Saturday, August 17, 2013

August 17

Day one in Southern Germany was spent walking along the cobble stoned streets of historic Schwäbisch Hall. The city dates back to the fifth century, where it's claim to fame was the salt that was distilled from it's groundwater by the Celts. We saw the St. Michaels, a church that was built sometime in the fourteenth century, and still has a mass grave or bone house under it's foundations (you can see the hundreds of bones stored there through a glass pane in the floor). There were art museums, buskers along the river, crooked little houses, and a walk through the park for our afternoon cappuccino. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16

Sweden it's been real. Your rocky oceansides, free ferries, meatballs and lingen berries, and heather and moss covered landscapes have my heart. But we're off to Germany now. For farms and chocolate and my Oma.
hej då, just for a little while.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15

Jenni read about kayaking in Western Sweden in the National Geographic and it instantly went on our To Do list while were there...and do we recomend it? 100%.

We had the best day of our week was balmy with a little breeze, and after a lengthy how-to that we understood not a word of, we pushed off into the open sea. We paddled passed and around several islands in the Northern Gothenburg Archipelago, and it was pretty dang spectacular. Little fishing villages, ferry routes, uninhabited islands, fika on an uninhabited island with a little nap time, a little swimming. Perfection.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August 14

Today was an island day. Spotty clouds, a wee little breeze, blue water, and a hike to the highest point on Öckerö (pictured above). And by hike I mean clamber.


And also a very very cold jump into the North sea.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 13

She made it.

And I am so so so happy and relieved.

Many planes, many hours, three days, and one new passport later, Jenni is here!

She was a champion - so much so that she landed, came home, ooohed and aaaahhed at the view, ate some dinner, and then partied at a concert till 1 am. Because we're young and and wild and free and no jet lag gonna hold us down.

Consequently we were introduced to the Movits. Swedish rap with a jazz swing to it and a super attractive saxaphone player? Sure, why not.

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12

There's this thing in Sweden where they have miles of abandoned railroad that wind through valleys and towns, and then little glorified bicycles that go on the tracks. You rent a glorified bicycle and the fun never stops.
Day two of our inland adventure was a splendid success, complete, of course with fika.
Ps. Also there was a traditional Swedish breakfast spread and I got to have it with this muffin.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 11

These kids waste no time. On Sunday morning bright and early we were on our merry way to adventure. We left on the 7 O'we-shouldn't-be-up ferry to Lake Laxjön, a gorgeous basin, about three hours inland. We had a lovely little villa all to ourselves, the perfect home base for forays out into the cold...because it was. It poured (HI SUMMER!). It was the most dramatic canoe trip I have maybe ever embarked upon (unless you count the time I told Alisa and Kelsey that I could canoe when I couldn't and almost floated us over a waterfall). There was rain and thunder and lightning and a sky that would have done Mordor proud and it was just beautiful. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Where we are:

See Goteborg? Bottom left, kind of? Ok, now go out to sea a little  bit.
Yep, like right there. We're on Öckerö - and it's real pretty.
And we're with these lovelies:

RRJ Reunion 2013, roughly 20 years after the very first one.

August 10

So dear readers, here I am, shamefacedly posting pictures two months later. I promised myself when I began this blog that I wouldn't guilt trip myself if I fell behind, because LIFE amiright? But I do feel guilty. I can't help it.

Now on to bigger and better things...story times.

* * *
Part One

On August 9th, Jenners and I headed out to Europe for a few slammin' weeks of island hopping, kayaks, castles, backpacks, and schnitzel. And seeing my family. We packed our bags, had airplane snax on the ready, and suffered minor heart attacks when Seattle traffic had us at the airport an hour late. We made it though, and we looked like this:

If you've seen anything more put-together than this, call me, I'll give you a prize.
Half an hour later, with my passport stamped and my backpack already plane bound, disaster struck, finally having made it through the traffic also. Jenni handed her passport in, we were told to wait, and with 30 minutes left to get through customs, find our gate, and board a plane, Jenni was told she wasn't going to be allowed out of the country. We were entering the EU in Amsterdam, and apparently Amsterdam mandates that you need 6 months left on your passport from your last day in Europe before it expires - and Jenni's missed that deadline by a grand total of 8 days.  Honestly, I didn't believe them. Any minute they were going to follow up with "Next time, make sure you have at least a year to be safe." or do the thing where they look at each other, sigh, and say "Ok, ladies, we cannot make this exception again, but off you go." No can do, folks.
Jenni was rebooked onto a flight for the following Monday (two days later), a hefty fine and emergency passport renewal thrown in the mix for good measure. We made our tearful, dramatic farewells...
(Embracing, with gusto)
"I can't leave you...."
"You can't stay..."
"But I would be such a bad friend..."
"I would be such a bad friend if I made you stay..."
"Go....just're going to miss the flight...I'll see you soon..."
The dutch airline official was probably gagging into her peppy little scarf.
Jenni went home and with about 15 minutes left to spare, I raced through customs and made the flight just in time.
* * *
Part Two
I walked onto the plane, nodding flustered hellos to the the stewardesses, and looking for my seat. It was dead pan. An uncomfortable silence filled cabin, broken by the wail of a woman rocking back and forth in her seat, frantically being hushed and soothed by a stewardess in the seat beside her. Yep. I'm going to be in that seat, I just know it. 
There it was. 42 B. Smack dab next to our crying lady sitting in what should have been Jenni's seat. I will give it to her though, she looked kind of how I felt, so we would be in good company. I was quickly ushered to the galley space at the back (you know, the weird little backroom where all the trays of food live) where they explained to me that since there was an empty seat (THANKS GUYS) they would be flying a deportee back to her country and she was a leeeettle bit upset about it.
The next 4 hours were a little weird...Shar and I would chat a little and she would burst into tears...she was from the Philippines and was getting sent back to Germany...and was coming to the states to get married...(?!?)...she would fall asleep and awake in a fit of anger.
"Take them. Take them all. I don't need them now..."
"No really, it's fine...someone at home will want th-"
*Cue 5 bags of gummy candy on my lap in a variety of flavors.*
"Can I hold your hand?"
"I'm afraid...can I hold your hand?"
Aaaaand why not. So we did. We held hands for hours, I listened to the Mama Mia sound track, and ate my way through an entire bag of gummy bears. Easily one of the most bizarre moments of my life.
 * * *
And then I was there, tired, blurry, and a little disoriented, but alive and well. And Jo was there with a Swedish licorice pop. Hi family!

Friday, August 9, 2013

August 9

I suppose I'm leaving today. To a little island off the coast of Sweden for a little while. And then to visit my Oma and Opa in a Deutche village called Lendsiedel...and with Jenni Husby no less.
I'm so ready for an adventure!