Friday, July 26, 2013

Midsommar and Parents Arrival- catching up

Somehow it has been 5 weeks since I last wrote a blog. These last 3 weeks have been filled with so many new adventures, which is why I haven't had the time to sit here and write them all down yet. I'm glad I decided to give in to doing a blog because I can share these adventures with whoever reads this out there and can relive them all over again while I am writing them out. I still can't even believe I am fortunate enough to be able to live out such an adventure. The last time I wrote was right before the much anticipated events of Midsommar and my lovely parents making the trek across the pond, so here is a little bit about both.

Midsommar lived up to its expectations. I'd like to say I celebrated it just like the next Swede. My roommate and I went to Oregrund, which is where everyone goes to party on Friday night, with our friend from work, Malin. Oregrund is on the East coast, about an hour away from Tierp. The beaches are all cliffs and really beautiful. We went and had dinner there before all the partying commenced. Basically, in a shortened version, Oregrund is one big party scene. Just like back home in the States, these traditional holiday occasions revolve solely around alcohol. And just like back home in good ole Gainesville, Florida, everyone puts on their party pants and enjoys the night to the fullest with their friends and families. After a night of dancing and drinking, Malin, Carrie and I ran into a rather scary situation, at the time. Per usual at these types of events, the three of us managed to get separated from each other, and none of us with the other. Being in Europe, our American phones have to stay on airplane mode so the bill isn't outrageous each month. That also means they only work when we have a wifi connection, which is practically no where outside our apartment. So, the three of us had no way of contacting one another. Carrie and Malin managed to meet up, but I was with another girl from the team, but couldn't tell those two that at the time. I was afraid if I left my teammate and went searching for those two, I would lose everyone altogether and that would have been pretty much worst case scenario. So I stayed with a teammate and her friend for the night and let my poor friends minds wander to where in the world I might be. The next morning they were able to track me down and find out I was alive and not the subject of the movie Taken. That movie seriously gives Europe such a bad rep. I know it happens, but it worries people into not traveling these beautiful countries!

Anywho, the next night was the more traditional part of the Midsommar celebrations. Everyone goes to another town in Sweden (can't remember the name) to do more partying but also to do a very traditional dance called the boog. It's also more of a family atmosphere than the first night. Lots of families were there together. I learned it from a frustrated Swedish boy who didn't like that I had no idea what I was doing. Despite him thinking I was stupid because I couldn't get the dance right, it was fun to be apart of something so traditional. Probably would have been a bit easier if I wasn't under the influence. There was food and multiple dance floors so it was a really fun evening. My entire team was there, pretty much, which was also fun to hang out with them outside of soccer. Malin's dad doesn't live far from where all of the partying took place and they were nice enough to let us stay with them for the weekend. Overall, it was a really fun weekend and I'm glad I was here during the time it took place.

My parents came the Monday following Midsommar. They arrived in Stockholm around 12:30 pm and my team manager so nicely drove me down there to meet them, instead of picking them up via train. 3 months didn't seem long while it was happening, but once I finally saw them, it seemed like I hadn't seen them in ages. I wish I could put into words how thankful I am for how supportive they are to each of their 3 children. Having them come visit me all the way across the pond was such a fun experience. Definitely one none of us ever thought we'd have!

They were able to see 2 of my games, both against one of the best teams in the league, and we also managed to squeeze in getting to see Stockholm, Uppsala and Gavle during their time here. Lots of train rides. Sweden summers are somewhat similar to those in Florida- not this year of course; heard it's been raining non stop for quite a few weeks- aka, it's nice if you get a day to do something with no rain involved. The only differences are that in Florida, the rain usually lasts around 15 minutes and there is zero change in temperature. Getting to my point, it was absolutely perfect weather for the day we went to Stockholm. It was actually hot (got burned) and not a chance of rain in sight. Stockholm is a beautiful city and I'm so glad the weather went our way and they got to experience it on a non rainy/cold day. Much of Stockholm's dining choices have outside seating, so it was nice to be able to take advantage of that and have a good meal while also getting to enjoy the summer sunshine.


Each of the cities we visited we toured as much of the city as our feet would allow, went to museums, castles and churches, rewarded ourselves with good meals and bakery treats for all the walking we'd done, and of course alcoholic beverages, while also squeezing in some time for shopping- trying not to lose my dad in the process. Don't blame him for wandering off while his wife and daughter couldn't resist the urge to shop the European stores, but it's a bit of a different story losing someone in a foreign country! Dowd crowd keeps it exciting.

Beer sampling in Uppsala

Donnie D and Lisa stayed in my apartment while they were here and I won't lie, it was nice having family members around making it feel a bit more like home. Those two can never not visit their children and buy them whatever is missing or needed for their homes! Good people. I'm so glad they got to come visit me in Sweden and see where they sent their daughter to live for 6 months. It was an experience I will never forget and am beyond thankful I was able to experience it with them. My sweet brothers will have to join in on the next Euro trip because it definitely wasn't the same without them. Proud of them for staying behind to do well in school and work their jobs.