Friday, April 3, 2015

Winter in Sweden

A year ago in March we put most of our belongings into storage and embarked on this journey of life in Sweden.  While I don't expect each year to be exactly the same, it is nice knowing we have seen Gothenburg during every season.  I suppose I have adjusted to life here because I don't seem to have as much to tell, or maybe it just seems less formal to do it on Instagram or Facebook.  But not all (seven) of you dear blog readers are connected to those outlets, so I'll do a little winter recap here.

When we moved here I was dreading winter.  The cold and the darkness, the wind and snow.  It was indeed still dark in the mornings when I took the kids to school, and it would be dark again shortly after the kids got home.
Lampshades for the street lamps
And it did snow several times, but usually just an inch or two.  Just enough to make everything postcard-pretty.

My friend Caroline's back yard
Steve and I found cozy places for date nights, like this tapas place called Pinchos.  The hostess seats you, then you get your own silverware and water carafe, and you order via smartphone app.  You get a notification when your food is ready, then you bring it back to the table on slabs of wood that stack in a holder for easy access from both sides.  My favorite is the bacon-wrapped dates down there.

We enjoyed cold-weather family outings to places like Universeum and the city library.

Bowen enjoyed playing trains with his Papa over Christmas, so then after we returned to Sweden they would run the trains via FaceTime.

It did get light in the middle of the day, but there was a lot of overcast moodiness.

So I had plenty of fika with friends, which helps life be more fun in several ways.

And when the sun came out it was enough of a psychological boost that I didn't mind the darkness so much.

And compared to the winter my friends and family in the States had, I'd say we got off easy.  Temperatures hovered around freezing here, and we didn't have any cancellations due to weather.  Olivia's kindergarten class spent one day at an ice rink and another at an indoor pool/waterpark.

My friend Kerry scored tickets for us to see Kristina från Duvemåla at the Gothenburg Opera.  It's a musical about a Swedish family emigrating to America during the 1800s, written by the ABBA guys. It was in Swedish, but we had read the plot synopsis beforehand and so it wasn't difficult to follow along. The music was better than I expected and reminded me of some of Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Harbor next to the Opera
After that was our trip to Spain where we filled our sunshine tanks, ate plenty of fried calamari, and saw many beautiful places.  For the remainder of February and into March we had plenty of rain, indoor fun, and comfort food.

Perfecting my Guinness steak pie recipe

The Tuesday walking group met every week all winter! I'm so grateful for these ladies.

at Sisjön lake
And then we started seeing flowers and the days were noticeably longer, but the transition to spring has been a slow one.  If you look out the window it seems like it should be warm outside, but it's April and we're still wearing our winter coats.

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