Category Archives: Houses

Hiding out in a Summer House

Today on my expats in Sweden podcast….

Mike, who was born in Indonesia, not Holland, talks with us about escaping to summer houses during a pandemic, losing money on cancelled flights and constantly being mistaken for being South American.

As usual, we are recording remotely due to social distancing, so please forgive the sound quality. I assure you, the content is worth it!

Available wherever you get your podcasts, or at:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/y6phnugg
iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7
Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/
FM Player – https://tinyurl.com/yy84yqcl
Podbean – https://tinyurl.com/y5umw273

Don’t forget to subscribe!

Screenshot 2020-05-13 at 11.22.43

No one wants see-through bathrooms

Looking up hotels for Barcelona and starting to remember how it was last time we were there. Both of the hotels we stayed in just had weird frosted glass separating the bathroom from the main room. Who wants this? We had to start leaving the room each time the other one really needed to use the toilet because it was too embarassing.

Looking through hotels today, I see nothing has changed. Took a screenshot of how the bathrooms look in many Barcelona hotels:

Screenshot 2019-10-22 at 09.34.11.png

If I had a yacht

We were in Portofino a few weeks ago – vacation spot for the rich (we managed to afford 4 ice creams and that was it) – and spotted quite a few yachts in the area. Our favorite was the one with a basketball court on the front and a waterslide in the back:

DSCF1906.jpeg

DSCF1965.jpeg

That got me thinking what I would like on my yacht that I would probably never buy even if I did win the lottery. Here are my requirements for my yacht:

  • Waterslide
  • Hot Tub
  • Private sandy island towed behind the boat
  • Swimming pool
  • Small submarine and jet skis stored underneath
  • An organ like the one from the Nautilus just to make people laugh

What am I missing? What would you have?

 

Gingerbread contest

Every year at the Architecture Museum in Stockhom, they hold a gingerbread house making contest during the month of December. There are different categories for professionals, teams, and amateurs. Each year has a theme (this year’s was “luxury”), and everyone votes on the best in each category.

I took the kids to see the entries. Here are a few:

This inspired us to go home and make our own “luxury” gingerbread house. Here is the result of our efforts:

Gingerbread house and hot tub

Bob comes home from his job at the bank to find his wife Barbara in the hot tub. Notice that the hot tub is almost the same size as the house. Also, their house is made of gingerbread. Luxury!

 

 

Isabella de’ Medici was not a nice person

My husband and I celebrated our 18th anniversary in the town of Bracciano, Italy over the weekend. While there, we visited the 15th century castle that towers over the town. It’s one of the most impressive castles in Italy and luckily it’s open to the public. Each room has a plaque with information, so one can learn about the furniture, portraits, or the people who stayed in the rooms.

One of the most “interesting” rooms was that of Isabella de-Medici. Isabella was rumored to push her lovers through a wooden door to the side of her bed when she was done with them, where they fell into a pit of blades and lye.

There were couples in the tour group in front of us that stopped to pose for smiling pictures with their arms around each other in front of the bed with the door in the background. My husband and I skipped that particular photo opportunity.

Orisni-Odescalchi Castle

Decorate your balcony… by moving somewhere else

I’m looking up ideas to decorate our balcony for the summer. I came across this list of beautiful balconies. I like the balcony pictured here, but I have a feeling there’s just something about it that’s lacking in my own balcony.  Oh yes, I think I’ve got it now…. this balcony looks over the Italian coast and my balcony looks over another apartment building with a fat man who never wears a shirt. Might be hard to acheive the same look.

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 08.17.40.png

 

No politics at all !

Just reminding everyone that I have a new book out – “As Long as I Have My Own Bathroom” – which is great summer reading while you’re on vacation, but most of all, IT CONTAINS ABSOLUTELY NO POLITICS!

For sale in the U.S. here – https://amzn.com/1530292964

For sale at other Amazons, such as – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1530292964

For sale in Sweden here – http://tinyurl.com/zfjql79

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 08.10.18.png

 

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.

P1040747.jpg

I wrote a new book!

I have a new book out! (also available on Amazon.co.uk) !
How would you act if you accidentally arrived with your extended family on a nude beach in France? Or if a Turkish salesman in the grand bazaar in Istanbul offered to replace your husband with a new one? How about having to go to the bathroom in front of your friends in the forest behind a sheet with the words “ladies room” painted on it? Heather Jonasson has handled these incidents, and more, on her trips around Europe and the US. Heather Jonasson is a native Texan who moved to the small, frozen country of Sweden in northern Europe for love. Now, follow her along as she tells of her travel adventures in Europe and the US.
Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 09.55.48.png

Check-in time: 7-11

We are trying to book a hotel for our summer trip to the U.S.  Here’s one that came up on the list:

Pros: You can get a Slim Jim anytime you like.

