31 December, 2009

I am not skanky enough for Stockholm

That is what I have decided, anyway, as I am standing here doing lunges in my black stretch pants that, after the Christmas carb overload, don't seem to stretch enough to avoid pantylines and a muffin-top. Like I mentioned, we were invited to a New Years party with a bunch of Swedes we don't know. Because we are poor students, we didn't buy new outfits for a party with strangers, and I am digging through my piles of already-owned clothes trying to find something to impress said strangers.

You know how Halloween is really just an excuse for girls to dress up like skanks, Mean Girls style? I really think NYE is kind of the same thing. But Swedes in general dress in, uh, less than I do (or most sane people do when its -8c outside!!) Stu has some Swedish classmates that only seem to have spandex mini-dresses and super high heels in their closets. They pull it off, for sure, but it leaves the curvier of the species (like me) feeling like an old married woman because I really, really like wearing jeans and keens, and would feel like an idiot wearing anything spandex. Don't worry, they aren't pleated jeans (yet.)

And I don't seem to have anything in my fake closets even close to New-Years-skank enough. What did I wear the last several New Years Eves? Granted, we have spent the last few at our friend Dan's penthouse parties with a gaggle of gay guys who don't care whether I wore a parka or a swimsuit, so maybe that's why? Maybe there was no pressure? These are STRANGERS, so I am not sure why I feel any pressure now.

So I am doing squats and lunges to get these pants to loosen up a bit. And I have to find something low-cut enough that I won't freeze in. Preferably sparkly. Pictures later, if I manage to pull off "Stockholm skank" successfully.

What are you guys doing for New Years? More importantly, what are you wearing?!?

2009 ends with teenager sleep

We were talking yesterday about how jam-packed 2009 has been and that it didn't leave us where we thought we'd be. And try as we have, we still can't remember what we did for Stu's last birthday. I remember it being a Tuesday because he had to get a sub for a yoga class, but that is it...anybody remember?

Anyway, January was Obama's inauguration, the weekend of my birthday and notably the coldest DC had been for a while (something like 22F over the weekend.) We watched it from the warmth and spaciousness of our sofa. It was February (also the elusive birthday plans) that we put our tiny DC condo on the market because we randomly popped into an open house on Monroe St. and fell in love with a 1900 rowhouse with 4 (FOUR) fireplaces. It was March that we found out about Stu getting accepted to the Stockholm School of Economics, April that we decided for sure that it was too good an opportunity to pass up, May that I got laid off (with severance and unemployment and an extra 2 months to pack up for the trip.) In June, Stu taught his final yoga class, and in July we said goodbye to our belongings and put them on a boat destined for Stockholm (okay, so they ended up in Gothenburg and I had to finagle customs clearance and delivery to Stockholm.) We arrived in August and spent nearly 3 weeks just hanging out in our new city before Stu started school, I got accepted to the Curating Art program at Stockholm University and started working as a nanny. You kind of get what we've been doing since then in this blog.

So now we're in Sweden until at least 2011. Its December, and we experience daily far colder temps than that inauguration weekend nearly a year ago. And its the longest I have been without some type of job since I started working at Ruby Tuesday when i was 16.

I am not kidding about the job thing...it is kind of amazing. It has led to what Stu and I call teenager sleep. School ended for the year on the 18th, and we have been regularly getting 10-11 hours of sleep each night. I actually don't think I ever slept this much, even AS a teenager! Most embarrassing, we slept until after 11am when Stu's mama was here last week...we get *at most* 5 hours of light-outside time to do things now, and we slept a good chunk of that day away!
And when we do get up, we laze about for an hour or so, catching up on the internets, drinking an entire pot of coffee. In fact, its 10:53am as I type this, and Stu is still in bed. I am not mentioning teenager sleep to make anyone with full-time jobs or kids jealous. But to point out that we didn't expect a year ago to be able to spend several weeks straight sleeping until whenever we wanted to, staying up as late as we wanted to, doing whatever we wanted to, or doing nothing at all. And in a few years, we'll both be back at full-time jobs and hopefully popping out a few kids, and we will never get this kind of teenager sleep again. Ever again. Until we retire. We have to seize the sleep opportunity while it presents itself because its fleeting.

