Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hund Dag Eftermiddag

For the past few weeks, the weather here in Sweden has been nearly perfect. Blue skies with some occasional small puffy clouds. A nice breeze (or occasional strong wind) to cool you down. Temperatures have hovered around 27C (that's 80F for you Yanks). That's quite toasty by Swedish standards. And awe-inspiring sunsets. Det är sommar!

So, last weekend was a "home" weekend. As such, we decided to treat the dogs to a day at the beach. Like most places in the States, dogs are not allowed on beaches during this time of the year. But, there are a few places to be found. We headed about an hour South of Göteborg. Past the town of Varberg. To Holmen. The beach is situated right next to a nature preserve and a small boat harbor.

The water was extremely shallow. Which I found out once I thought I had lost the dog's water toy. The wind was pushing it further away. The toy was now quite far away and I assumed it was in deep water. I was in calf deep water wearing shorts with my wallet in my pocket. I looked to TJ for help. He had on board shorts. And likes to swim more than I do. So, off he went. It turned out to be shallow quite a ways out. He never had to swim at any point. Zoey, who followed him out, did. Good girl.

Zoey and Lily enjoyed themselves. Though, Lily had to retire a bit early since she's not the water dog she used to be. Here's a little video snippet of all the fun:

Friday, June 5, 2009

Weekender: French Riviera

Oh la la. We ventured to the South of France. The French Riviera to be exact. We arrived in Nice and traveled along the coast from Monte Carlo to Cannes. The weather was spot on. The scenery was picture-perfect. And the food was rich. Nearly everything was rich in this part of France. Note: The images in this post link to my Picasa photo album with all trip photos.

The concentration of wealth in this region was both breathtaking and mind-numbing. People made comments like, Bernie Madoff had his yacht berthed here or Bono owns a large estate nearby. People with money. So, this is what they do with it. The term "super yacht" could be bandied about with the greatest of ease; they were everywhere. Each town had a port with at least a few docked. In Monaco, TJ got his first glimpse of a super yacht breeding ground. There were tears in his eyes.

The beaches along the French Riviera were quite nice. Many of the beaches around Nice consist of smooth, flattened stones. And some extremely fine sand that borders on being invisible. But, there were some sandy beaches situated south of Nice in Antibes and Cannes. We sampled both areas. TJ is modeling the finest in Cannes beaches in this photo. Not too crowded. Warm, salty (bouyant) water. Nice, very nice.

And it was fun to walk around the old town sections of Antibes, Monaco, and Cannes. Some places, like Antibes were millennia old. Others, mere babes dating to the 12th century. I love wandering through narrow streets. Here, I'm taking in the sun and scenes in Cannes.

Quite frankly, while the sites and sounds of the French Riviera are full of delights, it's the tastes that inspire an out-of-body experience. Drool.

[You need to sing this next part to get the full effect] Flan, glorious flan! Oh how I love you! Every time I go to France, I get some flan. This trip was no exception. Rich. Thick. Creamy. It's worth every calorie.

And this little find topped off our day in Cannes. A mille-feuille nature. A crunchy crust like a crème brûlée. And that familiar custard inside.

For more photos of our trip to France, click here.