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6.09.2008

Glamah Does Sweden ...Day 1




This trip would be my 3rd visit to Sweden. Once alone to meet my uncle and cousins, and the last few with Certain Someone for weddings, meeting friends,etc. Getting there this time around was challenging. I had a connection via London but arrived later due to weather delays.British Airways informed me that there were no more available direct flights to Stockholm. They rerouted me via Schipol in Amsterdam.Lots of waiting around,coveting the new shops in the controversial Terminal 5.From a professional perspective this has raised the bar in Duty Free shopping. Anyway I finally arrive in Stockholm, funky, irritated, but full thanks to a upgrade on the last leg(meals and wine, would you believe American tried to charge me $6 for wine !Used to be complimentary).I had been travelling 20 hours.Another fellow Chicagoan who had the same fate as me told me our bags were still in Amsterdam.I found one bad and waited with a mob to trace the other. They took my paper and said the other(with my dress for the wedding) would be delivered to me me.Certain Someone and our friends were waiting for me.I was never so happy to see him. Talk about weary traveller.






We woke and started the 2 hour drive to Tierp to close on the house. Tierp is a small town near the summer house that can be best be described as somewhat "rural" and full of older people.We went to the supermarket\cafe for coffee and quick bite.Now you have to be black to understand this. I was waiting for the stares.There were a few, but Lo and behold I saw a "Sistah" in the market. She looked right past me.Then I saw a "Brothah". I felt better and the people were nice. A few stared , but maybe because I was so Glamah!.The real estate agent and soon to be former owner were very warm and offered to speak English. I told them to go ahead in Swedish and take care of business. Just put my name on the deed! Hahaha. I reminded Certain Someone that I was his SAMBO( which is a shortened way in Swedish meaning legal partner, not derogatory as I first thought when I heard it)!The former owner offered to introduce us to our neighbors and advised us on shopping for supplies etc. He recommended Uppsala (I say upps upside your head, I say upps upsides your head...) for the nearest dose of real shopping: Uppsala is a lovely ancient University town with a Castle and Cathedral that are breathtaking from a distance. The owner was amused when he saw me get excited seeing another black person on the street. I reminded him how would he feel if he was in the most rural of Africa and felt "different", he agreed and admitted he would welcome the site of a fellow Euro.





We drove along the country gravel road and what I saw took my breath away. Certain Someone had managed to buy a paradise! It was lovingly cared for by the former owner and his family for 35 years.A beautiful yellow wooden summer house on 1.5 acres of land with a guest house, outhouse,woodshed,work shed, etc. Apple, pear, and plum trees, deers, and all sorts of more flora and fauna, and impish magpies galore.A five minute walk and your by the Baltic Sea. The former owner was distressed that the water line had receded this year. So getting the boat out will be difficult because of the shallow waters.Around the boathouse is a spot that the government used to spy on the Russians. There is a listening post by the dock. All I kept saying throughout the walk through, was this would be great for a party(the last thing the former owner wanted to hear from the American)! I mean it was huge! Three bedrooms in the main house. The city girl in mna had to adjust to nature, but I loved it.My creative mind started running away with improvement plans. There is a huge rock pile that I wan to use to build a stone BBQ range.There is even a spot for bonfires. Its to arid and against the law to start them now. My only regret is that we cant use it all the time. His parents will use it more than us.And perhaps short term vacation rentals down the line.This area is going to be hot soon because the prices are way more favorable than the popular archipelago region and the new highway makes it a straight shot.Our neighbors were an elderly couple that had lived there forever.The man grew up there and the wife had been there for 40 years. Their property looked more farm like. Since they live there all year round they will kind of keep an eye on things. If we did give a party it would most likely freak them out(hundreds of Swedish yuppies\ brats with loud techno blaring, just kidding ) , so we need to be considerate.The former owner bought a farm and has a new project to occupy him. We invited him to check in anytime, and he invited us to his new farm.I know it was hard for him to part with this charming property.Memories.To bad we wont be here for Midsommar!We drove back sleepy from the sun and all the sensory overload.



Some friends were coming for a BBQ at our friends house that evening. Since everyone was working Certain Someone and I did the shopping and menu planning. He paid,I planned and executed. Food is expensive in Sweden.We spent $100 for what I probably have gotten for $75 back home.I made skewers of shrimp with pineapple,pineapple and Halloumi,Halloumi,mushroom,pepper kebabs, a quick thin sliced pork cutlet marinated in Hoisin, brown sugar, pineapple,spices,oil, sausages,ribs,etc. They didn't marinate for as long as I would have liked but the result was fabulous. Our host BH made a warm potato salad with mixed greens,feta, and asparagus. Delish. A foodie friend of theirs chipped in with a nice dressing for the vegetable kebabs an being the grill master. I introduced them to something new as they never had pineapple on the grill before. I also made rum cocktails with spiced rum, lime, pineapple,and lime. Delish!I apologized for taking over my hosts kitchen, but she said she was happy I was in her kitchen.What can I say, I thrive in the kitchen.Can you believe this is only DAY 1 on a Monday? Tomorrow moving day.












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36 comments:

Judy @ No Fear Entertaining said...

Looks incredible Glamah! Love the sound of a guest house!!! That could be useful!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

What beautiful photos! And how lucky to be near Uppsala - I hear it's a wonderful town. My Swedish daughter will most likely be in University there in the fall.