So happy new year everybody. All our friends here in Stockholm are out of town, so we are going to a NYE party with complete strangers tonight, but are looking forward to it. And tomorrow, we leave for a week in Italy. Can. not. wait.

And if you can remember what we did to celebrate Stu's 32nd bday in 2009, can you remind us? Its bugging the crap out of me.

25 December, 2009

Christmas Carbohydrate Coma

JT & Stu at the Gamla Stan Xmas market

God Jul!

We celebrated yesterday with pancakes for breakfast, a ridiculous amount of baking, cartoon Kalle Anka (its not Christmas in Sweden unless you are watching a Disney medley "Donald Duck and his Friends is on TV"), a Jul concert at Adolf Fredericks kyrka (the church in the pictures from the other day), presents, glögg AND eggnog. And the sun poked out for about an hour or so! Its been a great Christmas!

We've done more, but I am currently alternating between stuffing my face with homemade pepparkakor and stuffing my face with homemade kanelbullar, so I'll be down-for-the-count in a full-blown carb coma soon. More pictures later...

21 December, 2009

Reading our blog, you: a) are probably in Sweden, so you know there is snow, or b) are in the DC area, which just got the biggest blizzard since 1992 and you have plenty of your own snow (and hey, I heard the federal gov't is closed today. Surprise.) or c) don't really care about snow that much and might be sick of seeing pictures.

I'm sorry, it's still a novelty to me, so this is more pictures of snow in Stockholm. Make Stu post something different...you never know what is going to come out of his brain.

The lovely blue concert house downtown. These statues just look hungry in the cold.

You can buy your Xmas tree on the street. Literally. Its a pop-up tree shop on the sidewalk.


I mentioned how slippery the streets were (snowtires, of course! They are mandatory!) But this "Don't Walk" signal says it better:


Our first Christmas tree. I couldn't get reasonably priced Eddie Izzard tickets for Saturday night ($200 is a lot for 3 hours of well-dressed comedy! We'll buy the DVD) so we spent $25 to see the movie "9." It was pretty good. And bought a tiny tree from the Sergels Torg market, and hauled it home. 100:- well spent because, lop-sided though it is, its perfect. Our landlady left us the straw ornaments.

And we had a mini beer tasting...I bought all the Jul Öl I could carry home from Systembolaget. I drank a little too much wine on Friday night with Swedes, so the idea of holiday-spiced beers was more appealing. And Sweden has SO many! Like I said, I only bought what I could carry:



The winner. Jul Mumma? It tastes like Christmas. Or maybe Julmust with beer mixed in.
(Julmust is a Swedish holiday necessity: spiced cola. Its really a bit of an acquired taste, but rather palatable if you add liquor to it!)

A few days from Christmas. Mom-in-law arrives early tomorrow morning, and we are forcing her to adjust to the time change by going to a Swedish julbord (pictures of sill to come, I am sure. Blech.)

18 December, 2009

Pictures in the snow



We had a bit of a blizzard yesterday! I took a few pictures of our courtyard during the swirliest part.


A picture of the traffic in front of Handels (Stu's school.)
I am actually amazed at how terrible the roads are, even today, when nothing has come down from the sky but sun. Maybe I am used to the fact that DC uses a chemical bath on the streets to make them usable? There is plenty of gravel and I assume salt laid out on the sidewalks, so they are not too bad (I haven't fallen, anyway, so that's saying a lot!) But when you are on the street at the crosswalks, its treacherous. The pedestrian has the absolute right of way in most of the crosswalks in Stockholm, meaning you can literally run in front of a whole mess of fast-moving cars and they HAVE to stop for you. And they do, its brilliant! But with it this slick, I have only been crossing at lights, since I don't know that most of these cars *could* stop safely. Not to mention, I am much more likely to fall on my butt in the street and they might not see me.


