Arctic plunge

OK.

So we’ve established I was hot during my ENTIRE trip to Sweden.

Yes, indeed.

With a suitcase full of warm sweaters and tights, what was I to do?

Well, I went with The Swede to visit his friends in Jättendal for New Year’s Eve.

Snow everywhere!

And. . . The Swede’s friends have a hot tub.

First I was served the most SCRUMPTIOUS meal – mashed potatoes, steak, and pickled asparagus wrapped in bacon.

Then I jumped into the hot tub (with a bathing suit on, natch).

Before too long, even the snow banks and cool air couldn’t keep me at a comfortable temperature.

So I jumped out and sat in the snow in my bathing suit.

And I will have you know, neither one of the Swedish born-and-bred men who were in the hot tub with me got out to jump in the snow.

Just saying. . .

This California girl likes her ARCTIC PLUNGES!

Walking in a winter wonderland

You will not BELIEVE what I’ve done.

I BOUGHT A PLANE TICKET TO SWEDEN!

Yup!

You heard right!

I’m going to Sweden to visit The Swede.

Well, to visit ALL THE SWEDES, I guess!

I’m so excited I could just spit.

My trip isn’t months away.

Oh no!

I’m going to Sweden December 28th!

Basically I’m on vacation for two weeks over the holidays so I figured why not visit The Swede who is ALSO ON VACATION?

Now.

It’s occurred to me that Sweden in December MIGHT be less than ideal.

Especially for a born and bred California girl.

It will be a shock to my system, I am sure.

Not just the cold but the lack of sunlight.

I hear that the sun rises at 9 am and sets at 3 pm in Stockholm in the winter.

Sigh.

It will just make me appreciate my lovely sunny California ALL THE MORE.

But you know, Stockholm could be awfully pretty in the winter – a snowy wonderland of sorts.

And (BEST OF ALL) this means I will be spending NEW YEAR’S EVE with The Swede.

Flip me over, butter my butt and call me sweetheart – I AM TOTALLY EXCITED!

Sweden

I’m one step closer to booking my trip to Stockholm.

I just bought myself a big, puffy, faux fur trim, hooded jacket.

Because basically I’m OBSESSED with the weather.

I live in a temperate climate and so I rarely get to experience the phenomenon known as WEATHER.

Nope.

I basically exist between 50 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit every year.

In Stockholm in December, normal temperatures are around freezing and occasionally warm up to 35 degrees.

That’s COLD!

I don’t even KNOW about the sun, but I suspect being that far north in the hemisphere means that there will be MUCH LESS DAYLIGHT than what I’m used to.

Once, I took a trip to Pennsylvania in the winter time.

Besides shoveling snow EVERY DAMN DAY I WAS THERE, I got to experience what I like to call FUCKING COLD ASS WEATHER.

It was 10 degrees outside.

I’ve never experienced cold like that.

With the wind chill factored in, the temperature was below zero.

BELOW FUCKING ZERO!

The wind WHIPPED through my jeans like needles of ice pricking me and I remembered those ridiculous looking long puffy jackets people on the east coast wore and realized that THIS IS WHY THEY WEAR THOSE SILLY THINGS.

BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING COLD!

Well, I’m not positive, but I think Sweden is COLDER THAN PENNSYLVANIA!

Nevertheless, I have heard it’s beautiful.

And technically, I’m probably Swedish myself (23andMe says I’m mostly Northwestern European).

So I SHOULD go.

But will I?

What is it with men?

What is it with men?

I get it.

Their temperatures run hot.

They seem to always be warm – a quality that has eluded me MY WHOLE LIFE.

It could be 50 degrees below zero and I swear, if I snuggle up to a man, HE WILL BE NICE AND TOASTY.

I don’t get it.

Why did the universe give men the innate ability to stay warm no matter how cold it is outside while simultaneously giving me an ass as cold as THE ICEBERG THAT SANK THE TITANIC?

You ladies know what I mean.

Do you have to put on socks before you go to bed because your feet get cold and you can’t fall asleep with cold feet?

Have you ever gone to bed wearing a beanie because you were SO FRIGGING COLD?

Then you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

I’m heading off to UnSCruz with a full length fur jacket which I plan to sleep in and The Swede is taking cut off shirts.

No sleeves!

Gah!

Plus – and I have been warned – he sleeps in THE NUDE!

Okay, that part I am THRILLED about.

Nothing like a naked Viking man to distract me from all the sleep I should be getting.

I wonder if he will mind that when I “BACK THAT THING UP” to him, it’s going to be the temperature of liquid nitrogen.

Thaw me baby!

Newbie!

showerCatered camping.

It’s what I call camping with hosts who provide you with meals and such.

I used to go catered camping with a group called the Outdoor Adventure Club. I would pay a fee and they would plan the trip – the activities, the campsite, the kitchen, the meals, the cleanup…

I kid you not, I had steamed clams on one of those trips.

It was great.

While on one of these trips, I decided to take a “shower” in the river running alongside our campsite.

The water was moving so swiftly though that the first thing I did was tie a rope around my waist and anchor it to a nearby tree.

I then proceeded to wade into the river to cleanse myself.

It was glorious, if a little cold.

But the COLDEST shower I ever took was at Burning Man.

It required no rope, just some serious grit and tenacity.

I got up early in the morning and wanted a shower. So I grabbed a container of water to use to wash myself with, and I headed over to the shower.

Never once did it occur to me that the water would be ice cold from near freezing temperatures the night before (it was 32 degrees the night of The Man burn).

So I plopped down on the shower seat, set up my shower, turned on the pump, aimed the water at my body AND PROCEEDED TO GET ALL THE AIR SUCKED OUT OF MY LUNGS IT WAS SO COLD.

Lesson learned: It is best to shower in the afternoons at Burning Man using water that’s been left in the sun in a solar shower.

Newbie!