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Archive for October, 2009

happy halloween!

I love Halloween.  I think it might be my favorite holiday.  Why? Well, for a lot of reasons:

1) Getting to dress up in costume.  Even when you’re an adult.

( aside – It amazes me the difference between how adults in the USA handle Halloween differently than adults in the UK.  Back in Ohio it seemed if you were over the age of 13 and dressing up in costume the general idea was to be something scary.  A zombie or a vampire or the Loch Ness Monster (hey, it could happen!).  Here in the UK the general idea (for ladies, at least) is to go out in public wearing as little clothes as possible.  And how!  You can be a skanky nurse or lusty devil or bad police woman or any number of super heros, etc.  I can not get on board with this idea.  Sorry. )

2) Anything to do with pumpkins.  I love to carve them and bake them and make them into pies and even eat their seeds.  I ❤ pumpkins. I even like films about pumpkins. (“Films about pumpkins?” you ask. Yes. It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, for instance.)

pumpkin 1

my pumpkin!

3) Scary movies.  I use Halloween and its inherent ghosty-ness to watch scary movies that I normally wouldn’t watch.  Because I don’t like them.  They don’t have to be horror films and/or blood and guts films.  My favorite Scary Movie Night title is actually The Shining.  This year I think I will watch The Shining, The Orphanage and Blair Witch.

4) Chocolate.  (I don’t feel this needs an explanation)

5) Ghosts.  I’ve always had a strange fascination with ghosts and Halloween is the best time to celebrate my fascination.  I love all things ghostie.  I love things shaped like ghosts, talking about ghosts and yes, even films about ghosts.

6) Seeing kiddies all dressed up in their costumes.  In the UK they actually have to sing a song or recite a poem to get chocolate or candies from you.  It’s adorable.  This year I am not handing out chocolate to anyone because a) I hate my stupid neighbors and their stupid children b) I’ll be home on my own and don’t fancy answering the door to strangers.

7) Halloween food.  I think Halloween might be the one holiday of the year where people go totally crazy with their treats and food in general.  Yeah, OK, at Christmas you get cookies shaped like trees and angels, but what holiday other than Halloween lets you serve things like “eyeballs” and “severed fingers” to your guests?  I remember when I was little Mom & I used to spend ages food coloring and shaping Rice Krispie Treats for my school classes.  We made ghosts (yay!) and pumpkins (yay!!) and witches’ hats.  It was great fun and maybe that’s where the fascination began.  Go the the Food Network site and look for their page of Halloween goodies.  It’s inspiring.  Maybe not as cool as these vampire cupcakes, but still awesome.

pumpkin!

S's first EVER pumpkin!

I guess I could go on, but I am sure you have all got the point by now.  I LOVE Halloween. I urge you to go out and celebrate this fantastic holiday in fashion! xo A

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gothenburg

S and I took a trip to Gothenburg for our anniversary this year. We actually went a week before our anniversary, but that still counts.

We had a fantastic time. The city was amazing. Everyone was so kind and helpful – in fact, I have to say that every single person we spoke to in a shop or otherwise was a pleasure to talk to. Also, the entire city was clean. It was fantastic.

We spent most of the weekend wandering around without a plan looking at the various sights throughout the city. On Saturday we walked through the old town, called Haga, which is now a very trendy section of the city filled with street side cafes and second-hand stores. The streets are laid out on a grid and most look like the one below:


Haga

We had dinner that night at a restaurant called Smaka which had traditional Swedish cuisine. S had elk but we were both unsure whether that would be enjoyable so I got plan beef just in case. The elk was wonderful and the beef was delicious. All in all a lovely meal, although for two main dishes and two beverages to cost nearly £50, the food had better have been good!!


Kristine Kyrka

There are two canals that run through the city, although being winter time I don’t think there were many boats on them. We didn’t see any, anyway.


Goteborgs Stadsmuset – Gothenburg City Museum

On Saturday as well we climbed a million stairs (read: 200) to get to the top of a hill located in the Haga district. On top of this hill was an old fortress, although it never got to fulfill its fortress destiny and is now a sort of military museum. We didn’t go in, but we did bask in the views looking over the red-tile roofs of the city. The weather was glorious so you could see quite far. It would have helped if we’d have had any idea what we were looking at or for, but we enjoyed it anyway!


Oscar Fredriks Kyrka

On Sunday we walked the length of the Kungsportsavenyn (King’s Gate Avenue) down to the where there is a horribly ugly statue of Poseidon wrestling a fanged fish in the centre of the Gotaplatsen square. Then S came with me to the Goteborgs Konstumseum (art museum) even though I don’t think he really wanted to go. It was nice but not spectacular – I think my favorite piece of art in the museum was Haystacks by Johan Fredrik Krouthen.


On the corner of Parkgatan & Kungsportsavenyn

From the Gotaplatsen we walked back through the city to the harbour and along the waterfront to the maritime museum which was a mistake. Worst. Aquarium. Ever. Then we walked back into town and wandered about for the rest of the afternoon. If you ask me we must have walked about 7 miles. If you ask S it’s more like 3. I think I am right.


Gustavi Domkyrka

The main transport for locals in a system of trams which runs throughout the city and can take you anywhere you want to go. We were too scared to try to get on them. Otherwise most people use bicycles. There was an alarming lack of vehicular traffic – you could basically cross any street anywhere you wanted to without having to worry too much about being run down by a car. It was wonderful.

On Monday before our plane left we walked around the northern part of the city. We visited the Kronhuset which is the oldest secular building in Gothenburg, built in the 1600s I think. It was beautiful, and much more stunning in real life than in the photograph below. We also found an antiques hall and wandered there a bit, but it was quite frightening, so we didn’t stay long.


Kronhuset

So, in summary, I am glad we went but we probably won’t go back. It was just too expensive. Perhaps we’ll make it to Sweden again, but not to Gothenburg. I feel like we’ve seen everything we wanted to see. We walked the walks, saw the sights, had a few luke-warm “hot” chocolates in a few cafes, sampled their local cuisine and genuinely enjoyed ourselves.

I can recommend it to anyone wanting a quick city break, but pack your solid gold bars because everything is expensive.

I think that about does it!

xo
A

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