stockholm, part one

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So, everyone keeps asking if this trip was spontaneous. For the record, we had been saving up awhile for a trip like this. But yes, our good friends, the Lundquists, talked us into this amazing adventure just a couple of short months before take off. And, I'm so glad they did.

We found amazingly cheap tickets through Norwegian Airlines- nonstop from Oakland. As in, these tickets were cheaper than flying to Texas for Christmas. How could we pass this up!? We were pretty sure the plane was going going to be just as cheap as the cost, especially after dodging extra fees for food and baggage. But, the plane we flew on was incredible. I highly recommend them.

So, Stockholm became our first stop, out of default. To be honest, Stockholm wasn't necessarily on my radar. But, I really did fall in love with this beautiful city. Stockholm felt more like a home. It's a city that welcomes you, and greets you with a smile. Sure, it was freezing. But, the people were so incredibly warm and kind. And oh, the design! Stockholm was such an inspiring city.

Mad props to Christyn for doing basically all of the ground work for this trip. She was so prepared, and made it so that we were not just wandering around aimlessly. Ten days seems like a long time, but when you knock out three of those days for travel time, it's really not that much! 

We are huge fans of Airbnb, and so it was fun to find apartments within the best areas of the city. Our first apartment was in Södermalm. We settled in to bed for the night... only to find ourselves congregated in the kitchen at 3am eating bread and cheese. Jet lag is a beast. 

After we went back to sleep, we woke up to the sound of Sam throwing up in the bathroom. Poor guy got a pretty intense stomach bug. For the entire next morning he rolled around on the floor begging me to take him to the hospital. I'm such a mean wife because I had a feeling he would be fine, and I was totally mad that I couldn't go out to see the city. So awful. But, I stuck around for awhile and called the international hotline for nursing advice, until he fell asleep from exhaustion. No worries, by early evening he was back to normal!

On our first day, we spent most of the time just getting to know the city...

1) Urban Deli- We ate lunch here, and went back multiple times for more food or to use their bathroom. It's a small grocery market with speciality foods, and an amazing little restaurant. Our waiter kept winking at us, and told us of his crazy eight years living in NYC on the Lower East Side. The food was delicious.

2) Free Tour Stockholm- These tours meet at various places around the city. They are completely free, although they do ask for tips. And, I would say they are totally worth it! To be honest, we only lasted about half an hour because it was so freezing cold. But, I loved hearing all the stories- like the "lady in white" who appears by the flagpole on the palace whenever there is about to be a death in the royal family. When we couldn't handle the cold anymore, we slipped into this beautiful antique shop in Gamla Stan that was full of gleaming copper pots. It was the kind of place that you have to do a a little shimmy-ing in order to get to the the item you are looking for. And pray that you don't knock something over and disturb the quiet.

3) Stockholm Metro Stations- These were one of my favorite things about this city. The stations look like they are carved out of stone, and each features different art. My favorite, was the T-Centralen station, with it's bright blue Scandanavian patterns, larger than life. Some are painted with specific themes or political statements. And, others are just pure art. We took this little tour, but saw so many more just in passing. 

It was kind of a funny first day, with Sam being sick and the rest of us adjusting to the time change and the cold. But, we got a good taste of the city!

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