anam_moon: (The Lady of Shalott)
New coin designs for the United Kingdom.

Clearly I need to go back to the UK so I can collect these coins too.
anam_moon: (Valkyrie)
We slept like the dead. I woke up at around four-thirty or so and saw that it was already quite light out. I think I might have fallen asleep again for a bit, but we were out of bed before six and we had a bit more of the quiche that Eva was kind enough to make for us. James was curious what their Saturday morning children programming was like and we saw the most bizarre music video of a man and four women dressed up in baggy cat outfits meowing and singing in a disco video. James tried out the outdoor shower and ran out of cold water very quickly so he took me over to the community shower. It's pay with tokens, Magnus gave us about eight tokens for during our stay. Got ourselves all ready for Magnus to show up. After having breakfast with him he suggested we put together sandwiches, etc. for a picnic lunch while we were out looking at old family homes, etc. He drove us all over the area, pointing out where his mother was born, etc. We met several people and he purchased a book written by someone in the community to give to me. It was a history of who had owned properties and whom they had been sold to so my family name showed up in there several times. He also took us to see a Bronze Age house. After a few hours we found a picnic bench with a great view of the sea and had lunch. After lunch he continued to show us different houses and then he took us to the place where my great-grandfather had been born. We met the people who owned the land now and the wife walked out with us to show us all that was left of the house. Part of a stone wall and a large stone with a door hinge on it. It was up on a bit of a hill and I stood for a while looking out at the green fields and the nearby glen. We took photos and thanked them for letting us visit. Then it was time to go to the family reunion.
There were so many people there, almost thirty adults and some children. Everyone formed a long line to come over, introduce themselves, and shake our hand. It was surprisingly hot out and I wasn't dressed right at all. It had seemed chilly when I picked out clothes at around six in the morning. I don't think they have any concept of skin cancer there. We spent virtually all day standing or sitting in the sun. It was really nice getting to meet everyone though. I got to meet another Petra! We went on a walk through the forest. They had a game set up on the walk through the forest with multiple choice questions tacked to trees. It was a beautiful area, right next to the lake. After that it was time to Bar-B-Q the Ka-Bobs we assembled and they told us that we should be instructing them on how to Bar-B-Q since we're Americans. We told them that my Father is really the master meat griller in the family and that we generally just contribute the meat to be put on the fire. They told us that we needed to stay for much longer and suggested that we call our work and tell them that we would not be coming back. It was nice feeling so welcome by family, they really wanted us to be there. =) I spent quite a bit of time sitting with Magnus going over the photos that I brought for him and the family tree scroll that he was carrying around. I blanked on a couple of the little kids names. They were shocked when they saw the photo that my grandmother had taken of their ranch in Red Bluff when it was snowing. "You have snow?!" Hehehe...well, yes. Some places in California actually do get snow. I thought I was going to pass out for a while there. I ended up having to retreat into the little park house with a restroom and a kitchen just so I could down some cups of water and be out of the sun. Magnus arranged for a nyckelharpa player to be at the reunion so James could speak with him and try out the instrument. The performer, Lennart Dunér played several tunes for us, it was lovely. All of my family was sitting around on chairs and on the grass listening to the music. It was so kind of Magnus to arrange that performance. He really went out of his way to make sure that we felt welcome and got to see everything that we were interested in during our brief stay. I want to learn Swedish. I am going to go ahead and buy the language CDs through my store and see if I can't get myself to at least know more than a few phrases. Ate a lot of good food, they had a lot of desserts, and I ended up drinking a cup of coffee. I liked it. Course, it had milk and sugar in it, but I liked it. When I tried it I turned to James and told him, "My Father is going to laugh at me. I like this." (He did. He said he was going to bring me over to the Dark Side yet). We were there till about nine-thirty or so and then Magnus drove us back to his little cottage in Frosakull and made plans to be there at around eight-thirty the next morning so he could eat breakfast with us again and then he would drive with us part way in the direction we needed to go to get to Goteborg and find our hotel. I gave him the pen that I had bought at B&N for him. He insisted that I use his cell phone to call home and talk to my parents. I wasn't really feeling homesick, I was more tired and sun exposure exhausted than anything else. Poor James' face was really sun-burnt and part of the top of my head had gotten it too. I ended up falling asleep on the couch in the sitting room for a bit while James took a quick shower. Aside from all the sun and the surprising heat it was really a wonderful day.
anam_moon: (bork bork)
