Fort Myers

So now that I’ve got the clothing situation under control for my trip to Fort Myers, I’m starting to get curious about what there is to do there besides watch exhibition girl’s hockey.

Personally, I’m intrigued by a few things – tours of the Everglades, Cajun food restaurants, distilleries/breweries and Manatee Park.

I’ve never seen a manatee in real life.

It’s not like there’s a place in the Bay Area you can go to watch those gentle giants frolic in the water eating their veggies.

It would be SUPER COOL to actually get to see some manatees.

Now, a tour of the Everglades, that’s just a MUST SEE.

Crocodiles and alligators, oh my!

I mean, I’ve seen Claude, the albino alligator at the San Francisco Academy of Arts and Sciences, but that’s about it.

Mind you, I want to be in a REALLY BIG BOAT while scoping out alligators and crocodiles.

I’ve seen ‘Anaconda’ and know what happens when you underestimate the capabilities of wildlife.

Now a Cajun food restaurant is a MUST because I’ve always dreamed of eating a pile of seafood just heaped on the table with potatoes and ears of corn.

Yummy with a spoon delicious, is what I’d call it.

Also, The Swede really LOVES hot and spicy food so I’m sure I could get him to enjoy a Cajun restaurant or two.

I just have to figure out where the best one is.

No biggie.

I’m not sure The Swede and I can tour a distillery with his daughter in tow, so this might not happen but there LITERALLY IS A FORT MYERS BREWERY that we could visit.

So much to do, so little time, especially when you factor in all the time we’re going to spend on the beach.

Although, given that they are more melanin-challenged than I am it’s likely that we will need to get out of the sun for at least a little while during the day.

Since I’m poaching on The Swede’s vacation, I’m going to leave the details up to him, but should I be asked what I’d like to do, I’ve got some answers sure to entertain.

Happy yellow

Trying to recover from my disastrous online sundress shopping experience, I finally gave up and did a mega search for yellow sundresses.

Why?

Because once upon a time I imagined I’d be going to Florida with a yellow dress and I bought a matching flower crown to go with it:

Then the dress fell through.

Oh, what’s a girl to do but SHOP SOME MORE?!

I found a dress to go with my flower crown:

And I got earrings, shoes, and a clutch to match:

You’ve got to picture a mega top knot bun surrounded by my little yellow flower crown, similar to this one with big blue flowers:

Definitely worthy of a nice night out with The Swede and his daughter.

I’m so excited!

And the dress fits, what’s more.

So you might as well go ahead and color me happy.

I just love my sunny, happy, yellow dress!

Drat!

So my dresses finally arrived in the mail.

The first one was a yellow wrap around midi dress that was so lovely:

I put it on only to discover that it didn’t WRAP AROUND MY BODY.

There was this HUGE GAP where cleavage coverage should be.

I was literally falling out of the dress.

So it’s a no-go for Florida.

Then I tried on the other dress:

Sadly it too did not fit so well across my bust either.

These 38Gs are really causing problems!

So I’m back to square one.

I literally have NO DRESSES to wear to Florida and I’m panicking.

I need to go through my wardrobe and see what works.

Of course, all my summer dresses are buried behind all the winter dresses.

So it’s going to take effort and some maneuvering to check out what’s in my closet.

Tejas suggested that I wear this fishnet dress with my bathing suit:

But somehow, no matter how beach-appropriate it is, I just can’t see myself wearing it anywhere but the playa in Black Rock City.

Since I don’t have time to order online, wait for delivery and hope the dress fits, it looks like I’m going to have to shop the hard way. . .

. . . off the rack in a store.

Sigh.

We know how much I HATE that.

Maybe I can get Barbara to advise me where to go and what to try on.

She’s always fashionable and is good at shopping.

She’s the polar opposite of me.

I don’t want to set foot in a store and she can’t buy anything without touching it first.

Just what I need right now!

Florida, here I come

I haven’t been speaking about The Swede much because there hasn’t been much to say.

He’s still in Sweden.

I’m still 5,384 miles away in California.

Sadly, he did not make it out to the bay area for Christmas break.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t get to see him.

He’s heading to Florida for a youth hockey tournament with his daughter, the goalie.

And he’s invited me to join him.

Woot!  Woot!

Yes indeed, it looks like I’ll be packing my bags and visiting him in Florida.

Doesn’t that just sound AMAZING?

I’ve never been to Florida, so this will be my first time.

Am I excited?

You bet!

The Goalie will be celebrating her birthday in Florida and I’m invited to join in the festivities.

Florida AND a birthday?!

How much fun is that going to be?

I literally can’t wait for April to roll around.

First, I visit my sister in Reno for a spa weekend.

Then I jet off to Florida to see my Swede.

April is going to be a banner month for me.

Happy dance!

Long time, no Swede

It’s true.

I haven’t seen The Swede since I visited him in Stockholm over the holiday break.

We still keep in touch.

He called me on my birthday.

I talked to him 4 days later when it was his turn to celebrate a birthday.

Right now he’s in Barcelona at a trade convention.

He invited me to “celebrate our birthdays together” in Barcelona but I wasn’t able to pull off a last minute trip to Spain.

Not enough vacation time.

I’m trying though.

There’s nothing I’d like more than to spend another holiday break in Sweden, hanging with The Swede and his daughter, trying to learn Swedish, drinking glogg, and “cheating” at Monopoly.

I use the term “cheat” loosely because I prefer to think of it as “redistributing my wealth.”

I miss The Swede and I’m hoping he comes to California again to visit.

There’s a small possibility that he’ll be here with his daughter for the holiday break.

I’m trying not to think about it because if I do, I start planning out all the places I want to take them and all the activities I want to do with them.

San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, Monterey. . .

