Saturday, August 23, 2008

Gone with the Wind

I seem to have brought a bad cough back from Sweden with me, so I am working at about half-speed on everything. I have 4 days worth of photos up on Flickr and 2 days blogged over on the travel blog.

Tomorrow is dedicated to cleaning in preparation for a house guest from Texas who is going to house/cat-sit for us while we are in Italy.

On Monday, John is going to pick said friend up from the train, and Hannah and I have several errands to do to get her started on school supplies--she goes back on the 8th--and to turn in some paperwork for a job I'll be doing when we get back.

All in all, it's not the best time to be under the weather, but it is not affecting my sleep too much--except for the first night when I coughed so hard I saw 2 rings of light, probably my retinas coming loose around the edges. I can still see, though, flash-free, so they probably aren't completely detached yet. Since then I have been careful to sit all the way up in bed if I have to cough, just to keep the pressure in my eyes somewhat even.

At least I have coffee to help cut through the slime. It was a close call, though. We left for Stockholm on Wednesday. On Tuesday morning, the coffee brewed, but the hot-plate under the pot didn't get hot. No prob, pour the coffee in the thermos. On Wednesday morning, while getting ready to go, nothing happened when we turned the coffee machine on. *sigh* I didn't have any coffee until we got checked in at the airport at about 1:30. John and Hannah are lucky that I didn't eviscerate them in my uncaffeinated state.

After we got back from Stockholm, John ran down to the local bakery for pasteries and coffee, may blessings rain upon him, and then went out and bought a new coffee maker. He was talking about an instant, big, fancy espresso-making thingamabob, but it turns out that those are muy expensive, so he went with almost the exact same version we had before.

The coffee maker is dead.

old dead coffee maker

Long live the coffee maker.

new coffee maker

Also, I was going to call people this weekend, but this stupid cough makes it hard to get out more than a sentence or two. So if you need me before 4 am on Tuesday (9 pm on Monday, Texas time), when we are leaving for Italy, send me an email.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We're back!

We made it back from Stockholm yesterday with a minimum of fuss. The cats were alive when we got home, so it was a win all the way around.

After the second day there and the first day of walking around, my thighs were sore. After the third day, my knee hurt and I was starting to get a sore throat. The knees seem fine now, but I have a bit of an icky cough. John and Hannah are healthy as horses, and of course I was the only one to get sunburned on the one sunny day. Woe is me!

I am in the process of uploading our 357 photos (or at least a sizeable portion of them) to Flickr, so feel free to check over there for updates. I hope to start getting posts plus photos up on my travel blog tomorrow, but I'll keep you posted over here.

To tide you over until then, here are a few tidbits:

Not too confident, are they?

A Carlsberg beer truck. Confident, aren't they?

And for Mr. Jooge:

for Mr Jooge

Here is the wrapping paper for John's belated bday present from me:

Swedish gift wrap

He says licorice tastes like ass (how does he know?), so it is ironic that he gets the licorice mix wrapping paper.

Inside was this t-shirt:

John's birthday tshirt

Now I just need to figure out a way to get rid of his old, dingy, ratty Viking t-shirt.

Speaking of licorice, I never had to share my Swedish gum:

the best gum in the world

Mmmm... salty licorice gum. And sugar-free!

Finally, a tutorial in European toiletry for my American homies:

Swedish toilet

Push on the left for full-flow, the right for low-flow. It depends on what has been deposited. Now you can travel internationally without making a bathroom faux pas!