longing for my other home.

yes. i’ve got two places i call home. and that is an amazing gift. one that i do not take for granted, and one for which i am extremely appreciative. in both places, i have family, places i love to visit, things that i love to do, and places that bring me peace. oh yes. i am a lucky, lucky girl.

sometimes, though… ok, many times, i feel pulled in two directions and i find myself longing for the other place.

in north carolina (usa), i lived in a city in the mountains… asheville (click here to read more about my love for asheville). and right now, i am longing to be there. i am dreaming of walking up & down the crowded, funky downtown streets  lined with hippy stores, bookstores, boutiques, second-hand shops, fair trade stores, vegetarian restaurants, little pubs serving local brews, music on every corner, and protesters chanting & holding signs. i wanna be surrounded by the eclectic, diverse people of all ages, all races, all nationalities, all beliefs, gathering in the locally famous drum circle. i wanna feel the sticky, humid summer air heavy on my skin. i wanna smell the southern cooking. i wanna drive the mountain roads. yeah. i just wanna be there right now.

since my beloved asheville is intensely on my mind tonight, i thought i’d share some of the things about asheville that make me smile…

 driving the mountain roads.

 log cabins.

 lexington avenue.

 hip, funky wine bars…

 with crazy, inspiring, awesome friends.

 coffeehouses & cafes.

 afternoons in barnes & noble (an amazing bookstore).

 the river arts district. (where my sister -in-law works as a potter!). a place of beer & art.

 speaking of beer… local breweries all over the city. yum.

 biltmore estate. you gotta visit.

 the drum circle in the smack middle of downtown on friday nights.

 bluegrass music.

 festivals & fairs.

 oh asheville… you are amazing & gorgeous.

 cheers to you, asheville, my love!

 click on the pics for the link to the original photographer.

how ’bout it? let’s plan a trip! yeah.

peace & love.

the village on the canal.

söderköping (south borough) is a cute, little village about 30 minutes from where i live (norrköping-north borough) that lies on a canal, göta canal, to be exact. the canal winds it’s way from eastern sweden, where the baltic sea lies, to the western coast and the city of gothenburg. in the summer it is a favorite vacation destination. you know, grab your sailboat or sleeping cabin motor boat, and slowly make your way across sweden by water, stopping at little villages and harbors along the way. for all you east coast americans, think the intercoastal waterway, only on a much smaller scale. sounds like, fun huh?

well, the cute, little village of söderköping fills with tourists and boats during the summer, and lina & i thought we’d pay the canal town a visit yesterday. that’s right… a mini road trip!

being the earth-conscious friendly people that we are (and also because we don’t have a car. hehe.), we hopped on the public bus after lunch and began a cozy, lazy afternoon of wandering around the village on a typical, crazy-weather, swedish summer day…

 ready to ride!

 you’re always beautiful, sweden.

 looks like a storybook, huh? people actually live here. and the thing is, everything’s all modern inside. i’m sure of it.

 i could hunker down in this little cottage, uh huh.

 the perfect tourist street.

 the canal’s boardwalk: cozy shops & restaurants.

boats from all over show up here. isn’t this the french flag? but, the boat says “holland”. i’m confused. or i need to study my flags.

ok. you have no idea how important this place is. it’s an ice cream restaurant. swedes love their ice cream like i could never even begin to describe with words. on the other side of this building is a line so long that it takes about an hour to get into the restaurant. what’s on the menu? only ice cream, of course! this side of the restaurant is take-away ice cream. shorter lines, but still amazing ice cream.

 i had a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of mint chocolate. delish!

 my love enjoying her ice cream.

this picture means everything to me. she means everything to me. our life means everything to me. when i see us here, i think of the past 3 months… the fear, the struggles, the lessons, the tears, the challenges, and my amazing wife… to be standing here with her, so close, my heart is filled with love. it means everything that we were standing together, that she is with me. all my love to you, my baby.

 the swedish flag against a swedish sky.

you know, you gotta just grab the days as they come. get creative with your life, make memories & moments, and never take for granted any time spent with loved ones…

hmm… i wonder what’s in store for me today? i wonder what’s in store for you? work or play, today is all we’ve got. let’s make it count!

wishing you some lazy summer peace.