James and I had arrived in Sweden! Wow, I was in Sweden. Someone pinch me, I couldn't believe that I was actually in Sweden. I'm so glad that we only bring carry on with us, it makes getting off the plane and getting out of the airport that much easier. We found an ATM and went to find the rental car place. The Hertz place gave us a Volvo! An S40, to be precise. Excellent, now our defenses were in place for us running amok through Sweden. ;) The lady at the Hertz counter was very kind and let me use her phone to call Magnus to get directions to meet up with him. I was feeling so nervous! He sounded very friendly, but I had some trouble understanding him. How I wish that I knew Swedish! That would be only one of many instances that I would really, really regret my great-grandparents stance on becoming American and abandoning their native language. I had James speak to Magnus too so he could get directions from him and then we went off in search of the Halmstad airport. Being the passenger I got to stare out the windows in awe as we drove along beside dense forests right at the edge of town. We got turned around a few times and had to ask someone for directions, but we made good time. Pulled in and started wondering how we were going to recognize Magnus. Fortunately James spotted the model of car that Magnus said he would be driving so we walked over to the man standing next to it. Magnus! He greeted us and embraced me. We agreed that I would ride with him to the little summer cabin in Frosakull and James would follow us. We tried to make conversation as best we could and he pointed out things to me as he drove. We arrived at the little house in Frosakull and he showed us around the place. Very cute, cozy little place. A small kitchen with a breakfast nook, a bathroom, a sitting room, and a bedroom (behind a curtain) with two bunk beds. There was an enclosed outdoor shower attached to the house, but there was also a community indoor shower in a separate cabin. Thank goodness, I wasn't quite brave and daring enough to shower outside, even if I could lock the door. The outside part didn't bother me too much, just the getting to the shower room and back into the house kind of bothered me. I didn't really feel like running around in my nightgown all over the community, but that's just me.
Magnus' daughter, Eva and her husband, Christer showed up with their little black schnauzer dog, Millker. He was only about five months old. Very cute. They asked us if we were hungry so they scavenged through the pantry and fridge and came up with a picnic table out on the lawn covered in cheeses, breads, homemade rolls, etc.
It was nice getting to sit and visit with them. Magnus gave us a shot of a liquor called Flader. Oof! Burning! It burnssses! It's a local alcohol that has had a local flower's petals steeped in it. I couldn't detect flowers, all I knew was my throat was on fire. They asked if we wanted to go look around Halmstad; before leaving Magnus' sister, Marta showed up to greet us and came along. They walked all over town with us; pointing out an old fortified town, showing us the oldest road in town (only really big enough to accommodate a horse and buggy), an old building with green bricks. It was wonderful getting to wander around the town with my family pointing out interesting things to us. After a while Magnus looked at me and announced we were going home to Frosakull. I guess I must have looked pretty wiped out. I was a little past feeling it though, but I still ended up nodding off some on the car ride back to the little house.
Once back at the house Eva showed us how to heat up a quiche that she had made for us (Absolutely wonderful! Delicious!)and we made arrangements for Magnus to come over early the next morning to have breakfast with us and then drive us around to show us the place where my great-grandfather, Paul Brask was born. We ate some of the amazing quiche after they left and then went and crashed. It was after eleven at night and it was still very light out, just starting to get dark.
anam_moon: (Valkyrie)
I was very glad that our flight was leaving at one in the afternoon this time instead of early in the morning. My Dad was able to give us a ride to SFO since he worked at one. I was feeling pretty stressed out...,being trapped on a plane, wanting everyone there to like me, etc. I had myself pretty worked up. Dad made a sandwich and a half for us. We ended up throwing away half a sandwich, but the sandwiches were a good thing to have. Arriving at the airport we went to get ourselves checked in and James was told that his name was on a no fly list. We weren't too concerned, James A. Campbell is a fairly common name. Got that cleared up and then we went to wander around the airport. We were planning on a sit down meal, but we weren't terribly impressed with the selections at SFO and we ended up with not enough time before they were going to start loading the plane. I got the window seat again and I actually made use of it this time. In 2003 when we went to Co. Cork,Ireland I was by the window, but after glancing out of it a few times it made me too anxious feeling so I closed it, but this time I enjoyed looking out and seeing the impressions that man has made on the landscape. It's really rather like looking at a quilt. We were over land most of the time so I had some interesting views and I wish I had had my digital camera out, there were some amazing cloud formations. One in particular was quite awe inspiring, a large pillar of cumulus clouds rising up out of a sea of clouds. While not staring out the window I tried to sleep, but really didn't have any luck with that. I don't think I had even an hour's sleep while on the plane. I did a lot of reading and ignored the in-flight movies. I wasn't terribly interested in watching them. I finished "He Shall Thunder in the Sky" by Elizabeth Peters and got part way into "Lord of the Silent" before we landed in Frankfurt, Germany. The staff at Frankfurt were nice and spoke excellent English. By that point I was just so glad to be off the plane. The landing was flawless though, I couldn't even tell when we touched down. Many of the passengers applauded. We had been in a plane for about eleven hours and it was miserably warm and stuffy in there. Why don't they make airplanes cooler? I've heard they used to be quite chilly. That would be so much better, then I could just bundle up and use the blanket they give out. The food was pretty good on the flight, nothing too exciting, but it was passable. The Frankfurt terminal was very warm too. We wandered around trying to figure out which Gate was ours since they had to switch it a few times due to problems and delays. After two hours we were on the last leg of our journey to Scandinavia and were on our way to Sweden.

