Friday, September 27, 2013

Living in a Hotel

Since this blog is my way of scrapbooking and journaling about our time in Stockholm I want to make sure to blog about things I want to don't want to forget.  I am planning on turning the blog into a book at the end of the year either by printing it with a blog to book website (which I am having a hard time finding one where you can customize things) or making my own Mixbook with it.  Either way I realized I never posted about the time we spent living in the hotel when we first moved here.  Even though that was SEVERAL months ago I wanted to put it on the blog so here are some picture and stories.

On August 24th, 2013 we landed at 7:50 am and were surprised at the airport by Jake's boss Bert-Åke.  He drove us to our hotel and helped us load our bags into the elevator.  I was so thankful he was there.  I told myself we could figure out how to get four rolling suitcases and two huge duffle bags all weighing literally, about 50 pounds each, onto the metro and then to our hotel but thankfully we didn't have to worry about it.  Our room was ready when we arrived which was great because we had already had a long day even if the day in Stockholm was just beginning.
This was our home in Stockholm for the first five weeks that we lived here.  We saw this hotel when we visited Stockholm in June.  It was close to a metro and it was an extended stay hotel which meant it had a small kitchen and a separate living room.
When we got to the room we put our bags in the bedroom and then started looking around.  That is when we saw the view from the living room window.  Having a bad view stinks but it isn't the end of the world.  Knowing you'll have that view for at least 4 weeks wasn't a fun thought.  Jake and I both read a book on the flight over about Swedish culture called Sweden - Culture Smart!  We read all about how Swedes only need just enough and they should not get more than others.  They don't like to stand out or ask for anything special.  Basically they get what they get and they don't throw a fit.  They don't ask for special things.  Knowing that information and being brand new to the city made the choice to call and complain ask for a new room that much more awkward.  We eventually decided to at least ask since we knew we would have that view for four weeks.  They were very kind and offered us two different rooms and we could choose between the two after looking at them.  The rooms were almost identical and they both had much better views.

The kitchen was small but we had a fridge with a small freezer compartment and two hot plates to use as a stove.  The bathroom was also pretty small and the single door could fold in to make more space in the bathroom.
First time my morning routine includes an ironing board. Have to improvise when there is no bathroom counter space. #janzensinsweden

I was really thankful we were able to find a hotel that had a separate living space from the bedroom.  Jake gets up pretty early on the weekends and I was thankful that he could start his day before me without waking me up :).  From the picture it looks like there are two twin beds which is pretty much true.  They are pushed together to look like a queen bed but it is actually two separate beds and mattresses as well as two comforters, which means if you lay in the middle the beds slide apart.

We were used to having separate beds from when we visited in June.  In Sweden they make the bed with a flat sheet on the bottom tucked in and then a duvet covered in a sheet is on the top.  We always took the duvet out of the cover so we could have a top sheet and then we just placed the duvet on our feet.  The hotel room would get pretty warm since they didn't have air conditioning so we usually slept with the window in the kitchen and the living room open at night.  Remember when I mention how great it was that the metro was close?  Well at night it wasn't that great.  The metro curves right before the stop, which is basically below our hotel, and it makes an awful sound going around that curve.  We eventually got used to it but the noise made us more aware of the metro noises when we started looking at apartments.  There were two closets in the bedroom that we used to hang up some of the clothes we unpacked while we stayed in the hotel.

Fans have saved our marriage twice :). Shortly after we were married Jake had to install a ceiling fan in our bedroom because we both get really cranky if we are hot when we are trying to sleep. The weather was beautiful when we first moved to Stockholm but it would still get pretty warm in our hotel, which was good because I heard it gets cold here in the winter. So our first purchase was a fan for our hotel. It worked great! This was also our first purchase of something with a European plug.
The living room had a couch, kitchen table, small desk, a tv and a GREAT view of the city :).
I was very thankful for the two hot plates and the small fridge and freezer but at the same time I started running out of "stove-top only" meal ideas pretty quickly.  Before we left I took pictures of every page in my two favorite cookbooks so I could have the recipes without the weight of packing them.  That is what you see on my tablet in the top middle picture.  The utensils in the hotel worked for the most part but the plastic measuring spoon on the top right hand corner isn't a tablespoon or a teaspoon :) and there were several times when we needed something in the middle of cooking only to realize the kitchen did have that certain utensil.  I ended up buying measuring cups and spoons.

Our first dinner at the hotel was the picture in the bottom left hand corner. I realize from this picture it looks like shopping couldn't have been that hard. The package clearly says tortillas and in the other picture the package said taco seasoning mix. But the directions for the taco seasoning were in Swedish, Finnish and Dutch. Google translate is quickly becoming my friend. I should also clarify, our new apartment will have a regular stove and oven so I won't have to think of hotplate and microwave only meals for a whole year, just for about a month.
I was going to wait until I was homesick to make mac and cheese but waiting to get homesick seemed depressing. So I am enjoying the lunch without being homesick :). Yes I brought Kraft cheese packets to Stockholm. #janzensinsweden #ilovemacandcheese
And this is the face Jake made when I asked him to show me how bad the Havarti cheese smelled.  We bought some Havarti cheese since we recognized the name and then it smelled so bad I made him take it to the dumpster outside the hotel.  That package of cheese was over $10 and it made me scared to try any kind of cheese for a long time!  We also bought soured milk once when we thought it was just another kind of regular milk.
Sweden doesn't get many thunderstorms which makes me sad but the sky looked so cool this night and we had a great view of it!
Doing laundry at the hotel before we move to the apartment. Translating washing machine directions and what the detergent bottle says just to do laundry makes doing laundry less fun. . . didn't know that was possible. It does make it more interesting.#janzensinsweden
They cleaned our hotel room once a week so I would always pick up before they cleaned but somehow it never stayed clean during the week.
It is a good thing I like this guy because moving to another country is SO out of my comfort zone!

We were supposed to stay in the hotel for about a month while we looked for apartments.  We finally found an apartment but we couldn't move in until a week after our hotel stay was supposed to be over.  So we tried to extend our stay and found out we were one day short of making it work.  Thankfully our landlord let us move in a day early and Jake's boss let us borrow his car to move which was great.

If you want to see our apartment tour click here!

1 comment:

  1. The hotel seems pretty nice, and it looks like it's in great condition. It's great that both of you liked it. Anyway, it’s really nice to know that you guys are working as a couple on your future together. I wish you guys all the best! Thanks for sharing!

    Jeff Riley @ Happy Guests Lodge


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