We took a field trip to the Nordiska library around 3pm in the blizzardiness. Damn museum was closing early for some fancy party, but we got there in enough time to get a book and schmooze with the librarian for a few (who had heard of me, apparently!) Then we ended up in northern Djurgården. It was deserted and dark and creepy and awesome. There were places where the drifts had gotten so high, I stepped in past my knees! And my boots don't come up that high. So, the walk back sucked, except for the stop at Valhalla Bageriet, which might be one of the best bakeries I have EVER been to. Cold coffee, but amazing breads and sweet things.


Requisite snowangels... nice, huh?



And, because its Christmas, the postal service has JulPost boxes out for Xmas mail. And I kind of love them.

School is officially out until next year for both of us...we are 1/4 of the way through the whole education thing. Its a nice feeling!
And getting ready for Christmas, maybe getting a tree this weekend, a little, teeny tiny apartment-sized tree? And Stu's mom comes in on Tuesday! We are so excited!

16 December, 2009

15 December, 2009

Snow that sticks and other updates



One week til Christmas and we got snow! And its sticking! It is Tuesday, and its basically been snowing on & off since Saturday afternoon, so we have a few inches. Swedes know how to deal with snow, not like wuss Washingtonians. I had class at the Nationalmuseum today, and the buses were running on time, the museum opened on time, everyone went to work or school, and people were dressed appropriately.  Ok, I admit that living in the DC area, where they cancel school or the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT for a few flakes, made me think that one should always have vacation snow days when there is white stuff on the ground. But I am spoiled by my grad school lifestyle and can curl up in the house with cocoa whenever I want, so excuses to stay home are less attractive that when working 9-5.

I should have brought my camera when I went out today since there is much more on the ground than this picture above, but it was so windy, I probably wouldn't have gotten any decent shots.


I did make cookies (because what goes better with hot chocolate than more chocolate?!) and they were....a success! Finally, if you know how frustrated I have been! Thank you to Dark Fury and Blonde Justice for the baking soda, and to Nuk for the giant bag of Nestle chocolate chips. They don't have chocolate in chip form in Sweden, and I think the shape was crucial to success. When I tried to explain chocolate chips to our French friend P-BB, I said they are shaped like mini Hershey kisses, which went right over his head of course. He was also the one who was practically drinking our peanut butter out of the jar...I guess they don't do peanut butter in France the same way, either.


And, to add to the hot Xmas gifts of 2009, Lambi makes limited edition Christmas toilet paper. I thought this important to point out for no real good reason, but that Lambi as a brand makes me laugh. (I just realized I took a shot of the Christmas paper towels...rest assured, the TP does exist. It apparently isn't as photogenic.)

The exchange rate has gotten better over the last several weeks, which makes me indescribably happy. Still not as good as when we first got here in August, and no where near as awesome as the 9.2:-/$1 from March, but enough to make me feel better about most purchases.

AND, we made lots of travel plans for the next month or two or six.  I think I mentioned we planned a trip to London for my birthday in January, and a trip to Berlin for Stu's bday in February. We also just booked a week in northern Italy the first week of January, so we will be spending a few days in Venice and then in Milan. Not much warmer than Stockholm, but they get 9 hours of sunlight each day, with is double what we are getting here.  Seriously.

Annnnnnnd, we bought tickets to come back to the US!  We hadn't planned to fly back at all during this 2 year stint since it is so expensive (and we have no income!), but there are several big things happening at the end of June that make the trip worth it. I'll tell you about those later. We are missing our first Swedish midsummer, but maybe we'll throw a big midsummer party in DC?

14 December, 2009

Hot Xmas gifts for 2009?

 
For a non-Stockholmer, this subway advertisement might seem to be showing off products from the local S&M shop.

Nope, Teknik Magasinet is like Radio Shack.  I bought my European computer plug there. But apparently, they think everyone you know should be getting a Spike mat, a Clone-A-Willy or the Orgasmatron for Christmas this year. If I had the cash, I'd absolutely send you all back home one of each.

Full disclosure, I own 2 out of 3 of these items. I'll let you imagine which ones...


