Let me begin by telling you that although we had a dry and fairly warm weekend (low 40s F), it is *SNOWING* now and our forecast is for continued snow through tomorrow. The good news is that by the end of the week, it will be back to the lower 40s (F). The bad news is that they’re predicting five straight days of cold rain during that time. I guess we’ll have to have rain boots for the whole family after all.

We had a fun and busy weekend. So busy, in fact, that we’ve broken the post into three sections.

1: Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Saturday morning after breakfast, we all walked to a nearby bus stop and, after some confusion about which side of the street to stand on, boarded a bus bound for the Natural History Museum (Naturhistoriska riksmuseet). The kids enjoyed the 10 minute bus ride so much that if we’d simply turned around and ridden back they would’ve been happy. In fact, the kids were so excited about the bus trip that I’m sure the people sitting near us thought we’d been denying our kids the thrill of public transportation all this time!

The Natural History Museum caters to children, so the kids had plenty of hands-on activities to keep them engaged. We spent a total of 5 hours there and we could’ve done more, but the younger kids started to grow weary. Unfortunately, as soon as I took the first photo, the camera announced that its battery needed to be recharged. I managed to get a few photos out of it by letting the camera rest for awhile, but mostly we missed out on a lot of wonderful shots. We tried using one of our SIFR-issued cell phones to take some photos, but the cameras on those little guys are merely afterthoughts. We managed to salvage a couple of the phone pictures, but most of the shots were far too grainy.

In any case, here’s a glimpse of some of the adjoining buildings on our walk to the museum:

Naturhistoriska riksmuseet

Naturhistoriska riksmuseet campus


And a few from the kids enjoying the exhibits:
Checking out the dinosaur skeletons

Exploring the dinosaur skeletons


Checking out the big teeth

Checking out the big teeth


Hand through the nose!

Hand through the nose!


Piggie back ride

Piggie back ride


Another piggie back ride

Another piggie back ride


Although we’d eaten some really tasty food in the museum’s cafeteria, upon exiting Thomas declared that he was hungry and wanted a hot dog. Truth be told, he had eaten very little of his lunch, so we weren’t surprised. He got both a hot dog and a lollipop and alternated bites/licks between them (gross!). Here are the kids with their gigantic lollipops:
A visit to the hot dog (and lollipop) stand

A visit to the hot dog (and lollipop) stand


I thought there was no way they’d finish those things, but I was wrong. Two out of three of them were entirely consumed. Lucy tossed hers in the trash when we got home, declaring it “old and stale” (really, she was distressed that she’d chosen a peppermint flavored one), but both Thomas and Isaac managed to consume their entire suckers by the end of the day. For awhile, Isaac had his propped up between a door and the wall, the end of the stick jammed into the door lock. Should’ve gotten a picture of that!

2: Sunday morning in and around the apartment

On Sunday, the kids started their day off with some painting in our apartment before they headed outside to play on the building’s playground.

Water colors in the morning

Water colors in the morning


Mixing the colors

Mixing the colors


Our building's playground

Our building's playground

While outside, David managed to get a close up of a yard bunny that’s not too grainy:

Yard bunny with chunk of ice

Yard bunny with chunk of ice

Later in the afternoon, after lunch and laundry (which never ends!), David took the kids on an adventure hike in Hagaparken, which is a large park located behind our apartment building. I’ll let him provide some historical background along with the fun details of their journey. I, meanwhile, had a nice long nap!

3: Hagaparken

I have taken several jogs through Hagaparken, and so had learned enough to know that I could entice the kids with tales of magical buildings and castles in the park. The park dates back to the 18th century, when it was essentially (as best as I can figure) King Gustav III’s personal horse park and game reserve. That man lived well. Imagine a place about the size of Central Park, maybe larger once you factor in the enormous lake, just dotted with pavilions, pagodas, gazebos, stately homes, etc. I told the kids it would be like we were in Narnia and I don’t I think I misrepresented the situation as far as they were concerned.

There’s nothing to tell, really, except that we traipsed along walking trails and hiked through the woods to find or not find our way up to these magical buildings. We couldn’t figure out how to get close to Kinesiska Templet, but here is the Chinese Temple from afar:
pagodaPretty cool if you’re a kid growing up in Chapel Hill. The kids were equally fascinated by a boarded-up-for-the-winter refreshment stand, which they thought looked like something from Pippi Longstocking:
greenbuildingWere this a news article the caption would read “Orderly Swedish Couples Look On in Polite Contempt as Disorderly American Children Noisily Kick Gravel and Pretend to Ice Skate in Slush Piles.” I did half-heartedly try to impose order, but come on Orderly Swedes, it’s a park on a Sunday and we’re Noisy Americans. We’ll be gone by July.

After that Thomas took the lead and found a path that led us right up to the door of the Turkish Pavilion. That’s my translation of Turkiska Kiosk, because in my mind a kiosk is a place that sells newspapers and potato chips:
turkishpavilionAin’t no chips sold there.

Our final stop was dessert at the Haga Forum, a cool new restaurant in the park that is part swank bar, part cool restaurant, and part a place where you can hide out with young kids and have fun. Our waitress took a liking to us because when prompted with a “WHAT DO YOU SAY GUYS???,” Thomas dropped a great big Swedish “Tak så mycket” (thanks so much) on her. That, plus she also had a tree-nut allergy, and so comp’ed us a bunch of desserts when one of the desserts had almonds in it. Here is a shot of the feast:

Late afternoon snack at the Haga Forum

Late afternoon snack at the Haga Forum


To bring us full circle, it began to snow just as we were finishing our snack, so we trudged home to wake mommy and share our adventures.