There’s SO MUCH TO DO and they need to COME TO CALIFORNIA so I can fulfill my desire to be their tour guide and show them all the places near and dear to my heart.

There’s so much that makes California a wonderful place to live.

And there’s people I need to introduce them to.

Just give me an excuse to plan and I’ll run away with it.

Long time, no Swede.

Homage to Sweden

I’m sure you all know by now that I had a FABULOUS time in Sweden.

Even in the winter, Stockholm and the surrounding areas were beautiful and inviting.

I must say, I loved it so much I hope to go back.

And it goes without saying that I’ll get to see The Swede if I head over again.

Not even the 12-hour plane light can deter me from going.

Now.

You know I’m a planner.

I actually bought a pair of bikini bottoms from Globalkinis with the Swedish flag on them for my trip to Sweden.

I imagined The Swede discovering them in the middle of fooling around.

Surprise!

But they didn’t arrive before I left for Sweden.

Sad face.

But now, The Swede might be coming for unSCruz.

Perhaps, if we’re lucky, even Burning Man.

And I’m pretty sure that the bikini bottom will go GREAT with my Swedish flag burnout tank top.

Even if he doesn’t make it, I still might wear the set.

You know, as my homage to Sweden (and The Swede).

CHEESE!

One of my FAVORITE things I did in Sweden was visit a cheese shop in Gamla Stan (Old Town) with The Swede.

The way to my heart is not through sweets but through CHEESE!

The Swede and I decided to have a nice cheese tray after dinner, complete with a selection of wine.

[Now, being on a diet, it makes me DROOL to think of cheese and wine!]

We stepped into a small store in Stockholm and I was overwhelmed with the smell of aging cheese.

Funky yet yummy.

Mmmmmmmm!

We selected a cheese, sampled it and approved of it.

Then another.

And another.

All in all, we selected 5 cheeses of varying degrees of softness, ripeness, and gooeyness.

All VERY delicious.

Then we went to the SPECIAL store to buy wine.

In case you didn’t know, only one chain of stores, which I think are run by the government, can sell liquor.

So we go inside and The Swede tells me he wants SWEET white wine.

Okay.

Each wine had a label that graphically represented how sweet that wine was.

And I ready the graphic BACKWARDS.

So instead of getting sweet white wine, we got regular white wine.

Ah well.

I think The Swede forgave me.

American girlfriend

Okay, I’m just gonna come out and say it.

I miss Sweden.

The candies.

The chocolate.

The shopping.

The company.

It’s been almost a month since I got back and I’m thinking a summer trip to Sweden may be in store for me.

I’d love to see Sweden in the summer when it’s warm and green.

And when the sun stays out longer than 5 hours a day.

There’s much I didn’t see or do in Sweden.

Check out the ABBA Museum.

Take a boat ride on the Stockholm archipelago.

Go on a road trip up the coast.

See The Swede again.

Especially see The Swede again.

It looks like he will be taking a trip to the East Coast in April and I’m supposed to join him there to check out hockey teams and colleges for his daughter.

Big, impressive colleges!

And then there is some sort of hockey tournament in Florida.

I’ve never been to Florida.

It could be a lot of fun to join them on their voyages.

The other day I joked that The Swede was spending so much time in America he was going to become an American.

He replied with a happy GIF.

Which makes me think, perhaps The Swede wouldn’t mind starting off with an American girlfriend.

You never know. . .

WOW!

So by now you all know I had a great time during my visit to Sweden.

What you don’t know is that I picked up a nasty virus on the plane ride home and I’ve literally been coughing so hard that I gag.

It’s simply awful.

I just got checked out by a doctor, since I was feeling so awful and barking like a dog, and she told me I don’t have the flu, I have RSV – a respiratory virus that runs its course in 1 – 2 weeks.

Fun!

Although I am relieved I didn’t pick up a virus on the plane ride over, that would have really SUCKED.

I flew on the Icelandic airline WOW Airlines.

For being a discount airline flying to Europe, they were remarkably well put together – they got me where I needed to be on time.

My sole view of Iceland was from the airplane flying in as I was heading home.

What does Iceland look like, you want to know?

Rocks and snow.

I’m afraid I saw nothing more than rocks and snow as we were flying in and even less of Iceland when we flew out, seeing as how the sun sets in the sky remarkably early in the afternoon at this latitude.

I must say this about Icelandic women, though.

Damn, they are BEAUTIFUL!

EVERY. SINGLE. FLIGHT. ATTENDANT. WAS. TALL. WILLOWY. AND. GORGEOUS.

So you know, if you feel like flying to Europe AND enjoying some eye candy at the same time, WOW is the airline for you.

Thin walls

In addition to meeting The Swede’s YOUNGEST daughter, I also got to meet his ELDEST daughter.

And his parents.

It was quite an experience, although if I think back, I did introduce him to my sons and my parents when we were going to UnSCruz together.

Of course, with the language barrier, there was only so much communicating we could do.

Most of our interactions consisted of them feeding me and me saying “tack” or “thank you” in Swedish.

His mother cooked THE MOST AMAZING PORK LOIN for dinner one night.

I’m used to pork turning out dry and in desperate need of gravy.

But this was OUTSTANDING.

I tried to communicate my appreciation.

“Thank you very much,” I said in Swedish.

His parents home was like something out of a dream – a fairytale cottage with an explosion of Christmas decorations inside.

I sneaked a picture of The Swede as a little boy.

And one of his youngest daughter in pigtails.

Too cute for words.

As we were going to bed (in a bed only SLIGHTLY LARGER than a twin bed), The Swede began to chat with his father in the room next door.

Through the walls.

All my plans for nookie disappeared.

When you can hear your neighbor that PERFECTLY, there’s no space for fooling around.

I may be horny but I’m not disrespectful.