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an exciting weekend getaway on a floating city: cruising on the baltic sea

when you think of sweden, i’ll bet you don’t really think of cruises. i didn’t, until i lived here. i did understand that swedes are sea people, forest people, nature-loving people. most people live in the big cities of sweden, but the majority of sweden is untouched, natural, wild, and beautiful, including a long, wonderful coastline. and swedes find anyway that they can to get out and enjoy nature.

stockholm, the capital of sweden, actually lies on a bunch of little islands…it is an archipelago. and it’s just a short boat ride through + around the archipelago to the open sea. the baltic sea, which separates sweden and finland/estonia.

swedes love the water. they love seafood, love the sun + the waves. love the special life that is archipelago life. in fact, if you are a lucky swede, you live in the city and have a little “stuga” (cabin) in the archipelago by the sea, or out in the woods beside a lake. this is where swedes spend their summers and weekends. of course this is a dream of mine too. i want to have a place in a small little community on an archipelago island. a place where i can write and be and relax. where i can walk everywhere + have to use my little boat to get back to the mainland.

archipelago

however, in the meantime, since i don’t have one of these places, i have the opportunity to take  a 22 hour cruise across the baltic to get a little taste of the sea life. this is a very, very popular way to spend a weekend here in sweden. a chance to getaway, dance, drink, party, shop (tax free!), and feel the sea breeze. (not really the simple archipelago life, but is does get you out to sea. hehe).

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photo from here.

and that is exactly what i did this past weekend with 7 other family members + friends. we left uppsala, took the train down to the harbor in stockholm and boarded a huge cruise ship (pictured above!) for an overnight cruise to åland… a group of islands close to finland. we had a super, amazing blast. and i have a TON of photos to share with you!

running in uppsala… don’t want to miss our train!

running-to-the-train

made it to stockholm in 40 minutes! now: taxi ride from the train station to the harbor.stockholm-taxi

unloading + getting our 1st view of our ship!!cruise-ship

beautiful STOCKHOLM in the backgroundsotckholm-cruise-ship

checked in + waiting to board. what to do? why, a group cheers to our trip, of course!cruise-cheers beer-lina-me

onboard + on the back deck to check out the view before leaving dockstockholm-harbor

best usie/groupie ever, i think. love these people!the-gang-ship-cruise

alone on the back deck for a moment… soaking in this beautiful shipback-deck

we set sail + ran as high as we could so we could get a good view and wave goodbye to stockholm
top-deck top-deck-running stockholm me-cruise-ship-stockholm stockholm-sunshine-harbor top-deck-stockholm lina-and-me top-deck2

back downstairs into the big lounge area for our first drinks! cheers (again!)!drinks-cruise-ship

when our rooms were ready, we headed to our cabins to change for dinnercruise-ship-cabins-hall

our cabin: 4 beds + a huge porthole window! perfect.cruise-ship-cabin

dinner buffee (with all the drinks you can manage also included)dinner-ship dinner-cruise-ship

the blue hour on decktwilight-archipelago

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darkness came + the party began!dance-cruise-ship dance-gang-ship

a few quiet (and super windy + cold) moments on the deck in the dark. eerie and peaceful all at the same time.
nighttime-cruise

i slept for 2 hours. hehe. so to wake myself up i headed out on deck in the cold and wind. it was an invigorating, inspiring, soul-filling moment. just me + the sea.baltic-sea morning-open-sea-baltic

then i was joined by my love and our friend. morning-ship-sea

after breakfast + some tax free shopping, i literally sat here in this panorama bar on the top floor of the deck for the entire rest of the trip. our group gathered here, recovering, resting, and just enjoying the view.panorama-bar-ship top-deck-archipelago archipelago-sweden

my brother-in-law invited me to have an appletini with him. a little end of the cruise celebration about an hour before we docked.me-and-jonas island-sweden birka-cruises

i’ve never done anything like this before, and it was so fun. intense, exhausting, and fuuuuun! of course, i couldn’t wait to get home and just throw myself on the couch. which is exactly what my love + i did. we ordered pizza, netflixed as long as we could stay awake, and then headed to bed to sleep for 11 hours.

i think i’m all cruise-shipped out for a while, but i’d definitely do it again! it’s great fun to spend a weekend with friends + family, just letting it all go. relaxing, dancing, eating. i loved it.

but about that archipelago cabin…. one day!

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ten on ten: april 2015

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hi everyone! yesterday was friday the 10th, so that means that i took a bunch of photos to chronicle my day! i am taking part in a little photo challenge called ten on ten. it’s so much fun! it was actually a pretty busy + exciting day, so i love my photos bunches..

here’s a lttle summary of what happened: after my morning at home, i headed to the train station to meet lina’s sister, who was coming to spend the weekend in uppsala. lina’s brother lives here, too, so they planned this weekend as a sibling weekend together – of course, i get ot be with them too (and jonas’ fiancée too!). i spent a relaxing afternoon with my sister-in-law, soaking up the crazy awesome spring sunshine. then, we met up with everyone else after work, for some beer and then dinner out. we ended the night together at lina’s brothers place for a long, cozy, evening just talking and enjoying each other’s company. it was a really great friday.

here come the photos!

morning on the sofa with my love. breakfast. coffee. the news.

morning-home

i spent the morning at home: writing, blogging, doing chores – like taking care of my amazing herb collection that seems to just keep on living!herbs

off to the train station to meet my sister-in-law’s train!train-station

waiting… in the sun. in my spring-inspired outfitspring-clothes

oh you know, just a regular fika in the sun with a castle in the background
cookie-and-coffee outside-fika-castle

what’s a day without a cathedral visit?

