Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden

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memory lane: welcome to spain dracula!

Spain part 3 of 3. The final installment. Join me today along memory lane back to my 25 before 25 list. Number 16: visit a friend at their new residence.

“Welcome to Spain Dracula!” Katie shouted to me across the bus station.

Not really. But maybe she should have.

Since we don’t live in a fake Tina Fey improv session, when I arrived in Don Benito Katie walked across the train station and introduced herself to María-José. As you remember, my new friend.

Spain pt. 3.1

After saying farewell to María-José, Katie and I made out way to Katie’s place of residence for the past year. The difference between Madrid and Don Benito was striking. Just taking the short stroll through the city center to Katie’s apartment made that clear. Don Benito is a charming little city, where Katie was working for the year as an English teacher. Her time in Spain was coming to a close, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to travel Spain with a new native. (You become a native in a year….right?)

Spain pt. 3.2

Katie’s front door

The view from the balcony

The view from the balcony

After getting to Katie’s apartment (and checking off number 16 on my list), I dropped off my bags and we went back into town to drink tinto with Katie’s friends. The next day we were heading down to Sevilla so it wasn’t a late night, but it was great to meet the people Katie had spent the past year with.



Little did she know, a sun burn was on its way

Little did she know, a sun burn was on its way

Sevilla was hot. This was May, and I had just recovered from a Swedish winter, so believe me when I say, Sevilla was hot! We meandered through the city taking in the sights. Ate often at this little chain restaurant they have in Spain, 100 cervezas, where you buy tiny little sandwiches and get a pint of beer at ridiculously low prices. We drank more beer on the beach, and I managed to get ridiculously sun burnt (as I failed to heed the advice from María-José who warned me of this on our ride). Over all it was an awesome time.

Spain pt. 3.6

Spain pt. 3.7

In the evenings we ate dinner in charming little spanish squares. Where the tall buildings surround us on all four sides, yet the squares are still big enough to harbor small trees. Small children run through, laughing loudly, aided with extra energy at the late hour because of their timely siesta earlier that day.

It was in one of these squares that Katie and I had one of our conversations that I will never forget. There was the sound of a guitar trickling out a nearby open window, and Katie asked me how I knew Evelina was the one. I grinned, sipping my Spanish red wine in the moonlight and explained: It’s like I’ve found this person. I am hers, and she is mine. And everything else in the world, all the noise, it will settle down. It will resolve. there’s no need to think or worry about that. Because, forever, there will be us.

I had never before put my love to words for another before, and that evening is a moment I will always remember. For this I will always love best friends, and Spain, and red wine, and moonlight.


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memory lane: nj summers

As I was saying in one of my recent posts, it sure is nice to reminisce on sunnier and warmer times come fall. With that in mind I’ve decided to do a series of five posts within which I invite you to join me on a stroll down memory lane.

When we were young my parents would take my brothers and I on a trip down to the Jersey shore once a summer. If you’ve seen the reality TV show, yes, it is exactly like that in real life, especially when you’re 9.

memory lane 1

We’d spend a week in a rented house by the beach along with my Dad’s side of the family. I remember the weeks always being full of sunshine, mastering the boogie board, sand sticking to every part of me, and chasing down the ice cream truck realizing at the last-minute that yes, yes we did want ice cream.

memory lane 2

One summer after a day of gallivanting across the sandy beach and fighting through crashing waves, my cousins and I were wrapped up in our towels, freezing, as the sun began to sink. None of us thinking to get more appropriate clothing for the dropping temperature. My cousins took this opportunity to convince me that Gatorade was made of people’s sweat.

To my credit, I did resist the lie for a long time. I really made my cousins work to convince me of this. Initially thinking my cousins were being ridiculous, and definitely pulling my leg. The thing was that they continued with such conviction that by the end of the sunset, I totally bought it. Gatorade had to be made from people’s sweat.

Though, not to my credit, this was before Gatorade started running their commercials with famous athletes sweating in color. If you think about it, Gatorade may owe my cousins millions of dollars for essentially coming up with their advertising campaign.

I don’t still think Gatorade is produced in a factory filled only with people running on treadmills with large collection tanks below them. Though I do prefer Powerade.


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eight. go to greece

I had a master evil plan. It was glorious. It involved my escape, with Evelina of course, to the warm, sandy beaches of Greece. In my fantastical plan I would spend my 25th birthday sipping adult beverages in the sunshine.

