So I work for the oldest (and biggest) tour operator in Sweden and I’ve never sat foot on Mallorca. Well I wasn’t having that anymore. After trying to find someone to travel with this year we eventually concluded that maybe it was a good idea to go at it alone. To avoid that daily problem of organizing lunch at work – if you’re 3-4 people it works but once yo get to 6-7 it won’t.
We’d done Turkey and Greece already so Mallorca was the one classic still to-do. We found a hotel that was recently built (Viva Zafiro), had good rooms and so we booked it. The wife really wanted the best room with a terrace and private spa and the bells and whistles so ofcourse she got that. After all, I get a discount. As usual we booked an early summer vacation for May because when june-july-august comes Sweden isn’t a bad place to be really.
We started off early with Helenas mother picking us up and driving us to the airport at 5:30am!! I managed to screw up the boarding cards so we didn’t have as much time in Arlanda as we wanted to. So get on the flight and there’s no need for introduction with my colleagues on the plane as I’ve flown with this crew before – twice! Get to Mallorca, manage to find our transfer buss to Alcudia and away we go. We get to the hotel and as usual when a bussload of people comes there’s a queue. But this place is so classy they served us drinks while we waited! After that it was off to check the pools and check out the rest of Alcudia!
Our daily routine became pretty much sleep, breakfast, pools, lunch, go around Alcudia, dinner, 9 o’clock show at the hotel and then sleep. And everything was just great!! We didn’t try as many restaurants as we had hoped but that was because we had all inclusive at the hotel which included free alá carte, so there was really no need to go out for fancy food. We did try some local restaurants and the best one by far was Bodega des Port down in the Alcudia harbor! I’ve never seen such a family friendly restaurant and staff at local restaurants before! And the food was awesome too. We also paid a visit to the Sunwing hotel in Alcudia, pretty much because I’m curious of what it looks like.
The only real “touristy” thing we did was a bus ride out the Porto Cristo and to see the Hams caves where we got some awesome photos from. Also a short stop at Majorica who have been making pearls since 1890 and Helena had to do some shopping. Then when it was time to go home it was ofcourse the day when they had extra security meassures & checks at the airport so we spent most of the time waiting in line at the airport and just a few minutes to browse the tax free.
All in all it was a great week, Sam had an amazing time! And we’d definitely go there again but maybe to Palma next time!
Just a quick update to say we’ve now sorted through and uploaded the pictures from our trip to Alcudia (Mallorca). Will post a full update about the trip later.
Enjoy! As usual, the password is the short Swedish name of my employeer with capital first letter.
And this is the cake is what my wonderful wife and mother of my son made for his 6th birthday – a Minecraft inspired cake. And it wasn’t a lie! (yeah, you shouldn’t get that joke…) It’s amazing what she can and will cook up for every occasion! She had actually prepared it for the previous weekend but since I was in bed all weekend we realised we had to push the birthday party a week.
Our families came over to celebrate his birthday and give him some cool presents, like this Darth Vader mask that is breaking through his wall now! And then he spent the weekend watching “Star Wars” Episode V and VI and being scared of zombies (thanks SVT!)
But it was a weekend of really getting over the fact that he’s not a little boy anymore. He’s old enough to make his own choices and you just have to let him do it, change his mind 10 times only to fall flat on his face for getting it wrong. Well guess what, he doesn’t get hurt, he get’s up and goes at it again! I love my boy!
A few years ago my wife’s nephew was playing Skylanders on his PS3 and all he wanted was Skylanders figures to “unlock” in the game so he could finish it. I bought him a 3 pack figure set once because I can’t say no to kids wanting video games.
Fast forward about 4 years and I saw the trailer for Disney Infinity. And so did my son and he basically said “I have got to get me one of those!!”. I remember it well, it was when we saw the “Minions” movie. And I explained to him that it was pretty expensive, €90 for the “big” PS4 version that they were advertising. So he started saving up money and we started giving him allowance on the premise that we won’t buy any more toys, he has to do that himself now. We had a little setback with Minecraft on the PS4 but now he finally had money to buy it so off we went.
