November 26, 2006 4:01pm
It’s been a really good weekend for me. How has your’s been?
Yesterday we beat Sundsvall… which was an important win, as they had the same record as us going into the game, we were playing on our home court, and I personally didn’t want to lose to any Michigan State girls again. We won! At times we played really well, but our shooting percentage for the entire game was pretty horrible. So it ended up being a close game, more or less, because we couldn’t shoot yesterday. In the first half they played us man to man, and I drove to the basket more times than I have since high school. I don’t know what is was yesterday, but I just kept getting wide open lanes. Granted I missed a fair share of inside shots, it was still really fun to get into the paint again. The second half they played us in a zone and that’s when we struggled a bit from the outside. It’s sorta hard to be aggressive against a zone, but that’s what we needed to do. Thanks to Erin’s clutch three-point shooting and some good team defense, we were able to pull out the win. For those of you (Grammie, Mom, Dad, and Noah(!) ) who followed on Gametracker, thanks of course for your support! : )
Meagen and Deac made it to the game, but not by my directions… I got them totally lost, but luckily the three different times they had to ask some Swedes for help, the locals were friendly. It was so much fun to have family at the game! And of course, when we win, it’s always better. I hope they enjoyed it!
After the game, Erin and I went with Meagen and Deac to find a place to eat. We ended up walking around a long time in the rain because I was supposed to be taking the lead to find a good place to eat, but instead - keeping completely to my nature, though not being the proper tour guide as I should have been – just wandered all over the place before we found somewhere to eat. We were soaking wet by the time we sat down to eat; however, we had seen a good amount of Kungsgaten and Drottninggatan (two of the main streets of Stockholm) by that time too. And, the food turned out to be terrific! The name of the restaurant we ended up at was Drottninggatan 6 (www.drottninggatan6.se if you really need to be distracted). Erin, Deac, and I all ordered steak with potatoes and veggies – though as part of different dishes. Meagen has Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries. The meat and berries together are very tasty. Perhaps we’ll have to try this together around Christmas time (or whenever the next time that I get to enjoy a meal with you may be).
After dinner, we ventured to the Ice Bar of Stockholm. It’s a bar completely made of ice! As part of your admission fee, you get a jacket and gloves to wear inside the bar. Unfortunately, you have to make reservations a good bit in advance (which we didn’t do) or wait until drop-in hours which were much later in the evening… oh well, Meagen and Deac will just have to come back!
It was so special to have them come here and visit. I know they travel a lot, so making the trip to Stockholm probably wasn’t a huge deal for them, but for me – it meant a lot to have them here and to get to spend some time with them. It’s a special treat to be able to show family and friends a glimpse of my life… especially when it’s at a place part way around the globe! I can only hope they had as a good time here, as I did having them!
Today: wow, where should I start… I feel like I’ve been all over the place!
Mindi sent me an email earlier this week that included a list of some churches that one of her friends had suggested that I may like to check out. I googled one, but their website was all in Swedish, so I didn’t know if they had any English services. The next church I googled, Immanuelskyrkan Stockholm, had a whole set of webpages dedicated to their international ministry. This looked promising. And, it was! So, this morning I attended the 9:30 service at Immanuel Church in Stockholm. Compared to New Life, this service was more… traditional (I guess you could say… for instance, no fika in the middle of the service). I really enjoyed the music and also the diversity of people attending. One of the pastors, Jodi Fondell, came up after the service to introduce herself and welcome me to their church. After asking where I was from and telling her Lebanon, CT (never do I ever expect anyone to know where this is!), she knew Lebanon and has been here! She knows the pastor of the Lebanon Baptist Church and was their in the summer(?)!! Crazy, huh?! So that was a neat little connection. She is from southern California, and she and her husband came to Stockholm about 7 years ago – only planning on staying a year or two, but now have no plans of leaving. After talking with her for a bit, I enjoyed a tea and Swedish cinnamon roll (I always forget the name) with a bunch of other girls in the reception hall. Everyone was very welcoming and I am planning to go back next week as well. And, for the message, the main point I took away was this… when God calls us to listen to Him… listen means not only to listen, but to act! The Aramaic word used for listening also means to obey (the direct correlation is lost in English). Therefore, we must not only hear what is being said, but take this to heart, and act on that! God empowers us to work for Him and serve others – I think that is awesome!!
After church, I took the T-bana back to Slussen and ventured down to the water in hopes of catching a ferry over to Djurgården. Well, jumped on the ferry easy enough (really, it was super easy to find!), but then… ah, yes, again my impulsive nature of – let’s just go, let’s not make sure this is where I’m supposed to be going… well, I got off the ferry as soon as it stopped on an island. Even though I read that we were stopping at Skeppsholmen, it didn’t quite register. Instead of going right to Djurgården, I made a slight detour – but it turned out great because I went to the Moderna Museet. It’s Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art. Another superb collection of art. Very much enjoyable. Glad I got off the ferry. Then, after seeing this museum I got back on the ferry – now for sure to Djurgården.
Once reaching my original destination, the first attraction I came upon was Gröna Lund. I think I was supposed to pay to get in, but there was no one there when I walked in, so I just went in. Anyway, Gröna Lund is a mix of amusement park rides (there year round), carnival games, food, and Christmas market stands. There were a million kids there riding the rides and playing the games. There was a skating rink and the entire park was decorated for Christmas. I heard my first Christmas carols, as well. I tried to win a gigantic Swedish chocolate candy bar to bring back to share with everyone for Christmas, but my game card didn’t win. Sorry. I tried. For those people who had lucky tickets though, it was funny to watch them carry this huge – probably a meter long – candy bars around the park. I would have looked really funny too!
After walking around the park for some time, I explored a little more around the island. I didn’t go crazy far, but I was able to locate many of the museums I must come back and enjoy. Since I had already been to the MoMA and Gröna Lund today, I decided I would save the other museums to have their own full day of exploration. Instead of taking the ferry back, I had already walked a good bit already, so I just continued walking towards the Kungsgaten area. Bridges connect all the islands close to shore here, so you can actually walk most places if you really wanted to. At Kungsgaten I enjoyed walking through another Christmas market. I tried some more reindeer or moose or perhaps some other types of meat of which I don’t really know what I’m eating since the guys at the stand speak to me in Swedish unless I say otherwise. I did pick up a little Advent calendar with chocolates inside to give to Erin. I was telling her about these and she never had one before. It’ll be a good way for her to count down until our trips home… she can’t wait to be back in the States for a little bit (me too really, with all the Christmas spirit here… it just makes me want to be with family and share time together!).
It’s been a really nice weekend. It was so terrific to have Meagen and Deac visit. The game went well enough. Church was good this morning. And, I’ve had a fun time exploring for the rest of today. Might meet up with Erin later to watch a football game at O’Leary’s or I might just chill and watch a movie or read. Think I might go try to find a pizza place that might still be open, since I don’t really want to cook ; )
Have a great last week in November! Can you believe it’s almost December?! I can’t believe I’ve been living in Stockholm for more than a month. Oh, and stay tuned for pictures from today... they will be coming soon.