Greece sandy beaches

picture found here

Sadly, this will not be the reality. I still have good chances of sipping adult beverages in the sunshine, however I will not be in Greece. My dream vacation is still only a dream. Turns out my fantasies have deeper pockets than I do. Greece will have to wait. I hope it isn’t going anywhere.

The resolve has not lessened.


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seven. go to italy

Or maybe this one should be titled, the time we didn’t go to Italy. Evelina has been to Italy, and loved it. Ever since the 11th grade, when students in Latin and or Classical Literature could sign up to go to Italy for spring break, I have wanted to go. I was eligible, but not able to go because I played Varsity Lacrosse. Now, I don’t want this to sound like the complaining athlete who couldn’t go on the fun trip because she was good at a sport. Even though that’s pretty much what it was. The rules were clear, if you played on the Varsity team you were at practice and games, or you were ineligible to play in future games corresponding both with how many practices and games you missed. Yes, I’ve wanted to go to Italy for a long time. We learned a lot about Ancient Rome in Latin, and I find the history to be ridiculously interesting. I would love to see the sights associated with such ancient times. It’s mind-boggling to me that so much is still in existence today.

See the pretty pictures Evelina took!

See the pretty pictures Evelina took!

Later in life I got to hear all about Evelina’s trip to Italy. She saw the sights in Rome, went to the Vatican, biked through Florence, and ate lots and lots of gelato. Evelina’s uncle is actually Italian. So I even get to hear all about the best beaches, most beautiful waterfronts, best italian food, when I see him. Basically it’s torture.

See the beautiful views my friend enjoys! Follow her on Instagram @dambrosl

See the beautiful views my friend enjoys! Follow her on Instagram @dambrosl

I was even invited to Italy this year. A friend has been studying there, and said I should stop by. Unfortunately it really didn’t fit in with everything going on. But it was hard to resist, especially after seeing all her crazy beautiful Instagram pictures. I do believe I’ll make it to Italy. I just no longer believe that will happen before I turn 25. The incompletion of this one leaves me a little bummed, but still hopeful for the amazing Italian trip I will someday take. All roads lead to Rome, after all. signature


nine. go to mexico

This one wasn’t an easy one like the last one. Or at least it’s not an easy one if you’re starting in Sweden. Standing in the south of Texas would also make this one pretty easy. But that’s neither here nor there, seeing as we live in Sweden. 
photo 1
Evelina and I travelled to Mexico to celebrate the wedding of our dear friends Kallie and Justin. (All names changed to protect identity – duh.) It was a ridiculously beautiful beach wedding at sunset. Being in Mexico for a week didn’t hurt either, with a beautiful hotel, snorkeling and Mayan ruins to be seen, fun was certainly had.
We loved Mexico, and would love to go back. There’s more adventure waiting, seeing as we still have the Aztec and Inca ruins to visit!


mexican wedding

As promised here comes the post about the wedding in Mexico. As I said, it was beautiful. Ridiculously beautiful. The ceremony and reception took place on the beach. The sand and breeze coming off the water created the most perfect atmosphere. It was a small ceremony and that made it feel all the more intimate. The ceremony concluded just as the sun was setting. It was breathtaking. Don’t take my word for it, here is a selection of the photos I took.

Mexican wedding

(Took these with my camera, that I’ll be sure to tell you more about soon – pretty sweet pics, eh?)

Not only was the wedding amazing, but the entire week in Mexico was really more than I could have dreamed it to be.


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book of october: david and goliath

No, I didn’t forget book of the month. Don’t you worry your little heart.

I’ve ranted and raved about how much I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell in previous posts, and when I found out he was coming out with a new book I knew it was written for me. And thousands of other readers. It was released on the first of the month, and LUCKY for me Evelina and I went on vacation this month. That means plenty of travel time to fill with reading a good book. Or five.

David & Goliath

In an upcoming post I will tell you all about our trip to Mexico. (And the ridiculous flight schedule it entailed.) For now I will leave you with these tantalizing pictures of reading an excellent book in excellent weather. On an excellent beach. Yes, everything really was that excellent.

reading on the beach

Malcolm Gladwell does it again. In a style all his own he connects dots in an ever fascinating way. He even talks about IKEA in this one. It’s a good read, you know I recommend it.