After living in Sweden for six years I finally, for the first time ever, went to an IKEA!
I had no idea IKEA was so much fun! I did, although, know that Phong would be crazy entertaining wherever I happened to take him.
Here he is trying out the stability of a bed for pull ups. He still talks about this bed, by the way.
He leafed through magazines, lounged on couches and even tested every tablet he came across–just in case it actually worked.
He spent a couple minutes tidying up the umbrellas. We were here for hours!
Lunch time at IKEA! I had no idea how great this place was.
Do all IKEA cafeterias have these adorable tray carts? I love them so much! We didn’t really need to take a cart, we were three adults, but come on!
I also loved the conveyor belt that takes away your dishes! I wish my kitchen had one of these..
Phong and I are playing with the idea of an IKEA weekend, like a vacation, but we’ll go to IKEA instead of the beach or a cabin.
This treasure is in Gamlastan (Old town) in Stockholm and if you’re ever in the area you should definitely visit!
What looks like a tiny shop is actually huge. Just keep going. The first floor of books and fandom swag goes up stairs to a platform of dvds and shirts and then up another set of stairs to a floor of boardgames. The first time I was here I didn’t even realize it was so big, I was so overwhelmed by the first section.
In fact, the first time I was here I was so overwhelmed by all of the cute stuff and books that I didn’t buy anything! Nothing! I regretted it so!
Phong found Thor’s hammer amidst the fanswag! Turns out he’s not worthy of ruling Asgard.
I really wish we had one of these in Umeå. This is, hands-down, my favorite shop in Stockholm. Visit it! You’ll love it!
We went to Stockholm for the weekend. The flight from Kiruna down took about an hour and a half. We flew with Norwegian Air. I’ve only ever had good experiences with Norwegian. And Stockholm was blissfully without snow!
Phong slept on just about every piece of transportation, as usual. He even fell asleep on the plane before take off and didn’t wake again until we were in the air.
We took the bullet train between the airport and the train station in town. It’s a little more expensive than the bus but it only takes about 20 seconds and it was really comfy. It’s cheaper the more seats you’re buying at a time.
We stayed at Scandic Sjöfartshotellet. Scandic is a chain of hotels here. We were surprised to find tiny twin beds in our room. The cabinet behind him in the picture folded down into a second bed. We moved the other one over so we could sleep next to each other. Phong and I sleep like otters. We hold hands. I didn’t know this was an otter thing until Phong heard about how they hold hands so they don’t drift away from one another at night.
Swedish hotels have great breakfast buffets! Breads with different spreads, cheeses, veggies and meat slices. Baked beans, bacon, eggs and much more.
This particular Scandic also had teapots you could fill and bring to your table. A nice touch.
The whole hotel was very nice. Big gym downstairs. Happy staff. And a good breakfast.
(Helsingborg, Sweden 2012)
While going through the last handful of years of pictures on my computer I noticed something curious. Over all those years and trips, Phong has interacted with more than ten statues/sculptures and I have photographed him.
(Helsingborg, Sweden 2011)
(Lycksele Zoo, Sweden 2009)
(Garden in Malmö 2012)
(Turns out Phong likes kissing)
(Trying to move the turtle in Umeå 2010)
(Riding a lion at the San Fransisco Zoo back in 2009)
(The lions won)
(Becoming a seal in San Fransisco 2009)
(Royal Castle in Stockholm 2014)
As you might imagine, life with Phong is pretty fun.
A what? Biskvi!
I first encountered the biskvi on my very first trip to Sweden. It is a stapel of swedish pastries but, I feel, often goes unnoticed next to the prettier, brighter and larger treats in the glass cases of the cafes. I originally mistook this little guy for a cookie. It is not a cookie. It has the sugar intensity of a whole cake crammed into cookie size.
The classic biskvi is a cookie bottom (usually crunchy outside and soft inside) with a mound of butter cream coated in chocolate. It is intense but, in my opinion, not all that great.
After my first couple biskvis I was pretty much done with them. That all changed when I saw a white biskvi with purple on top in the pastry case at Cafe Kakmonstret in Umeå. Unfortunately, every time I get my hands on the violet biskvi at Kakmonstret, I eat it so quickly that I never get a picture. -_-
And so began the dawn of flavored biskvis!
(Daim candy biskvi and a pear biskvi)
I wouldn’t mind if biskvi became the new sugar fad. If you’re in Sweden you should give them a try! I, obviously, suggest flavored biskvi over original.