i had a big ole blast down south.

happyindenmark

i know. it’s been a almost a week since i’ve gotten back from my road trip to southern sweden for a big, family weekend, and i haven’t posted any pictures yet. my excuse? i have been sooo busy since getting back from the road trip… pulling an all-nighter to watch the election in the states (i gotta say it one more time: WOO HOO!). working a long 9 hour day the next day. preparing a sermon to preach. and a weekend full of work – i was at the church every night all weekend long. but, i survived & got everything done. whew.

and now it’s monday. and today, my day off, i’ve got a little bit of time to squeeze in a post featuring some road trip pictures. so, you’re in luck today. here come some snapshots from my long weekend about a week ago. i gotta get it done now because my love & i are off to stockholm next weekend, so there’ll be even more photos to share soon. i know. rough life, huh?

november is a super busy month for us!

day one: southward bound.

 

 

 

 

after a about four-ish hour drive, we finally entered the southern part of sweden, with it’s beautiful fields and trees. of course, the golden november sunshine made it all that more gorgeous. we settled into our hostel, with it’s typical southern sweden house style, and then headed over to lina’s aunt’s home to meet up with the rest of the family. after an evening of catching up, sipping wine, and eating a yummy dinner, it was back to the hostel for a good night’s sleep… or not.

when we went into the building & stuck the key into the lock in our room’s door, it didn’t unlock. nothing happened. the key wouldn’t budge. lina tried & tried. then, lina’s dad tried & tried. then, i tried & tried. then, lina’s uncle tried and tried. nothing happened. at. all. and it was 11 pm. gaaahh. we were all exhausted, and now this. however, we kept our spirits up & joked about it as much as we could. luckily, there was a locksmith who was nice enough to come out late & save us. so, finally at 1:15ish, we had no lock on our door, but we were able to crawl into our bunk beds and catch some zzz’s before the big family dinner the next day.

oh, and the rest of the landscape is this: the sea. amazingly beautiful. and so good for my soul.

day two: the day of tons of family & a big goose (or turkey, in our case) dinner. it was like a little mini-thanksgiving for me!

 

 

 

day 3: the do-nothing day

 

 

 

on our third day, we were recovering from family day before… much like how it feels on the day after thanksgiving in the states (without all of the black friday shopping craziness, of course). it rained off & on, which it had done all weekend so far; but the sun peeked out just enough for us to play some games outside (which the kids all arranged) and take a walk at sunset.

over the weekend swedes celebrated all saint’s day. it is actually a pretty big thing here. family members & friends visit the graves of loved ones and light candles. if you happen to be lucky enough to be in a city where there is a large cemetery, the candles are overwhelming and absolutely beautiful. since we were in the country, there were only a very few candles lit on the graves. still, it was a really good chance to take a cozy walk with my love in the cold, and wander around the church grounds. a beautiful evening.

day 4: first, a little shopping & lunch in a super rainy & cold helsingborg.

 

 

and then… DENMARK!

 

 

 

 

 

of course, on this day, the day of our little road-trip-within-a-road-trip adventure, it rain like crazy. and was cooooold. but, being the hearty swedes that we are (ok. i’m not so hearty & strong. i’m a cold weather wuss), we didn’t let the weather stop us. nope. we took the 30 minute drive from the country hostel/lina’s aunt’s house to helsingborg, sweden. there we wandered the wet streets, did a little shopping, and at lunch at a thai restaurant. and then came the highlight of the day… a ferry ride to denmark!

yep. you can pay about $10 and hop on a ferry to head across the water to denmark. it’s only a 20 minute ride and the boat leaves every 15 minutes or so. now, if you have read my blog for any length of time, or if you know me, (and my love), then you know that part of our heart lives in denmark. we love it there. denmark has been special to me for a very long time. and having a chance to pop over there, even for a few hours one afternoon to a tiny harbor town, is the perfect little denmark fix. ok. yes i would give anything to have a weekend in copenhagen and a weekend in odense (where i used to live – another story for another day), but still, the little town of helsingør, denmark was just perfect that day.