**Addendum: Stu made the good point that I didn't explain what any of these things actually are! You can guess what a Clone-A-Willy is (Swedes are an open, liberal people! The black logo next to it says 'Give a hard package'. )  The Orgasmatron is a head massager...its heavenly. And the spikmatta is some type of acupuncture/acupressure mat, with little plastic treads that stimulate or relax, depending on the placement. So there you go.

12 December, 2009

Picture post


A sunny day after a week of rain (okay, sunny for Stockholm in December is not exactly sunny for, umm, any place south of us)

 
 Kids skating at Kungsträdgården

 
A statute on the Royal Palace

 
 The NationalMuseum
 
Some nice street scene.
  Happy Holidays!
Okay, so I thought it said Happy Weekend the first time I saw it (Helg means holy/holiday AND weekend)

 

 
 Vs and Ws get a little mixed up to the Svedes.

 
And fika  at Saturnus

11 December, 2009

Throw in the Towel...

Göteborg gives up eight-year linguistic battle, joins a disappointed Munich. Hoping to regain it's title as most mispronounced city name, Göteborg was made the official international spelling in 2003. (Crown now goes back to Phnom Penh.) Now the city has realized, sighing, that it's just too painful to hear English speakers mess it up over and over.

"Yoda Boring? Is that it?"
"No, wrong again. We'll just say it your way."

The change is practical when you think about it. But, less romantic. Then again, is there anything romantic about the country's shipping hub? That sounds to me like the romance of... Baltimore. (Perhaps, but faded?)

Sorry, Gothenburg is the name again, standardizing to English... That's right the language which wouldn't know phonetics if it was hit in the mouth with a halibut.

Why a fish? Oh, just for the halibut.

But seriously, (I'll be here all week) what is the deal with English?

10 December, 2009

A little bit of home


We received our first care package from the US this week. A mere two week wait, speedy from the US... I must say, it's nice to feel the love (particularly considering the arm-n-a-leg postage! don't make that a habit, eh?) and to be reminded of little things that are simple back home but rare here.

Due to our baking woes, we now have enough baking soda to conduct underground trading in chef prison--Martha Stewart wishes she coulda got by with what we got. Also, big shout out to Shake-n-Bake, mostly due to the fact that I didn't realize I was craving breaded chicken until I was reminded of it's existence. Funny how that works, eh?

Dark Fury, Blonde Justice: why oh, why did you include the "Cheer--girls of the NFL" magazine? Well, that's a stupid question, huh? Cute. Likewise, yeast; hot sauce? Much appreciated. Mascara, I didn't know you carad! Way to read actively.

I must say however, what is undeniably the creme-dela-creme... (drum roll please...[clearly Nobel Prize fever has me excited about a sense of ceremony]...) The Marshmallow Fluff!

Marshmallow Fluff is very pleased to accept this honor on behalf of the care package, but would also of course, like to recognize the undeniable contributions of WonderBread and Skippy, without whom fluffernutters would not have been possible.

I'm sure I will be cleaning it out of my ears. Mmm, gluttony.

Nobeling in Stockholm

Its December 10th...the day Arthur Nobel died in 1896, and the day the world celebrates the fat check he promised to award outstanding achievements in the sciences, literature and peace. And to honor those achievements, they plan a giant party or two here in Scandinavia.

I say Scandinavia because Stockholm is the center of the awarding process, with a committee that selects 5 of the 6 Nobel prize winners, but Oslo also throws a big party, because their committee has the honor of selecting the Peace Prize winner.  And I think Oslo's single prize winner's celebrity this year is far surpassing anything here in Stockholm.

Regardless, the Swedes have planned quite an evening. This afternoon is the official awards ceremony, followed by a black-tie banquet with the royal family and about 1,250 other assorted big wigs. The Local (the fluffy English version of Swedish news) described a few of the preparations being made for the event. 2,692 pigeon breasts, thankyouverymuch.

