Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano
Lake Atitlan from the San Pedro Volcano

16 December 2006


December 15, 2006 11:27pm

Fun Friday! We didn’t have practice today and I didn’t go into lab, so… lot’s of free time!! I slept in this morning, wrote some Christmas notes, then headed off to Gamla Stan to buy some Tomtens that I’ve had my eye on for a while. Similar to how we have Santa Clause in the U.S., here in Sweden they have Tomten (I’m not sure if I’m spelling this correctly). Anyway, the traditional tomten has a long, tall hat, a very hairy beard, and sometimes all you can see is a nose (because of the robust beard, there’s no eyes or mouth visible!). It sounds sorta strange, but they actually are pretty cute. They grow on you. Often times, the beards are made of actual clippings from the wool of sheep. I found some at the gift shop in the Museum of Swedish Horses when I visited there a while back, and returned today to pick my favorites out to bring home.

After making my tomten selection, I headed off to meet up with this guy I met at the “Street” fair last weekend. Remember, the “Street” fair was one of the Christmas markets I went to last Sunday… with a focus on organic and earth-friendly products, I think. Now, I realize that sounds a bit sketchy – going out with some seemingly random guy -but really it isn’t at all. His stand at the fair was an espresso bar and showcase of fine chocolates. For some reason we started talking about different things… food and basketball primarily… and some how we decided it would be fun to meet up and talk more. Specifically, he’s a total “foodie” – and though I’m not close to calling myself one yet – I’m quite definitely learning to love them! Or, at least love what I can learn : ) Plus, I feel as if I can’t escape having foodies in my life… not that I would at all want to, of course (much rather, the other way around). So this guy, his name is Pierre, is Swedish and French. He’s spent the last few years studying and working in culinary arts and wine (is wine part of culinary art?) in France, but grew up in Stockholm. He’s worked at one of the two best restaurants in Stockholm, is an official, trained, wine-guy that nice restaurants have (I don’t know how to spell the title), and now he just bought a retail space in St: Eriksplan in which he is building a juice-bar and vegan/raw-food specialty store and café. He does a lot more of other food-related adventures, but that’s just a quick summary. When I first met him I could not help but think of three people in particular – Andrea, Veronica, and Jonathan – I want you to come meet this guy or at least talk to him! He’s worked at a bunch of places and has a good chunk of experience in the food industry with lots of connections. He’s really passionate about it. Makes for good conversation, or at least good stories for me to listen to and learn from. Oh, I wish you were here with me today! We went out to lunch at a nice little French restaurant and then visited Lux (it’s supposedly one of the very best bakeries in Sweden) to buy some dark bread (a specialty here). At the restaurant, he knew everyone who worked there and the chef came out and talked with us for quite a while. I ordered a fish and tomato dish and enjoyed a mini apple-cake for dessert. It was fun to hear about the best restaurants in the city and his personal involvement and connection with am impressively large bit of the food scene here. Don’t know if we’ll go out again – I definitely want to try some places he suggested – but, just to be clear for all of you that I’m sure are wondering… for me, there is absolutely nothing romantic here at all. So, don’t get all excited or anything ;) Just a good meal and good conversation. Plus, he’s too old for me! Haha. And, if I really liked someone – I don’t exactly know if I’d lay it all out like this in such a public blog – but, since that (the being swept off my feet ;) ) hasn’t happened yet, well, we’ll just have to wait and see!

After lunch and the bakery stop, I returned home to finish up writing the notes I had started writing this morning. I didn’t have many of the addresses, so I set off to Katarinahissan (the elevator, cat-walk, internet hotspot) to brave the cold, get online, and retrieve those mailing addresses. Best part of this outing (and best party of the day too!!)… I talked to Pete (and Quinn, sort of) over skype. We tried to talk live, though the very gusty winds limited the effectiveness of that mode of conversation. Therefore, we just resorted to chatting. I love the Klenows!! Christine and Pete, of course… but Q-man especially… and now, even though I haven’t actually met her yet, Annalise too. I can’t help but smile and also get a bit sad when I think of them – smiling for all our great times (in the past and to come), but sad for only being in month two of six of not seeing them. I’m forever grateful for their incredibly loving, welcoming, and encouraging support and friendship they’ve always extended to me. I feel so blessed to have them in my life. Just saying thanks will never be enough for all they have done for me. Ok, enough of being sentimental… onto the next adventure…

…took the ferry to Skeppsholmen and the Arkitect Museet (the Architecture Museum). Currently there is a gingerbread house exhibition. Entries in four categories: architects, bakers, kids 12 and under, and the general population. I even filled out a form to vote for my favorite. The houses were pretty amazing. If I get around to it, I’m going to post some pics of the houses I saw (check it out at Made me want to build a ginger-bread house, and eat some of it too : ) Also, weekly museum attendance completed… check. Where should I go next?

Tonight I finished up one of the scarves I’ve been knitting, while watching Cold Mountain (sad, but very good) and Elf (hilarious!!). Pretty chill Friday evening, but just what I wanted. Tomorrow will be another busy day… want to squeeze in as much Christmas spirit as I can!! Hope you’re full of it (that is, Christmas spirit, of course)!!

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