Monday, 28 January 2019

Take me home

72 hours in the snow was more than enough for me. After so many years living in the heat, I really am no viking anymore... Snow is pretty, but I prefer enjoying it on photos from afar..!

We had time in the morning to enjoy a grand hotel breakfast, and later on even a coffee at the Central Station before I jumped on to the airport shuttle again.

My whirlwind birthday weekend was over, and as I looked out over the snowy landscape, it felt pretty good to be going back home to the warmth..!

Hello Dubai!

Saturday, 26 January 2019

A Stockholm birthday

Sunday in Stockholm, and the very first time my first-born and I have been apart on our birthday.
We had talked about it before I left and he was cool about me not being there, but it was a little bit weird, for both of us I think. We are similar in that sense that we both love traditions.

I still got woken up with beautiful singing, and getting to blow out a birthday candle off a kind of lamington and breakfast at a party decorated table, perfect way to start a birthday!

Lucas back in Abu Dhabi, got to open his presents while enjoying birthday pancakes for breakfast; and Linnea and Nathan had very dutifully hung the birthday banner and placed the flags as per every birthday.

So while Lucas went off to a long day at school, with drama practice in the afternoon so he wasn't done until 6 pm; the girls and I went into town to evaluate the daily semla. This time at Wienercaféet, last years winner of 'Best semla in Stockholm'. It sure was up there, really tasty! I feel we managed to pick out the very best of semla these days, all of them were delicious.

We then grabbed a quick pizza for lunch before we went to check in to our hotel. We had a funny moment with the receptionist when I said "Hi, we're Watson", and she thought I said "Hi, where's Watson?", which turned out to be their hotel bar..! Ha ha, so funny!

So of course we had to check Watson out, and started our evening with some bubbles.

To celebrate my birthday, Pia had gifted me a ticket to go see the 'Kort, Glad & Tacksam'-show with Pernilla Wahlgren and her friends. It was really good, we laughed and we sang along, and even shed some tears, all the emotions!

After the show we went for a three-course meal, with more bubbles..! Delish!

A great birthday! Thank you girls! ♥︎

Friday, 25 January 2019

Saturday in Stockholm

Our Saturday in Stockholm was full of lovely things. Started by waking up to this crisp winter landscape outside the window, so pretty!

First Erika and I went to one of my favourite stores to buy a birthday gift to myself - some lovely jewellery from Caroline Svedbom. At least jewellery always fits, no matter how much weight you gain..!

Then it was time for the daily semla test! This time we headed to Tössebageriet to try a "new classic", the semmelwrap, which they invented there a few years back.

I really liked it!! Proportions were perfect and taste just great. I gave it 9,5/10 points, it only lost out 0,5 point for not being big enough, I wanted more..!

Then we picked Pia up from the train station and went straight for lunch at the vegetarian restaurant Sally Voltaire. Yes, we spent a lot of time eating and drinking this weekend! The weather wasn't really inviting for strolling outside... only for a bit here and there in between shops to be honest!

Saturday night we had booked a table at a fondue restaurant I had read great reviews of, and we weren't disappointed. Jenny(fer) joined us as well, and we had such a delicious meal, both meat- and fish fondue.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

In the meantime in Abu Dhabi

While I landed in a snowy winterland in Sweden, Lucas had his birthday "party" back home in Abu Dhabi. He wanted to invite his friends for paintball again, just like last year.
A great thing this year was that Malthe had come up from Dubai for the weekend, and Lucas was happy to introduce him to all his mates:

And then after they all came back to the house for pizza and donuts. Nathan thought there would be  a slice of pizza or two left over for him once they were done... boy, did he misjudge the eight hungry 15-year olds...

I didn't think it looked very birthday-like to serve up the donuts (we always do donuts instead of cake, at least then we know dessert will get eaten) still in the box, and just with one candle... Then Nathan explained that nobody bothered about the presentation... donuts were gone in 5 seconds flat..! Ha ha!

Happy 15th Birthday!

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

A wintery birthday weekend

Since we didn't really go anywhere for the winter holiday I had started to develop a bit of cabin fever. Add to that a rather slow start of the year work wise, I decided to book myself a short trip to Stockholm over the weekend. I had been missing my friends, so I decided to go celebrate my birthday with them. It was a much needed get-away!
Even though it always feels really weird traveling all on my own - this time it was even only with hand-luggage! Such a smooth experience!

I landed in a snowy and cold, but sunny and beautiful landscape. At Arlanda as well it was so easy to exit the airport, since I didn't have to wait for any baggage - and as the shuttle buses left every 10 minutes, I was on my way to the city center in no time!

Erika and I started the weekend by enjoying a delicious semla at one of the more famous and classic establishments in Stockholm, the café Vetekatten, established in 1928. You are not really supposed to eat semlor until Shrove Tuesday, but since they were already on offer everywhere - why not?

In the evening the feast continued at a book release party celebrating one of Erika's friends, Åsa, the author of the book 'Finish on time'. She had invited her friends for cider and smörgåstårta, one of my favourite foods - how lucky was I!

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The Little Lunchtrip - South India

Last week I was free to take part in another 'Little Lunchtrip' with the SWEA ladies. This time they  had chosen a south Indian restaurant in the city, which excited me because apparently they were specialists in paper dosa.

Dosa is a type of pancake made from fermented batter with the main ingredient being rice. I hadn't had paper dosa since we left Brunei, and these were right on the mark! Huuuge, really tasty - and cheap!

Another nice little discovery!

Friday, 11 January 2019

Welcome to our Palace

Last night Linnea and I went to the Emirates Palace to take part in a guided tour around the premises. I've been trying to participate in one of these for a while, but they are scheduled rather rarely.
Of course I already know a lot about the Emirates Palace, at least what's official and public knowledge. My main objective with participating in the guided tour was to try and learn something I didn't know, and to get some fab photos.

Well, I did learn two or three new interesting facts, but nothing overly surprising. Understandably they keep pretty tight-lipped about the daily runnings of the Palace, to protect the privacy of their guests. Either way, it was a lovely tour.

We got to have a look inside one of the luxurious Palace Suites on the 6th floor, 685 square meters big. These are usually reserved for government, Heads of State and VVIPs:

The dining room, comes with a 24h butler and full pantry facilities next door:

The bedroom:

The dressing room:

The palatial bathroom, gold, gold, gold...

How much it costs? Like the guide said: "An arm and a leg... and both my kidneys!" Ha ha!

One of the new facts I learned was that every room in the palace has a balcony. Aha!
Here's the view from this particular suite:

We also got to stroll through the beautiful Blue Salon:

And have a peak into the Palace ballroom, where the largest of the 1,002 chandeliers of the Palace is hanging - it weights 2,5 tonnes:

Real, but petrified palm trees adorn the hallways, as the theme of the Palace is the colours and attributes of the desert:

Finally we got to come outside on the Palace Terrace:

To end the tour, we got treated to their famous 'Palace Cappuccino' at Le Café by the Fountains. As you might know, that's not your average coffee, it's actually decorated with flakes of edible gold.

Linnea doesn't drink coffee yet, so she got lucky and was offered their 'Ice Gold' ice cream. Pretty and delicious!

Such an enjoyable afternoon and evening with my favourite girl!