Unsurprisingly, we are not partaking in many of the festivities. I could go stand in the rain by the concert house to catch a glimpse of some of the flower arrangements. But I probably won't. I am going to try to go to Swedish class tonight (I had skipped the last week or two) so I *might* learn some Swedish words to describe Nobelfesten. But I probably won't.  The university is hosting its own black-tie event, but we didn't bother to get tickets.  We will be going to a lecture by the Nobel prize winners in Economics at Stu's school on Saturday, which will likely be a snooze for me but could be interesting for him. All in all, we are pretty lame in our Nobel celebrating.  But congratulations to all of the winners, anyway!

08 December, 2009

Spoon Tickets already!

We got two notices for packages, and I have been working my butt off (sick children...11 hours yesterday alone!) so I only just got to them tonight. Well, I picked up one. For whatever reason, we got packages at two different convenience stores. Not very convenient, if you ask me.

A random aside about mail in Sweden: we pick the packages up at a store in our 'hood, and there are next-to-no post offices here. We get our regular mail and reklam through the slot in the door. Reklam = junk mail. Everyone else puts up a little sign on the door that says "Ingen Recklam Tack!" and the mailperson only gives them the important addressed-to-them stuff. When we moved in, we had an "Ingen Recklam Tack" sign under the name plate, but I took it off. I wanted to see what Swedish junk mail consisted of.  How else do you get the coveted Ikea catalog?!?  And it is how I found out that Sweden has Toy-R-Us.  Its been added to my list of weirdo American imports that are *everywhere* here, like 7-11 and TGIFridays.

So, anyway (I digress a lot) I picked up the package at the one tobak that was open after 6pm. Turns out it was the concert tickets we just ordered a few days ago, surprisingly soon from Ticketmaster! Ticketmaster GERMANY.  We are going to Berlin for Stu's birthday to see one of my favorite bands...they aren't coming to Sweden apparently.  Call me Eddie Vedder, but I hate, hate, hate Ticketmaster.  I hate having to pay their $12 per ticket "handling fee" when I print the damn things out at home using my own paper and my own printer ink (okay, it was usually my office printer and paper, but still, NOT Ticketmaster's.)  And the way shows sell out with them is suspect...I don't know how they allot tickets, but its not very democratic. In DC, I would far rather go to the venue at weird box office hours to avoid having to use Ticketmaster. And because I'm cheap.

So tickets for Spoon were 18 euro...not an awful price. And actually, unlike the US counterpart, Ticketmaster of Germany didn't have any extra BS fees, if you live there and can pick up your tickets at their Hamburg office (really?!?). We had to pay an extra 10 euro because we live out of the country, but they mailed them uncharacteristically quickly.  So all in all, we paid a whopping $70 for the privilege of seeing Spoon in Berlin.

But I'm excited anyway.  We had to travel to Norfolk, VA to see them after their shows got all effed up in DC in 2007.  Stu had to travel all the way to New Orleans to see them (okay, he got to see a ton of other bands at Voodoo Fest. And its New Orleans...any excuse, right? Seriously, for Stu, ANY excuse.)  We'll take Ryan Air's $20 r/t crappy seats, stay in a cheap hotel, and eat all the schnitzel, pretzels and giant German beers possible in that weekend to celebrate Stu's birthday.  In style.

06 December, 2009

Hootchy Kootchy and midget burlesque

Our first burlesque show in Stockholm.  Stu and I used to go to burley-q shows fairly often in the US. Like yoga classes, we'd try to go to burlesque shows whenever we were in a new city.  We just hadn't jumped on any of the few opportunities since being in Stockholm until last night, when we went with our Finnish friends.

It wasn't cheap at 180:- a pop ($26) at the Kägelbanen back bar at the beautiful Södra Teatern.   We had missed a show last month with a Vegas theme, but this one was "A Family Affair." I guess they were channeling the Addams Family. The poster was kind of creepy...




The show started about midnight. It ended at 12:45. Seriously, the most expensive and shortest burlesque show I have ever been to.  But not without merit. The MC didn't overstay his welcome, and the acts were pretty tight...we have seen some disasterous burlesque shows, and this was surprisingly well-run!  Its the Swedish way.

