I would not be writing this blog post if I had not received my passport…thanks again kind woman at Chet Edwards office!!
July 12: I departed from Austin with my mom and my sisters Lindsey and Sarah for the homeland…Sweden! We met my sister Lisa in London a mere 14 hours later. From there we head to Stockholm…
July 13: We pick up our Volvo S70 from Hertz and drive to the Hotel Diplomat for our first night. It was 8pm Sweden time, but since the sun doesn’t set until 11pm we had plenty of daylight left for sightseeing! Lisa led us on a mini-tour around Stockholm to Gamla Stan (Old Town) to do a little shopping and get some dinner. We found a place to eat and shared some Swedish meatballs, steamed mussels, and fried scallops and shrimp. We followed dinner with some dessert…ice cream! Some of the best I’ve ever had. Off to bed at 11:30.
July 14: No better way to start the day than a breakfast buffet of smoked salmon, caviar, bread, cheese, yogurt, muesli and wonderfully strong coffee. We visited Skansen, the oldest open air museum in the world, and the Vasa Museum before driving 5 hours south to Smaland.
July 15: Our first day at the little red cottage in Ljungby! We visited Rydaholm to see the church where my mom’s grandmother went. From there we went to a flea market and a cute cafe in Ohr. Grocery shopping for 5 people in a foreign country is interesting…
July 16: Our 4th cousin Samuel and his family live in Jonskoping, so we spent the day there. We got to see the houses where my great grandma Tina Sundbeck and great grandpa Ernest Johnson were born. We had dinner on the pier with Samuels family. I tasted a freshly picked cloudberry!!
July 17: The House of Emigrants and a beautiful double spire church dedicated to Saint Sven are in Vaxjo. We spent most of the day here with a little side trip to have fika (coffee and cookies) with Bertil and Lisa at a cute cafe. Some people have a hard time polishing off a cinnamon bun, 7 small cookies and a piece of cake….those people are weaklings.
July 18: A relative on my mom’s side of the family lives about 2 hours from our cottage, so we drove there to see them…Stellan and his wife Lisbeth. We went to a military base and got to see a few boats come through the locks on the Gota Canal. We had a picnic in the park that afternoon and a wonderful home cooked meal of smoked fish, potatoes, carrots and bread and cheese before heading back to the cottage. Oh, ice cream and fresh berries from the garden for dessert. You don’t get berries from your garden for dessert in Texas.
July 19: A day in the “Kingdom of Crystal” brought us to 5 different glasswork. The things we saw were amazing. My big souvenir from the trip was a clear and white vase from Pukeberg….seriously, that is the name of the town.
July 20: Helsingborg, Sweden in on the southwest coast. We did quite a bit of shopping here and saw Denmark from the fortress Karnan in the city center. We got back to the cottage and had time for a rowboat outing on our semi-private lake. Sarah and I managed to get the hang of the rowing after a few good minutes of rowing in circles…thanks for your help, Mom!
July 21: We left the cottage and headed back to Stockholm. We stopped to see Byrtil and Lisa where we had a lovely lunch of fresh chanterelle mushroom soup, bread, cheese and an amazing rhubard tart. In Stockholm we did a little more shopping, had pizza at an Italian place and got ice cream…again. Everyone seemed to be eating ice cream all the time in Sweden, so it was only natural 🙂 I finally got my Tunnsbrodsrulle (a swedish hotdog wrapped in flatbread, filled with mashed potatoes, ketchup, mustard and relish…I kid you not) It was an experience. Let’s just say that after a bite you’re pretty much satisfied.
July 22: Goodbye Sweden!! Back to Texas…31 hours of birthday celebration for me thanks to the time change 🙂 A Cinnabon at O’Hare makes a nice birthday cake…thanks mom and Sarah!
I highly recommend a trip to Sweden in the summer. I don’t know what it is, but the grass seems greener, the sky seems bluer, the air cleaner, the sun brighter and the godis (candy) sweeter. I think it has something to do with Socialism…