Happy New Year!

Welcoming 2017 with open arms and looking forward to more adventures.



Spring has sprung in Sweden

It’s been five months since my last post! I thought it was time for a short update about life in Sweden.

Life is a busy balancing act between work, exercise and play.

While the winter weather has passed, we are happily welcoming summer with open arms!

The excitement of Midsummer is approaching us and like last year, we will celebrate with friends at their cabin outside the city.

Stay tuned!





Swedish Christmas Tradition #3

Four Sundays of Advent. This year, starting on Sunday November 29th, you light the first candle, letting it burn while you eat dinner or enjoy fika- whatever/ whenever you fancy. Then each Sunday until the 24th (Swedes celebrate xmas on the 24th) you light an additional candle in the spirit of welcoming Christmas!


City of Birches: Umeå.

In Norrland Sweden, Umeå is a bustling student/family city situated on the Ume River and is located 400km south of the Arctic circle and 600km north of Stockholm. The Norrland covers about 60% of the country and is divided into nine different provinces.We live in the Västerbotten province which is best known for it’s famous Västerbotten cheese and has a population of about 263,000 people. Umeå is the capital city and largest northern city which was founded in 1622.


Västerbotten: coat of arms.

Umeå is known as the ‘City of Birches’ and for good reason. In 1888 a horrific fire destroyed the city, leaving many people homeless. In the midst of rebuilding the city, it was decided that every main avenue would be lined with birch trees, to help prevent any future fires from spreading. Though the birch trees were planted strictly for strategy purposes, they add personality to the streets of Umeå.

Seasons of Sweden:




Food, Friends & Prostitutes. (Pt 3)

Day ONE:  Hunted down the bar, Beer Temple.

Beer Temple (www.beertemple.nl) is a bar that serves MANY different types of beer from several different countries. Our buddy, Arvid, is a self proclaimed beer connoisseur so he was as happy as a clam trying some new brews.


Fun story: Quickly after arriving, I posted a picture of us arriving in Amsterdam and a friend from high school, who was living in Amsterdam, reached out and we made plans to catch up during our stay. A day later, Nikki and I were sitting in a cafe, catching up on the last decade. We walked through a local market and stopped to eat at Pho 91 (www.pho91.nl) .




On our last full night in Amsterdam, we made a reservation at the very cool speakeasy bar, Door 74 (www.door-74.com).


Door 74 is a 1920s themed bar, that really plays up the prohibition era well. To enter you must find the street with door 74, ring the doorbell, wait until the host greets you and he then gives you a reservation time. We arrived for our 10pm reservation and stayed well past midnight. The drinks are unique with an array of tastes and accompanied by little snicky-snacks. To top it all off, the staff are friendly, knowledgable, and give great recommendations when you just can’t decide what your next cocktail should be.


Would I recommend going to Amsterdam? Absolutely!

Food, Friends & Prostitutes. (Pt 2)

Day TWO: we headed for the free ferry that would take us to Amsterdam Noord. Amsterdam Noord is a district of Amsterdam, north of the IJ lake, which separates central Amsterdam and the rest of the city. The ferry accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, and mopeds. These ferries run every few minutes during the day and less frequently in the evening.


Amsterdam North (Noord) is a trendy artistic/industrial district and registers as a must see while visiting Amsterdam. During the late 1300s, this district was used as a tolling station for passing ships then until the 1980s it was Amsterdams ship yard. Nowadays, this district is a creative haven for artists of all kinds and where they have their warehouse studios, trendy offices or exhibition events.


Noorderlicht Cafe

We had lunch at the eclectic restaurant cafe, Noorderlicht (www.noorderlichtcafe.nl) 




Noorderlicht Cafe patio view Pllek Restaurant.  Pllek (www.pllek.nl) is a hip restaurant/event venue. Coolest part? It’s built out of storage containers.







Amsterdam Noord offers an array of art and food!