We'll be doing home exchanges for much of the trip, literally swapping houses with three families we've met online. So far, so great. Our Swedish family has been super hospitable and helpful, suggesting all sorts of hidden gems. And being a real home, the house is so much cozier and equipped than a vacation rental.
We'd like to welcome four-year-old Jack to the blog's authorship. To kick us off, an interview with Jack about his travel observations so far.
Katrina: What did we do to start our trip?
Jack: We started our trip with going on a plane. It was a long time to get there. We had to stop in Iceland because Europe is so far. Then we got on another plane and flew to Sweden.
Actually, we started our trip with a train ride from Sharon to Boston. Then the Silver Line to Logan Airport. Two flights later we took a train from Arlanda into Stockholm and had a few hours to kill before a train to Nykoping, where we were picked up and driven to our home in Vrena. Phew!
Katrina: What was the first thing we did in Sweden?
Jack: I went for a nap.
Jack was super pumped to stay up the whole night. By Stockholm, we had a preview of what drunk Jack is going to be like: staggering around, talking nonsense, and having giggle fits. On our last train ride he was talking one minute and collapsed into a coma the next. We had to push him off the train in Nykoping and into the car, where he had the first nuclear meltdown of the trip.
To be fair, he isn't the only one who collapsed on the train...
Katrina: What have been your favorite things we've eaten so far?
Jack: My favorite thing was drinking that strawberry juice and eating the best cheese ever. I had waffles with a brownie and ice cream. It tasted good. We had some honey strawberries at the restaurant and I said, "Why didn't we get some at the store to eat some at home?"
One of Patrick's favorite things to do when traveling is hitting the grocery store. With a real kitchen at our disposal, we went on a total shopping spree to stock up on staples and discover local favorites. Gardsost, aka "the best cheese ever", was a huge hit. We've also been eating wild boar--smoked, sausaged, and loined--from Vrena Vilt, our local game butcher.
Katrina: What kind of activities did we do?
Jack: We have watched TV, played video games, we went on a hike, we played disc golf, We did the pirate ship, I went on the swing and said I don't want to fall. I went in the trampoline and I was the goalie and I won. And I went on Daddy's team and we won the game.
A huge benefit of home exchange: the house comes stocked with kids' stuff. Jack has discovered video games through our exchange family's Wii and jumped himself silly on the huge trampoline in the backyard. Charlie is already honing his foosball skills.
Katrina: What adventure did we have yesterday on the boat?
Jack: We had a big big adventure and I put my hand in the water and made hand prints. And Daddy got worried and he got a time out. We sailed the boat. And we couldn't fix the boat at the beginning. We went through the sticks at the beginning and at the end. We got the boat working. We had a good time.
Our home comes with a boat! Which we are really excited about now that we figured out how to work it.
Katrina: What was the funniest thing that happened?
Jack: Remember you spit the tomatoes out?
I guess you had to be there.
We're here in Sweden for another two weeks. What shouldn't we miss?