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!
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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:
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:
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:
- 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?
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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!
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.
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?)
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.