living in Kotka, Finland. Kotka is a beautiful small seaside city about 130 km (or about 80 miles) east of Helsinki, not far from the Russian border. We both love the summers in Finland, but hate the long, dark, and cold winters.

We met through the internet in the year 2000, and soon our email and chat friendship blossomed to love. Riia moved back to Finland around 2002, after having lived in the USA since 1978 when she went there as an exchange student - and stayed for college, grad school, and work. We got married (registered) on October 17, 2005.

We moved to Kotka in 2006 from Helsinki, when Tepa applied for, and got, a job as a lab technologist at the Central Hospital of Kymeenlaakso. Riia has a degree in social psychology and has worked as a research associate and consultant for the University of Michigan.

Both of our moms now live in Kotka, too - Riia's mom moved here in 2007 from Lahti, and Tepa's mom in 2009 from Helsinki. Tepa has a son who lives in Helsinki and a daughter who lives in Seinšjoki, and all together 5 grandchildren. Riia has a brother and a nephew who live in Bulgaria. To see pictures of our family, friends, and travels, click here.

See us also at (click on the logo):   TripAdvisor

And see Riia at:  Zedge

Below are more "facts" about us:

 Just married 2005




Year born




Lab technologist

Research consultant (Currently not working)





  • vacations/time off from work
  • evenings at home
  • chocolate
  • early mornings with my own time
  • weather (following it in different places)
  • children and grandchildren
  • summers
  • sleeping & dreaming
  • being able to do things I want & when I want
  • courageous people who are who they are and make a positive difference in the world
  • honesty and directness
  • love, hugs, smiles
  • eating (good food!)
  • shopping
  • lots of free time


  • snakes
  • cold
  • having to go to social functions with lots of strangers
  • lying & pretentiousness
  • wars & prejudice
  • 'better-than-thou' attitudes that translate to actions that are harmful to others

Most desired travel destinations (mutual)

  •  Central & South American countries
  • Thailand
  • Mauritius
  • Cruises almost anywhere: Caribbean, Greek Islands, etc.

Favorite musical genre


Hiphop & rap

Favorite musicians / groups

 The Osmonds, ethno-retro pop, and a variety of others

HIIPHOP: EMINEM, Jay-Z, Xzibit, Redrama, Elastinen - IsoH - Fintelligens, Mariska, Cheek, Signmark, Lil' Kim, Ludacris etc ...  ROCK/POP: Meatloaf, ELO, Eagles, Holly Near, Janis Joplin, John Mellencamp, Bryan Adams,  ... and a lot more.

Mutual Interests

  •  travelling
  • TV & movies
  • reading
  • digital photography
  • computer games

Individual Interests

  • weather
  • maps
  • web cams
  • reading the newspaper in the mornings
  • card games (Lupaus, Pinnochle, Bridge, Spades, Hearts, Euchre, Cribbage, Poker)
  • graphics (making them with Paint Shop Pro)
  • making simple web pages
  • manipulating digital images
  • cooking
  • interior decorating
  • shopping

Some of our

Favorite authors (mutual)

Favorite TV shows (mutual)

  • lots of reality shows (e.g., The Apprentice; Hell's Kitchen; Big Brother; Top Chef; Survivor)
  • anything that Ellen DeGeneres does
  • Medium
  • In Therapy
  • Dexter
  • Criminal Minds
  • Comedies such as Friends, Frazer
  • psychological and biographical documentaries

Favorite TV shows (individual)

  • House
  • Sairaala and other reality-based hospital shows
  • The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Temptation Island, and other silly 'reality TV' dating etc shows
  • interior decoration and house-buying shows
  • true crime shows
  • poker (e.g. World Series of Poker)




Page last updated: February 9, 2009

Backto Riia's Pages