I have now been in Florida for about 11 days, and I LOVE it! There is so much to do, see and buy here - and the weather is great! So I have been on the go from early mornings until late evenings ever since I got to Miami/Orlando.
But I want to back up a bit to Christmas Eve, which we spent in Key West. We had a lovely day there and visited the Southernmost point in the US, spent a few hours at the beach sunbathing and watched the sunset. We finished off our Christmas Eve at a seafood restaurant on the way back to Miami.
Below are some photos from our Christmas Eve in Key West.
Me at the Southernmost Point in the US.
A very popular spot indeed...
The beach in Key West where we spent a few hours.
No complaints about the weather. :p
Birds at the beach.
And on the fly!
Sunset in Key West.
Sunset in Key West.
Sending some Sunset LOVE from Key West! :-)
Sunset in Key West.
Sunset in Key West.
This is where we ate our Christmas seafood dinner.
I had fresh shrimp stuffed with fresh crab meat as an appetizer.
And pasta with fresh mussels as a main.
Now to say the least, this years Christmas Eve was anything but a traditional Swedish one. No Donald Duck on TV, no Swedish Christmas Buffet and no rice pudding with a hidden almond for breakfast. BUT it was still a great Christmas Eve indeed! :-)
I love shopping in the U.S.A! There are so many more malls, outlets and shops to shop in here compared to in Sweden. So the last few days we have spent the mornings at Miami beach/pool and afternoons/evenings shopping at different locations here in Miami. And because of this I have almost spent my entire shopping budget already! Lol! Oh well...
Below are some photos of my shopping spree in Miami. :p
First mall we visited was Aventura Mall.
Which was full of Christmas spirit and people. :-)
I always think it is so fun to see stores here that I see on TV a lot but which we do not have in Sweden, like Macy's and Sears.
We have also been to Sawgrass Mills Outlet which is a HUGE!!! outlet here in Florida. It has more than 350 shops and is Florida's largest retail & entertainment center. I could have spent an entire day there, but had to settle with 6-7 hours.
Sawgrass Mills was of course also packed with Christmas shopping people.
More stores we do not have in Sweden.
We do not even have Target in Sweden. :-( And I love Target! So I was very happy to find this Super Target at Sawgrass Mills. :p
One happy shopper!
And one huge lovely Christmas tree at the huge Sawgrass Mills. Pretty, pretty!
Besides shopping we have been to South Beach and we spent our Christmas Eve at Key west. So I will share photos from there in coming blog posts. But until next time I wish you all a continued Merry Christmas from Miami Beach in Florida! :-)
We had a very long, but smooth, flight from Stockholm to Miami yesterday. In total it took about 24 hours from when we left Stockholm until we arrived at our apartment here in Miami Beach, this travel time included a 4 hour stopover at Heathrow in London. And because there also is a 6 hour time difference between Stockholm and Miami, my brain and body is not completely with me yet. Therefore today has been a bit of a settling in and slow day for us here in Miami Beach in Florida.
But I have of course already managed to take a whole bunch of photos along the way and today. So below are some from the airport, planes and my first day in Miami. :-)
At Arlanda airport in Stockholm, Sweden, early in the morning.
In the air.
Approaching Heathrow airport in London, England.
London from the sky.
Finally in Miami Beach!!! It was a bit cloudy and windy today though so I did not go in the ocean.
We are staying in the pink building there.
Where we have some lovely views. :-)
View from our balcony at sunset time.
Also view from our balcony. Ahhh!!! :p
Now I do hope for more sun tomorrow so I can start to work on my tan, hehe. But all in all I have had a great first day here in Miami Beach and I look forward to the rest of my stay in Florida with lots of anticipation. :p
Today we drove from Karlskrona to Stockholm, because we will fly to Miami from there tomorrow morning. Yay! And on the road to Stockholm today I finally I got to see some snow here in Sweden! :p
On the road to Stockholm.
Although I will be on vacation I do plan to keep blogging as often as I can. I will also try to post photos and updates via my Facebook page at: ropcorn and Twitter at: ropcorn. And I will do my best to reply to comments, e-mails and so on as often as possible during my trip.
