Someday…

“Someday, when the weather is better…” began my son the other day.

“Um, the weather is sunny and beautiful outside,” I replied before he finished his sentence.

A surprised look and then a smile came over his face. “Oh!”

Living in Sweden, “Someday when the weather is better…” is a stock phrase that I have to use about 9 months out of the year.  “…you can ride your bike”, “…we can go swimming”, “…you can wear sandals”, etc.

I feel we use this phrase as much as people say, “Someday, when I win the lottery..” or “Someday, when we save enough money…”.

It takes a while to adjust to actually having nice weather after such a long winter. I sent the kids out on their bikes yesterday and they didn’t come back for over an hour. And they didn’t even need to wear a jacket! For many of us here in Sweden, this is way better than winning the lottery.

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Best vending machine ever

Q: Why can’t we have this vending machine in Sweden?

A: Because it would make me very unhealthy in a short time. It’s not good for me to have easy access to Ben&Jerry’s ice cream.

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Fail

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Crumpets and Cockfosters!

My husband and I just got back from a short weekend trip to London. For anyone who read my book, you will be delighted to know I was able to ride the tube going in the direction of “Cockfosters” (and still had to smile every time), and I actually saw a crumpet for the first time! I’ve honestly never had any idea what a crumpet looks like, but according to the coffee shop we went to, this is it:

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Cancellation requirements

I bought some tickets for a show tonight. I had the option of buying cancellation insurance. I decided to look through the requirements to see if anything seemed reasonable. I declined the insurance – mainly since they didn’t cover anything nuclear or radioactive. I mean, c’mon! Doesn’t someone in that situation DESERVE a refund?

Also, there must be a lot of angry customers arguing about supersonic speed damages.

Actual quote from cancellation insurance page:

We will not pay any consequence of war, invasion, acts of foreign enemies, hostilities (whether war be declared or not), civil war, rebellion, revolutions, insurrection, military or usurped power, riot, civil commotion, strikes, lockout, terrorism, malicious intent or vandalism, confiscation or nationalisation of or requisition or destruction of or damage to property by or under the order of any government or public or local authority. We will not pay any loss caused directly or indirectly by:

  • ionising radiations or contamination by radioactivity from nuclear fuel or from any nuclear waste from the combustion of nuclear fuel;
  • the radioactive toxic explosive or other hazardous properties of any explosive nuclear assembly or nuclear component thereof.

We will not pay any loss caused directly or indirectly by damage or destruction directly occasioned by pressure waves caused by aircraft or other aerial devices travelling at sonic or supersonic speeds.”

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Italian grocery stores are the best

This was in our local grocery store while we were in Italy:

 

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Just a few steps more…

Before our recent Italy trip, I browsed the internet for good restaurants in the area we would be staying. I found one place with great reviews on TripAdvisor. However, I don’t recall seeing the words “40 minute uphill pilgrimage” in the description.

We found the address and a sign for the restaurant that pointed up some steps. We started up the stairs and then began climbing the trail up a mountain into a forest. We met people on the way who said, “Oh yeah, it’s just up there”.

Forty minutes later, starving and thirsty, we made it to the top. The food was good, but as my son said, “Not good enough for that climb.”

Personally, I think it’s all a scam to sell more drinks.

Below is a picture of my sons after walking up a mountain 40 minutes:

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Delivery areas

… but they still don’t deliver to our house.

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More than we bargained for

My husband loves the logo of Hausbrandt coffee, an Italian coffee that we can’t get in Sweden. So when I saw that we were staying close to their headquarters, I wrote to ask if we could visit and perhaps purchase some espresso cups with the logo. Apparently, they don’t give tours, but decided to give one to us!

When we got there, we were informed that the owner of Hausbrandt wanted us to join him at his house in the hills and treat us to lunch. This was in addition to gifts of coffee, the cups my husband wanted, beer and many prints of the owner’s artwork. So we unexpectedly found ourselves at a beautiful villa in the hills for the afternoon. We were invited to stay at the owner’s house, but we politely declined. Then he took us to a beautiful restaurant overlooking the hills and treated us to lunch with some other business clients. I think we were in shock the entire day.

And all because I asked if we could get some cups.