I expected a rather quick “here’s the disc, here’s the base, here’s the figure, let’s go!”. But no! First I had to create a Disney account. Then it had a parent check, and then enter the codes from the cards in the box to tie them to the account (you know, so I can’t return it or sell it second hand if I’m not happy with it), and all that has to be done on a PC. I wonder how many parents give up at this stage? Because after that you have to login to that Disney account on your PS4 when booting up the game and then… it started in a weird demo kind of way with testing different characters from different Disney franchises when all we wanted was to play Star Wars!? Aha, the “play set” item has to be on the base too so it knows what game we’re playing? Ok, done, “Twilight of the Republic”, go!
Finally it booted up to the awesome Star Wars theme followed by.. “this character isn’t available in this play set”?! What? Oh, we tried playing as Luke Skywalker in a “Clone Wars”-era game, well if that doesn’t work why tha hell does he, Leia and Boba Fett come in the pack?! Oh, you have to unlock the characters in the playset by finding their “champion coin” in the game (or play set?), not cool at all but ok, YouTube helped me and my son to sort that out. Now let’s test “Rise Against the Empire” play set that we got in this PS4 exclusive collector edition. This is the original triology, Darth Vader era Star Wars I know and love. Aaaaaaand “this character isn’t available in this play set” when we had Anakin on the base? Because ofcourse the champion coins are unique for the play set and you have to unlock Anakin “champion coin” in this playset since he “belongs” in the other playset?! Googled around to find out I had to get to the top of a building to get the “coin” for Anakin?! But this means if you buy a “Rebels” era character like Ezra you have to fin his coins in both play sets?!
But ok, all characters unlock in all games… sorry I mean “play sets”.. and let’s roll. On Monday evening we’d finished both ga… sorry, “play sets”. There was two of them and me and my son had them beat in less than two days? And he did most of the playing and he’s 5! What tha hell, what to do after this? … wait for the next gam… sorry, “play set” with the characters from “Inside Out” which kinda requires that Sam sees the movie to understand.
Really Disney? I know you want to make money, I’m not naive but .. really? Not well played Disney, not well played at all. Or to quote the Roberts – “this is bullshit”. You have to make it THIS complicated only to suck as much money out of us as you can? You have gone and totally confused me with “play set”, “power coin” and I haven’t even started with the “power discs” yet and you charge €90 for 2 “play sets” I could’ve played through in less than 3 hours each had I wanted to? That’s really low, the Lego games are atleast challenging and goes on and on! Speaking of which, guess I have to buy the Batman Lego game now that this is already done.
So if you plan to buy Disney Infinity for your kids, get prepared and read up.
So day 6 arrived and while the rest of our entrourage started their trip back to Sweden we went to a local Zoo. It was actually surprisingly good and had lots of animals and big enough to entertain us for about 3 hours. But after that we went back to the hotel because we were all totally beat after the past few days. We’d been walking so much and hurried from A to B that we just needed to relax for a while. To be honest we felt like it was about time to go home at this point but that’s totally in keeping with all of our other trips so far as well – 5 days was enough for us, 7 days was pushing it! We didn’t even go out to eat, we went to the local supermarket and picked up some sandwiches and yoghurt. And again Sam went ballistic how this sucked because he couldn’t buy some small toycars.
On day 7 we set sights on Milan. Of everything we’d done we had totally missed out on Milan and I wanted to show it to Helena, atleast the Cathedral and the shopping mall around there. So problem 1 was getting rid of the car and if you’ve ever been to Milan you know there are cars parked _everywhere_! We found a garage, one of those small subterranian dark garages where the girls gets raped and killed in the movies and managed to get over the translation barrier to park there for 3 hours. Then we walked – way longer than I thought. But then we got to see the Cathedral and tick that box! By this time my wife was desperate for something to eat so we parked our bums at a little restaurant right behind the duomo where a 33 cl. bottle of coke cost €6 and a pizza €15! I kid you not! But the view was unbeatable so we didn’t mind much, I mean I have paid more for less. (€25 for 2 cups of cappuciono at Starbucks at Antalya Airport!).
Then we navigated back to the parking garage and started on our next mission – finding a gas station! If we didn’t fill the car up before turning it in there was a €100 fine so I really wanted to avoid that and doing a crazy “I’m going this way until I find a gas station, SO THERE!” argument with my GPS we eventually found one. One that didn’t want to accept 3 of my credit cards – but fortunately I had a fourth. But trying to read error messages in Italian is .. well impossible since all it probably said was “transaction aborted” everytime!
