We Made It

After nearly nine hours aboard a Boeing 787-900, we made it safely to Stockholm. The 789 was quite comfortable and I actually managed to get some sleep!  Yay!  If I had to guess, our bartender Laura’s heavy pour at the airport helped this mission.  Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough, so I’m totally exhausted now and its only 10:00 PM in Stockholm and 5:00 pm back home.  Once we got through customs and got our luggage, which was quite quick, we grabbed a snack and drink (coffee please) at 7-11 before hopping on the express train into the sitting.

Much like my initial impressions of Norway, Sweden reminds me a lot of Minnesota.  Speaking of Norway, we flew over Fjord Norway on our approach into Stockholm’s Arlanda airport.  The region looked absolutely beautiful from 40,000 ft with the mountains covered in snow.  As for the train, we arrived at central station in a brisk 20 minutes.  Fortunately, our hotel is mere half of block from the station.

Our hotel is adorable.  We have four bed and a beautiful patio overlooking Stockholm.  It’s the perfect place to store our beverages and stinky shoes.  The view is pretty fabulous as well.  Once we got situated in the hotel room, we got ready to head out and about to find dinner.

We started our exodus looking for a meatball place, but found the maps and google searches aren’t too successful here unless we’re on wi-fi.  We walked for several blocks in the brisk evening air until we happened upon a place called Polpette – combination of Italian and Swedish cuisine.  The restaurant was beautiful inside with friendly waitresses and hostesses.

Our dinner started with drinks, my bro and I enjoyed a lingonberry margarita, while B enjoyed a glass of wine and Jake stuck with water.  We started our dinner with an appetizer order of sourdough cheese bread and fresh caprese.  They were amazing.  Unfortunately, we ate them so fast we didn’t even stop to take a picture.

For the main course, I enjoyed a flank steak on a bed of gratinized mashed potatoes.  Jake had Swedish meatballs, Brandi has pasta Bolognese and Jon had fettucine with steak.  Our main courses were beautiful and delicious. My meal came with the bonus of an asparagus spear wrapped in bacon- yum.  Honestly, the food absolutely hit the spot.  We enjoyed our meal and the hospitality of the staff at Polpette.  If you’re ever in downtown Stockholm, I recommend you pay them a visit.

Post dinner we headed back towards the hotel in hopes of finding pastries, but alas all the cafes were already closed for the night.  Since we couldn’t find pastries, we headed to the Ice Bar in Stockholm.  I’ve been to the Ice Hotel in Quebec City, but this was my first time at a year round ice bar.

We suited up and headed into the ice.  Much like the Ice Hotel in Quebec, the Ice Bar had several elaborate ice carvings.  This bar is done in a Viking theme, which makes for an impressive experience.  It should come as no surprise that we spent tons of time hanging out on the Viking ship and throne while enjoying our drinks.  Our bartender was fantastic and gave us a list of places to try before leaving Stockholm After several rounds of drinks, we headed back to the hotel for a night-cap and to get ready for tomorrow.

If you go:

Our restaurant tonight: PolPette

The Ice Bar: Ice Bar by IceHotel Stockholm

Hotel:  https://www.freyshotels.com/


Go Local

When I go to my favorite restaurant, I am a creature of habit.  I always order the same dish the same way.  I always look at the other menu items, but ultimately I decide to stick with what I know.  My coffee is no different, which is why Selena or Adam always have it ready for me when I walk into Dunkin in the morning.  I wish I could be more adventurous when it comes to dining out, but I hate spending money on food and then being disappointed.

There’s one exception to this rule and that is when I travel.   If I’m travelling abroad, aside from my coffee habit, my creature of habit and safe food choices go out the window.   To truly experience another culture, you have to delve into their cuisine and local dishes even if it is a bit scary.  One rule we have in our house is when travelling abroad, you only get one McDonald’s trip so you can experience the different menus across the globe. All other meals should be eaten in local restaurants.

Most places are known for a specialty dish or two.  In the Brittany region of France, they’re known for the delectable Kouign-amannn cake.  This wonderful pastry is a round, crusty cake that comprises of layers of butter and sugar between layers of pastry. I know – it sounds awful right?  I have craved this dessert since leaving Saint Malo in 2011.


Saint Malo is an incredible seaside city, where my husband’s grandfather happened to have landed in 1944 as part of the allied forces.  Despite coming into the city under heavy Nazi fire, he was enthralled with its beauty and brought back two paintings of Saint Malo with him to the states when the war had ended.    Saint Malo is also the city that Jacques Cartier departed from when he discovered Quebec.  I never knew how much I would grow to love Jacques Cartier.

In 2016, we had the opportunity to travel to Quebec City for Peewee Quebec, which was one of the most incredible trips I’ve ever taken.  Thank god for Jacques Cartier discovering Canada because les petit pains au chocolats and other pastries in Quebec City tasted like they had been baked in France.  The food in Quebec City. The cuisine of Quebec City is heavily influenced by Breton cuisine and what a tasty treat.

One night two of the moms, a hockey sister and I walked off the beaten path looking for a local bistro.  We found the cutest little place that would seat us at their bar, so we wouldn’t have to wait too long.  My friend Inga and I let the waitress order us her favorite dishes.  I ended up with veal sweet bread dish and Inga ended up with a seafood dish.   The food was incredible, though the sweet bread was a bit rich for my tummy.  Quite frankly if I had known what it was, I probably wouldn’t have ordered it, but then I would have missed out on the experience.


The most important part of dinner, however, was dessert.  After 5 years of waiting and searching high and low in North America, I found a restaurant that served Kouign-amann.  It was absolutely amazing.  As I ate it, it instantly took me back to Saint Malo and the gite in Normandy.   The taste of the cake, combined with the memories of France and the new memories being created that night in Quebec City made for an incredible culinary experience.  If we hadn’t gone off the beaten path, we would have missed out.

I look forward to exploring Norway and its foods with my boys this summer.  The food, much like the land and the cities we will visit, is a connection to our Norwegian heritage.  While my boys are pretty picky eaters at home, I’m hoping this trip abroad will broaden their taste buds.