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Ai Pioppi

We’ve just returned from a week long trip in northeast Italy. One of the highlights of the trip was a restaurant/amusement park called Ai Pioppi. Ai Pioppi is an amusement park built in the woods by a man who runs an outdoor restaurant. Nothing is electric – it’s all run by kinetic energy. There are rollercoasters and slides that go above the trees! It’s kind of scary but exciting. Don’t worry – all rides meet “Italian Safety Standards”! Which means you may come out covered in bruises like our son did, but it’s totally worth it!

Here’s an article about the place. It would never be allowed with all the lawsuits in the U.S., but I’m glad it’s in Italy because it’s awesome!- http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2013/10/ai-pioppi-kinetic-carnival/

 

 

Venice – an elaborate prank

If you’ve read my latest book As Long As I Have My Own Bathroom, then you’ve heard my complaints about Venice being something like a human maze experiment. Just to underline my theory, here’s a picture of the directions to St. Marco’s Square:

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Dolomite!

My family and I are spending a week in Italy near the Dolomites. Sadly, 2 are under age 12 and the other is Swedish, so they will not understand my numerous Dolomite jokes.

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I have a (5th grade) dream…

I visited my 5th grade son’s school earlier this week and I noticed kids’ projects taped to the wall for their English lessons that said, “I Have a Dream” (they’re also studying human rights).
Most kids had written things like “My dream is that no one should be poor.” “My dream is that there will be no more war.”

My son, very concerned that we have recently become stuck with a low-selection Swedish Netflix, wrote, “My dream is that we get American Netflix back.”

Priorities.

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So many types of royalty

Friday’s conversation with the kids:

Me: The kids at school will probably be talking about it so I thought I should let you know that Prince died.

Kids: Our prince? The prince of Sweden?

Me: No, no no!  The music artist. Do you remember who that is?

Kids: (with sad face) Yeah, it’s the one who sings “We will, We will Rock You.”

Me: Um, no that’s Queen, but I can totally understand the confusion.

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Pizza Hatt

In Stockholm, many businesses can be found in one building. While looking for directions to a doctor’s appointment, I noticed that the address was listed as a place called “Pizza Hatt.”

First, I will state the obvious, in that the owners are hoping a few people will be confused between the words Hut and Hatt and will just give up and eat there once they arrive.

Second, I was very disappointed I was not offered pizza at my doctor’s appointment.

And finally, a friend of mine sent me this picture as she was convinced the place must sell actual Pizza Hats.

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Monsieur T

Ever wonder what the A-Team theme sounds like in French? Wonder no more!

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I work part-time as a translator for Swedish to English documents.

My oldest son tried to translate a paper his school sent home about how he should prepare for singing in a concert. I don’t think he will be following in my footsteps any time soon.

 

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Buy My Book!

Buy my new book “As Long as I Have My Own Bathroom” and learn the secret of the mysterious Leprechaun Museum.

Available on Amazon (for the U.S.) – http://amzn.com/1530292964
Available Amazon.co.uk (for the UK) – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1530292964
And AdLibris (in Sweden) – http://tinyurl.com/jyjfkro
And most likely on other Amazon services around the world so just check!

Thank you!  All money goes to ice cream.

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Parenting lesson #15 – Why predicting the future is bad

Had a very detailed discussion yesterday on the subway with my son about the dangers of future prediction. As he is too young to have seen the movie “Minority Report,” I had to fill him in on why we shouldn’t predict crimes that haven’t happened. I also had to explain this:

Me: What if you found out that you would be hit by a car March 10?
Son: Then you could stay at home.Me: Then the car is going to crash into your house.
Son: But we live on the third floor.
Me: Then the helicopter carrying the car will have a lose cable and it will fall in your house.
Son: Ah…

Important moments in parenting and teaching in order to stop your future mad scientists from destroying society. Also, you get your own subway section of seats because people think you’re insane.

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Cat in the Hat

My husband and kids have wanted to visit Japan for quite a while. Of course they all want to go there because it’s a video game paradise, and it would be a cool place to go, but I’ve never been completely sold on spending that much money and flying so far for a trip.

However, a travel article on CNN today might have changed all of that.

I give you…  Nitama, the new stationmaster of Kishi Station in Wakayama Prefecture. She has been praised for her “hat-wearing” skills.

Checking into tickets now.

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