After that we got to our last two hurdles before checking in and going home – handing in the car and paying the parking ticket. Handing in the car was surprisinly easy even though I had to take crap from the garage guy about how F1 is more of a business than sport nowadays but paying the ticket turned out to be harder. Avis couldn’t help more than to say “just go to a post office, they’ll fix it for you” – “ok so where is that” – “there’s one 100 meters around that corner… which closed one hour ago.. so no, we can’t help you. At all. We know you’ve leased a car for €500 and did everything right and turned it in without a scratch and all that, but no, we can’t help you to pay this €30 ticket at all”. Ok, I added the last part but it’s totally true and I still can’t wrap my head around a post office that closes at 2 pm on a normal Tuesday – at an _airport_!?! So we could just forget getting that paid there and checked in and waited for our flight. Fortunately they had a game there Sam loved and spent an hour playing. So we got on our flight and thought this is it, nothing can stop us now!!
.. except a pending Lufthansa strike that was bound to break out in a few hours! Fortunately our flight wasn’t affected so we landed at midnight in Arlanda, got our luggage, took the buss to the long term parking, managed to dig up the ticket I got a week ago and went home to sleep for four hours and then it was back to work again!
All in all a kick ass week in Italy, packed with food, sights to see, places to experience, a F1 race, awesome company and just awesome!!
10 years ago for my 30th birthday we went to Silverstone for a F1 race. It was a legendary trip. So now for my 40th we booked a trip to Monza but with me and my wife taking Sam there for a few extra days as a bonus vacation.
So last Wednesday me, my wife Helena and my son Sam boarded a flight from Arlanda to Milan, with a short stop in Frankfurt. The cabin crew on the Lufthansa we kind enough to give my son a free Lego set of a A380 to build while we flew over there. After arriving (and with all luggage this time) we went to Avis to pick-up the car. We got a size-bump for the car which was nice, however we hit the first out of many, MANY! unexpected expenses – the insurance. I hadn’t checked up what insurance was covered by what so I ended up paying €120 for nothing since it was covered by my Mastercard! So I recommend everyone to check that before they go!
Then we set off to our hotel with the help of my preprogrammed Navigon GPS app and that’s when the second unexpected expense popped up – tolls to use the highway! Noone had told me about that and at first we didn’t even know what the hell this was and we ended up with an unpaid toll ticket! In my defense we tried calling everyone (Avis and even the company running the toll system) but the hotell staff said it shouldn’t be a worry.
Then after about an hour drive we ended up at the beautiful hotel Settencento. Small hotel but placed right next to a road with pretty high traffic. Fortunately we didn’t spend much time at the hotel so wasn’t that much of a bother. We reconned the area for a super market but ended up having our first dinner at the hotel – which was awesome! Sam insisted on taking a dip in the pool and although the weather wasn’t the best for it that didn’t stop him!
On day two I insisted on a trip to Como to check out the lake and everything that everyone makes such a big fuzz about. After about 2 hour drive (and 4 toll booths) we arrived and it was as beautiful as I’d hoped! The scenary there is amazing! It was a tourist friendly place to say the least and we walked around for a few hours and drove to a small village just outside for a better view. Time very well spent indeed!
Then we went to Bergamo where my sister AC, her youngest son Alex and my brother Jocke was about to land and stay for the weekend. We drove the “scenic route” to see more of Italy and less of toll booths and we ended up at a restaurant called Pasti Frutti. As a restaurant it was by Italian standards decent (but awesome by Swedish standards!) but as a command post it served it’s purpose well. And that’s when the heavens opened up and let loose a few tons of water and thunder! We had checked the weather reports and it said rain & thunderstorms all week so we were just grateful we’d had a beautiful day so far. Eventually they showed up, grabbed some food and some beers until we had to go back to our hotel and get some sleep. Sam was a trooper pretty much all day but we bribed him with ice cream all day.
On day three we split up. Me, Alex and Sam went to watch the F1 free practice while AC, Helena and Jocke went to a vineyard – Castello di Grumello. They had a blast (since I wasn’t with them I can just take their word for it) and tasted alot of their wines and managed to offend the owners when AC didn’t really appreciate it. But still impressed how they’ve managed to keep the business in the family for so many generations.
