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.