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I have lived in Sweden for nearly 14 years. Is that right? Did I count correctly? I moved here in January of 1997, so if I take my gloves and shoes and socks off and wiggle my toes and ignore Mr Numbers' malicious grin and start on my pointer finger with January 1998 and add 99, 2000, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, means that when January 2011 rolls around 14 years will have gone by since we moved to Europe.

We've done a lot of things since we moved to Sweden. We've been to Stockholm and Gothenburg and Ystad and Smygehuk (the southernmost point). We been to the coast on both sides and the cliffs of Kullen and the glass factories of Småland. We've been on a boat in the archipelago and celebrated midsummer with frog dances and strawberries and snapsvisor.

I've been to crayfish parties and I've tried lutfisk and surströmming and 80 different kinds of herring at various Christmas smörgåbords. I've learned the language and can even pronounce the sj and sk sounds relatively well. Sju sju sju! Sju sjuka sköterskor, etc.

But despite having lived here for nearly 14 years there are still things I haven't done, places I haven't been, things I haven't seen. Kate, a new AWC member also here with a Swede, just wrote a great post about mushroom-hunting. I've never hunted mushrooms. Much as I love mushrooms, I'm too big of a chicken. Even my BROTHER has learned to hunt mushrooms and he hates the damn things and won't touch them cooked (they're just as crazy about mushroom-hunting in Germany as in Sweden).

I haven't seen the Midnight Sun either. We keep talking about taking a trip up north during the summer, to see Uppsala and Jokkmokk (a name I adore) and all the way up to Kiruna and go hiking about, although sometimes the talk turns to the northern Swedish mosquitoes reputed to be as big as helicopters in summer and my heart quails a bit.

And I haven't become a Swedish citizen. Still! The Swedish government changed their ruling on dual citizenship in 2001, so I've had plenty of time to get off my duff and apply. My nominal excuse is that I keep finding other uses for the application fee of 1500 kronor. And since you must send in your passport, I can't do it now either, since I am traveling to the States in a few weeks. Maybe when I return, I'll do it for my Christmas present to myself!

Neither have I been to the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi (another great name) though I HAVE visited the much lamer ice BAR, both the one in Stockholm and as of this week, the one in Copenhagen. We were there as part of a dinner/work activity in conjunction with the Global Marketing Meeting held this week at our office. It's quite a cool concept (hee!) but since I don't drink, much of the enjoyment is doubtless wasted on me. I thought I could get a virgin cocktail at least, but it turns out that the drinks are pre-mixed so the only non-alcoholic choices available to me were orange juice or pineapple juice. I ended up with a frozen orange juice slushy in my ice glass just minutes after she handed it to me since there was no alcohol to keep it liquidated. Drrr.

It often seems that the only way to really see the sights in the area you live is to have visitors from out of town, or better yet, out of the country. It forces you to become a tourist in your own backyard, so to speak. I need more visitors!

What have you never done in your hometown that you think it's high time you put on the calendar?
mood: lethargic
music: Bic Runga—Say After Me


Well, it's not my hometown but my worktown. The Mark Twain House you raved about, first of all, but there are other things in or near the city too. My standing excuse is that when I'm here, I'm working, and the last thing I want to do is drive the hour to get here on a day off. When I lived in DC, there were a million things that fell into that category. I worked at the Smithsonian and was down on the mall every day so unless I had visitors from out of town, I rarely went back down there on the weekend. Knock-out exhibits at the National Gallery excepted.

We're actually considering going BACK to the Mark Twain House if possible. :)

Ok, well then I will have to meet you there!

LOL! Don't wait for us, we're still dithering about plans.

We'll be in Vermont over the weekend, but still haven't decided about Sunday, Oct 17, the day after we arrive.

Is it too far to meet you on a weeknight? Or too much trouble?


Those 1500 kronor - just use them instead to buy me a plane ticket and I'll be elated to have you show me around!