On our way to the F1 track we hit a very expected problem – parking! Taking your car to an F1 race is normally only “hard” but when the race is in an urban area like this it’s almost mission impossible. Since this was only Friday free practice it wasn’t that hard but we ended up parking where noone knew if we could park or not. Then a long walk to the F1 track and we hit the next problem. Serious lack of information and language barrier! Some people said “go left” while point right, some said up, some said down. But this being free practice it wasn’t that important. Unfortunately after about 80 minutes some got very tired and bored of the entire thing and wanted to go home.
So we went back after seeing Mercedes owning it on the track. We went back to Bergamo to meet up with the rest of the gang and took a tram up the hill to the “old town” of Bergamo where we ended up at a tourist friendly restaurant that served up some pretty good food. Although the people that ordered what they thought was “pasta with beef” that turned out to be just beef were seriously disappointed!
It’s that time of the year again when we go on vacation to some family friendly resort and just relax for a week. Last year it was the Sunwing hotell on Rhodes in Greece and this year we went to Long Beach Resort outside of Alanya in Turkey.
We went with another couple who has a daughter that we know Sam likes and they play great together and we decided to go to this hotel because they had a .. well a long beach and some pools, some waterslides, they had a small amusement park, plenty of restaurants and just seemed like a place you could stay at for a week without having to leave the hotel much.
We were not disappointed!
The trip started with an evening flight to Antalya airport where the crew excused the poor tax free delivery due to poor IT switchover from the old IT system to the new. Although I have nothing to do with the IT system of our tax free service I still felt embarassed but that’s probably because of my occupasional pride than anything else.
When we landed in Antalya we proceeded to the luggage belts where my wife’s and son’s luggage arrived after waiting a while but after waiting for over an hour I ruled out that my luggage was going to arrive at all so I went to customer service to report it missing. After that we went to the Ving representative and asked where the taxi’s were because by now the transfer bus to the hotel had surely departed. But it hadn’t. So we boarded a buss full of people upset they had waited for over an hour – on me! Even though it wasn’t my fault and I didn’t want the bus to wait it did – somewhat embarassing compunded by the fact that I actually work for this company! Then the bus made a pitstop at some place they obviously get kickbacks from because we had to be there for 20 minutes aven though everyone just wanted to go to the hotel.
We got to the hotel in the middle of the night, checked in and got to the room that they hadn’t prepared for 2 adults + 1 child at all! So I had to call the reception to order more linen to make a bed for my son and then we had to wait an extra 15 minutes for them to actually come with our luggage, which wasn’t at all fun at 3 am!
I woke up the next day to a text saying “they found your luggage and will send it at 8 am so you should have it soon”. I’m down with that and so we went out to check out the hotel area and that took over a day to explore because it was HUGE!
They really did have a very long beach area by the sea but unfortunately the closest tunnel to get to it was closed and we had to walk quite far for the other tunnel so we got a lot of exercise from walking back and forth to the beach all week! They also really did have lots of waterslides and even a pirate ship which became Sam’s favorite place to hang out. What we didn’t realise was that you could rent gazebos by the beach and by the time we did realise that they were almost fully booked but we got one for three of the seven days we were there. It really helped alot to have a somewhat of a private “base of operation” when we were at the beach – which was pretty much everyday.
Then we had dinner at the buffé and it was great! Great food and service, nothing to complain about. And at 8 pm I finally got my luggage, only 12 hours later than promised but not a big deal for me. Then it was bed time since we were still lacking sleep from travelling.
The next day and all the other days pretty much followed that same pattern – get up, catch some breakfast, pack up for the beach, go to the beach, have fun, get tanned, go back, have dinner, relax with the couple we were there with and sleep. We really didn’t ever have to go off the reservation! We went a full 100 meter from the hotel to the bazar they had outside to do some shopping (my wife really wanted a *cough*genuine*cough* Michael Kors bag that I paid a full €30 for but other than that we were content being in the hotel. There were enough restaurants to keep us satisfied and enough to do to not get too bored.
