Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stockholm with Kara's Parents

My parents arrived late on Monday, August 18th.  They left Wichita on Wednesday, August 13th and arrived in London on the 14th.  They spent five days in London on their own before they flew to Stockholm.

I was really excited to go pick them up and Jake decided to document that!  Their flight was delayed so by the time we picked them up from the airport bus stop it was 12:25 am on Tuesday but I'd much rather pick someone up late than get up early in the morning :).
Waiting for the bus!
We stayed up late talking about their time in London before we called it a night.  The next morning we had breakfast at home before we headed to the water to walk around for a while before catching a ferry.

We took a ferry from downtown Stockholm to Svartsö which is an island about 1.5 hours by ferry.  It was pretty cloudy but the weather the next day had a higher chance of rain so we got on hoping for the best.

We had some sandwiches on the boat for lunch before we reached the island.  We had two hours to walk around the island before getting back on the boat and heading back to Stockholm.
Here is a map to show you which of the 30,000 islands in the archipelago we visited :).  Visiting the archipelago with my parents was at the top of my list.  It is just so unique and different.  We've done enough traveling to know that most cities have a cathedral you can go to the top of to see the city but not every city is made up of 14 islands with the bonus of another 30,000 to play on whenever you want.
We walked on a path for about an hour.  We stopped to look at one of the lakes on the island.  We were hoping to stop and have a snack on the island but we ended up walking more than we thought.  We found a library by the dock where we were waiting for the ferry and there was a book with my dad's name on it so we made sure to get a picture of that.

If you go out into the archipelago you will notice that most houses are red.  I really like that no matter what the size almost all the buildings and houses are the same color.
We headed to Gamla Stan, Old Town, after the ferry ride.  We did a little bit of shopping before dinner.  Gamla Stan is pretty touristy.  It is where the Royal Palace is located and there are lots of cheesy tourist shops but I still enjoy going there.  The buildings are close together and colorful without being too loud plus the crooked, cobblestone streets are really beautiful.

We had dinner in Gamla Stan.  The guys shared pickled herring as an appetizer.  My mom tried a bite and like it but I passed.  Mom and I both had Swedish meatballs for dinner and they were great!  We had a great first day in Stockholm with my parents.  I can't think of a better way to introduce someone to Stockholm more than a trip to the archipelago, Gamla Stan and Swedish meatballs.
The next morning we started the day by dumping ice water on my head for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge :).  I would just like to say that seeing people dump ice water on their head while they are in a swimsuit on the side of a pool when it is 100 degrees is not the same as dumping it on your head when it is 50 degrees, cloudy and windy but it was a fun family memory.  And Jake earned some points he lost when he dumped a bucket of water on my head by having the shower already running by the time I got back upstairs.

Proof that the water Jake poured on me was truly ice water.  I am thankful he took out the blue ice before he dumped it on my head :).

After I warmed up I headed to a few fabric stores with my mom.  We tried to go to a quilt store but I only found two in Stockholm and one was permanently closed and the other was closed for summer holiday.  I didn't realize there was a big different between a fabric store and quilt store but apparently there is (learn something new every day).  A quilt store only has cotton material that you could use in a quilt where as a fabric store has lots of different kinds of material.
 Jake went to his office with my dad to show him where he works.  Then Jake took dad on a boat ride from his office to the island where we live.  They also stopped by Bauhaus which is similar to a Home Depot so he could see what that was like.
The pictures on the left are of Jake's office and the view out one of his many office windows.

We had lunch at our apartment before going to the Vasa Museum that afternoon.  Jake and I saw the Vasa Museum last June when we visited Stockholm before we moved here.  Jake went again with his parents this June so he didn't go with my parents this time.
 The Vasa was a warship that sank on its maiden voyage after sailing for about 20 minutes.  It sat on the bottom of the Baltic Sea for 333 years before they brought it back up.  We took the free guided tour and our guide said that it was too narrow and had too many cannons without enough ballast (weight at the bottom of the ship) so it flipped over after a gust of wind caught the sails.  Somehow instead of being embarrassed by this the Swedes have turned it into the number one rated tourist attraction in Stockholm.

 The smallest sail on the ship.

This is a model of the ship as it would have looked the day it sailed.  It was very colorful.
The left picture is the back of the actual Vasa ship.  The picture on the right is the model painted the way it would have been the day it sailed.  I can't imagine being one of the workmen that worked on the ship for two and a half years and then twenty minutes after it set sail watching it sink.  All of that hard work goes right down the drain.

After the Vasa Museum we went to my volunteer school in Södermalm.  It was really important to me that my parents saw both my volunteer school and my subbing school as well as where Jake worked, where I shop for groceries, work out and other normal every day things.  I know that most people who visit us might not care about seeing those things but this is my home away from home for two years and they've always seen the other classrooms I've had so why not see these schools.  It meant so much to me that they would take the time to see our everyday life.
 The picture on the left is the view of the Ericsson Globe that I saw twice a day walking to and from my volunteer school.  The other two pictures are of the playground right next to the school.  The school is in the middle of a residential area but since people live in apartment buildings the school is in a similar building which is different than what I was used to but it works.
After stopping by my school we stopped by the gym I work out at since it was on the way to the grocery store.  Then we did a little grocery shopping to get toppings for homemade pizza that night.  I realized that my parents had just followed a typical day for me in order starting with school, working out, grocery shopping and then home.
My dad kept trying to carry the groceries but I tried to reassure him that this was a normal everyday thing for me so he took my picture to remember what I looked like coming back from the grocery store and then he took one of the bags to help carry it back home :).

We had homemade pizza for dinner at home and packed for Switzerland.  

The next morning before we headed to the airport we stopped by the school where I subbed last school year.  Since I don't actually have a room or work there full time we just walked by it. There were lots of kids outside for recess so we didn't linger around but it was nice to show them where I spent most of my time from January to June of this year.
 The path leading up to the school.

We went home after a quick stop by my school to have lunch before we hopped on a bus to the airport to fly to Switzerland.  Check back in a few days to read about our time together in Switzerland.  


  1. Love it! You really live in a beautiful place. Wish I could come visit you.

    1. Thanks Em! I would LOVE for you to come visit me but I know it is a long flight and it is pretty expensive so for now I'll just have to be okay with our Google Hangouts!


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