And the family reunions begin. Joe has always known that I had a big family, but I kept warning him that he had met only the tip of the iceberg. I think this trip verified this little fact – in a very big way.
Our first meet-up was with my cousin Johanna and her boyfriend Gustav. Johanna studied abroad in the states our sophomore year of high school, so we’ve been lucky enough to actually spend a fair amount of time together. From setting her up for my school’s homecoming dance to trick-or-treating on Halloween (since they don’t trick-or-treat in Sweden) to spending the day shopping in Seattle – we always had a great time. But that was 11 years ago! So needless to say, we had a lot to catch up on.
They brought us to Kvarnen Restaurang, a place all the locals frequent (which is also where Lisbeth went on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). The food was absolutely incredible – I had the braised ox muzzle. To this day, I have dreams about it. After dinner, we visited the Vampire Lounge for fun, fancy cocktails. Apparently, the best in Stockholm! They would sure have my vote.
Overall, the evening was a blast – filled with reminiscing about her visit, catching up on other important life details and promising future visits.
Our next meet-up was with my cousin Madeleine and her boyfriend Fredrik. The last time we saw each was back in the mid 90’s when side ponytails, hypercolor and Adidas jackets were all the rage. What I’m trying to say is – it was a looong time ago. We jumped on the train to Solna, just outside the city center, to their adorable apartment. The evening started with wine on their deck, followed by a delicious homecooked meal, then more wine and dessert. They make a dynamic duo in entertaining guests – we felt like the whole night was perfectly planned! We talked about everything under the sun – from the cultural differences between the USA and Sweden to what’s the best movie we’ve seen recently, even of the Swedish variety since Joe seems to be well-versed in Swedish cinema.
We told both Johanna and Madeleine that we expected a visit at some point in the future, so I hope they can make it happen!