Friday, July 02, 2010

Tolouse for a princess wedding

To add to stress during my few weeks in Europe - I had managed to plan a trip to Toulouse where a old and very good, dear friend was tying the knot. She was getting married the same day as the Crown Princess was getting married in Sweden - so I left a crazy Stockholm for a quick visit to the old town Toulouse in the southern parts of France (or so I think - I flew and really didn't have time to check the map in more detail).

While keeping updated on the progress of the Crown Princess wedding in Stockholm I had a day to walk around in Toulouse - unfortunately in rain. I managed to buy an umbrella despite my total lack of French - and the clerks total lack of English. These are the times you wish the founders of Esperanto had been more successful.

The wedding was fantastic (or so I assume - I didn't understand any of it - but the bride and groom kissed at the end and looked fabulously happy - so I guess everything went according to plan) - and the couple was so fantastic - I'm pretty sure my friend was a princess in a former life - she sure looked like one. Made me want to get married again. Almost. Nah.

I got to visit a French castle outside in the country side - darn clouds that kept on blocking the view and the sun. And I kept a firm grip on the person I found (part from the bride) that could speak Swedish and secretly wished I had slept with a Rosetta stone course running in my ears the last couple of weeks before the wedding so I could have made it past "Bonjour, ca va?".

A few pictures from Toulouse: 

And the princess and her prince:

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Summer in Sweden - and in California

After a very busy spring I took off with the kids for a couple of very busy weeks in Sweden. Working and visiting isn't a good combination. You'll end up in a weird situation when friends and family assume you're "home" when in fact you're "away" - far from routines and practicalities,  The kids thinks they are "away" and me - I'm stuck in the middle. Four weeks run fast when you're trying to do everything - but we got it all done - Junibacken, Gröna Lund, Skansen, Old Town, eating ice cream in Kungsträdgården, fish herring, archipelago boat. And - we were lucky with the weather (only Swedes will get that part).

I came back to California a wreak - needing vacation from my vacation. ;-) The good thing about summer in California is that sun is guaranteed. No more packing a sweater and a rain coat "in case of" - you can pack away everything until October.

A few random pictures from Sweden this summer:

A real moose. Alive.

I'm I the only one who has this labyrinth at Skansen as a firm childhood memory?
The alien in me almost cried when I saw my kids run through it - 30 some years later.

Swedish strawberries and a Swedish Tant.