Cons: Lots of noise from the Lotto ticket machine.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 07.53.56

My kind of gingerbread house

Every year, they have a gingerbread house building competition at the architecture museum. This was my favorite entry. Hey, just because you accidently burn your house, that’s no reason to drop out of the contest! Work with it!

IMG_1249

No cackling!

It’s already time to look ahead to spring trips. I found a lovely apartment in Rome, but I’m a bit confused by some of the house rules:

Guests are asked not to cackle and have a decent attitude in public areas of the building; so as not to throw the cards out of the windows or anything else.

So…. no card playing witches?  Can I give a hearty laugh while in the building as long as it’s not a cackle? What type of cards can I not throw out the window? Greeting cards? Playing cards? Is this really a problem in this neighborhood?

The_Witch_

Flat screen TVs are ruining childhood!

Back in my day:

kidb

My kids in 2015:

IMG_0798

No comment today, just decorating tips

DSC00082

They’ve done it again!

First Spotify, then Amazon…. now the kids have gotten into my Netflix account and changed all the settings!  I worked for weeks cultivating the perfect system for recommendations.  I rated all my favorite stuff.  Watched a few things – Thrillers, Sci-Fi, Foreign.

I turned it on now and all the recommendations are for “The Magic Bus,”  “Phineus and Ferb,”  and “Smurfs.”  NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

We had guests over last weekend and we told the kids they could watch something.  I found them watching a cartoon on Netflix.  I had no idea they could work it.  They usually watch on another system.  It seems that I had stupidly left Netflix on from watching a movie earlier that day.  They ended up in my account instead of the special one I made for kids.

RUINED!  I give up!  I’m going to watch all seasons of Spongebob.  I’m going to listen to Club Penguin songs and just buy Legos and nothing else from Amazon.  I give up.  I can’t win.

net

Boys

I realized today while asking my sons and their friends to help me with the groceries, is that the older the kids get, the more stuff they can do!  Now it’s the groceries, but later it will be building furniture, turning over the mattresses, carving canoes, building us extra rooms, digging a moat, fighting off dragons!  Wait…. I probably should have stopped after the mattress thing.

Anyway, I have many plans to become lazy in the future.  Thanks kids!

boxes

Castles

roserberg

Went to see some castles yesterday.  Yep, that’s what you do here in Europe when you’re bored.  There’s always a few castles somewhere.

These were pretty nice.  One had been converted into a hotel I can’t afford and I have no idea what was happening with the other, but it was much smaller.  There was a tiny beat up Mini parked next to the smaller castle.  I guess if you pour that much money into living in a castle, you’re going to have to cut back somewhere.

I decided that my family could do nicely in the smaller castle (although it was a bit far from a grocery store).  Here in Sweden, the living space is so small that we don’t get to be like many Americans who have rooms they don’t use.   At least half of my friends have rooms in their houses bigger than our bedroom that are “just for storage.”  The older people always have that one living room that kids aren’t allowed to go in and no one sits in with the fancy furniture.

Here in Sweden, we have bedrooms the size of Texas closets.  In fact, I tried to make a guest room out of our closet, but my husband said it woud be rude to make someone sleep in there.  I don’t see why.   It’s quite comfortable in there if you don’t mind all the Christmas decorations and suitcases.

I need a castle.

 

Berlin hotels

Next month, my husband and I will be going to Berlin over a weekend.  It’s my job to find the hotel.  I have lots of nice suggestions, but my husband has said no to all.  See if you can find what his problem is.  These are all actual hotels:

Hotel Transit Loft (not cosy enough?)

Pangea People Hostel  (a little cultish sounding, but probably quite welcoming)

Apartment ChristBurger (It’s got Christ, it’s got Burgers – what could be wrong?)

Soylent Lodge  (so what if it’s made out of people?)

abtes

 

Sweden has left the building

My encounter with the repairman last week says a lot about life in Sweden in the summertime.

“I replaced your medicine cabinet mirror, but it’s got no handle so you can’t open it.  I’ll get you a new handle, but I’m going on vacation Friday, so I’ll get it to you at the end of JULY.”

Hope we don’t need any Band-Aids for the next 6 weeks.

mirror

Save money on paint

If I had a house, I’d make it like this one.  Think of all the money saved on a new paint job every few years!  (Not thinking of course about how many bugs are crawling in that… don’t think about it!  Don’t think about it!)

IMG_9122

%d bloggers like this: