Friday, May 25, 2012

You KNOW it got wild! : A Photojournal from a Week with Grandma and Pepe

Having been in Sweden for a few months now, we are really enjoying ourselves.  But it is tough not having family and friends close by to talk with or just enjoy time together.  I think that is why Lis and I view our time with our visitors as our own little oasis.  Having friends and family visit us creates a place where we can relax and enjoy time with people who have known us since before 2012.

That is why we were so excited when Grandma and Pepe were scheduled to come out.  We had been looking forward to their trip for awhile, but it really couldn’t get here fast enough. 

Not surprisingly, there was plenty of photographic evidence with both Lisa and Grandma taking pics, so the following is a little photo-journal from their trip!

Day 1 - Arrival!

After a really long flight (and short train to downtown), Calvin rewards Grandma with KISSES and SNUGGLES.  I’m pretty sure that the long flight wiped out any and all memories of this first day, so I could literally type ANYTHING here about their day, and they couldn’t argue!

Day 2 - Exploring Stockholm

Calvin had a stressful morning defending his castle against two ogres

We then went off to explore the downtown area and Gamla Stan,  the oldest part of Stockholm

After an afternoon of strollin, Calvin wanted to walk around in a nice park by the water.

Day 3 - Birthday Party!!!!

One of our biggest (superficial) concerns moving out here was that we wouldn't have anyone to celebrate Calvin's first birthday.  Luckily, Lisa is a social butterfly out here and has made great friends, AND Grandma and Pepe wouldn't have missed this for the world.  It definitely meant a lot to us to have part of our family out here for Calvin's big day

Time to slay a dragon!
(once again, GREAT cake lis!) 

What's a playground party without some swing-induced squeals??

I'm pretty sure this is what Leif Ericsons family photos would have looked like

Day 4 - Skansen

Stockholm as a really fun outdoor zoo, Skansen, focused on Scandinavian animals.  Here Grandma and Pepe lie to Calvin by telling him to look at the “puppy” (only word that GUARANTEES he will look at something) that is actually a ferocious wolverine. 

Pepe helped Calvin explore the gnome house in “Lil Skansen”.  This hour of walking around hunched over with Calvin would have hurt more if there wasn’t ice cream and beer directly outside.  NOT Skansen’s first rodeo.

Nothing is more fun than crawling around like a hamster for a little while. Except when 10 year old Swedish kids keep knocking you down…

Sweden joined in Calvin’s birthday celebration by lighting up a pretty good size candle…

Day 5 - We're on a Boat! (Happy Socialism!)

If I'm off of work to celebrate May Day, we pretty much had to go on a boat ride right?

I can't think of a better place to have a nice picnic than the “Swedish Versaille”

I'm pretty sure that Lisa was just imagining being a little girl and playing pretty pretty princess - who knows, maybe my mom was too??

Time to feed some ducks!  This was in the gardens behind the palace, where we found a little stream with some ducks.  We then realized this stream formed the moat that surrounded the dog park - thats some good engineering Stockholm

Day 6 - Livin as a Swede

Lisa really enjoyed being able to show off her day-to-day mommy schedule.  First stop was at the open daycare.  Grandma was able to see a lot of singing, clapping, playing and parachutin’

Naturally, after song time, everyone was ready to enjoy the outside weather.  Time to get your trampoline on

These cherry blossoms weren’t there a week ago and they disappeared in another week.  Made catching them all the better

 Where is Pepe you ask??  Just exploring former Soviet territories (Tallinn, Estonia) and trying to see what he could get away with saying without getting interrogated by the KGB.

Day 7 - Just Chillin

Island livin - Scandinavian style

Pepe escaped from the Gulag and he is ready to swing!  Weeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Day 8 - Going in the deep end

Lisa and I left for Vienna this day but we knew that Calvin was in great hands.  First thing they did was hit up a sure thing!  Singalong time!  Pepe was shocked when a tidal wave of Swedish ladies arrived with their babies (and dads on paternity leave of course) 2 minutes before the singing started.  Pepe didn’t know what hit him

(feel free to play "Where's Waldo/Calvin" for this pic), 

The one “must-see” museum on Pepe’s Stockholm list was the Vasa.  Basically a museum showing the “Titanic” of the 1600’s.  One of my friends sons LOVES this museum, and pretends that he is in “Pirates of the Caribbean” when he is there.  I’m assuming that’s what is going through Pepe’s head as well. 

After such a fun day, Calvin rewarded Grandma with some attack kisses!

Day 9 - Kulturhuset

During their Saturday morning stroll, they found a 10K road race.  Pepe taught Calvin to applaud the runners as they passed (the kid LOVES clapping).  Good strategy for future race days!

We've always loved the main library here, the kids area is basically a big indoor playground.  Grandma just had to make sure that bigger kids didn't knock Calvin down.  Not sure if they tried to read any Swedish baby books or not...

Kulturhuset: Kid tested, Pepe approved

Day 10 - Strolling HARD

Sunday morning, Calvin got up nice and early (I’m guessing), so they decided to go feed the ducks.  They didn’t realize that this was no “Slater Park” duck pond and that these birds wanted their breakfast.  After escaping from what was turning into a Hitchcock movie set, they channeled their inner euro and hung out at café’s for a bit. 

When we got back from Vienna, we decided to go on a walk around the water.  The walk that afternoon couldn’t have been more perfect.  The weather was great, the dogs were sniffin and Calvin was a happy boy.  Lisa and I both loved seeing the excitement in my Mom’s face as she described to us all the fun things that they did over the last few days, how much she loved spending that time with Calvin, and how they took full advantage of the family-friendly infrastructure in Sweden.  So during the walk we went up the lake and ended up hanging out on a pier for awhile. The pier had stairs and a ramp, which meant that Calvin was the happiest boy in the world.  We spent over an hour (adults rotating turns), just holding his little hands as he went up and down everything that he could.  Just a great way to spend the afternoon.

Day 11 - Great memories....

Calvin had SO much fun hangin with his Pepe and Grandma that he just couldn’t handle it Monday morning. 

Overall, I know we all had a great time and really took advantage of everything we could.  We had looked forward to this week for a long time, so it was tough that it went by so quickly.  But we are really lucky that Grandma and Pepe (with Laura next time!) will be able to visit us again so soon and we have already started to prep for that trip.  Until then, we will have a lot of fun skyping on the weekends. It’s really funny to watch how excited Calvin gets when he hears the skype noises start – he LOVES himself some skyping time. 

Couldn't have asked for anything more.

1 comment:

  1. GREAT photo journal, Jon! Thank you so much. What a great visit you all had with your parents. Can't wait for our turn.
    love to all, m


Leave your thoughts here