Sunday, July 28, 2013

...aaaand we're back

Prepare yourself to be bombarded with photos from the 2013 Frost Family Great Pacific Northwest Awesome Summer Road Trip in the next couple of weeks. My little camera is practically ready to burst after nine days of driving, exploring, sightseeing, eating, hiking, and socializing.

Where we went? Here is a short resumé:

Vancouver Island (British Columbia): Victoria, Butchart Gardens, Parksville, Ucluelet
Olympic Peninsula: Sequim, Hurricane ridge, Lake Crescent, Rialto Beach, Hoh rain rorest, Aberdeen
Bonus: North Bend, Snoqualmie falls

But before I start writing blog post after blog post with endless descriptions of giant trees and desolate beaches I'm going to savor the last days of my parents' visit. My brother has already gone back to Sweden, but the rest of us have a few more days to enjoy each other's company.

On today's agenda: wine tasting in Woodinville. I can't possibly let my folks leave without a close encounter with the lovely grapes of Washington. Cheers!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Trippin' with ma peeps

Watch out, drivers - the Frost family is on the road! First stop: Victoria, BC. We will be touring Vancouver Island for six days and then head back to the US to check out the Olympic Peninsula for a couple of more days.

I'm very excited to finally get to explore the surroundings around here. There will be boats! Trees! Tea! Mud! Sand? Wheels!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

For rent!

Announcement: my lovely tenant back home has been admitted to KTH in Stockholm (congrats!), which means I'm looking for a new sublessee from September 2013 to September 2014.

If you know anyone who might be interested in my Gothenburg apartment - preferably someone neat and tidy, since the place is furnished - please spread the word and have them email me. My first choice is for it to be someone I know, or at least have some kind of connection to, so I won't advertise for random people just yet. That's also the reason I'm not describing the place further right now; if you know me, you know the details (or at least how to get them).

I really appreciate any help I can get!

Update: I've found a new tenant. Thanks all!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Speed 2: Cruise Control

I have to be realistic and admit that my blog posting will remain quite poor for the duration of July, as spending time with my visiting family will have priority over most other activities (apart from work, sadly). Sorry! It will get better in August, I promise.

My parents have been here almost two weeks now and tomorrow we are warmly welcoming my brother, who makes his second appearance in this fair state. On Friday, the three of us will head North on a weeklong road trip, starting with Vancouver Island and then moving on to the Olympic Peninsula. But the adventures started today with a birthday surprise I had arranged for my mother who recently turned sixty: a whale-watching tour in the San Juan Islands. We spent seven lovely hours on the Island Caper under a bright blue sky with both Mt Baker and Mt Rainier generously showing off their snow-clad peaks on the horizon. The cruise itself was terrific, and the three of us agreed that it would have been a success even if we hadn't seen any whales. But we did. For at least forty minutes three orcas, a mother and her two sons, were swimming around happily eating salmon and spraying water, seemingly unaffected by the attention from their human admirers. So cool!

It won't be easy to focus on work this week, but I'll certainly do my best. Oh, these are good times!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue

Spending time with the Frayos is always a pleasure, and 4th of July was no exception. My first Independence Day had everything I could wish for and more: terrific food, great wine, beautiful fireworks, and (most importantly) lovely company. Another newbie in the crowd was of course little Cian, who honored the prominent American holiday by persistently refusing to go to sleep. But who could blame him, really?

Below are some photos from the event, beginning with dad reading Babro Lindgren's ”Mamman och den vilda bebin” (The wild baby) to the wild baby.

An excited man as his (illegal) fireworks. Go USA!

Eating apple pie and blowing things up; it doesn't get more American than that. I'm competely assimilated!

The spectator crowd, ooooohing and aaaaahing as Scott and I filled the night sky with diamonds and pearls.

Anti-tank mine, Dragon ballz, Sexy girl, Warhog, After burner, Land of the free, Turning heads, Gone bananas... The fireworks sure had some interesting names, not necessarily at all related to whatever pyrotechnic effect was displayed. The Toot n twirl managed to live up to roughly 50% of my expectations; the twirling action was fully satisfactory but the tooting left something to be desired. Next year: more toot!

Thank you Scott and Shani for hosting another awesome night in the land of the free!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Birthday, America!

Why yes, of course I'm at work. But only until noon... (I hope.) After that: Fireworks! Barbecue! Red! White! Blue!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Let's do stuff!

The parents have landed! I picked them up at the airport yesterday and guided them to the apartment in Wallingford where they will be staying during July. To fight their jet lag we enjoyed some refreshments at a nearby café, admired the Seattle skyline from Gas Works Park, took a brief tour in Fremont, and relaxed on the shaded patio of the bar next door from my place. After that, they got more and more woolly-minded and decided to call it a day. I must say that I was rather impressed by their stamina, though; they did better than most of my previous visitors.

Later that night I filled out an American community survey that had been sent to me with a slightly pushy note saying YOUR RESPONSE IS REQUIRED BY LAW. Jeez, I hear you... No need for yelling.

The questions were completely normal, like this one:

Now what? Not much rest for the jet lagged, that's for sure... Tonight we're going to a Sounders game and tomorrow it's 4th of July. Action-packed! We will be joining the Frayos for barbecue and fireworks, and as it's my first Independence Day I'm pretty excited.

Welcome parents!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A fine day to be proud

Seattle is a very gay friendly city, with vibrant Capitol Hill being the main district for all things fun and diverse. If you are looking for an extraordinary night out or just some high quality people watching, then the Hill is certainly the place to go.

Last Sunday, Seattle Pride hosted its 39th annual pride parade organized by Seattle Out & Proud, rendering our fine city filled with sparkling prima donnas, hairy bears, leather clad goths, rainbow colored unicorns, and all kinds of fabulous people sweating away in the tropical heat. The festivities were highly influenced by the Supreme Court's recent decision on DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), ruling the federal same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. Being a sentimental softy, my eyes were repeatedly filled with tears of equal parts joy and sadness as proud couples marched by, celebrating their right to get married. All these years of struggle and discrimination... Unbelieveable. 

Besides cheering and clapping, the spectators were constantly catching flying items from the many companies and organizations that were represented in the parade. T-shirts, instant coffee, stickers, condoms, bracelets, coupons for various goods and services, bead necklaces, candy, and all kinds of other free stuff. Loved it! Gratis är gott!

The costumes, the colors, the creativity! My camera is filled with photos of fantastic people celebrating love and community.

Thank you, Seattle Pride! The sun almost got me, but it was worth it.