we wandered the tiny streets, warmed ourselves in a funky cafe – with hot cocoa and colorful marshmallows! – and i soaked in the danish accents everywhere i went. it filled my soul. then, it was back on the ferry & back over to sweden by nightfall. loved it.

day 5: headed home

 

after four nights in the hostel and four days with family, it was time to head back north again. of course, on this, our last morning, the sun was shining brightly. go figure. but, it was time to say goodbye to our cozy little swedish hostel home. time to say goodbye to the peaceful  sea. and time to say goodbye to the southern swedish countryside. it had been a great, cozy weekend and a fabulous chance to get away from our routine.

yes, this road trip has come to an end, but another one waits in the wings… and, as i said before, in 3 days we’re headed to stockholm!

hope you get your road-trippin’ groove on soon. peace & love.

homesick.

it’s nothing really. just a little case of homesickness… wanting to take my love & head down south to the beaches of north carolina, see my family, and stay a while.

deep sigh. peace.

my beloved nc mountains. asheville.

after a fantastic week in the north, it was time for a little taste of the south. yep. down south… where the dialects are long, rocking chairs on porches are the favorite seat, time moves a little slowly, manners are everything, the people are friendly, and you never meet a stranger. it was time to go home to north carolina – where i was born & raised. time to visit asheville – where my heart will always be. and canton – that smelly paper mill town that captured my heart. and, of course, lake junaluska – the beautiful community where my childhood memories live. it was time to nestle myself in the middle of the blue/gray mountains, and nestle i did. well, that, and eat, drink, laugh, chat, hug, rest, drive, visit pubs, catch up with friends, hang out with family, make memories with my love, and reconnect with myself…

here’s the asheville stuff!

finally driving again! i seriously love to drive. so freaking much! headed to asheville!

going to the movies!!!! so much cheaper in the states! we are most definitely movie geeks.

the first picture of downtown asheville. there is truly no other place like it. and, yes, you will see many more pictures. i can’t help it. this place holds a large part of my heart. the diversity, the funky-ness, the uniqueness, the art, the pubs, the people, the nature. everything about it makes lina & i feel at home.

after a visit at my brother & his wife’s new (old) home that they are completely renovating, lina & i headed to barnes & noble… an amazing, wonderful, big, & cozy book store. yep. you can find everything here.

first my brother. then some books. and finally some beer. at one of our favorite pubs, the thirsty monk. love it!

five walnut wine bar. a new place suggested by our amazing friend who lives & soaks up life like no one i’ve ever met before. looove her!

we visited the wine bar with friends (fellow teachers) that i worked with in asheville when i was teacher at a high school. such a crazy, eclectic group of individuals. to spend time with them is to get a glimpse of real life. i will always cherish the year & a half that i worked & hung out with them. and it meant so much to us that they made time to hang out with us! by the way, j, we absolutely loved 5 walnuts!

 there is an apartment for rent above this funky, hippie bookstore in the middle of downtown. cool.

crazy personal ads. cleaning. yoga. music. herbal medicine. beer & pubs. birth dancing (not sure what that is. hehe. but it’s soooo asheville!). religion. crafts. you get the picture, right?

 why, yes, i did go into the tattoo shop at the back of the courtyard. hehe.

 lexington avenue. let me just say… the best.

 the other favorite pub. yes, it’s a brewery. it’s a pub. it’s irish. yeah.

ok. here it is. the new FAVORITE pub & brewery in asheville. the wedge. in the river arts district, where my sister-in-law has her pottery studio. and where i feel like i have walked into asheville’s version of copenhagen’s (denmark) christiana. all i can say is that i am in love. lina is too.. with the people of all kinds. the locally made beer (as in i can see it being made as i drink mine). the outside seating. the informality & relaxed atmosphere. the lights. the hippie vans. oh hell, just everything. i love it.

 the beer. awesome.

 oh, how i love it.

 cheers, asheville!! oooh-pah!

well, my dear friends & readers, that’s a snapshot of my beloved asheville. peace out.