Here we are on Sunday evening, just finishing up the laundry before we head out on the next leg of our summer break. It began last Sunday when we drove up to the ski village of Sälen where we had rented a cabin for four nights. It was very cold and rainy up there, so much so that we were forced to buy new jackets. We spent a lot of time chilling in the cabin, playing cards and video games, but also swam a ton and spent some time bundled up out in nature.
Jamie and I painted dalahästar, which was basically a dream come true. The best activity with the best company.
One day, we took a short drive to the Norwegian border and stood in two places at once.
The Swede finally got to break in his fly fishing gear and I'm pretty sure it was his good-time equivalent of my painting dalahästar.
We also took a hike to Sweden's highest waterfall, the majestic Njupeskär, and it was the highlight of the week.
On the way home, we spent a night in Tällberg, per tradition, and it was as lovely as ever.
And no trip to Dalarna is complete without a stop at the knäckebröd factory.
Yesterday, back home and in the thick of unpacking and repacking, we took a break and headed into the city to catch some Pokémon. The day before was the crown princess's 40th birthday so the castle was decked out in fresh flowers. Also, there were people EVERYWHERE. Somehow I had forgotten how packed with tourists Stockholm becomes in the summer. In some spots it was difficult to even get around, but we enjoyed it regardless.
Stay tuned later in the week for a report from our next adventure!
Good day to you! I'm back with more potato-chip-related content for your Thursday. When I took this picture in the grocery store yesterday, I had planned on writing about how these Swedish chip brands just keeeeeeeeeep on coming out with delightful-sounding limited-edition flavors that just beg to be tested. I'm probably not going to even like them, but they sound really good, right? Then I'm going to have to eat the whole bag because nobody else in my family will like them either and I won't want to waste food by throwing them out. I'm still in the consideration phase of the buying cycle, but I'm leaning heavily toward a purchase, so if you have something to say one way or another on the matter, please text me before my grocery shopping trip that will commence at 11:10 CEST tomorrow. Also! In researching this post, I discovered that FritoLay are also a bunch of rascals, with more than a dozen flavors I've never even heard of nor could have imagined in my wildest dreams but which will require testing the next time I'm stateside.
Our midsommar plans were up in the air until last week when, after realizing that the whole family wasn't going to be getting together, I booked the last hotel room in Dalarna. They're waaaaay into midsommar up there, and I figured it seemed like a good year to check it out.
We stayed at a cozy little guest house on the side of a moutain with a fabulous restaurant and incredible views, but rather spartan rooms. We arrived late Thursday afternoon and spent the evening looking out over the town of Rättvik and Siljan lake from the terrace.
We woke up to gorgeous weather on Friday and looked forward to the maypole and the music and the dancing, but we had some time to kill so we rode a luge down the mountain first. So. Much. Fun.
Later, we made our way into town and after peeking in a couple of shops, checking out a classic car show, and stopping for ice cream and to play at a playground, we found that we weren't in great shape time-wise after all. When we arrived at the celebration, they were just shutting things down and the weather had taken a turn for the worse. Slightly defeated, we plopped down at a restaurant and had burgers for lunch and talked about how much we missed the traditional lunch of deviled eggs and herring and Mama Swede's meatballs. We decided then and there that we'd drive to the cabin instead of straight home in the morning. Mama and Papa Swede were there with the herring and the sunshine, and all-in-all it was a pretty fabulous weekend.
This past weekend, Jambo and I went to Drottningholm, the royal family's residential palace. Jamie hadn't been since before he could walk, and he appreciated the mazes and gardens even more than I had hoped. We ran around and hid from each other, climbed trees, at ice cream, and chased geese. We also went on a tour of the royal theatre, but Jamie thought it was a disappointment because we didn't actually get to see a play (I looooove that kid!). We spent several hours there and it started to sprinkle just as we left. In the car on the way home, Jamie said it was the "best day ever"! Bestill my heart!
Are you thirsty? Are you lazy like I am? Is it summer? Yes? Grab a glass, then, folks because I'm going to introduce you to (or remind you about) two of the easiest, most refreshing adult beverages of the season: shandy and Aperol Spritz á la Mara.
I was introduced to Aperol Spritz via Instagram. Some glamorous Italian in my feed had hashtagged it and because I also want to be glamorous I looked up the recipe, and it turned out to be pretty much the best thing I've ever tasted. In the lazy, imprecise version, you take a glass of ice, fill it halfway with bubbly, pour in enough Aperol to give it that gorgeous orange-hospital-jello hue (but not too much because it's quite bitter), top it with a splash of Sprite and enjoy while imagining you're much thinner, richer and possessing of fine sartorialistic sensibilities than you actually are.
My research (a.k.a. a quick Google search) tells me that a shandy is half beer, half soft drink of basically any kind, but the shandy that I've come to know and love is mostly beer with just enough Sprite to make the beer actually taste good. And here's the best thing about it: if you make it with alcohol-free beer you can drink it on your porch ALL DAY LONG. Just put in a plastic cup in that case, though, so your neighbors don't get the wrong idea about you.
If your thirst still isn't quenched, try my favorite drinks from the summer of 2015 or 2016. Happy mixing!
I wish I wasn't such a sucker for marketing, really I do. Obviously I'm not the only one or Pringles Sweden wouldn't have made the investment in new packaging for a four-week period. I excitedly showed them to Linda, who was with me on my lunch-break shopping trip, and she felt that she needed to explain to me that the chips weren't going to look any different than usual. I hope she's wrong because if I open this tube and every chip isn't wearing a flower crown I'm going to be ticked.
Yesterday the fine arts school in our community had an open house for kids where they could test choir, dance, instruments, and more so obviously I took Jambo.
I had high hopes for the choir session, but he wasn't that into it. Dance, however, was a hit, as were the instruments. He got to test a trumpet, trombone, piano, xylophone, and a drum kit. The latter was his favorite and he could keep a decent beat. Don't tell him (or my neighbors) but I put a mini drum set on his birthday list.