But it wasn’t perfect. The buffé was the same in every restaurant every night. They only changed one thing that they barbecued there and then, but everything else was the same all the time which got boring quite fast. Did they ever hear of themes? And also that the tunnel under the main road on our side of the hotel was closed which forced us to walk, that wasn’t cool at all! And the level of english of the staff really left alot to be desired as well – sometimes I felt that they would have understood me better if I spoke russian because 90% of the people there were russians and some of the staff were also russian. Not that I mind russians, but I expect an international hotel of this size in Turkey to have staff that can understand english without having to draw them a picture (which I actually did once, but more on that later).
After a week of that it was time to go home – at night! Again the bus stopped at the some joint as before and forced people to go out to buy refreshments “as a service” when everyone just wanted to get to the airport. When we arrived to the airport I was apparently the first one to understand how security checkpoints work and information screens because for the first time in my life I was #1 in the queue to check in our luggage! Unfortunately that also meant that when the check in counter opened the guy behind it had alot of issues getting his computer to work with him and it took atleast 10 minutes for that – 10 minutes of the same people looking at me with annoyed eyes that had waited for me on the buss earlier. That was not cool but again not my fault! During all of this we had to keep our son awake since I know you have to walk through the next checkpoint on your own feet – you can’t carry your child though it, they have to walk. But 5 minutes after we had cleared that he was out for the entire night. So my wife asked me to get her some coffee and I ran around and only found a Starbucks and that’s when I purchased the most expensive coffee I’ve ever paid for – €25 for 2 normal cappucinos with vanilla syrup!! €25!!!
After that we got on the flight, had to be embarassed again when they excused the poor tax free with IT issues again, landed on Arlanda at 3:30am and when we stopped at the gate we had to wake Sam up. And he was sad that he slept through the “getting on the plane”-phase, the take off, the movie, the meal and the landing – basically everything he’s looking forward to about the actual travelling part of a vacation. Thankfully Helena’s mother met us at the airport at 4am so we went home, unpacked the essentials and hit the bed at 5am and slept until 9am.
So to sum up – we had a blast, especially Sam! Photos can be found here – login as “Gäst” and the short, Swedish name of my employer, with a capital first letter as the password.
I’ll post some other random thoughts about our week later.
After Sam’s birthday party he immediately felt ill and was tucked down in the soffa for the rest of the weekend. And by Sunday evening I was feeling it a little bit too. So I called in “VAB” (Swedish phenomenen of telling your employer you’ll be home for the day with a sick child but still getting 80% of your salary thanks to our social welfare system). But by Monday afternoon I was out as well. My wife worked the night shift this week and by Tuesday morning she was feeling it a bit too.
And then we spent the entire week tucked down in bed with ~39-39.5 degree fever. And by Thursday Sam was feeling better and ready to play – but had noone to play with since we were both ill. So we took turns being “up and about” for an hour or two each. It was really rediculous. Then we spent the weekend getting better and by Monday I was back to work. Well almost, I was attending a SharePoint course and doing my best not to cough too much and spread the germs.
But that was one helluva week for the household!! Fortunately we’re all 100% back to normal now. Unlike the last time I got a bug like this which made my tinnitus worse 🙁
So my son Sam is 5 already. That went pretty fast if you ask me! And this time we thought we needed two birthday parties for him – one with his friends from kindergarten and one with the family. Since so many of the kids in kindergarten have birthdays in January-February-March we set a date (Saturday Feb 21st) and announced it and got about 12 kids who wanted to come. Not a problem, right?
Well come February 21st and one after another called in sick thanks to some very contagious flu at the kindergarten. Half of them were out sick so it was only 6 kids but that was plenty to keep us busy. My wife had really gone the extra mile(s) to get things ready and fix games and “activity stations” for them so they wouldn’t get bored. And they never did – they kept going and going for 2 hours.
Images from the birthday party can be found here. (login as “Gäst” and the Swedish name of my employer)
It’s almost election time in Sweden. And the Facebook feed is full of people posting lists and carefully chosen statistics about how bad things will be if you vote this way or how terrible Sweden was when “the other guys” had the power – alot of that shit. And I get annoyed when I see that because when I load Facebook I actually prefer to see lighthearted stuff like baby-pictures or YouTube vids rather than politics. I hope my friends will tone that down so I don’t have to clean my friendslist!
