Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Hills are Alive.... with the Sound of Americans

Just wanted to share some pictures from our Sound of Music Tour today in Salzburg!

Across this lake is the back of the house they used in the movie, many scenes were filmed here, including the children coming out of the lake!

The famous "16 Going on 17" Gazebo! One of my absolute favorite scenes in this movie! They had the doors locked and you can't get in :( I wanted to leap from bench to bench like Leisl did in the movie!

The inside of the church where Maria and Captain Von Trapp got married, it's so beautiful inside!

The Pegasus fountain that Maria and the children march around while singing Do Re Mi

The stairs that Maria and the children hopped up and down in the ending of Do Re Mi

Monday, August 17, 2009


So sorry for the lack of updates, my wi-fi locations have not been available as I once thought. Right now I'm writing this from Munich, Germany and we're having such a great time!

I'll just update with a few pictures for now, just so you can see what I've been up to. We had two great days in Gothenburg, a night out in Stockholm, and we're on our way to Salzburg tomorrow!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stockholm Day 4

Tuesday morning, we woke up and Joakim told us that he would take us to a bigger grocery store to do some of our shopping for our American dinner, since we may not find what we need at his local store. He said that "It's just around the corner, not that far" Well, 45 minutes later we were still walking around, and happened to be in the same spot that Jennah and I were at playing on the playground on Sunday! Joakim was so excited to find this huge hill with stairs and stuff, so he's like "There's an observatory on top, let's go explore!!!" Um, let me think. I've got a dress on. With sandals. Not necissarily climbing/exercising clothes at all. After a little huffing and puffing, we all finally made it to the top, and we were rewarded with such a wonderful view. I guess the few minutes of pain was worth it in the end. All of a sudden, we felt drops of rain, so we headed down to the grocery store.

The grocery store was an adventure in itself. We partly had a menu planned out with some things we wanted to make, so Joakim helped us find what we needed. I had orginally wanted to make some BBQ pulled pork, but pork is really expensive in Sweden, so we settled for BBQ chicken breasts. We purchased a huge block of cheese from the huge cheese section, they are VERY into cheese here. We couldn't find a good cheddar, so we had to settle with a white traditional Swedish cheese. This cheese would end up going into the baked mac and cheese. We headed over to the other side of the Dairy section to pick up some butter and heavy cream, because hey, nothing screams American like a pound of butter and a gallon of cream, right?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stockholm Day 3

When I woke up, I had a momentary freak out, because I forgot where I was at this point. Just a little early morning confusion! After I had shuffled sleepily into the kitchen we fixed a great breakfast of Special K Dark Chocolate and Strawberries.... something they don't have in the States but is seriously yummy. We even sliced a few fresh strawberries to put on top for an extra boost of deliciousness. I sat down with a mud of hot tea and the girls and I planned out our day of shopping. Ange wanted to find some walking shoes, so that was the mission of the day.

We headed back to the Central Station area to check out some more of the shops in the area. We went in all kinds of great little and big stores! It's crazy because the stores are multi-level and you have no idea what is on each floor. Bottom level could be accessories, shoes, basically anything. We just keep cracking up at the insane fashions here. I keep pretending to be the Fashion Patrol and take pictures of the out there fashions.

The girls and I stopped for lunch at a Thai Buffet called Pong on Drottning Gatan. They had some great choices like Pad Thai, Coconut Chicken Curry, Spring Rolls, Chili Chicken, glass noodles, and some great shrimp wontons. Included in the price of our meal were big bottles of icy cold water that was so refreshing to us after walking around the stuffy stores downtown.We ate our fill, and drank all that delicious water we could before heading back out to the shops.

Ange finally gave in and purchased the 1995 kickback White Keds that everyone seems to be wearing here. They seem really clean and bright compared to everyone else's shoes, haha. When we got back to Joakim's place, he ended up making a taco dinner for us, with help from Daniel. It's great having a Taco Bar for dinner because it's very socialble and we had a lot of fun sitting around the table chatting about everything in general.

The girls and I got all cleaned up and we went out to Gamla Stan to go out to a lounge/bar. Since it was only a Monday night, the place was not that crowded. We still made it a fun time and had a blast while enjoying a few drinks. We got back to the flat and called it a night. The next night we would be hosting our All American Dinner.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stockholm Day 2

Day two, we sleepily awoke to the sound of my iPhone alarm. Gathering the stuff we threw around the place in the few hours we were there, we put our luggage into some lockers and head out to go shopping. We stopped for a bite of breakfast at our supermarket, I got a chocolate croissant and Jennah got a cheese danish... so yum!

We started walking around this quaint little neighborhood, which was great because it was a Sunday and you'd see families just heading out to have a little fun. Sitting in cafes with the morning paper, some coffee, and some pastry is how most of them were. We stopped in a gorgeous park just to enjoy the weather and sunshine, and watched some kids play on the playground..... even big kids get to play sometimes too :)

After our little break, we hopped back on the metro to the Central Station area where we found the huge shopping area of Stockholm. Stores galore! Topshop, H&M, fantastic shoes, makeup, accessories, and we even found a vintage store! The vintage store had mannequins outside dressed up in different color schemes.... Jennah told me to check out the one dressed in all orange. I looked up and what do I see? A FLORIDA GATORS visor sitting on the mannequins head! AH! How cool!!! Who knew that there were Gator fans in Sweden?

After buying some great things in the vintage store, Jennah and I shopped around for a little while longer, and stopped at McDonald's for some lunch. I got the "Italian" burger, which was topped with a basil mayo sauce and arugula!