cathedraltime to stock up: a trip to the alcohol store. what all swedes do on fridays (it’s closed on the weekend!) alcohol-store-sweden

afternoon drinks on the rooftop terrace of my love’s office building.
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cheers! dinner time with the fam!cheers-family

we spent a super cozy evening at lina’s brother’s place. and then walked home at midnight – and it wasn’t cold. woo hoo!nighttime-apt

so, friday wasn’t the only fun time this weekend. it just gets better… today we are going to take a train to stockholm and then board a boat for a cruise! that’s right! we are gonna cruise in the baltic sea to a little island between sweden + finland. 24 hours of food, fun, dance, and adventures with 8 family + friends. you know… the family that travels together, stays together!

have a great weekend!! xoxo

yes, i posted more than 10 photos. hehe. 

friday-four

four favorites friday

helloooo friday! they just keep coming faster + faster it seems. i can barely get a handle on it. it blows my mind. and, it has gone quickly even though i have stayed in almost all week long. i don’t know what got into me this week that made me feel like being a hermit. but it’s not like i haven’t been busy… i mean, i searched + applied for jobs, i wrote, i did a lot of spirituality-related stuff, i cooked some, i cleaned, i talked with my parents. but, i just didn’t feel like going anywhere. the only times i left the apartment were to do a short grocery store run and to sit in on an afternoon lecture at uppsala university. still, it was a really good week. i felt slow and calm. so, i have no regrets. i suppose i just felt unsocial this week. i needed to be introverted.

today, i thought i’d end my kinda of solitary week (minus being with my amazing little family) by sharing four of my favorite things this friday. not a series that i’m going to start to do on fridays or anything, but it just popped into my head. i haven’t made the list yet, i’m gonna wing it and see what i end up with. i am thinking that these four favorite things might be tips or moments or ideas or whatever. so, here we go. let’s see what i come up with as i think back on this week.


1. favorite new idea | a minimalist wardrobe. that’s right. i’ve decided to minimize my wardrobe. what that means is that i will go through everything i brought to sweden with me and get rid of everything that i don’t wear. i will only keep certain basic things, and i will create a palate from which to work as i assemble new items. the palate will be filled with white, gray, and black. denim and a few splashes of earthy colors for accessories + such. this is a way more girlie than i usually am, but it feels amazing. it feels like giving my wardrobe an upgrade + organizing it all at the same time. i’ll keep you posted! in the meantime, you can follow my “minimalist” board on pinterest –> here!

minimalist

2. favorite quote | being. consciousness. bliss. | i used this sanskrit mantra everyday this week. just saying it evokes a sense of peace + calm. try it!

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3. favorite scary moment | attending a lecture on theology at uppsala university. the whole thing was in academic swedish and it blew my mind: the language + the content. when i realized that it was a small class, i begged and begged the universe to not let the professor call on me. he didn’t. so, i survived. the whole thing was freaking amazing.

theology-lecture

4. favorite surprise | internet on my computer. by now, most of you know that our internet situation has been shaky since moving to uppsala. and that’s putting it nicely. hehe. well, for some reason, this week my computer has connected to {one of the two} wireless internet gadgets that we have tried. so, that means that all week, i could cozily blog and write and job search from home. yesssss.

desk-home-sweden-computerbut, enough about home now, it’s time i haul my ass up out of this chair and get headed downtown. there is a book sale going on all over town  – an annual nationwide week-long book sale, people! so, you know i gotta get myself to a bookstore. and fast! i think i’ll also grab a coffee out at a café as well for a little solo fika before meeting up with my love to start our weekend. she sent me a photo of a wristband to get into a beer festival here in town – something that she just got while she was at work. i don’t know what that means. are we going to a beer festival?! is she going with her work?! and i just happened to tell her about it yesterday. i am dying to know more!

so, yes… it’s time for the weekend! and i believe, no matter what happens, it’s gonna be a busy one – but busy in the best of ways!  wishing you a lovely, fun-filled, relaxing weekend, friends!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

words for the weekend

“I have to be alone very often. I’d be quite happy if I spent from Saturday night until Monday morning alone in my apartment. That’s how I refuel.”  – Audrey Hepburn

“Music always sounds better on Friday.” – Lou Brutus

“Hands up if you’re ready to do something you’ll regret this weekend. Go forth! You have my blessing.” – Florence Welch

“It’s not that we spend five days looking forward to just two. It’s that most people do what they enjoy most on those two days. Imagine living a life where everyday are your Saturdays and Sundays. Make everyday your weekend. Make everyday a play-day…” – James A. Murphy

happy weekend, lovely ones! i hope yours is filled with exactly what you want and need. and, if it somehow doesn’t live up to your expectations, then join me in the belief that it is up to us to create our own bliss. now… go, live, enjoy, + celebrate what it means to be alive!

love + light xx

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i’m moving my blog!

it’s sunday morning + i have no idea what i’ve gotten myself into! i’ve set up my own space on the internet for self hosting and i think my new web hosting company is in the process of transferring my wordpress.com blog ( this blog you are on right now! ) over to my new space. all of this is so exciting + frees me up to do so much more, like to create a whole new website and keep my blog! but, warning! my blog may be a little crazy for the next few days, or disappear, or… I don’t know. in any case, this is fun stuff!!

i have been thinking about moving over to a self hosted website for about a year now, and i decided that since i am physically moving to another country, i might as well move my blog/website at the same time. make sense, right?

so, wish me luck + and hang on! don’t leave me or think that i have disappeared, depending on what happens. and… just a head’s up, you may have to choose to follow me again once i am moved over to my new space. but, i’ll keep you posted on the progress, i promise! until then, just keep checking back here. it should (hopefully) be normal for a while!

how are you spending your sunday/or monday?!

light + love xx