Personally – well things haven’t changed much in the past 8 years. The planet is still in overconsumer mode (guilty!) completely disregarding the fact it can’t take it and mother nature is fighting back constantly yet there’s only one political party that thinks protecting the planet is more important than economic growth. And now that I have a son (that just started wathing a movie about a turtle going from here to there and seeing how humans are destroying the planet) I feel it’s even more important than ever for.
But that’s what I feel. It’s a free country and as long as it doesn’t get any worse I’m not going to force my opinion on anyone.
I’ve updated the photogallery with photos for 2014 – which include Sam’s 4th birthday, Adrian’s christening, H’s trip to Barcelona and our trip to Rhodes. Awesomeness ensues!
(as usual, the password is the short Swedish name of my current employer, with a capital first letter)
This time I have a perfectly valid reason for not posting stuff here. Not that nothing is happening, but I’ve actually been on vacation!! Ok, maybe that’s not a shocker considering where I work nowadays, but still pretty fun. Especially this time since it was my son Sam’s first time on an airplane!
We decided to go to our all inclusive, super family friend Sunwing hotel in Rhodes, Greece. “We” in this case wasn’t just me and my wife, but also included a couple that we are pretty good friends with who have a little girl. As it turns out that part was genius because they played with each other and had a great time and when they were apart they kept asking where the other one was so yeah, they enjoyed eachother’s company alot!
But us grown ups? .. Well I enjoy their company too but at the same time we spent pretty much all the time every day together which in hindsight wasn’t a good idea because me and my wife hardly spent any time together. We got a few hours when they took care of Sam, much like we took care of their girl one evening, but still it wasn’t much “us” time. Or maybe we just remember our time in Crete last year a bit too fondly when it was just the two of us!
Anyway, the hotel was great! Our room, which was more like a house, was awesome! We had some great views and it was spacious so it never got cramped. One issue though was the all inclusive. I mean, for our kids it was perfect – we never had to think “I wonder of they have anything for Sam?” or “maybe it’s time for us to find some place to eat” – the restaurant was always there and always had food for kids! But for us grownups it was kinda boring. Not that varied, not that good quality of the food, the service was so-so and the atmosphere was chaotic – the complete opposite of what you’re looking for when you go out!
We did manage to get to the á la carte restaurant once, and that was awesome by comparison. Then we got a recomendation of a small, family owned greek restaurant in Rhodes named “To Steno”. And it really was small! And the father in charge sat at our table half the time to ensure we were enjoying ourselfs. And we turned it into a meze with small dishes coming all the time, great fun!!
We also visited Lindos, which is an old village in the south part of the island. It’s really, REALLY, tourist focused so if you want the tourist thing, then you should really go. But it wasn’t much else there.
The biggest disappointment was actually the weather, which you can’t really blame anyone for. We knew we were travelling a bit early and would get the best weather, but we didn’t expect to have 2 really grey days, 2 rainy days and only 2 days of sunshine when we booked. But when the sun was out it was amazing 🙂
All in all a great week – most of all for Sam!!!
Haven’t written anything here in a while, pretty much because all is good at the moment. The son had a little surgery so we had to deal with him being down and out for a few days. Could have written a post about the reacent ruling in the second highest courts in Sweden that said that 6 guys cornering a girl in a dark room after a party and having sex with her again and again wasn’t rape, but it feels like I’ve beaten that horse a few times already.
But I finally got around to uploading some new photos to my 2013 album. Enjoy!
Now I’m just slacking! Vacation and everything and not a single update?
Well surprisingly enough, now that I’m on vacation I have the least amount of time to care about this place. You see I have a wife that get’s worked up everytime I sit in front of the computer so I don’t have much opportunity to post things here from home. Yeah, you could call me whipped and you wouldn’t be wrong.
But now I’m back at work so now I have time to post things here. And I have time on the train to get through the rest of SG1 as well and all of that other stuff that I don’t have time to watch at home. And unfortunately F1 is on summer break, and besides, the Ferraris aren’t doing too well this year. Oh well, there’s always next year.