Now even though I do look forward to the actual vacation, I am not a big fan of flying... Yikes! Not my favourite part of traveling. I particularly do not like the take off and landing, I do not mind being up in the air though. But I am sure I will survive... So next time, if everything goes as planned, I will be blogging from Miami in Florida, USA! :p
My departure date for Florida is fast approaching, only a few days left now! So today I brought out my bag and started to make lists over what I need to pack, do before I leave, do when I get there, buy and other reminder-notes. I always write lists, for everything... It makes everything easier and seem less confusing to me, which in turn makes me feel more relaxed and under control - especially before a long trip like this. In short, I have officially been infected by travel fever and to write lists is my medicine.
So this is my bag and list I started to write today.
My doggy Lisen of course immediately became a bit suspicious, she has probably learned through the years that whenever this bag comes out - I go away.
Are you leaving me - AGAIN!?
Ahh, Lisen. But she will be fine. Lisen will stay with my sister and her dog in a big house over the Holidays, so I am not worried. Though I will of course miss my little doggy. :-) Nevertheless, I am VERY excited to fly away to some sun and warmth soon. Wahoo!!! But until then I do have a lot of list making and packing to do. So I'd better get back to it!
Today we celebrate Lucia here in Sweden. Which means that we eat saffron buns and listen to Lucia and her lovely entourage sing carols all across Sweden.
Which I did in front of the TV this year, I just did not feel like going in to town and watch Lucia outside in the wind and rain... Much more warm a cozy inside. :p
And while I listened to Lucia I stuffed myself with saffron buns and gingerbread. Yummy!! :p
Now originally our Lucia celebration is based on the saint Lucia, a holy virgin of the 200's who lived in Syracuse, Sicily. However her destiny to be killed for her Christian faith has nothing to do with our Swedish Lucia tradition. Actually our current Lucia tradition did not emerge until the late 1800s.
To read more about why we celebrate Lucia and why we eat saffron buns in Sweden check out my page - Lucia in Sweden. Where I also have a video of last years Lucia singing carols in Karlskrona.
We have had quite a few storms recently here in Karlskrona in Sweden, hence a lot of wind and rain. No snow though... Last year we had a ton of snow by now. But actually it really does not feel like we will have a snowy winter at all this season. Either way it sure was nice to be able to take a nice walk with my dog Lisen without having to worry about becoming wet or blowing away yesterday morning. Because my dog Lisen did have to struggle bit to remain on the ground a few evenings ago. Hehe.
Anyway, we had very nice weather conditions yesterday morning here in Lyckeby. And below are some shots from our walk in odd sunshine.
Today is Advent 3rd here in Sweden, wahoo! So today my dog Lisen and I went to my mum's to do some Christmas baking, more specifically we baked gingerbread. Yummy!!! And fun. Also because I have had a few very hectic days up until today it was very nice to just do some baking and relax a bit. Therefore today has been, and still is, a truly lovely Advent Sunday indeed. :-)
Below are some photos from our Advent 3rd Sunday Christmas Bake.
My sister taking a nibble out of the gingerbread dough.
Gotta have some different shapes.
Rolling with me sis.
And getting into the Christmas bake spirit.
We want some too!!! Doggies Lisen and Diva hoping we will drop some gingerbread...
My sister making Lisen work for a piece of gingerbread dough.
And the finish product, our home made gingerbread. :p
My dog Lisen has always been scared of heights for some reason? So she was not very excited to come to the edge of the balcony today (we live on the fifth floor) to check out a very patient kitty on the lookout for mice.
This was the patient kitty I tried to show my dog Lisen earlier today.
Who was not very eager to meet my request.
And kitty probably thought we were interrupting his/her mice stakeout.
This was as close as I could get Lisen to the edge, so I am pretty sure she did not see the cat...
But that is a very popular place for cats to hang out and wait for a mouse to appear from the nearby mouse hole, which I have seen. Not sure if any cats have ever caught a mouse there though? Either way, cats sure are patient! Because they can sit there for hours and hours.