Full from our tasty lunch, we headed back to our Hostel to go pick up our luggage so we could meet up with Angelina when she flew in from the UK. I was not looking forward to lugging around my 40 pound suitcase again, up and down stairs in the metro. At all. Somehow we made it to our meeting point and had a great greeting with Angelina, and Joakim led us back to his place in the Ostermalm area of Stockholm. Once we made it to his flat, I knew it felt like such a comfy place to be. Gorgeous crown molding, chandeliers in pretty much every room, huge windows letting in that fantastic sunlight. It was Joakim's grandparent's flat and they left it to him when they passed away. The rooms are filled with such interesting pieces from all sorts of different eras. There's a set up table and chairs from the 1800's that is in the sitting room, not to mention there's a framed picture of his grandma shaking hands with the Dali Lama in the living room. We made a short trip to the grocery store, and it was nice to have someone who actually speaks Swedish to tell us what was everything in the store. I picked up a package of lunch meat that I thought was Roast Beef, and it ended up being HORSE MEAT. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I don't want to eat any HORSE! AH! Joakim got the fixings to make some dinner for us, we had requested Spaghetti and boy it was fantastic! It had some sauteed mushrooms, peppers, carrots, and ground beef. So good to have some home cooked food!

I called it an early night after dinner, I had a pounding headache and went to go sleep it of for a little while. I took a few extra strength Tylenol, and put on my sleeping mask and crashed. Ange and Jennah headed out to a bar with Joakim just to go grab a drink. When they came back, I was feeling a lot better, and we all had sandwiches for a snack. I made mine with smoked salmon and herbed cream cheese on some brown bread. The first real Swedish food I've had!

We all went to bed around 1, knowing we wanted to do a little more shopping in the morning!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stockholm Day 1

Arriving at the Stockholm Arlanda Airport at about 11am, Jennah and I hopped on the Arlanda Express to the Central Station here in downtown Stockholm. We followed the directions to get to our hostel and found it with very little effort. Well once we got inside, there was a misunderstanding with the booking, and lucky for us they had a room. Mind you, it was two floors underground, with no windows, and only one bed, they still had a room. So we threw our luggage in there, ready to be rid of it for a little while, and headed out to explore and to grab some lunch.

We hopped on the metro, using our awesome 7 day pass we purchased, we rode the line and got off at Hötorget. As we reached the surface, we were greeted with plenty of fantstic shops and some crazy looking people! The outfits here are unbelieveable, it's like they don't care what kind of outfit they wear! You see people dressed up so great one moment, then another moment looking like they just stepped out of Goodwill. And EVERYONE is wearing like little white Keds sneakers, it's wild. We stopped at a Pizza place to grab some great lunch... I got a ham
and cheese calzone, and it was freshly made and so yum!

After enjoying our pizza and calzones, with an ice cold coke, we proceded to keep walking around the downtown area of the city. It opened up into this beautiful city square and garden area, as well as the waterfront. Listening to a local jazz group peform in the middle of the garden , inhaling the scent of the blooming flowers, hearing a child giggling while being splashed in the fountain, it was kind of real, that I really was in Europe. Work just seems like a million miles away right now, and all that stress I had to deal with last week was so worth it all, just to be here now. It feels so amazing.

So after walking around all afternoon, Jennah and I headed back to our hostel, making a quick pit stop at the grocery store around the corner from our hostel. I grabbed some rotisserie chicken, a bag of chips, and a bottle of water a coke. I've only been here a few days and I'm DYING for a sweet tea. We both crashed at about 9pm, the jet lag finally settling in. We both woke up at around 3am and ended up Skyping my parents for a little bit. Well with our first day done and over with, we know we had to meet up with Angelina the next day!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

And so it begins....

EuroTrip '09 is now underway! We (meaning Jennah and I) began our journey in Jacksonville, where we boarded out plane to head to Philly. After a bit of struggle with her carry on, our nice cabin steward let her keep it as a cabin valet with the strollers and the first class carry on luggage! What a nice man he was! We landed in Philly and were starving so what better way to eat in Philly than by enjoying a Philly Cheesesteak? So Jennah and I split that and a side of fries and it was so scrumptious!

After polishing off that sandwich, we started strolling over to our international gate, only to find them announcing "Last boarding call for Stockholm!" *insert crazy running with a 20lb messenger bag* I can still hear FLAP FLAP FLAP as the bag hits the back of my legs running to the gate. Heck, I'm not suprised that I don't have bruises there today. Entering the plane, I felt like it was such a let down. The plane was a 757 and only had 3 seats to a row, and only two rows. All of the international flights I have ever been on normally have 3 aisles with plenty of room to get up and stretch. On this flight, however, you had to shimmy down the aisle to get to the bathroom, PLUS wait 20 minutes in line for restroom. Oh well.

After we had dinner of some sort of chicken with cream sauce, roasted potatoes, mixed greens, and a chocolate cake, they began to play the in-flight entertainment. Lucky for me, that entertainment was a hot man double feature.... a.k.a. Star Trek. I actually stayed awake for most of the movie, then passed out for the majority of the remainder of the flight.

I awoke to the brightness of daytime in the cabin, plus the sound of people murmuring as they also became awake. They served us breakfast about 30 minutes before we landed, and it was some sort of hot pastry thing with orange marmalade in the middle. I honestly didn't care for it, but I'm not a huge orange marmalade fan to begin with.

I'll begin my 1st day in Stockholm post tomorrow, because it's about 9:30 here and I'm about to pass out. More food and pics to come! :)