Hello, reader! Good to see you again. It was an amazing week with parents in town, and I cannot wait to share my adventures with you, so let us cut the small talk and get straight to the good stuff, eh?
November 19th, aka the day Julia almost cries
With all the excitement of my family visiting, I thought I would sleep terribly, but I somehow overcame that and slept quite well. I woke up around ten in the morning and began getting ready for the day. I walked to the train station and hopped on the one heading straight for the airport. My mother and father came out ten minutes after I arrived and all I wanted to do was hug the both of them tightly! My mom and I almost cried but both of us fought back embarrassing ourselves in a public place and happily embraced. My dad gave a big, warm hug that I had really missed.
From the airport, we went in to Copenhagen and walked to our hotel room. It had a stunning view of the water that was hard to beat. We saw people running and biking and some even swimming. Then we walked to Nyhaven where the famous painted houses reside, and much to our surprise there was a fun Christmas market going on. We spent a nice time there walking around and seeing all the beautiful lights.
We wrapped up our night with cocktails and a very Danish dinner at a restaurant just past the market. With out walk back to the hotel, we enjoyed the darkness and twinkling lights and said goodnight to Denmark.
November 20th, aka the day Julia shows off Lund
After waking up and enjoying a cozy breakfast in the hotel, we walked back to the train
station, and headed to Lund. Along the way, I had fun pointing out all the beautiful sights along the way. Going over the bridge was a ton of fun! When we arrived, we took a taxi to my apartment because lugging all of our bags would have made the day absolutely no fun at all. I showed off my home for the past few months and then we headed in to town.
I had never been inside the Cathedral, so it was a nice memory seeing how gorgeous it was with my family. For lunch, we did not know where to go, but we wound up at my favorite place in the entire world, Espresso House. I think I managed to get my mother and father addicted to it as well. As we walked back to my place, I pointed out all the buildings on the campus and which ones I had the pleasure of studying in.
From my apartment, we lugged our suitcases to the hotel, which was luckily five minutes from my place. As it started to rain, we took in the view from our room and headed downstairs for dinner. It was a magical end to a fun day with my family.
November 21st, aka the day Julia takes a fast train
We had a seven in the morning wake up in order to have time to get ready and get to the train station. The breakfast was delicious, and I think everyone enjoyed the relaxing environment of the hotel. We took a taxi down to the station and boarded our train to Stockholm. While the ride was very long (about four hours), it was a ton of fun!
When we finally arrived in Stockholm, we yet again dealt with the fun of taxis. Eventually, we got one that could hold all of our giant bags and headed to Hotel Skeppsholmen, which resided on one of the islands of Stockholm, Skeppsholmen. After getting comfortable in our VERY Swedish hotel room, we walked to Old Town to see what it was all about. The architecture was gorgeous and walking around in the dark at three in the afternoon was just as fun. My parents never really got over it being so dark so early, and the jet lag did not help them when it came to figuring out what time it actually was.
For dinner, we took the advice of the people at the hotel and went to Wedholms Fisk, a fancy restaurant with beautiful views, giant portions, and delicious food. We spent about two hours enjoying our meals and just talking. It was a really wonderful bonding experience with my family, and I would not change it for the world.
November 22nd, aka the day Julia rides a boat
Tuesday was our only full day in Stockholm, so we walked and saw as much as we could.
We started the day by taking the water taxi over to the island on which the ABBA museum resided. Let me tell you something, I love ABBA. Going to the museum was a ton of fun and such a great time learning about what brought the group together. I never knew most of what I learned there, but I had one heck of a time learning it. My parents seemed to enjoy the fun as well!
From there we went to Skansen, the animal park on the island that stood way a top everything else. It was very strange because there was no one there, and most of the animals were not out. Luckily, we saw the moose, reindeer, and wolves, so that made up for the very strange experience of being in a ghost town of an animal park.
Yet again, we took the water taxi from that island to old town, where we walked to Fotografiska, the photography museum of Stockholm. The place had a wonderful little cafe where we were able to rest our feet and enjoy some food while looking out of the water. The museum itself had a wonderful exhibit that inspired me as a photographer and made me want to try new techniques and angles I had never thought would look good.
Finally, we went to the Royal Palace and Nobel Museum while enjoying some shopping in between. All of it was super cool and new and yet again allowed for some stellar family bonding. The only thing that would have made it better would be if my brother was there, but he has a big kid job now, so getting that kind of time off just was not an option. By the end of the day, we had walked about ten miles and my feet could feel it.
November 23rd, aka the day Julia explores
With all the walking we had done in Stockholm, we had not even explored the island on
which our hotel resided. So, to make up for that, we spent the morning walking around and seeing all the naval history of the island. There were castles, museums, and weird sculptures all around that we had the opportunity to see again.
We said goodbye to Stockholm as we loaded back on to the train the would take us back to Copenhagen, this time, only to the airport. When we arrived, my parents found out that their flights out of the country the next day were cancelled because Lufthansa went on strike. It was a long effort trying to figure out what they were going to do to get home for
Thanksgiving. Eventually, they got the only Lufthansa flight out of the country and in to Germany where they flew United the rest of the way, but that took about two hours to get the tickets and itinerary.
Since we were all so exhausted, we had dinner in the hotel. It was a REALLY nice hotel that was conveniently attached to the airport, so not a lot of effort went in to getting to the terminals. After all the excitement, we all slept well, with a three in the morning wake up call looming over us.
November 24th, aka the day Julia eats alone again
Thanksgiving morning at four o’clock, I left my parents in the terminal as they waited to hand off their bags and get on their flight home. It was going to be a long trip for them, so I said my goodbyes and headed back to bed. I was going to see them in three weeks when I land back in America, so it was a less painful goodbye then the first time.
I woke up a few hours later in order to indulge in the complimentary breakfast at the hotel, and I was sure to eat enough food for the three of us had my parents been there. With the sun high in the sky, I headed back to Lund. It took me half an hour to walk from the station to my room, which was far too long.
To my happiness, I was hosting Friendsgiving that night, so I went to the store and
grabbed all of my supplies for mashed potatoes and gravy. I know the rule is if you host, you make the turkey, but that was not going to happen. One, I do not have an oven in my room. Two, turkey is way too expensive here.
The night was tons of fun. We had a potluck and the Americans all seemed to be happy to share in this holiday even if we were a world away from our families. The Swedes and others seemed to enjoy the fun to and trying out some American classics, like pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole with marshmallows cooked on top. The night was the perfect pick-me-up after saying goodbye to my family.
November 25th, aka the day Julia catches up on work
Friday, I decided to walk to class and enjoy the cool, damp air with no rush. I went in to town and did some shopping, then sat down in Espresso House to write a paper that was waiting to be done during my vacation. After an hour, I finished my first draft, and my group joined me for finishing our project. There was a lot of drawing involved, and by the time we were finished, we all seemed exhausted from writing and drawing straight lines on poster board.
To cap off the night, I watched some YouTube and caught up on everything I missed while with my family. I even had ice cream for dinner!
November 26th and 27th, aka the days Julia rests
After all the fun of the past week, yesterday and today were made for napping, food shopping, and finishing papers.
It was truly the week I needed to reinvigorate me and prepare me for my final weeks in Sweden. Seeing my family was something very special and sharing in Stockholm together was gravy.
Oh and if anyone was wondering, I made gravy from a box, and it took me quite a while to figure out what gravy was in Sweden…