Unlike my dog Lisen, who has very little patience when she wants something. Actually, if she really, really wants something she will bark until she gets it. Or at least until she gets my attention and can show me what she wants. She is a very good communicator that way. Lol! :p
I always think it feels strange to ride as a passenger in my own car, which is what I did today. It feels strange because I am so used to driving, seeing and doing everything from the driver seat of my car. So when I am a passenger, well everything just looks and feels weird. Also for some reason, I think my car feels a lot bigger when I experience it from a passangers point of view...
Streetlights here in Lyckeby in Sweden tonight, as seen by me from the passanger seat of my car.
But I guess it can be a good thing to change ones point of view from time to time. Because even a small change like this one, gave me a huge refreshing perception of my car today. In a nice way that is. :-)
Today we celebrate the second Advent Sunday of four here in Sweden. So I thought it was a perfect day to visit a traditional old style Christmas market nearby. More specifically the Christmas market I visited was located at a big farm called Bubbetorps Farm, about 5 kilometers from where I live. Now of course I brought my camera, and I took A LOT OF photos! Lol!
Below are some of the photos I took at Bubbetorps Farm Old Style Christmas Market earlier today.
There were a lot of super cute animals at the Christmas market! Like these adorable donkeys.
Who were very popular indeed!
As was this lovely little pony.
Some a bit more unusual animals I saw at the farm were these cool alpacas.
Who seemed pretty relaxed.
I also saw these wonderful horses in action while I was there.
Ahh, some good old style transportation.
Dogs were of course also allowed to visit the Christmas market. And I just thought this one had the kindest eyes, such a beautiful dog indeed.
Hey Mr...ehum Bzzz Bee. Well, he was a nice bee who offered everyone a taste of his Swedish honey.
We were all also very welcome to taste these different cheeses at the Christmas market.
As well as cold smoked and cured salmon.
Even bites of cured moose beef (left) and deer sausage (right) were offered at the Christmas market.
There were also a lot of sweet Christmas goodies for sale, like these ones!
Though I think they were almost too pretty to eat... well, almost! Hehe.
I would not have been able to wait until Lucia, December 13th, to eat these pretty ginger bread cookies!
Candied apples were also for sale at the Christmas market. ALMOST a healthy snack. :p
Just like candied almonds. :p
Huge Christmas tree!
Where perhaps these cute Christmas goats came from?
Lady Santa was keeping a watchful eye over the Christmas market.
And inside Lady Santa's house, Christmas inspired handicrafts were for sale.
God Jul - Merry Christmas!
Fire barrels were placed all around the farm so you could keep warm.
But, after a couple of hours it was finally time for me to go home.
So farewell Bubbetorps Farm Christmas Market! I had a great visit, and perfect weather too! Thank you!
Even though we had just come back from a long walk together yesterday, my dog Lisen and my sister's dog Diva still had enough energy to play around some in my mum's garden. Although Diva wanted to play a lot more than Lisen, Diva is 6 years old and Lisen 10. However, despite their age difference, I definitely think that Lisen kept up pretty well with her daughter. :-)
Below are some photos from the dogs play session in the garden yesterday.
First a little slow wandering...
...before the big play explosion kicks off!
Run, run, run!!!
And then Lisen begins some slow wandering again, to calm things down a bit.
So guess who was tired when we got home yesterday? Yupp, Lisen! The only motion she did in the evening was to breathe in and out in her sleep. Lol! But I love when she gets tired like that, it always make me feel like I have done a good job of activating her then. Which is a nice feeling indeed. :-)
My dog Lisen and I went to visit my mum today, where we both got tempted by quite a few goodies. I also noticed a lovely bird house saloon in her garden, which I thought was the cutest thing ever! So below are some photos of the temptations Lisen and I encountered earlier today and my mum's bird house saloon.
The Bird House Saloon.
My dog Lisen's temptation, leftovers for birds.
My temptation, a delicious vanilla donut!
Unlike Lisen though, I gave in to my temptation... Which I guess means that Lisen is better than me at resisting temptations, hm!? But I did at least give Lisen a piece of that donut, for being such a good doggy. :-) So all in all I would definitely say that we both had a yummy visit at my mum's today, despite the fact that only one of us gave in to her temptation.