Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer is off to a start

Yes I'm still alive and kicking.  I think I've come to terms with the fact that writing here on my blog just won't happen as often as it once used to.  Life has a sense of normalcy about it now that I've been living in the country for nearly 2 years and 8 months.  It's difficult finding new and interesting topics to speak about.  Some of you may have noticed that I use the blog more as an update for those across the pond who may still wonder about what I'm up to over here. =)

Swedish Midsommar just passed this weekend.  J and I spent it in Stockholm, as mentioned previously.  We picked up our good friend O on the drive there, and thankfully we got to take the faster highways back to Gbg since O took the train home a day earlier than we wanted to come home (he came back on Saturday, we left Sunday morning).  It was a bunch of fun!  I always love getting out of town and getting out of the normal routine of things.  We have a few friends who live in the country's capitol, so we decided to spend Midsommar with them, celebrating in some of the traditional ways.  We devoured a lunch of pickled herring that came in jars resembling these, along with boiled new potatoes and sour cream and chives along with onions if you desired.  During this lunch you also tend to drink snaps, which is called nubbe, tastes pretty awful in my opinion and comes in a variety of flavors.  Later in the evening we grilled some meat and ate a big, fresh salad with it and finished off with rhubarb pie and vanilla cream for dessert.  Yum!  We did not, however, go find a maypole and dance around it on Midsummer Day.  Instead, we decided to enjoy beautiful downtown Stockholm and ate lunch in Gamla Stan.  We finished off Saturday evening by playing a board game called Settlers of Catan (first time for me, I'd heard a lot about it, and it ended up being quite fun!), and devouring fresh Swedish strawberries with cream and sugar! Mmm!  Here's a single shot I took while walking over the water on our trek from Gamla Stan to Kungsholmen.

Even on a cloudy day I find Stockholm pleasing to the eye.  The buildings and all the water are just beautiful.

Thus has summer truly begun!  Midsommar was the first major event I was looking forward to and it felt so nice to get out of the daily grind here in Gothenburg and see some friendly faces we hadn't seen in quite some time.  It felt like a mini vacation and that it was much needed!  Luckily, in a little less than two weeks we're headed to Norway so I have another big event to look forward to this week and next!  I suppose I feel like I need these things to keep me going through the summer as so many are now on vacation and it feels a bit "bleh" to be working all through the summer until mid-August, and then "only" getting two weeks where many take four, five or even six at a time.  At least at work it should be pretty easy going now that so many are on vacation - not so much mail to be delivered!

That's just a quick update to keep you all in the loop!  This weekend nothing is on our plate (thankfully, we've had nonstop busy weekends for many weeks in a row now).  I plan to finally start clearing out what we don't need to bring with us for when we move in one month's time!