My short list of what to do in Sweden

So here I sit, planning my trip to Sweden and realizing that I have only a very short list of things I want to do there (besides hang with The Swede).

First of all, I want to see the salvaged 17th century ship housed in the Vasa museum. I assume it’s called the Vasa museum because she was (rather improperly) designed for one of the Gustav Vasas who ruled early Sweden.

The ship sank on her maiden voyage and never made it out of the docks.

Then there is the archipelago of Stockholm, made up of 24,000 islands and islets 40 miles east of Stockholm. It is known for it’s beautiful scenery, fishing, and wildlife.

Boat tours are available and I’d like to take a little 3-hour day trip around some of the closer islands.

I’m also interested in the ABBA Museum. Because ABBA.

It’s kitschy. It’s amusing. It’s funny. It’s ABBA.

I’ve got to go visit and spend a little money, money, money having fun there.

Finally, I really want to experience an authentic Swedish smörgåsbord.

Supposedly the best one out there is the smörgåsbord at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm.

I want to treat The Swede and his daughter to the buffet spread there to thank them for hosting me.

And that’s it folks.

Sure there are secondary items on my list like seeing the Royal Castle and the changing of the Guard, going fishing or on a mini safari, and shopping for trinkets in Gamla Stan (Old Town).

And then there’s the impossible – visiting ICE HOTEL SWEDEN way up in the arctic circle.

Because I am nothing if not adventurous.

We won’t get to those things but at least I have a few things on my list we can do.

Besides you-know-what. . .

It’s raining FISH!

A few friends and I took to the seas and went fishing this past weekend.

We were fishing for crab and rock cod.

Despite the fact that I kept getting called “sweetheart” by the deck manager, I had a GREAT time.

Getting up at 3:45 am is not ideal, but it allows you to catch sights like the sunrise over the city.

And the Golden Gate Bridge as seen from the water

It took us 3 hours to motor out past the Farallons to our fishing “hole.”

I literally dropped my line in the water and came out with a fish.


In the end, after about 4 hours of fishing, I caught 10 fish – mostly medium size rock cod.

Some were olive colored, some were red, and others were bright yellow.

It was rather amazing to see the diversity.

One guy on our boat caught a behemoth!

The thing was over 2 feet long and must’ve weight a good 20 – 30 pounds.

On our way back home from fishing, we stopped and checked our crab pots and we’d caught enough crab for everyone on the boat to get two crabs each.

A deckhand was kind enough to give me two extra so I had 6 crabs, including Tejas’ crabs.

I took the crabs to the bait shack when we got back and left them to be cooked and cleaned.

And that’s when it happened.


Just walked off with the bag of my cooked and cleaned crabs, leaving me with my worthless claim ticket.

But the guys cooking the crab took mercy on me and managed to get me 6 other crabs to take home.

So all is well that ends well.


Someone stole my catch!

Bad form!

Here fishy fishy fishy

I am going fishing.


Again. Again.

My first time fishing, I went by myself on a fishing boat and I caught one VERY LARGE salmon.

That was the best, tastiest, flakiest salmon I’ve ever eaten.

Line caught, wild salmon is THE BEST.

The next time I went fishing with a bunch of friends and we caught a lot of stripers (bass).

Despite having numerous little nibbles, I managed to catch NOTHING but I still went home with a fish on account of the plethora of fish that were caught by my friends.

This time, we are going out in December.

It should be cold and blustery.

We’re going to fish for rock cod and crab.



Rock cod, I’m not so thrilled about.

They’re a rather unattractive fish but I’m sure I can make some good fish and chips with whatever I catch.

Best of all, there’s an AMAZING sushi place right next door to the marina (naturally where better to get fresh fish than at a marina) and all my friends and I are going to eat sushi (and drink sake) post-fishing.

Nothing like a day on the water followed by an evening of tasty fish!

Things you forget to bring when fishing

  1. Chapstick.  Thanks to the wind and the sun, I now have chapped lips.
  2.  Hats.  I brought a beanie to keep warm.  Turns out that staying warm was less of a problem than keeping cool.  And what you really need is a hat with a brim to keep the sun out of your eyes.
  3.  Sunglasses.  Fuck, it was HOT and SUNNY out there on the water.  I was anticipating overcast skies and cool temperatures.  Boy, was I wrong.  I think I burned the backs of my eyeballs.
  4.  Anti-anxiety medication.  I was once on a boat that was sinking.  The captain couldn’t get the pump to start and we were taking on water.  So I always stress when I’m on a boat.  This time around, I clenched my jaw so hard that I feel like I’ve given a thousand blow jobs.  That’s how sore my jaw is right now.
  5.  Sunblock.  This one is a no brainer, but as it turns out, it is rather SUNNY out there on the water and if you don’t reapply sunblock you could wind up with a really wonky sunburned face, just like me.
  6.  Coolers/Ice.  For your catch.  Another no brainer but all three of us who drove up from the south bay forgot to bring a cooler for our fish.
  7.  Cough drops.  Because you’ve got that horrible post viral cough that won’t go away and when you’re on a fishing boat, gagging because you’re coughing too hard is interpreted as gagging because you’re about to be seasick.  Very undignified.
  8.  Gloves.  It’s freezing cold in the morning and ALL OF US forgot gloves.  Crazy, I know!
  9.  Beer.  None of us brought beer, which is sort of a requirement for fishing.  Makes the hours of waiting for a nibble more tolerable.  Mental note:  next time, bring beer.
  10. Water.  It’s DEHYDRATING out there on the water.  And I didn’t bring ANY water.  What was I thinking?