Most of my vacation was spent at home with my family. We tried to do things, we went to Gröna Lund and Skansen but in the end it just costs more than we can afford right now, especially since we bought new phones and we spent alot more money in Crete than we thought we would. “Don’t do the crime …” eh? But this week my parents will take Sam for a few days so we can get a slow weekend. “Slow” as in “celebrating my brothers 30th birtyday this friday”, let’s see how that turns out!
Other than that, I’m chugging along just fine!
I’ve finally upgraded my image gallery and imported it into WordPress with a cool addon. Took me about 3 days of work to get it sorted and adding comments and stuff but it’s been fun going down that memory lane again.
Here are some of my favorite galleries:
As usual the password what the company I work at is know as in Sweden.
When I got a job at this here place one of the bonuses was that we could travel at a discounted price. Unfortunately we only do charter so that travel is pretty much bound to those really touristy sunny parts of the world. And my wife have had an item on her bucket list to “dive in the turquoise water of Greece”. So after looking through all our hotels we decided to go to Platanias on Crete and stay at Minoa Palace. We also agreed that it was best for everyone if Sam stayed in Sweden for alot of reasons – and some of them selfish I’ll admit. And since neither of us are fan of temperatures over 35 degrees we also agreed to go late May / early June.
So after sorting it out with our family who would take care of him when and where we did our best to explain to him that we’d be away for a few days but gave all the assurances we’d be back and said goodbye to him at the dropoff zone at Arlanda airport at about 6 am on thursday (May 30th) morning, checked in and then enjoyed a very early beer and shrimp sandwhich since we hadn’t ordered food on the plane.
The flight was ok but a bit boring for me, I usually sleep on airplanes but this time I couldn’t. Then we arrived at the hotel and man was it nice!! It really was top notch! But when we got to our room we were really disappointed at the lack of sea view, that we had paid for. We were so disappointed that I actually went to complain at the front desk – and they looked at their bookings and simply snapped their fingers and we got a new room with awesome sea view! Then my wife had to go dip her feet in the ocean and then we kicked back to enjoy a cold nice beer at the beach bar. We spent the next 7 days walking the same road in Platanias (there is just one road unless you want to go along the beach which I don’t recommend) trying out all kinds of different restaurants! The people were very nice and polite, especially the people at the resaurants! There weren’t that many people who tried to force you into their restaurants which was a nice change!.
To go through some of the restaurants to recommend:
We also found a great restaurant when we took a trip with the Fun Trains out to Therisso Gorge but I have no idea what it was called but they served up a great and simple dish of lamb! We really wish we had done more of those Fun Train trips because that was fun.
We also took a city tour of Chania as well but it wasn’t much to write home about, except for the harbor where there were a gazillion restaurants lined up and yes, people trying to force you into their restaurant 🙁 But we already had an evening of Meze planned, but after 4 hours and 8 small dishes we were still kinda hungrey so when we got back to the hotel we took the liberty of taking some desserts from the dinner buffé at the hotel.
Other than we spent the week in the sun by the pool and a quick little visit to the gym to work off that saganaki. But by wednesday we were actually missing our Sam and both felt that we could really go home today. But that wasn’t up to us. But on Thursday (June 6th) we boarded the flight home and when we finally got home I was rushing to the car to see our son again who was really happy to see us again. But so tired after a week of playtime with the family that he feel asleep in the car on the way home!!
Basically we had a blast! There were some things we wish we had done differently but that’s the way it is. Next time we will take Sam with us and go to a real charter resort.
Feel free to check out the pictures here. And you should know the password by now, right?
Oh man I’ve got that “Chuggington”-song playing in my head now! Our son Sam just loves watching trains on YouTube so it’s Thomas The Tank Engine and Chuggington all the time!!
But life is proceeding pretty well. It’s ok at work, I’m having daily battles with Sharepoint 2013 trying to get it to work with an upgrade from our Sharepoint 2010 which isn’t as simple as going from 2007->2010 mostly because of the claims thing. At home I’m having weekly battles with our budget, trying not to spend much for anything ’cause we’re off on vacation in about a month. Finally! And my woman has just recovered from being i’ll for about 2 weeks. For her the worst part is going back to work only to see that noone has done nothing and her mailbox is swamped with stuff and she already had a backlog … she’s what you could call a single point of failure, and if it was a small company there wouldn’t be much fuzz, but this is one of the biggest phone operators in Sweden so they really should know better.
