Swedes Abroad


This weekend we had the pleasure of hosting my distant cousin Marcus and his girlfriend Petra from Sweden. They’re in the middle of a 7 week vacation around North America: NYC, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Toronto, Nashville, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Cuba, Miami and then back to Sweden. Quite a busy adventure!

My parents picked them up from the airport on Friday afternoon and took them to Centennial Park to see the Parthenon. After that they went to the Nashville Farmers Market for lunch and back to my parents house to rest for a bit. Jason and I met them for dinner at Allium, a delicious new neighborhood favorite with a great view of downtown. After dinner Jason and I took Marcus and Petra downtown Nashville to see the crazy neon signs from the bars, hear music of all different styles pouring out of every other doorway, get bombarded by the crowded streets and eventually end up at Big Bang Dueling Piano Bar. The music was pretty good and a variety of pop music from Elton John to Jason Mraz to Ben Folds. It was good until it got crude. We didn’t stay long as the Swedes were tired and a bit overwhelmed.

Saturday morning my parents brought Marcus and Petra over to our house for a quick tour and some pictures.

After a Starbucks stop we went to the Ryman Auditorium for a tour which was quite interesting. The auditorium was originally built to house revival services before becoming the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Eventually the Opry moved to another venue and the auditorium was renovated by the Gaylord Entertainment and now is the venue of everyone from One Republic (who played there on Sunday night) to Kelly Clarkson to Jonny Lang to Vince Gill. Jason and I saw Dave Brubeck perform there 6 or 7 years ago.

From there we went to Hatch Show Print, Nashville’s historic letterpress shop where all the great country music concert posters were printed back in the day and where most of Nashville’s biggest concerts still have their posters printed today. As a graphic designer this is always one of my favorite stops.

We had to stop in one of the many boot stores downtown. Marcus wanted to try some on just for a picture. Meanwhile, mom and I kept seeing some that we actually liked. I’ve never owned a pair of cowboy boots but I think if I spent enough time in here I could be convinced. This particular store, Boot Country, is Buy 1 Pair, Get 2 Free. Of course, all the ones I really liked were in the $275-399 range. Fun to look anyway.

After lunch at Piranha (which took forever but was good), we walked out over the pedestrian bridge to get a good look at downtown.

We walked along the path of the Music City Walk of Fame on our way to the Country Music Hall of Fame. The hall included lots of facts, outfits and instruments of lots of country musicians that none of us really cared about. Turned out it wasn’t really worth the $20/person admission for us. We all agreed we enjoyed the Ryman more. Serious country fans might disagree.

After that it was back to my parents house for naps and rest before my dad’s birthday dinner and my mama’s yummy homemade cheesecake for dessert. We had planned to go to dinner at Pucketts Grocery where a country band was performing but we were all too pooped. We ended up just visiting for the rest of the evening. It was a fun weekend and I’m so glad Marcus and Petra made a stop in Nashville on their busy vacation. Did I mention we had perfect weather? Sunny and highs in the upper 60s both days. Jason will most likely be going back to Sweden again this summer and I’m hoping we can find a way for me to go along and tack on a few extra days in Stockholm to visit Marcus and Petra again, and hopefully Marcus’ brothers and parents too.

Treats from Scandinavia & the Faroes


Because he is a thoughtful sweet husband, Jason brought back some presents from his travels! In Sweden he went to H&M and bought me this lovely dress:

Sidenote: Whose husband buys her dresses? Mine does! Jason has a great eye for fashion and he always picks out really pretty things for me that I’m not brave enough to choose for myself – but I always end up getting lots of compliments on his selections! (Skirts, dresses, shirts, sweaters … even a bikini, once!)

I love hats, especially warm hats in the winter. This one Jason got me is more of an ear-warmer or headband I guess but it’s really wide, almost like a topless stocking cap. It’s hand knit with local wool from the Faroe Islands, where sheep out number people 4 to 1.

And CHOCOLATE! I loooove European chocolate. (I only eat Hersheys chocolate under desperate circumstances. I think it tastes waxy.)

Hazelnut chocolate bars are my favorite and I was informed that this one from Sweden is all for me. 🙂

Jason also got himself a few things. Several shirts from H&M, not pictured, and some new kicks from the Faroes.

Hooray for functional souvenirs!

Where’s Jason?


Last Wednesday Jason returned home from a 3 week trip to Sweden, Norway, Amsterdam and Faroe Islands. You wouldn’t know by these pictures but he was actually there as a guitarist with a country band. They had a good amount of time off to explore which is a rare treat on this kind of tour.

A few days into the trip Jason started channeling some Where’s Waldo? every time his buddy Jonathan’s camera was pointed at him.

I thought it was sweet – like he was waving to me! I missed him a lot so I would stalk Jonathan’s facebook everyday waiting for the almost-daily photo uploads which meant they were back to their hotel and Jason would be on Skype soon.

It is SO good to have my husband back!

I’ve said this before but it proved even truer after 3 weeks. Without times of separation we would never experience the immeasurable joy of being reunited—one of the greatest feelings God created.

Phone Photo Friday


Old Stockholm 1987. That’s me in the stroller, being rolled by my mama with my Swedish grandma in the background