All I caught was a sunburn

A group of friends and I went fishing last weekend out in the San Francisco Bay.

This required me to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning, which if you know me is a very hard thing to do.

But fine.

I’ll get up early.

I’m excited! I haven’t been fishing since I caught a salmon deep sea fishing in April 2015.

April 2015 Salmon fishing

Here are all of us fisherpersons at the Pier in SF waiting for the boat to go out.

IMG_1172The bay was like murky khaki glass – your typical bay algae bloom combined with very calm water.

We were fishing for stripers (bass), shark, sturgeon and halibut.

In the end, we walked away with 4 stripers.

Tom caught fish. He was clearly the fish whisperer among us. It seems like he converted every little nibble he had into a fish.

My friend Michelle caught the biggest bass, at over 24+ inches long. She saved all of it to make bone broth and eat the eyeballs which are high in omega 3 fatty acids.

Can’t say I’d eat fish eyeballs myself but the science seems sound.

Kimberly had the most nibbles but didn’t land a fish.

Still, very exciting time for her with all the action her line got.

Kathleen and I both caught baby bass which had to be returned to the drink from whence they came on account of they were less than 18 inches long.

“Diaper stripers” as our Captain liked to call them.

In the end, Tom shared his catch with everyone so I didn’t go home empty handed – I got two lovely bass filets out of it.

And, I did catch this wonky sunburn on my face. . .


Yo ho! Yo ho!

Over a year ago I went deep sea fishing with a boatload of men I didn’t know.

I was the only woman there and I was keenly aware that I NEEDED TO CATCH A SALMON, OR ELSE BE THE DISGRACE OF MY GENDER!

Fortunately, I managed to catch one big fat salmon and you can read all about it HERE.

I’m happy to report that I’m going out again, this time with Sole-Man (can’t you just hear the Blues Brothers play?).

Okay, fishing kinda sucks because you have to get up at butt o’clock in the morning and drive all the way to the boat for a 6:00 am launch.  And I have to take dramamine because I’m prone to motion sickness.  And you have to bundle up because if you think San Francisco is cold, that’s nothing compared to the temperature when you’re on the bay.

But I’m totally excited this time around because I’M NOT GOING ALONE!

My friends are going with me!!

So far there’s just the three of us but we’re trying to load the boat with women so we have a boatload of women fishing in the SF Bay.

We’re fishing for shark, halibut and STRIPPERS.

Or maybe it’s stripers.

I’m kind hoping I catch a stripper!


Gone Fishin’

I signed up to go salmon fishing off the California coast in April.

I’m going out on a boat with a captain, first mate, and 8 wanna-be sailors/fishermen.

10 people.  That’s a small boat.

Small enough for Jaws to devour it and everyone on it when we’re 6 miles out in the ocean.

But I’m not thinking about that.

I’m actually thinking about my seasickness and hoping that I don’t disgrace myself in front of a bunch of men.

Also hoping I don’t “ruin the experience” for a bunch of men who never envisioned that their all-guys fishing trip would be invaded by a tenacious and adventurous blond.


The captain has already welcomed me and made it clear he’ll teach me the ropes of salmon fishing.

Which is great because I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING. But when has that stopped me?

I think the biggest fish I caught to date is a little two pound trout in a pond in Redding.  Talk about shooting fish in a barrel.

This will be very different from that.  I hope my dislike of smelly bait doesn’t get the better of me.  I hope no one thinks I’m weird for bringing baby wipes to clean my hands before eating.  No nasty bait residue for this girl.  I hope I don’t cross lines with anyone else – literally or figuratively.

I hope I catch a fish.

But most of all, I hope if I do catch a fish I have the stomach to go ahead and kill it.

I hope I don’t feel sorry for the little bugger and release him.

That’s unlikely to happen, though.

Because I am dreaming of salmon steaks.

Yum yum.


When my ex-husband and I divorced, he was the fisherman in the family. I quickly realized that if I was going to keep my two boys happy, I was going to have to learn how to fish.

So I went to the Fisherman’s Warehouse and the owner drew me two diagrams – how to fish off the top and how to fish off the bottom.

Believe it or not, on my first fishing trip with my boys (to Loch Lomond), I managed to catch one puny little fish.

But the boys were excited as all get up.

Fast forward a few years and we’re fishing in a pond at Coffee Creek Ranch. I’m baiting hooks as fast as I can and the boys are catching fish right and left. Lots of puny little fish, but they loved it.

And we managed to catch enough fish to have a fish dinner.

Still, I figure I’ve caught 5 pounds of fish and spent $1,000 on equipment. I need to increase my pound per dollar ratio.

I’ve never fished in the ocean so my next adventure (in November) is to go fishing off the coast of California with Monterey Bay Charters.

I’d love to catch a halibut or sea bass.

Of course I do have to pay $140 for the privilege of attempting to catch my dinner, which DECREASES my pound per dollar spent… AGAIN.

I’m wondering if I’ll be the only woman on the boat and if that means it’ll be harder (strength wise) or easier (help wise) to catch a fish.

Hopefully, I’ll wind up on a boat with gentlemen, not frat boys.

I’m also hoping the seals don’t steal my catch.

Hell… I’m hoping I catch something. ANYTHING.