As you know, Rachel and her three friends visited us for the weekend. What a great time! I mean, really. I think it was our best weekend here in Sweden. Here’s the breakdown:
Thursday evening, Chris picked up Rachel, Lisa, Emily, and Chelsea at Arlanda airport and brought them to our lovely abode. Yay! They arrived. The girls had a few minutes to settle in before our Swedish friends arrived. We had a full house and enjoyed a lively evening. Lots of food, laughter, and love. It was great. I am pleased to say that the focaccia turned out perfectly, as did the baklava. Oh, and the dinner turned out well also. Whew, my reputation was on the line! Erik and his sons, Joel and Ivar, brought two games and we had a blast getting our American butts kicked. Alas, evening turned to night and the Linders headed home; but first they had a message for Max. Many years ago, the Linders spent a few years in West Seattle and became our good friends. Erik and Max (then a little guy) had a little game of tag going. I love that it continues to this day.
Friday morning started with homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast. (I have to include these baking feats because I am so pleased I could find the ingredients and successfully reproduce items I like to make in The States). The girls and I explored Vasteras: I took them to my favorite bakery,we walked to Lake Malaren, stopped at the apt, walked downtown, came home for a late lunch and shared some bakery treats. (This was actually my homework – we purchased 5 sweets, shared them, and critiqued them – life’s tough!). We headed back out for a little shopping – stopped at the tea shop and some clothing stores. We returned home for some relaxing – time to work on the puzzle, check email and Facebook, and enjoy another mom-cooked meal – you know, all the important stuff.
Saturday dawned early and we boarded the bus to Stockholm. Chris and I have been there twice before during this trip, so we were able to give our guests a pretty decent tour (in my opinion). We started with a walk along the water.
First stop: a traditional Swedish fika (coffee break). We had a good spread of fresh bread, sliced cheese, veggies, and apples. Actually, all that was missing was the coffee because we don’t have a thermos. Anyway, we knew we were doing well when a passer-by pointed to us and commented (in Swedish) to his companions ‘blah, blah, fika, blah, blah.’ Yay, us!
The girls went on to The Vasa Museum, which Chris and I enjoyed just weeks earlier. It truly is amazing – you should go when you are in Stockholm! After the girls’ tour, we walked around Stockholm and took in the sights: the royal palace, the waterfront, GamlaStan,… We stopped into Chokladkoppen for the best drinking chocolate in the world. Mmmmm. Especially good on a chilly day like Saturday.
We ended our day with a visit to The Ice Bar, an event we all eagerly anticipated for weeks. Yes, it is a bar made out of ice. The whole room is ice; the drink glasses are ice; the seats are ice; the art is ice. It was so cool! (har, har) Seriously, check it out.
Our visit to Stockholm ended and we all enjoyed napping on our bus ride back to Vasteras. But wait – one last bit of touring. We took the ladies to Sweden’s highest bar (the Skybar in Vasteras) so they could see the whole city lit up at night. Then, our evening ended back at the apartment with a skype visit with Max. Both Baer Cubs together – a treat for me!
Sunday morning started even earlier than Saturday, but that was so Chris could take R, E, L, and C back to the airport and send them on to Prague. It was a truly wonderful weekend. It was, as you would expect, fabulous to visit with our Rachel. But it was also a treat to get to know her three friends, who are now honorary Baer Cubs. I feel confident in predicting that these four are destined to enjoy much success in the future. Chris and I consider ourselves lucky to have spent our final weekend in Sweden with them.