God dag!

Jun. 4th, 2005 03:38 pm
anam_moon: (bork bork)
James and I have made it back safe and sound. A little poorer, but we had a wonderful time. My family all welcomed us with open arms and we were able to achieve many of the objectives for making the trip, now we just need to win the lottery tonight so I can call my work tomorrow and tell them I won't be coming back, except to turn in my keys. My grandparents are coming over for dinner tonight so I've got to do some stuff to get myself and the house ready before they get here. I'll try to start writing up my account of my trip later. Hej da!

Free!

May. 22nd, 2005 03:12 am
anam_moon: (Tree Woman)
Yay! I'm free! Free! Vacation, vacation, glorious, wonderful adventure time! James and I are putting another notch in the passport and will be flying off to Sweden and Norway on Thursday. I'm so excited, but I'm a little nervous. I think I'm worried about the traveling in a place that the official language isn't my own thing and I want to make a good impression. I'm hoping that everything will work out with meeting up with my family and that James and I will get to see a lot of wonderful things, have amazing experiences, and not freeze(I think we'll be fine). I'm jazzed! I bought some last minute things at work tonight. I picked up a couple of language dictionaries that should be easy to pack and a couple of blank paged travel journals. I want to be good and try to actually record my experiences while I'm there and sketch a few things too. James stopped by the store to let me know that he had bought back up batteries for the digital camera and a box of chocolates to give as a gift to our host, Magnus. I'm looking forward to meeting him in person, I hope he likes me.
Better go to bed. Mom and I are both off "today" and are going to spend the day together. =)
anam_moon: (Default)
Ooooooo....James gave me the most wonderful news today! Hopefully it will come true! It's very, very good news...work related anyway. =)
Today was actually a pretty good day. I was able to get away from the register and do some work on our travel section. It allowed me to daydream a little, while I worked furiously, about where I want to go next. So many places, so little vacation time.
anam_moon: (Tree Woman)
I didn't think I would be happy about having to open at Barnes and Noble but it actually worked out to be to my benefit. My Swedish side of the family was having a family reunion since several relatives from Sweden were here. Usually, unless I call in sick, I don't get to be at these family functions because they never get planned much ahead of time (that we hear about anyway) so I end up having to go to work and just hear about it from my parents. It would be nice to not have to give up every weekend to Barnes& Noble.
I was already resigned to the fact that I was not going to get to meet my relatives from Sweden, but then on Thursday David asked me if I wouldn't mind working an opening shift on Saturday since they had too many closers and only two to open the store. Yes! It was very strange being there so early in the day and I don't think we had the normal crowd of people there for a Saturday morning, but I was off at four-thirty and then James and I headed over to my Aunt Patty's house for the reunion. I thought it was very sweet that James stayed there with me instead of just dropping me off. It was so nice! I got to meet so many people and see family that I generally only see at funerals. It has always seemed very sad to me that I have a very, very large family on both sides and I never see my Mom's side and, for the most part, I only see Dad's side when one of them has passed away. It was so nice being there with my family and everyone being happy! I hadn't seen my Great-Aunt Madeline in years! All of the Swedish relatives told me I need to go to Sweden, hopefully someday. I would very much like to travel to Sweden and Norway to see what it's like and get to visit the family we have there. One of my relatives, since the family reunion, has emailed a whole bunch of us to try to get everyone in on doing an online family tree with photos and stories, I think it's a wonderful idea and it may help me get the family tree I've been working on completed and accurate.

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anam_moon

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