Your property is amazing. The meal looked wonderful, too!

I didn't realize that you also had relatives in Sweden. How cool!

glamah16 said...

Thanks Jen,t's the Northern Light!Would you believe the food pics were taken around 9 oclock pm?

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That sounds great, wow! I've always wanted to visit Sweden (along with Norway and Finnland)...

Cheers,

Rosa

Ben said...

Hi Courtney,

For a moment I thought you were getting married and moving to Sweden. You can't do that until you show me your favorite restaurants in the windy city. I want to go back and visit for at least one weekend :-p

Great pictures and great story, sorry for all the traveling and waiting around. That's the downside of traveling abroad.

Big HUGS!

Peter M said...

Courtney, it's kind of you to report during your stay there. I hear the Smorgasbjords are a wonderful feast and I hope you come back armed with some recipes. Enjoy to the max!

Flanboyant Eats said...

congrats on the land. yippee on the shopping and now you just need to find some time to rest!

airlines are out of control!

Chef Erik said...

Looks like a lot of fun, I'm super jealouse!

Mary said...

I'm sorry getting there was so snarky, but the new house looks great! It sounds just wonderful!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I am so loving these posts, they so remind me of when I lived in Norway! I love those rural (read:remote)cottages that Scandinavians so adore! You have a beautiful new home - are you sure you want to come back? ;)

Laurie said...

Congratulations on closing on yours and Certain Someones beautiful new Swedish dream house!! Can't wait to see the designs you come up with for the interior! :)

Love the shish kebobs..pineapple yumm!!

Ciao and safe travelings!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Courtney,Congrats to you and CS, it looks like beautiful property you have there. Did I hear you say guest house?? I love watching Tina Nordstrom on New Scandinavian Cooking when she's in Sweden, the scenery is always so gorgeous! Are you sure you want to come back to the Windy City? What a spread you put out for everyone, they must have loved your cooking!

linda said...

Wow, everything looks like a dream! I want a house like that too!
You sound like Superwoman with all the things you did in 1 day!
Enjoy the rest of the stay.

Gab In The City said...

Aww my friend lives in Uppsala, she'll be glad to learn that you heard good things about it. Keep enjoying your time away; it has been hot, humid, and horrible without you guys here!

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

I'm glad to hear you're having such a fabulous time. Thanks for taking the time to tell us all about it! I hope you get to meet some more of US out there.

giz said...

The flight sounds like no fun - 20 freaking hours!!! ouch. The pictures are warming my heart since you already know I'm from Sweden and was born in Uppsala. I'm dieing to see more pictures. Keep 'em coming. So nice to see the Swedish flag again.

jasmine said...

Oh sweetie! Your little slice of heaven sounds so lovely.

Now to save up my pennies so I can fly over and visit :)

j

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Looks awesome, I've only been to Sweden in winter when it gets dark around 2pm. It's on my list of places to revisit.

Emiline said...

Yes, pretty photos. Sweden seems like a nice place to visit. I can't believe the house is so close to the sea. It all seems very romantic.
And you had quite a feast, I see! Enjoy the rest of your time.

Marq said...

Hey girly!! It's been awhile. Sweden, ehh? I'm soo jealous! You seem to be having a great time. The pictures are lovely and once again, I am soo jealous! Those shish kabobs made my mouth water. Please vow to put me in your suitcase next time, I'm sure I can fit. ;)

marias23 said...

Gosh, I would be too happy to have the changce to hand my kitchen over to you! Everything looks delicious and although travelling is a bunch of fun, it also makes me appreciate home more, such as food prices, family, etc. :)

Dhanggit said...

im really jealous to you glamah..i want to be in vacation too!! :-)

Deborah said...

It all sounds so wonderful!! I would love to go to Sweden one day.

Luca&Sabrina said...

Hi Courtney, have a nice holiday and lots of fun! Your photos are wonderful!!!!!
take care
Sabrina&Luca

Gigi said...

Wonderful pictures! I love how beautifully you are documenting your trip. The guest house sounds divine!

Núria said...

Uuuaaaaaahhhh! I had a great time reading your post, Courtney!!!! Welcome to Europe :D

Losing a bag in the airport is horrible!!! Did you get it back?

The house is a dream!!!! Lovely :D. I bet you will have a Wonderful time!!!!

There's something for you in my blog darling♥

Blog Princess G said...

What a great reportage.... and trust you to top it off with a mouth-watering feast. Enjoy your trip Coco!

Gabi said...

Wow that is so beautiful- what a paradise! Good job to the Certain Someone! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

Glamah those are some lovely photographs!!
Have a wonderful trip!!

farida said...

Wow, what a lovely place to be! So happy for you!

Bellini Valli said...

It sounds like a little oasis away from the hustle and bustle of business:D CONGRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa said...

Oh, what a gorgeous little paradise you have there! It looks just wonderful. Mmm, and yummy food (and drink). Sigh.

Heather said...

I am SO jealous!! I wish I were sitting in front of a plate of kebab and a glass of white ale! :D

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Great pics. Your house and the grounds are lovely.

kellypea said...

More lovely photos...and the kebabs look great! As far as the expensive food goes, I'm worried about our trip this summer just because of the difference between the dollar and the Euro...But what a spectacular place to have a second home! I've always wondered what that would be like.

Jeanne said...

LOL - I'm not the only one who can't read the word Uppsala without thinking of that song! Those kebabs do look lovely :)