January 8, 2014

Happy New Year!

I do not know where the past couple of weeks have gone.  Seems we have been busy ever since we got back from our Christmas trip.  We arrived home late and it was well after midnight by the time we actually got inside... due to a missing key situation.  Isn't that everyones dream on Christmas night to be sitting outside of your apartment, alone, in the cold, with a bunch of suitcases after midnight?  Its one of those things that sounds a lot worse than it was, Sam just had to go to the rink and get our spare key.  Every single part of our trip exceeded our expectations by tenfold, so I really shouldn't be complaining.  

The first day we were back Sam had practice and I started preparing for our guests that were coming the next day.  Nothing like that to speed along the unpacking, cleaning, and after trip slump! We jumped right back into things.  Helge and Anki (Sam's relatives from Charlottenberg) were such wonderful guests! While Sam was busy with hockey we went to the Town Hall.  I had never been there before but now it is on my list of things people must see when they come to Stockholm! It was such grand beauty executed in a simple way.  We also had a wonderful tour guide so that helped.  Anki went on the English tour with me so I wouldn't be alone.  The guide asked the group to try to pronounce some VERY Swedish name (none of us even came close) but Anki loudly and perfectly said it.  The guide looked shocked and told her "Very good!"... couldn't help but giggle at that one.  Helge and Anki also got to see one of Sam's hockey games against Almtuna, they lost in a shootout.  The next day we had a wonderful time shopping, ate delicious Sushi and had to say goodbye.  Anki bought me the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books, she said that I simply must read them because they are the best books from Sweden.  

The gold room at the Town Hall 

Love my sushi! 

After that we had one peaceful day.  Then I got really sick.  A very bad stomach flu that left me very weak, hungry and thirsty.  The whole thing lasted about 5 days.  The worst day was New Years Eve, I watched the fireworks out the window.  Sam stayed home too and took very good care of me.  Really quite a crappy New Years Eve, but I am sure we will not forget it.  By the time I was better and felling well enough to go do anything we were well into our new year.  

Picture from last years New Years Eve! 

While Sam was at an away game last week I booked us tickets to see The Nutcracker ballet, as it only had 3 more shows in Stockholm.  Three very much close to sold out shows.  I bought the best seats available... but they were not good.  We were still enjoying the show and having a great time.  After the second act a very nice man named August (who works for the opera house) came up to us and said, "Sam, would you like better seats?" of course we said yes.  I began to think... how does someone know Sam's name? The tickets were in my name...  it only took a few moments before Djurgarden hockey came up and then I knew that August was a fan of the hockey team and recognized Sam.  He took us down, down, down, and right into a beautiful gold and red velvet lined box that allowed us to see everything!  We really enjoyed act 2.  

The beautiful opera house! 

The best picture we managed at the ballet. 

Since then we have been getting back into the routine of our lives here.  Sam goes to practice.  I go to the gym and take Raylan on long walks.  I also have been putting in some hours on Wedding planning which is quite fun! We watch our TV shows that just started back up again, the ones we were most anticipating.. Justified and the Bachelor.  We go to the dog park, coffee shops, the mall, the grocery store & mix in a hockey game every once in a while.  It is quite nice not having anything pressing to do most days.  

Raylan being brave and going into the freezing cold water! 

Coming up we have another guest coming to visit! My dear friend Kirsten will be arriving on my sisters birthday (The 23rd) we already have so many fun things planned to do, including a trip somewhere we have yet to determine! That will be so much fun! I have known her since early high school and we always have fun together.  When people start getting 'real jobs' or moving 'across the pond' It is hard to get this much time to spend together, so I feel very very blessed to be having her come all the way here to visit us.