Sunday, June 21, 2020

We made it to Lund!

What's it like to relocate during a pandemic?
To be honest, today was one of the most pleasant journeys we've made as a family.
We hit: 4 airports (Ottawa, Toronto, Frankfurt, Copenhagen), 3 flights, 1 train (from Copenhagen airport to Lund Central) and 1 short taxi ride with three actual taxis in order to fit all our suitcases in.
By the end of it, the kids were so confused with having transited 4 countries with 4 different languages and 4 different currencies, they were just glad to be in Lund!
The journey went super smooth. We had so much help from all Air Canada employees since there were so few travellers and they all wanted to help!
We got to stretch out on every leg of the journey and there were more than enough seats in the terminals and on the train.
There were handwashing stations everywhere, 95% of the travellers and staff were wearing masks.
It was the best time to travel in the worst time in history.
Once we got to Lund, we met our gracious host/landlord, Andrea, and then we walked to get some food and groceries.
It felt like just finishing an epic passage on our Anjulia Sue: relieved, tired, hungry and accomplished.
The kids were asleep by 4:15 pm local time.
I'm not far behind.
Tomorrow we explore the town and get some bikes!
PS. Happy Father's Day! Might try and stay up to watch the Liverpool game with Matt. Maybe.

Getting our fill of poutine before we leave Canada was absolutely mandatory.

DIY luggage trolley to get us from Ottawa to Lund. But that's only about half our luggage

Thanks to all the friends and family who came to see us off from a safe distance at Ottawa Airport. It meant a lot to us to see you all there.

Goodbye at Ottawa airport.

Final wave!

I found This Is Us Season 4 on the airplane entertainment console.
Only 4 episodes but I'll take what I can get… In other news, the kids
played chess with each other on their personal screen.

Just a little selection of hand made masks that were gifted to us by friends.

Found this little card burried in our suitcases, given to me by Guy last year.

Lots of room and no need to fight for a window seat.

Empty rows of seats.

Got some Swedish Kroner at Toronto Airport.

Every passenger on every AC flight gets this little hygiene pack:
mask, gloves, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, bottle of water, ear phones.

What I missed about Europe was their awesome delicatessens
and bakeries... Even at the airport, they're delicious!

Minecraft, quarantine style.

Made it to Copenhagen! Now we have to get this lot on the train, hope it's not crowded!

Buying train ticket to Lund from Copenhagen/Kastrup airport.

Our life in bags.
TOP: Moving from Canada to Sweden (June 2020)
BOTTOM: Moving from England to Canada (May 2014)

Ready to board the train.

Going over the Øresund Bridge which connects Denmark to Sweden.
If you've ever seen the drama-thriller The Bridge, you'll know exactly
what I'm talking about. If you've never seen it, get on it! Really good.

Managed to get all our bags, on and off, within 90 seconds.

LUND! We found Lemon Fanta. Mind blown.

Pizza dinner. The kids are hiding.

Linonberry jam!!

Look what Matt found in the local Coop here! Like I said, we
only bought the essentials at the store today.

Stadsparken in Lund. Playgrounds are open :)

Our view out of our short term rental apartment. Taken at 10pm!
Summertime light definitely takes some getting used to!

Moving to Sweden During a Pandemic

So I wrote a thing.
About a month ago I was Googling "moving to Sweden" and
The Newbie Guide to Sweden website came up.
It's a great, comprehensive website that helps newcomers to Sweden navigate many settlement questions, from looking for work and accommodation to making social connections.
It also features guest bloggers who write about their experiences in Sweden as Newbies.
So over the next few months I'll be writing about my version as a Newbie in Sweden.
Share your thoughts and tell me what you would like to know about my experiences here. Gathering ideas for the next blog....

At Lake Simcoe during our 2 week quarantine when we arrived back in (chilly) Canada.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Last Glorious Sail

We made it. And the USA let us in no problem, phew.
350 nautical miles over 3 nights (87 hours) and on just one tack!
The sailing was brilliant, thank goodness for favourable winds.
The kids were good crew members, pretty much tending to their own needs. There were only a few times I had to remind them to brush their teeth and drink water.
Matt and I barely saw each other over the past few days. We were just tag teaming at the helm, while the other rested.
Now comes Phase Two: unpacking the boat and prepping her for selling.
We've given the kids strict instructions to only take what they really really want.
They are already sorting their Lego collection with surprising cooperation while Matt and I sit in the cockpit decompressing.
Thanks to everyone who made all this possible.
I knew Anjulia and Sue were always looking over us, I could feel it.
And now here we are, about to leave the home we've known for the last ten months.
I'm too overwhelmed and exhausted to cry, but I'm sure that will come.

Entering Fort Pierce inlet at sunrise. Morning y'all!

Hello America!

Happy, relieved and very tired Captain.

I will definitely miss this view. So much.

Crazy what a few months of wind can do to a flag!

Here's a bunch of sunrise and sunset photos taken over our 3-day passage. It never gets old.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Mommy and Daughter Date

While the others went on a road trip to the southern most point of Little Exumas Island, Aila and I had a day out in Georgetown.

First we had an appointment with Martha at the Straw Market.

We met her last Saturday when we went into the market to browse around. I was so impressed with the straw baskets and other beautiful items she was making, I asked her if she would teach us how to make something. So we set a date for us to come back today. What a great experience!

Martha learned how to weave straw handicrafts from her grandparents when she was a child. She drives 40 minutes each way to come and sell her beautiful hand-made items and looks after her grandkids everyday when they finish school.

A humble and gentle soul, she patiently taught us how to make straw embroidered bookmarks, something we'll treasure always.

After a picnic lunch and ice cream, Aila and I settled ourselves at Driftwood Cafe to drink tea, read and wait until the others picked us up.

Unbeknownst to me, the owner of Chat 'N' Chill, KB, sits down next to me and starts to make small talk.

By the time he told me who he was, I had already talked his ear off about cruising and my impressions of the Bahamas, the turmoil of the world with the coronavirus and how removed I feel from it all, etc.

KB has an interesting story himself and now I really can't wait to get across to Stocking Island to visit Chat 'N'Chill!

FYI, Chat 'N'Chill is THE place where cruisers go to meet other cruisers here in Georgetown and Stocking Island. It has become somewhat famous with their Sunday Pig Roasts, snorkelling with rays, beach volleyball competitions, and just general awesome hub for a good cold drink with good company.

Next up, the Administrator of Exuma Island, Ivan Ferguson, sits down at the table next to us and the next thing I know we're chatting social anthropology, preservation of Bahamaian historic sites and relics, the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, cruising with young kids, boat schooling, and transitioning from 20+ years of public service to retirement and needing to find purpose (he has only a few months to go before he retires).

Although Aila didn't really participate in the conversations today, she listened intently.

Today was all about small island charm and the local people that make it so special.

Thank you Martha, KB and Ivan!

The love for your country is incredible but your openness and heartfelt compassion for your fellow brothers and sisters is truly inspiring.

Making a straw bookmark.

At Martha's stall at the straw market.
Tea, mango twist donut and quiet time reading.
This was a real treat indeed!

At Driftwood Cafe, a group of Mexican cruisers offered Aila
and I their (untouched) plate of pizza. They had ordered too
much and couldn't finish it all. Needless to say, we gobbled it up!

Me with KB, owner of Chat 'N' Chill.

Little Exumas Island excursion pics:

Giving Grandpa a hug/choke.

Late afternoon play on the nearby beach. Running away from the waves never gets old!