Our next stop was Göteborg! It's a five-hour-plus drive from home, so we needed to stretch our legs along the way, and what better place than the polkagris factory where they make tons of flavors of thick candy canes. Naturally we picked up a few and The Swede had to listen to Jamie and I slobbering in the back seat for the rest of the trip.
Once in the Göteborg area, we stayed in a rented room in Jesper and Isa's new neighborhood and finally got to spend some time with them, August and their new little one Frans after almost three years. Jamie and August were like long-lost besties and got along better than I even knew two toddlers could. We all went to the amusement park, Liseberg, on Wednesday and the boys rode and rode till almost eleven at night.
August helping Jamie look at the camera.
The next day, while Frans napped at home with his mama, Jesper took us to the shore to do some crab fishing.
I had forgotten how amazing the ocean smells and Jamie loved all the new things there were to see between the rocks and under the water.
After a very earnest effort, the papas managed to catch five crabs, which were totally fascinating, skittering around in their bucket, until we tossed them back out to sea.
Later that afternoon, we drove to Varbergs fästning, a thirteenth-century fortress that faces the North Sea on one side and the town of Varberg on the other.
They had a water-skiing competition going on in the mote and a great playground so there was plenty to see and do, which made for another satisfying day and late bedtime.
Our family's summer vacation started last Saturday, a warm, sunny day that happened to be my Five-Year Swediversary. In January, we planned a long weekend in Dalarna with Ingvor and Roland where we would stay in our favorite cabin and go to an opera concert at Dalhalla amphitheater. After six months of waiting, the trip was finally here.
On the way to our destination, we stopped by Ingvor's sister's where we were treated to lunch on their dock? Their boat? Well, it was a floating deck with a motor attached that we rode around on the lake during our meal. After lunch and a quick dip in the water, we were back on our way.
Moskogen, the hotel/cabin village where we stayed, was hosting a classic car conference and we all enjoyed checking out the fancy cars. Jamie posed with Lightning McQueen...
We spent most of Saturday and Sunday at the pool and on the trampoline, then left Jambo with our friends, Per and Caro, and headed to the concert with Ingvor and Roland. The amphitheater was breathtaking and despite the fact that it poured rain during the entire concert, we had a great time.
We drove home on Monday, making a stop at an ostrich farm along the way, then re-packed our bags for our next adventure on Sweden's west coast! More to come!
After years of jealously scrolling by Facebook friends' slow cooker recipes and ignoring pins for 33 Easy Crock Pot Freezer Meals on my Pinterest feed, I finally found one in this country for a reasonable price. ("Reasonable," incidentally, is still approximately three times the cost of one in the States. You know, in case you were wondering why shopping is third on my list of stuff to do whenever I visit, after hugging my mom and eating fried chicken.) I ordered that puppy faster than you can say "Don't pay till August!!!" and was pleased to receive it the very next day. I haven't had a chance to test it yet, but I have envisioned an entirely new life for myself. One simplified by a couple of hours of prep every Sunday, followed by dumping a bag of frozen food into this baby in the morning, and coming home to a fragrant, succulent meal at the end of my work day. Anything less than a total revolution is going to be a huge disappointment so cross your fingers that I'm ambitious enough to do my part and put in the food and turn the knob.
Oh, we are having some good times, my friends! The Swede has three weeks of vacation-slash-parental leave ahead of him while Jamie's school is closed for the summer. I have less vacation time so I'm saving up for our trip to the States later this year but will join my boys for five days next week. I did, however, take yesterday off, so we just finished the three-day weekend of a lifetime.
We started by asking Jamie what he wanted to do with the weekend and he told us that he wanted to see monkeys. Fine by us, we love a good monkey as much as the next guy. So we swung over to Parken Zoo, a little over an hour away, and spent the day there checking out the animals and animatronic dinos and riding kiddie carnival rides.
On Saturday we decided to venture even further, to Dalarna, where we spent a few days around Jamie's birthday last year. We spent the day at Sommarland and the evening at one of the hotels we stayed at last year. It is the prettiest area and we wanted to stay forever.
On Sunday we sent The Swede to the spa to relax by the pool before it became available to children at noon, and Jambo and I played outside, took a walk into town and had a popsicle to kill some time.
When it was time for us to join The Swede, we changed into our swimming suits and splashed around in the pool and the hottub and got Jamie good and tired before the ride home.
Summer has just begun and if the rest of it is even a fraction as fun as this weekend was, it's gonna be a good one.
Sometimes I like to make the people in my life try American foods. They should know about cornbread, Rice Krispies Treats, and green bean casserole. There is no better group of captive taste testers than my colleagues. Who's going to say no to free food, first off, and second, you kind of have to be polite to your coworkers and try their weird foreign food. Today I used July 4th as an excuse to make them root beer floats. They all gasped over the calorie content of the soda, then compared the flavor to a Swedish bubble gum, then said that they were very good. I'll never know the truth about whether they really liked the floats or not and consequently they will never know if I like them or not. Because obviously root beer floats are awesome and the benchmark by which I judge people.
I was in a meeting when my phone rang; it was Jamie's teacher calling to tell me that he had fallen on the playground and one of his teeth felt a little loose so we should probably get it checked out. I called the dentist and made an emergency appointment then picked Jambo up. Jamie was a champ and it definitely helped that the visit took less than five minutes and the dentist determined that the tooth was fine. Afterwards, The Swede met us and we picked up some lunch and had a picnic. Obviously the circumstances weren't awesome, but it sure was nice to get out of work for a couple of hours and hang with the fam.