Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

Deja Vu All Over Again

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Once again we have traveled to Sweden to pick up Volvo 2. We have flown to Gothenburg,Sweden as Volvo’s guests and have made our way to Germany via an overnight ferry and down through the entire country to Salzburg, Austria (Autobahn=going 90 and having the feeling you’re standing still)! My new favorite travel companions are noise-canceling headphones and Ambien. The car is a pearl white 7-seater SUV and has 500 miles on it already! We have picked up friends, Wally and Pam, and are exploring Bavaria. Still jet-lagged but doing our share of beer drinking and pretzel eating.

Big grin on Volvo 2 grill

Big grin on Volvo 2 grill

Trip to Cancer

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Last year was an awesome year of travel; 22 weeks away from home and on the road!  The sights and tastes of the journey were incredible, awesome, priceless.  From Barnoldswick, England to Pisa, Italy,to Orland, Sweden the adventure far exceeded all expectations. And the people; oh the kindness of Raymond, Alessandro, Gunner and Dieter, Miranda, Giovani, Father Piernino, and many many others.

We returned home with some inklings that all was not normal, so doctor appointments started lining up. Sonagram, pap,biopsy, specialists, waiting, and then the day you have a date with an oncologist. How do you be cheerful as you walk in that door, the one at the very end of that long hallway?

But just like the adventures in Europe, the doctors, nurse-practitioner, staff and volunteers at Scripps-Mercy Hospital, Scripps-Green and RB joined with all my friends and family to hold me up in prayer. Betty and Mary and Andy babysat me after surgery, Donna cooked and Steve e-mailed updates. I was so loved and cared for that fear NEVER had a chance to take hold. Radiation zapped some strength, but not the knowledge that God loved me and had placed me amongst the most wonderful people in the entire world.

I need to get a map with some bright pins to mark all those special destinations I hold in my heart. Just not sure where to put the trip to cancer pin, cause  I don’t want to forget it…it too became a good memory.

Spain V. Finland

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Well, it was Spain 2 – Finland 0 in the UEFA Under 21 Championship here in Swedenfinlandfans

After the first half , Steve thought the Westmont soccer team could play pretty even.  But spain kept getting better and finlands’ forwards never got any support from their midfielders, but their goalie was awesome.  Had good tickets, the finland fans were very boisterous , and we were there 2 hours early to fight the crowds, that never happened.  But Steve was happy.  When he grows up he wants to be like Andy.  Walked home  after 11pm and it was still daylight!

Part III: Memories

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Just arrived in Goteborg.  Returned the car to Volvo.  Ships out on July 4, and should be in Irvine by your early August. Weather is  fantastic.  At the same hotel we stayed at when we arrived…SAS Radisson.  We Leave Wed. AM.

We have found that familiarity breeds contentment, making a place feel like “Home” seemed to be our comfort zone, while living on the edge was not.  So our many trips to Camp Darby in Pisa, or even the other military bases were even safe zones. Returning to Goteborg and this hotel feels good. But we have done a good job of enjoying everyday as we countdown to take off.  I would not delete a day of it, and we intend to make the most of today and tomorrow (we are headed to the Spain vs Finland soccer game in an hour).

We were to have the car until tomorrow, but the GPS came across some road construction it couldn’t understand.  Our 11 minutes to our hotel was 45+ and we were still lost.  At that point, we knew we could find Volvo, and walking would be a lot less stressful the remainder of our time. They went over the car, we signed some papers, and they taxied us into town with no expense to us. They will pick us up and take us to the airport on Wed (I like being taken care of too).

The car will be fine, safe, cleaned and it will give me some time to deal with the used car lot we currently have at home!  I was sad to leave Montalcino, but I am ready to be home, be of help to Debbie Powell and Aaron’s wedding this weekend, and get my knees looked at  (and get back in shape).

cloudsSo if I always look at something in the future as a challenge, I don’t have to look backward.  Any way , any big event is 3 parts:  planning, happening, and memories.

We are just moving on to part III.

Peppermint Twist

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

grannaSpent a delightful time on the lake enjoying the city of Granna (please realize all these swedish names have dots, dashes,hooks,and an alphabet we wouldn’t recognize).

One hundred and fifty years ago, a little widow and her daughter came to this city of well-to-do people living by a lake and experimented with what she knew best: candy. She came up with this hard taffy and added a colored and flavored stripe. A few more experiments later, and we have the peppermint stick.  I do not know who put a crick in it and called it a candy cane.  After awhile, her daughter took over the prospering business, and then the granddaughter.  The city wised up and now everyone in Granna makes Peppermint sticks (and many other flavors) I bought some of several flavors (about 6″ long).

just-made,whiskey flavored!

just-made,whiskey flavored!

They have a beautiful location on the lake, where we had a Father’s Day Dinner of really good smoked salmon (caught on the lake) and a swedish potato salad. Finished off with an ice cream cone! It was almost as good as gelato.

We are staying in Huskvarna…think power yard tools, and sewing machines.  They even own Viking. The town has a Fabric Museum–I think I’ll pass.  They have quite an industry here, but then you never know what surprise waits around the bend.

Sailing Away To Lake Vattern

Sunday, June 21st, 2009


Saturday morning found us checking out the waterfront in Stockholm one last time before heading to Lake Vattern and our quaint pension in Huskvarna.

