The Beginning

As far as America is concerned, today Jacob and I vanished. We departed the U.S. as American, switched passports mid-air, and entered Europe as European citizens.

I like to imagine that if America tried to track us down, their only possible conclusion would be that we were stuck on the eternal flight from hell, or in an airport somewhere like Tom Hanks in The Terminal.

I'll spare you the gory details (of sitting sandwiched between two rows of hyper-active, over-hormonal "scouts" from the Isle of Man on our 8 hour flight) because I realized that all the observations you make when traveling ultimately become worthless once you arrive at your destination.

The trip was long and boring (over all). The End.

And then we got off the train in the middle of nowhere and were greeted by a cheerful man holding a little girl with blonde ringlets. His name is Thomas, her name is PJ - they were there to pick us up and introduce us to the rest of the family back home. But first we needed to go to the store and buy ice-cream, because the Swedes love their ice-cream, and it was the only proper way to welcome us to the country.

Twenty minutes later, even further out in the middle of nowhere, we rolled up to their home - a 20 (ish) room converted school house. I say school house - but think more the Bennett's house from Pride and Prejudice. Just more Swedish looking.

And while everything in the house is very homespun and the house appears to be undergoing constant amateur renovation, everything inside is remarkably pretty. Never before have I wanted to take pictures of kitchen sink - but you are going to get some, and just wait until you see this kitchen sink.

Dinner was made with vegetables from the garden, fish caught from the river in the back yard, home-made bread, and all laid out on a trestle table underneath a tree outside. It was delicious.

This place is going to take some adjusting. The pace here is slow, and life is not at all organized. But so far it looks like the charm is going to take us over for the next month, and along the way I'll have learned some useful things, like how to clean a fish.

(I didn't even pull out my camera today, but I took some Iphone photos.) Here's your sneak peaks of this beautiful place: