Monday, June 30, 2008

Empty... sniff!

And so the fun was over for this time! This morning I drove them to the airport, and that was a funny sight to behold! They had packed with precision, and there were so many bags you could barely see them under all the stuff... Needless to say, they did a lot of shopping while they were here!

My backseat fully stuffed

I sure will miss my sister, her boyfriend and my nutty niece Sandra!

Sandra and I being crazy

Now I have two months of hard core working in front of me, then my cousin Marie will arrive for 12 days on August 28. And a week after she leaves, my mom (grandmother) and my aunt Ewa are coming over for 3 weeks. Unusual amount of visits this year, I am very happy about that!

My mom and my aunt are not here to see all the amazement parks or what nots, they are more here to relax and get a change of pace, so I should be able to work as normal while they are here. But I do have a few fun things for us to do up my sleeve.

Now I better try to get back in work mode after over 2 weeks off!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Quick post

Wow, I don't know when I was this buys before! We have barely been home during the two weeks my family has been here. We still have a few more days of fun planned. Tomorrow we are spending the entire day at Universal Studios, and that is always fun!

I think one of the highlights so far has been when we got to borrow that luxurious beach house on Casey Key, we had a perfect time there! Just having an awesome beach like that all to ourselves was a treat! We found all kinds of treasures, especially sea urchins, as you can see below.

"Our" beach house

The beach, all to ourselves

Wow, I don't know when I was this buys before! We have barely been home during the two weeks my family has been here. We still have a few more days of fun planned. Tomorrow we are spending the entire day at Universal Studios, and that is always fun!

I think one of the highlights so far has been when we got to borrow that luxurious beach house on Casey Key, we had a perfect time there! Just having an awesome beach like that all to ourselves was a treat! We found all kinds of treasures, especially sea urchins, as you can see below.

Sarah and I enjoy some time in the hammock

We found lots of sea urchins

Nice view from the patio

More sea urchins

Splashing around in the Gulf of Mexico, my niece Sandra, me and Sarah

Friday, June 20, 2008


Sorry for not posting anything! My family is here, and we are pretty much out and about all day every day.

Tomorrow we have planned to spend the entire day at Disney World, and then on Sunday we are going to the beach house for some sun and surf.

Happy Midsummer Eve, all Swedes!

Monday, June 16, 2008


It seems the low dollar has not just a negative effect! Except for my sister visiting (hopefully) today, my cousin is coming on August 28. Now my mom is seriously trying to get a trip together in September.

What is so amazing with that is that my mom (who is really my grandmother) is 77, had a stroke and several heart attacks a few years ago. She is doing better than ever! I am a bit nervous about her flying alone, especially since she doesn't speak any English, so I suggested she would bring someone along that could also be of help. She did great in 2004 when she came over all by herself, but I would feel a lot better if she didn't travel alone.So we are trying to convince one of my aunts to come along... And then I have a potential other visit later in the year...

Bring on the Swedes!

On their way... finally

As of right now they are on the plane, and it only left an hour late. The estimation is that they will arrive 38 minutes late to Newark, so that should still give them 2 hours to go though immigration and make their connection to Tampa. Yesterday the flight was 3 hours late, so I will take 38 minutes, I am actually very relieved!

I got an SMS message at 2 AM saying they were at the gate, all checked in. That sure made me sleep a lot better! Now I will be watching the flight like a hawk to make sure they make it to their connection in time. This sure has been an interesting ride!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The friendly skies

Wow. This has been a very stressful weekend. Their air transfer bus was late into the airport yesterday, so they ended up last in the line, but still in time. All of a sudden a bitchy employee shows up and yells at them that they are too late to check in and that they have to go to ticketing. They went over to ticketing who scratched their heads and had no idea why they needed to see him, so he left to ask. When he comes back they are 3 minutes late for check in, so they are not allowed to check in anymore.

They were wait listed but told there probably was a slim chance. All flight were overbooked.

Finally they got there this morning, didn't get on the flight, but were given confirmed seats on the Monday flight all the way to Tampa. Thank goodness my sister's boyfriend lives in Stockholm!

I feel better knowing they have guaranteed seats on that plane, but that flight has been 2 ½ hours late all weekend, so if that is the case tomorrow they will miss their connection to Tampa. But at least they will be in the US... I will let you know how it ends! Don't we all just LOVE transatlantic flying?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Yay for air travel... NOT!

My sister and her family got bumped off the flight from Stockholm, and they are now wait listed for tomorrow or possible Monday! Both flights are overbooked to the max and beyond... Continental Airlines had, as seems to be the general rule nowadays, overbooked the flight. My sister was last in line, so they got bumped! We are all very pissed!

Tomorrow there are only 3 open seats, all in first class. I am on the phone with Continental to try to get them confirmed seats for tomorrow. This all really sucks. We have already decided to pay a little extra and have them extend their stay almost a week, so they won't miss so much time.

So I hope someone else will oversleep tomorrow, or that I can convince the agent I a waiting to speak to to let them have the first class seats. I just can't imagine anybody booking 3 fist class seat sat the last minute.. Or maybe they can upgrade someone else on the flight and give them seats in economy class. We will see how this mess works out...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Almost here!

Today I said "goodbye" and have a safe trip to my sister, She lives in Sundsvall, so she will take the train to Stockholm tomorrow, so since I am going to be out and about most of tomorrow, today was really my last chance to talk to her before they leave Sweden early in the morning on Saturday.

We are both really looking forward to seeing again so soon! And it is of course a great plus that my niece Sandra and my sister's boyfriend Börje are coming a long as well!

Today I have the day to myself, so I have worked and straightened the place up here and there. It is mostly a matter of moving toys away so they can stay in Sarah's room. Sarah has a double bed, so it comfortably sleeps two, and my niece gets the office to herself on a comfy Tempur Pedic mattress (I love Tempur Pedic, I have Tempur Pedic mattress toppers on all our beds!) Even though NASA invented the material itself, it was actually a Swedish idea to turn it into mattresses. Great idea and so comfy!

It feels pretty great having a floor that is so easy to clean. It has really been a time saver and it turned out as good as I thought it would. Yay for tile!

Tomorrow it will be work in the morning, and after picking Sarah up we are heading to the mall for lunch and later a haircut for me. It has already been 5 weeks since last one, and I decided not to let it go so long between haircuts again. With all the pool visits lately I definitely need a trim, but then I should be good to mid August or so. I love having Patricia do my hair, I try to not wash it for 2-3 days afterwards, every strand is just perfect! I have never had a person do my hair that well before. Luckily I found her many years ago, and I sure hope she never moves! She is originally from Columbia, and we often exchange observations on living in the US. It is weird, but her background is so similar to mine, I would have guessed she was Swedish!

Since I am cleaning today I am hoping to be able to just relax on Saturday. I don't have to leave for the airport until 4:15 PM, so I might actually have time for some reading.

On another note, the other day I watched the Swedish movie "Arn- Tempelriddaren". I have been waiting since Christmas for this movie to finally become available to me way over here in the US. It was great! The only bad thing would be that now I have to wait probably until spring next year to see the second movie, the conclusion of the story, "Arn - Riket vid vägens slut", it premiers in theaters in Sweden on August 22. I read the books by Jan Guillou, and it is an epic story about war, love and religion back in the 12th and 13th Century. A lot of the story is based on actual events, so it also gives you somewhat of a history lesson. you can see the movie trailer here:

This movie has great potential to be an international success. See it if you can!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beach house

A friend of my husband just bought an "investment property". This guy has too much money to know what to do with it, but he also happens to be a very nice guy. This beach house is on an exclusive island called Casey Key, right on the beach. He is letting us borrow it for a day when my sister is here. Wow! We will have 160 feet of pristine Gulf front beach all to our selves, not to mention an awesome house! We will be hanging out in paradise for sure! Check it out:


Not much new to report here. Sarah and I went to the pool yesterday afternoon. You can tell summer is here, because like clock work every afternoon around 4 pm the thunder storms starts rolling in. But they quickly disappear after unloading their very much needed load of rain. That is Florida for you. We have a subtropical climate, and that means during the summer months we are all tropical!

I have a dental check up this morning, and I am going to try and squeeze in a cleaning today if they have time. They wouldn't schedule one since they don't know what the check up will reveal. I had a mini check up in January, and everything was fine then, so I really don't see what all the fuss is about. After the cleaning I want to do a professional teeth whitening. They have a great deal, you pay $99 one time, and as long as you go for twice annual cleanings you get free touch ups for life. Since I drink a lot of tea and diet Coke I get stains. I have never done a real bleaching, so it will be interesting.

I have been thinking up fun things for us to do while my sister is here, and I am so excited to show my niece Sandra around, she has barely been out of Sweden before, and at 16, I have a feeling she will be pretty excited to come over here too!

Some of the things I have in store (except the usual Disney World and Universal Studios) is a guided air boat ride in the Myakka River National Park, a boat trip out to Egmont Key, an uninhabited island that used to be a fort in the 1800s. It is great for shelling, and it is one of the few places were you actually have palm trees hanging out over the beach. Very tropical! The boat drop you off in the morning and come back to pick you up in the afternoon, so you pretty much fen dfor yourself. Except for the awesome beach you can check out the old fort that is left over since the 1800s, as well as a beautiful lighthouse.

Another thing we will be doing is visiting a local fruit grove, they have 2 hour long guided tours of their huge citrus groves, as well as a wildlife rescue on the grounds. We should be able to fit in visits to the Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Mote Marina Aquarium and a boat ride on the Sarasota Bay as well. These are all local staples that never fail to deliver! And we are planning shopping, beach visits and some movie visits too!

Plus lots of food! The first stop we are doing for food will be a t Siesta Key's Daquiri Deck. The alligator appetizer is a must, and they make the best Pina Coladas I ever tasted...

Now, off to the dentist!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Time flies!

I have been busy working all of last week, so I really just didn't have much time to read or write any blogs! This week will hopefully be a bit slower, but I really don't mind some extra work right now, since I will essentially be off for 2 weeks here soon.

I am waiting for some money from a Swedish client. They were stiffed by one of their clients, and that has affected their paying abilities towards their vendors (like me). They assure me the money is coming, but I am so pissed, since this was the money I was counting on for my sister's visit. So there will just have to be a little bit less shopping than I had planned, unless the money comes in during the week.

There is nothing I can do about it except contact them regularly for updates. They are hoping they will get some larger payments this week so they can pay me. Since I have their home address and home phone number in Sweden, they know they won't get rid of me easily. I am not giving up on this chunk of money, it is too much to just let it slide!

Sarah's preschool had a "graduation" ceremony this past Friday. They sang songs and did a great job performing for the parents. She will have two more weeks of preschool left, but they wanted to do the graduation ceremony in conjunction with the public schools, in case there were any kids going off on vacations.

Sarah will then have two weeks off before starting a Summer Camp program three days a week at the same school she is going to now. They will focus on having fun, doing field trips and having different people come into the school to do stuff, like pottery and gymnastics for instance. I am also trying to get her a spot in the national swim program at the YMCA every Tuesday and Thursday. This way she won't get too bored over summer, and I get a chance to work as well.

This week my plans are to get the house in order for our Swedish visit on Saturday, work and hang out at the pool with Sarah. This past week has been unusually hot for this time of the year, with temperatures up to 98 degrees! (37C). But since it is also very humid here it feels a lot hotter, so the pool has been a welcome spot to cool off at. I have been using sunblock religiously every day, but I am still developing a bit of a tan. At least we haven't had any sunburns and that is the most important thing.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Still here!

Just a quick post to say I am still here. I am trying to get as much work done as possible before my sister, my niece and my sister's boyfriend arrives next weekend. So not much extra time...

Some good news is that I will be getting another Swedish visit at the end of August, when my cousin Marie will come over to take advantage on the low dollar. Great!

OK, back to the translation of a manual for an off-gas dust recovery system. Yes. That is exactly as much fun as it sounds like... Off-Gas Dust Recovery System