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.

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.

I’M GOING TO SWEDEN!

Apparently, when visiting Sweden from a non-EU country, you are allowed to bring in 4L of wine, 2L of champagne, and a bunch of beer.

So I’m bringing in red wine and champagne from California.

I’m bringing two bottles of Chandon Blanc de Noirs, my favorite domestic sparkling wine and 5 bottles of J. Lohr Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

J. Lohr is the family winery, so it’s a given that I’ll be bringing that label to Sweden with me.

I’ve also decided to get a Christmas present for The Swede’s teenage daughter.

It would certainly be awkward to hand out my presents to The Swede and have nothing for his daughter.

So I got her a California sweatshirt and a Stanford beanie.

Because both those places are near and dear to my heart and I want to share.

I’ve started collecting other miscellaneous items for my trip: things like luggage, longjohns, scarfs and sunglasses.

I am basically going to be a walking, talking, brand new woman in Sweden with all new clothes and accessories.

I even purchased brand spanking new panties.

Just because I love the look of a fresh pair.

The trick, of course, is going to be getting it all to fit in my luggage.

I’m relatively limited in what I can bring over, size wise and weight wise.

So I have to be as streamlined as possible.

Lord knows I’m not the greatest at packing light.

For my first Burning Man, I packed 16 bins of costumes, supplies, and food!

So needless to say, this will be a challenge.

But hey. . .

I’M GOING TO SWEDEN!

Mind Blown!

I am considering a trip to Stockholm over the holiday break.

To visit The Swede, no doubt.

But also to see the Vasa and ABBA museums.

Go shopping in Old Town.

Visit the historic Kunglinga Gardens.

And of course, take in a hockey game.

Or five.

I really want to see The Swede in his own country.

As much as I like squiring him about town in California, you don’t REALLY get to know a person until you see how they live and what they enjoy.

One thing I will avoid?

Surströmming.

Fermented herring.

Because nothing says vomit like cold, fermented, smelly fish.

Yes, when I went to Scotland I ate haggis.

It actually wasn’t THAT bad.

But I have a THING for fishy foods.

I simply can’t eat them.

So no surströmming for me.

Lots of The Swede, though.

Consider that I have put my birth control in, then you know I’m serious about visiting.

Plenty of baby making fun with NONE OF THE BABIES.

Now, that’s what I call a vacation!

Of course, there’s one other thing to deal with:

THE WEATHER.

Today for instance, it is 66 degrees Fahrenheit where I am but only 42 degrees Fahrenheit in Stockholm.

That’s COLD, my friends.

And this California girl barely has an umbrella or a jacket, let alone snow-appropriate clothes.

Seriously, WHAT WOULD I WEAR?

I have no warm jackets.

I have no snow boots.

I am sure there are clothes I need to have that I’m not even aware of.

Longjohns?

Special socks?

Puffer jackets?

Seriously, the considerations are MIND-BLOWING!

The one where she goes on a nice date

I had a date last week with a nice gentleman.

He played guitar for me and let me sing.

I’ll tell you one thing, it is NOT EASY to sing JANIS JOPLIN.

Not at all.

It’s easier to sing HOTEL CALIFORNIA but of course, the lyrics are hard to remember.

We started out with dinner at a Burmese restaurant.

It was quite tasty AND spicy!

Who knew I’d have a thing for coconut rice and tea leaf salad, including jalapeños!?

Just wash it all down with a Burmese beer and you’re good to go, you know?

Then he invited me to his place.

Since we’d already had the “I’m on 90 days of abstinence” conversation, I agreed.

Like I said, he was a kind, respectful gentleman and I trusted him.

We had fun drinking beer, talking about his travels, and playing music.

I sang Pat Benatar’s “We Belong.”

He played “Under Pressure” by Queen, which is a remarkably repetitive song, by the way.

Who knew?

In the end, I went home with barely a kiss on my lips, but a smile on my face.

He invited me on a trip to India with him.

Of course, if I go anywhere this holiday season, I’ll be going to Stockholm, not India.

But I appreciated the invitation!

Dream a little dream

For most of my adult life, I’ve fantasized about going to three places:

  • Greece
  • Finland
  • Australia

I’ve wanted to go to Greece on account of all the beautiful pictures I’ve seen of it – white walls, blue seas, and Mediterranean food.

greeceFinland has made it to my list oddly enough because I love the idea of sleeping in a glass igloo under the aurora borealis. Even in freezing cold temperatures with blankets of snow.

finlandAnd Australia made it to my list because… well… Australia!

australiaAt the risk of sounding ridiculous, I love the accents, the animals, and the beautiful cities.

I haven’t travelled as much as I would like to mostly because in all my fantasies about traveling the world, I never fantasized about doing it solo.

I mean what’s the point of sleeping in a glass igloo under a dramatic night sky unless you’re simultaneously getting your freak on?

Don’t get me wrong. I traveled to Scotland with my sister and I drove all over from Oban to Fort William to Inverness to the Isle of Skye.

I watched a shinty game in Skye with little biting midges flying up my nose and in my eyes while the shinty boys raced like thunder up and down the pitch.

Their thighs captivated me.

I really exposed myself to a different culture and people.

And I want to continue to do so.

But alone?

No thanks.

I may just have to bug my sister to take another trip with me next summer.

The question is: Where do we go first?

And can I convince my sister, who is an avid relax-and-do-nothing vacationer, to go out with me and get dirty/wet while having fun?

That is the questions my friends.

Making love under the aurora borealis

igloo1The Israeli asked me, “If you could go one place in the world where would you go and why?

He’s traveled all over the world whereas I’ve barely made it to the UK twice.

My answer was simple.

I want to go to Finland IN THE WINTER and sleep in a glass igloo under the aurora borealis where I make love to my partner.

igloo2

Yes, it’s a couple’s trip/fantasy that I have.

I don’t want to go to Finland alone.

Imagine laying under the stars and seeing the cosmos visible with your eyes. The sky lights up with all sorts of colors and as you watch the magic dance of lights taking place in the night sky, you and your lover connect.

igloo3Magical, no?

If I went with The Israeli, no doubt he’d go skiing during the day and I’d go ice fishing or on a reindeer safari.

It would be a blast.

Cold, for sure, but a blast nonetheless.

igloo4Now, The Israeli didn’t seem to think this was crazy at all, given his affection for snow, skiing, and travel.

But it does seem a little crazy to me given how much I dislike being in the cold and snow.

But for this experience, I’ll make an exception.

Bucket list!