There was a pregnant burlesque dancer.  Yes, like in her third trimester, with a very pregnant belly in a sheer pink body suit.  And there was a little person burlesque dancer. I am not kidding. Her second act was to be wheeled out in a baby stroller and then kick her blankets off so she was wearing some red sequined two-piece number.  Very interesting.  I think.  And there was a plus-sized burlesque dancer who probably had the best act of the night, bathing in a giant champagne glass while singing Chicago showtunes.

But better perhaps than the show was the scene at Kägelbanen. We have seen more fun, more interesting burlesque acts, but we have never seen the audience get SO into it (we even went to the New York Burlesque festival and didn't see nearly as many people dressed up.)

There was over-the-top make up, pin curls, and fishnets. There were men in goth, men in tuxedos, men in drag. There were women in goth, women in ballgowns, women in drag.  There were women in their underwear, and women obviously WITHOUT any underwear.  It was insane...I loved it! It was worth going solely to see how Stockholmers pull out all the stops as an audience.  I wish I had brought a camera. I really, really wish I had brought a camera.

03 December, 2009

Must be December...



 I stole this picture from a random person's Flickr page.


I was in ÖoB  (okay, so 'getting sun' also meant stopping into the Swedish version of Big Lots for wierd things to send back to my family.)  And while I was in line, 3 (THREE) different people popped in to ask the cashier if they had saffron in stock.  Of course they'd go to ÖoB for it...its the world's most expensive spice! Might as well try to find a deal.

Countdown: 10 Days 'til Santa Lucia.  I am not attempting buns. Saffron is too expensive for my baking ineptitude. Besides, you can get them at 7-11.

Hej December!

The month rolled in gorgeous, and thankfully, after a 5-hour exam period of presentations on Tuesday, I have nearly a week off from school & schoolwork  (while Stu has a final exam on statistics on Monday!)  Let's hope it stays this sunny for a long while.

And with the beginning of December, we have enjoyed our last day of cable TV.  Quick recap: when we signed up for broadband back in August, the giant cable/internet company Comhem was offering 3 months of "large" internet + "large" TV for 99:- a month (about $13.)  So that's what we got. Which meant we had to buy a TV.   We thought it good to get one anyway to play our Wii, and so that Stu could watch his NFL sports package games on the big screen.  So I found a supremely cheap used little 20" on Blocket for 100:-. But it wasn't quite right. I know we're poor grad students, but it was fuzzy and small and we were spoiled by our giant flat-screen in the US. So I resold it (for a profit! Some kids working on window displays for the store Cheap Monday bought it for 200:-)  And we purchased a brand new, larger, prettier flat screen to play Wii on, watch football and watch our cheap cable.

But its the end of those 3 months, and this was our last week of cheap cable. We don't need to pay the normal 300:- a month to watch American TV. We haven't actually watched it that much in being here.  Don't get me wrong, its been great to actually *understand* the shows on TV, and we were getting Showtime, so that included some great movies.  But as poor grad students, its tough to rationalize all those sitcoms, especially when we should be reading about macroeconomics or museum audiences.

And for our final evening of television, we topped it off with a doozy. Or rather, a Razzie.  The ONLY thing on of even a teeny tiny bit of interest was an early 1990s Melanie Griffith & Michael Douglas movie, "Shining Through" about WWII spies.  Have any of you seen it?!?  I'm not sure why we stuck through the whole thing.  Melanie is a terrible actress, and that she talks sooooo slowly annoys the crap out of me. She is of Swedish descent, though!  Her mother was a Minnesota Swede who starred in Hitchcock's "The Birds." Oh, and Melanie wore giant shoulder pads this entire movie (even while in her bathrobe.)  Some wardrobe designer was channeling the 80s and didn't do her research on 1930s fashion.  It was really bad.

So no more TV. Or rather, only Swedish public TV. Which may actually cost more than Comhem "Large" TV.  Instead of explaining how we now seem to owe the Swedes 2.000:-  a year for Swedish public TV we don't watch, I'll let these Americans do it: TV Fees in Sweden and TV License.  I'm going to enjoy some sun.

29 November, 2009

Glad advent!


Can one say 'Happy Advent'?