Volvo is sponsoring an around-the-world sailing race (ie Americas’ Cup size ship).  It started last October in Spain, then Boston, Rio, China, Singapore,.. etc…Stockholm!  All the ships raced in on Thursday- past ,and will take off on their brief, final leg to St.Petersburg in a few days. We got to see the ships, the sponsor tents, and many in-route videos. Amazing, and we were there!

Now we are in this little town, on a lovely lake (second biggest in sweden) in this little hotel run by this cute couple (early 30’s) who met in Australia, she is Korean, but both raised in sweden. They have converted this home on main street into a 20 room inn by themselves with lots of sweat equity and talent. Glad we could be here 2 nights and get to meet them.

They steered us to a great place to eat (they called several restaurants to see if they were open with the holiday)   TwinCities Restaurant“.  This restaurant has a story too.  Twin boys born in Minneapolis in 1981, one is kidnapped by the nurse but declared dead to the mom.  They run into each other 23 years later and the nurse is sent to jail, Mom goes into a mental hospital, and the boys start restaurants in cities that are twins.  Also Dallas/Fort Worth.etc they have 12 now. weird

Mid-Summer’s Night Dreaming

Sunday, June 21st, 2009


We headed out to dinner (at the “Beefeater”) after our long drive and checking into our very minimalistic Scandia Hotel room.  A couple gents at the table next to us asked us where we were from.  I guess  quisically looking at a swedish menu in a british pub gave us away. We in turn asked them what we should see in Stockholm during our brief stay. They said “Vasa Museum, Skansen Park, and check out Lake Vattern on your way to Goteborg.”


We took all of their wonderful tips and found everything to our liking!

The Vasa Museum houses a 1600’s war ship that was elaborately made for King Adolphus II, who wanted to know how powerful and rich his kingdom was, so he had this magnificent sailing ship built, carved, gilded, rigged.  He then sent for it to pick him up in Poland, where he was trying to impress his cousin (who also wanted to take over Sweden).

So, with full sail, and all the cannon windows open, off she went.  A big wind tipped her, the balast shifted, and water came in the cannon holes and she SUNK a mere 27 minutes into her maiden voyage.     She was supsequently forgotten about until 1956, when she was re-discovered.  Because of polution in the harbor, and the Baltic is less salty than the other oceans(?), she was preserved intact!  (I was really captivated by this story, but i’m getting long)   It is a must-see!

Then on to Skansen Park, whick is a williamsburg-type of place, portraying Swedish life in earlier times. But the funnest part, was the Maypole and all the folk dancing. Today is the day when girls put halos of flowers in their hair and everyone gets into the great outdoors and does a jig about it. There was skansenmusicgreat music, awesome dancers, and thousands of silly people.

This is a great place when the sun doesn’t go down!

Mid-Summer Holiday

Sunday, June 21st, 2009


We sure manage to hit the festivals, holidays, and celebrations.  This weekend is Mid-Summer! The Longest day of the year, and as big an occasion as Christmas! Everyone goes to the country and gets together with family and friends, and everything is closed.

We traversed all of Sweden, to get to the island of Oland, off the southeast corner of the country and sitting in the Baltic. We were soooooo fortunate to enjoy the hospitality of Dieter and Gunnel Schoenherr (in the home where she was born!),  They  also own a home in Rancho Bernardo, and live there 8 months of the year.  He and son Klaus are the major fellas at RB Hair team!

What a lovely, quiet, historic (vikings),and delightful place to start the midsummersunsetanticipation of the holiday. Their holiday planning involved errecting tents for the outdoor meals and celebrating the Mid-Summer Eve as well as Day.  With lots of family leaving the cities and heading to Oland (two dots over the “O” sounding like “ewe-land”) we left the family to be together and headed to Stockholm.  Sunset was at 10:30pm and sunrise at 3:30am.  It never really was dark.

Rothenburg to Copenhagen

Monday, June 15th, 2009

rothenburgNow that we are down to a very precious few days, we are scrambling to see all that we have left on our wish list!

Rothenburg, Germany is an old walled city with all of the flavor remaining. Yep, a genuinely, charming tourist trap. With a gorgeous day to enjoy it, we arrived early from Ansbach Army Base and enjoyed ourselves until about 1pm.  We even met up with a Westmont graduate and his mom, and shared a nice visit.  But it was time to move on.

nutcrackerGrin and bear it.  We drove 8 hours to Puttgarden, germany, at the edge of the–oh some huge body of water– that required a huge car ferry to take us over to Denmark (Baltic?).   Two more hours of drive time and we were in Copenhagen (kopnhaven is how they spell it)!

We went to Tivoli Gardens for what remained of the day and into night and thoroughly loved watching all the families enjoy their Sunday and each other. This is where Walt Disney got his idea for his Magic Kingdom.  We did a city tour today and saw the “Little Mermaid” bronze on her rock in the harbor, and canals, and 4 cruise ships!!  And as we approach the longest daytivoligardens of the year, we only have about 4hours of dark. 

We  press on tomorrow to the Carlsberg Beer Factory Tour in the morning,and then on to Sweeeeden!

Sad Day

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Debbie and Steve leave Montalcino today.  First stop:  Milan.

Where did the time go????  From Milan we go to Bern Switzerland , then Interlochen, then  Garmmesh,  back to Venice , then Salzburg , then Munich , Rottenburg, Denmark , Sweden , home.  We have to make calls to book the military bases that will house us when we are in Garmmesh, Venice , Munich and Rottenburg.