Also planning to build a deck on the front of our house. I built a huge one 3 years ago on the back but my woman wants one in the front too so that’s what I’ve got to do. So I’m keeping myself busy all the time 🙂
SL, the company who’s job it is to keep the public transportation in Stockholm running, is really sucking balls too and quickly heading to the top of my hate list! Especially now that MyHosting (or their parent company atleast) are showing willingness to improve!
SInce we moved to Bro the trains to and from Stockholm have always departed at XX:15 and XX:45. And it takes 30 minutes into Stockholm which means we from Bro & Bålsta arrive to Stockholm central in the morning 7:45 which gives us 15 minutes to get to work which is perfect. Now our trains depart at XX:00 and XX:30 which means we can either arrive in Stockholm at 7:30 or 8:00. If you happen to work right next door to the train station, that’s great, you depart 15 minutes later and get to work at exactly 8. But how many is that? It leaves the rest of us having to arrive at 7:30 instead, meaning everything in the morning is turned back 15 minutes. I have to get up at 5:45 and take the son to kindergarten at 6:40 to take the buss at 6:45 and I’ll arrive at work 7:40. Great going, who tha hell thought of is?
And it’s only our two stations that are affect, the departure time from Kungsängen remains unchanged so nothing else changes except for our two stations!? It really makes no sense to me whatsoever! I’m hoping there’s a good reason that somewhere along the chain it makes sense, but to us, the consumers, it makes things worse! Because it’s not like I make up for it when I go home either! No I can either come home at work 17:25 or 17:55 depending on when I can leave. But now the earliest is 17:40 or 18:10. So in one stroke they’ve make it so I have to take my son to kindergarten 15 minutes and made it so I can’t come home any earlier than 17:40. So that’s 30 minutes per day loss at home with my son. Next thing you know they’ll raise the charges too!!
This weekend it was time for Father’s Day. Since Sam is only 2 3/4 he has no clue what that means so it’s as usual up to us to fix things. Usually we don’t really make that big a deal, but this time my wife had decided that yes we were going to make a big deal. But on Saturday she made us dinner and set a very romantic mood but was very secretive about her plans for the evening. And at 7 pm we got into the car and drove off. I had no idea where but soon realised we were going to her mother’s place. Reason for that was to drop off Sam for the night so we could go out to the movies and basically have a date night. Yeah, that’s pretty ironic, her “father’s day” arrangement had Sam staying at his grandmother, how about that 🙂
After we’d dropped him off as we were driving to Kista we kinda looked at each other, remembering the last time we tried to go there to see a movie, and decided to just go home instead, stopping by Willys for some treats and then got comfortable in our home cinema and watched “Ted”. Then we went to bed and we woke up at 10 am! I have no idea how long ago it was that I woke up that late! I mean I may “get up” at 10 but not actually waking up! That’s exactly what the doctor ordered!
Then we were off to pick up him and do the grocery shopping for the week and resume our normal lifes as homeowner and doing the last bits of tweaking in the garden before calling off the season.
It’s Friday again. And Friday before payday which means spending as little money as possible. Which means using and abusing friends and families hospitality. Ok, that was an exaggeration..
But today I will actually be doing that! I’ll get off work early, 2:30, go home as fast as public transportation enables me to, pack the car, pick up the little guy at kindergarten and then drive 100 kilometers south to Södertälje, straight through Stockholm just as the weekend rush hour starts up! “Why would you ever do such a mad thing!?” you may be wondering? Well, first it’s because I love my wife and owe her so much that I’ll let her have a Friday evening with her friends at home with no worries. No Sam needing attention and being fed and helping him go to sleep, no husband in the way, nothing, just her, her friends, good food, wine and just talk girl-stuff all night. And for that I’m taking the son to Södertälje for reason # 2 – visiting my brother at his new place. I’ve seen it ever so quickly before but now I’m actually gonna have dinner and stay the night, barring any Sam-related incident. So actually looking forward to that.
I’m just not looking forward to spending time in traffic ’cause Friday rush hour in Stockholm can be a real bitch and with my son in the backseat I won’t just be able to relax and sing “don’t you worry be happy now”.