It may have been all turkeys and football on Thursday, but we also jumped full-force into Christmas this week. We had the first glögg of the season and our first Lussekatter of the year Saturday, and went to umpteen Christmas markets. And this evening, we lit our first candle for advent.

We observed a lot of Swedishy traditions in my house growing up, and we had these pretty candle holders, but lighting the advent candles was never one of our things. Its probably because we weren't a very religious household, come to think of it. But in Sweden, every window has a 4-candle holder, and I had to look it up to find out more why.  While it is definitely a religious tradition, its also a countdown to Christmas, in a way, and on the first Sunday, people light the first candle in the Advent candlestick during the evening meal. Each following Sunday until Christmas, another candle is lit, until all four candles are glowing on the 24th.

Our evening meal was popcorn and leftover pumpkin pie, so it maybe didn't have the magic it was supposed to. But in the dark, it is lovely to see all the other windows on the street with lit candles and glowing stars.


27 November, 2009

Tacksägelsedagen

aka Thanksgiving!

Because you wanted to see pictures of a turkey (I call him Stu.)


It was our first-ever time being in charge of making a large, gibblety game bird edible. We ordered the thing 2 weeks ago, but it wasn't until Monday that the grocery store told us they *might* not get our bird, so JLP & I spent Monday scouring grocery store freezers and the butcher counters. We got one, conveniently, at the turkey store in Östermalm (who knew they had a store dedicated to turkeys in a country that doesn't seems to eat them!?)  It set us back about $90, but we walked out with a giant frozen 7.3kg (thats over 16 lbs!)

We had 14 in our tiny apartment for dinner.  Someone lent extra chairs and someone brought extra forks. It started an hour and a half late because turkeys take longer to cook than the Butterball website tells you (lesson learned.) Thankfully, it was potluck. But there was all the reminders of home:
turkey, green bean & sweet potato casseroles, stuffing, jelly & fresh cranberry sauces, Coca-cola, rolls & gravy, punkin and apple pies, hooooly, we stuffed ourselves silly.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 





One of the best on record. We are thankful to have gotten to spend it with some great friends, new & old, in lovely little Stockholm.

25 November, 2009

Ice, ice, Stockholm


JLP is visiting on the tail end of working the past 6 weeks in Europe, and it coincided perfectly with Thanksgiving (more on that in another post.) And it was the perfect excuse to do some touristy stuff that we hadn't gotten around to in our nearly 4 months here.

Planned are a few museums and Christmas markets, seeing the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace, of course the world's biggest Ikea (though we have done that behemoth many, many times. The store just sucks you in.) And Monday we hit up the Absolut Icebar downtown. All year, the thing is -5 c, and is entirely made of ice, imported from a river in the arctic circle. We even drank out of ice glasses.
Its not cheap, at 170:- per person (roughly $25), but you get a cocktail, which were delicious, and to borrow a funky snow cape with a hood that is stamped with the IceHotel's logo. Yeah, why anyone would want to pay to sleep in a -5c hotel is beyond me, the 30 minutes at the IceBar were enough.

JLP got much better pictures than we did, so maybe we'll have more later to share. And thats what you do in the IceBar. You take pictures. To remember (or to prove?) how much fun you had. And how cold you were. We all lost feeling in our toes. And fingers.

21 November, 2009

Picture post

Saturday was the best day we've had in weeks and weeks, not a single cloud in the sky, sunny and almost 50 degrees. I took a ton of pictures when we went out to enjoy it. Here are just a few random:
The Centaur on the Observatory hill...just to illustrate exactly how cloudless it was.


Godnatt, a mattress and bed store entrance in Östermalm. I used to pass this guy all the time, and always thought he was weird and beautiful.


The Christmas market in Gamla Stan. Would have bought glögg if I had gone to an ATM.

Yes, rapids. There were also fly fishermen AND kayakers out in that.


Norrbron with a ton of little tiny people, and the remains of an ice sculpture in Kungsträdgården.
---
Cutest little kid! I think he was stuck to that trashcan.

A short movie of some musical marching Santas on Västerlänggatan, and the musical santas in color!

Yes, that is Stu's head and my incoherent squeak.