LOL! I'm more likely to buy ME a plane ticket, silly! :D

From Megsie

Twice in one day! I hope I get extra bonus points :)

It is funny you asked, because I will be going to my very first Vikings Football game this weekend! It is at the Dome, which I have been to many times, but never to see the Vikings play. I haven't been to the new Twins stadium yet either, but I think I will be going the NEXT weekend. I have never been to the new Gutherie Theater, and this summer we walked through it and then went down by the river. I had never been there before and it was so lovely and beautiful. There is a museum right there called "Mill City" that I would like to go back to peruse. I also have never been to the Walker Art museum, inside. I have only been to the outside sculpture gardens.

The one place where I haven't been and EVERYBODY else (it seems) has is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. It is way up north and people go to camp and portage their canoes. I guess it is beautiful and spectacular. I am with you though. All I can focus on is the fact that you have to carry everything on your back and the mosquitoes! Oh, and CAMPING? Not for more that one night thank you very much. Better yet, where is a hotel?

For what it's worth, The ice hotel sounds amazing! I had a friend who went there and told me all about it!

Re: From Megsie

You get extra bonus points and a smooch!

Did you know there is an ice hotel in Quebec? And one in Fairbanks, Alaska? Not so far as Sweden for you!


There IS NOTHING to do in my hometown that we have yet to do...... but when you live in a little town like this there is not so many things on the list. If I could add Chicago to my hometown then the list would be much longer but that is 2 1/2 hours away... so I do not count that.


Have you gone CORN HUSKING, though? :D hahahaha!

I dunno! I guess we are famous for our football and baseball games here, but I don't like spectator sports, so I don't really want to go to those.
Now you've got me googling "Things To Do in Eugene."

One of the best things I did in Eugene was the FAIR. It was so cool!!

Yes, it is very cool. I'm glad you got to experience that whimsical event.
It is a very good thing to do if one happens to be in the area the second weekend in July.
I go every year.

Joy here

I'll be your visitor! Just have to wait for my ship --errr plane to come in! HAA

Either that or for magic to evolve so I can snap my fingers and go anywhere I want!

Start your planning now, in other words! I am too funny!


You did see the Midnight sun in Oslo,Norway though. But since that was soooo long ago- maybe it is just a blurb in the memory bank. As for things to do here - we actually have a day that's promoted as "Be a tourist in your Hometown" - and I thought about trying it for a moment, but then realized the choices and I haven't even wanted to take my family to see those - except for when the museum had a dinosaur exhibit and that caused a lot of fear in the young grandson! Love, Lizardmom

"It often seems that the only way to really see the sights in the area you live is to have visitors from out of town, or better yet, out of the country. It forces you to become a tourist in your own backyard, so to speak. I need more visitors!"

Boy do I hear you. I have yet to tour the Colosseum (despite spending quite a chunk of time in Rome), go truffle hunting (our downstairs neighbors go every weekend), tour the Perugina chocolate factory (all of 5 min. from our front door), or press olives into oil (everyone here makes their own). We have done nearly all of the cool touristy things in our area when entertaining guests. When we don't have guests... well, life is just too normal to think of adding sightseeing to our schedule!

HEY! We're starting to get geared up for our Italian vacation the first week of November...will you be around? Can we figure out a way to get together? We'll be in Rapallo, and Anders is planning on renting a car :)

HEY is right! I was beginning to wonder if you guys were ever going to make it down. :) Rapallo is about 3 1/2 hours north of us. We *might* be able to make a day trip out of it if you'll be there over a weekend, but if you are planning on driving down central Italy way, we will *definitely* be able to get together. You're welcome to stay at our place! E-mail me when you narrow down your plans, and we can figure out the details.

Hey! Did you ever see my response to this? I don't think it went through...we were wondering if you can meet up in Florence or Pisa. We don't have a weekend free, we're only there Monday-Friday. Let me know!

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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