Once Upon a Time part 1
One of our recent conversations was a trip down memory lane, rating our past trips and saying which destination was our favorite. It's hard to choose one. There are have been some wonderful trips!
One of my favorite trips we took as a family was to Sweden. Our cousin Jenny was getting married to a Swede and the wedding was taking place in Stockholm. Truth be told I would never have chosen Sweden for any trip prior to that one, however, I was incredibly surprised!
It's always exciting to land in a new country. It's your first submersion into a new language and culture, and you have to quickly start figuring out how to navigate your way around, much less how to get out of the airport. I remember being amazed at how clean everything was, and that there were free shoe shine machines everywhere! It makes you realize little things, such as the importance they place on clean shoes. I assume that in places where there is a lot of rain and snow, it pays to keep peoples shoes clean. Also, I remember we had to take a train from the airport to get into the city. It was a beautiful ride through the green, tree filled country, unlike so many places where the trains seem to take you through the grungiest parts of the city.
Stockholm is seamlessly blended with nature. It is a city built upon a series of small islands and it is interconnected by bridges, ferries and trains. I absolutely loved the city! It was a gorgeous blend of old and new, and easily accessible. We rented an apartment, which we generally find more affordable when travelling as a family, plus I believe it allows us to experience destinations as if we were residents as opposed to just vacationers. One our favorite memories was going grocery shopping as a family and trying to figure out what was what. I ended up having sour cream in my coffee the next morning....an experience I hope to never repeat!! It was almost enough to convince me to only drink black coffee. But I will say it was a memorable learning experience and had us all laughing.
The wedding was something straight out of a magazine. Not only was Cousin Jenny gorgeous, the venue and setting couldn't have been improved on in any way. I have never been to another wedding more gorgeous. Plus, I secretly (not so secretly) think that in order for a trip to be truly awesome, you must engage in as many different ways of travelling as possible. Stockholm necessitates this on a daily basis. Planes, trains, automobiles, and boats are all used! After the wedding, the entire wedding party and guests were given balloons and the entire procession walked down to the private ferry. We then were given champagne and enjoyed a gorgeous ride to what I think was a private island venue. It was breathtaking!
Before and after the wedding, we were able to take in the sights, touring museums, the old town, and also Skaansen Island, which is geared toward kids. All in all, I think we were there around 5-6 days, but it was amazing. Our trip was far from over, but our time in Sweden was wonderful. Stockholm on it's own is probably one of my top 5 trips.