Nov 30, 2011

oh, you wanna go back to russia? jokes on you!

saturday, november 5. day 9. our last-ish day in sweden took us to the temple. so good. so beautiful. so peaceful. so wonderful. it was pretty great. it was really cool to hear everything being said in swedish and everyone there was super nice. leslie actually knew a few of the people from the ward that we did baptisms with! that was pretty cool. small world...
 i love the way the church designs the temples to make the culture and area of where it's at... this temple totally looks swedish!
 funny story, those ILP girls that we stayed with in moscow, we ran into them at the temple! and a grocery store after we left... they took a picture for us, and we took one for them
 one of my favorite things in sweden was seeing my last name-ish everywhere. loved it :)
after the temple, we went back to the hostel to stay for the afternoon and pack, so we didn't have to pay for more ridiculously expensive things. especially transportation. as it came time to take off, we said goodbye to AJ, and headed out. we got to the ferry port super easy, a solid 2 hours early, which we were very happy about. we saw a check in counter that no one was using, but figured we should go over there anyways. when we did, we found out that our ferry tickets weren't valid. we had paid for them, but they didn't exist. we begged and pleaded and bartered to get onto that boat. we offered to sleep on the floor, do dishes, anything. but all the woman would say was i'm sorry, there's nothing i can do. we started to panic slightly, some cried, some started stress eating... good stuff. about then, the moscow girls showed up! they had real tickets to get onto the ferry though, so they left us there and wished us good luck. we started doing everything we could think of: calling our program directors at home, calling alla our native coordinator. .... we finally knew that no one could help us but ourselves and realized that we might not actually make it back to st. petersburg in time to teach. so, we came up with the best alternate plan that we could. heather called the ferry booking company we used and got our money back. and we booked a ferry that would take us to estonia the next day, and then from there we would catch the first bus possible back to st. petersburg. we went back to the hostel, and AJ laughed at us and said we were funny girls. sunday, november 6. day 10. the next day we were lazy and layed around reading, and not doing much at all. the next night we got on our ferry and headed to estonia. for the second time in less than 2 weeks....
this was our ferry, the victoria. it was big, and nice, and expensive. not a fan of the seasickness. or looking from the boat out to black nothingness. monday, november 7. day 11. we got to estonia and 10 am, and the next available bus didn't leave until midnight. sweet. so we went back to our old hostel just to hang out. again. they were really cool about just letting us chill there. then we treated ourselves to some new york pizza.
then we went to the bus station, and ran into none other than allison and bekka! their bus left like 10 minutes before ours. small world, huh? we had to go through customs to get into russia at like 4 in the morning... right after i finally fell asleep. that was lots of fun. let me tell you what.
we FINALLY got in st. petersburg tuesday morning. november 8. day 12. and had to teach only a few hours later. good times...

and that's the story of my vacation.

Nov 27, 2011

museums, and inefficient use of time.

day 8. friday, november 4th. this day didn't go too well.  first, we started out way later than we meant to. then, we went to the museum of modern art because there was a special monet exhibit going on, and we thought it was free, but it wasn't (except for me. all museums in stockholm are free if you're 18. yeah buddy!) so we ended up just going to an architecture exhibit there that was free. i really like that one. then we went in a REALLY round about direction to get to a history museum. anyone who knows me since this trip knows that i'm not a huge fan of museums. that's something that i've learned about myself since i've been here. some are cool, but overall they entertain me for about an hour and then i just get really bored and tired. the evening ended well though.  we went to an organ concert in a church, then went to the culture house, which was pretty much just a big mall, then went back to the hostel for what we thought would be our last night in sweden, ate junk food and watched the proposal and... another movie that i can't remember with AJ. it was a good night :) pictures!
 i think it's kinda pretty here
 oh modern art....
in here there was a timeline of sweden, viking exhibits, and a gold room
and this is the church that we went to the concert in

same as always, some pretty trees, water, hills... make me so much more happy than anything else

day 7. thursday, november 3. this was one of my favorite days in stockholm. we started the day out by going to a park and just enjoying the nature and beauty of sweden :) after that we did a little bit of souvenir shopping and then headed to the biggest IKEA in the world and got swedish meatballs. overall, it was pretty awesome.
the greatest teeter totter ever. this thing goes up and down, sideways, and in circles. freakin awesome.
no hands!
it's at places like these that i truly feel God's love for me. it's so beautiful, quiet, and peaceful. and how could he give us all of this and not love us unconditionally?
we all sat and enjoyed this view in silence for a good 20 minutes. so wonderful.
and then, there was the swedish IKEA!
swedish meatballs. wonderful.

a wondrous day in stockholm, sweden

day 6. wednesday, november 2. our first full day in stockholm started out pretty hectic. we wanted to see the changing of the guards, and needed to leave not long after we woke up to make it. we headed to the nearby metro and started trying to figure out tickets for it. everything in stockholm is super expensive, and public transportation was not excluded from that. so we tried to figure out what the best way to get around the city for 4 days was. we split up, half of us buying a 3 day card that covered all transportation, and the other half went back to the hostel to do a little more research. leslie, jodi, and i headed out and rushed to find the changing of the guards.
 we just barely caught the end of it, but it was still cool
 panoramic view from the palace
i really enjoyed this telephone booth 
an old church in old town 
 just a royal crown. no big deal
the nobel museum! this was by far my favorite museum we've gone into- and i really dont like museums. probably just because i'm a science nerd, but this one was really cool, and i actually learned a lot
 funny story, i get a mug in every country i go to (all 3 of them), and pretty much these buildings exactly are on my sweden mug :)
 yay nerds :)
 some random cool objects, from some random cool people
 loved the pretty lights!
 there was a special madame curie exhibit that while we were there, it was pretty interesting.
 after walking around for awhile, we went to a medieval museum. this is a map of the world back then. south is at the top, north at the bottom. kinda trippy to try and wrap your head around
a real life preserved wall from way back when! cool stuff
we went home that night at met this guy AJ that had just gotten into our hostel. leslie, jodi, and i went to find a grocery store with him, and ended up watching a movie and playing poker together that night, and did several times after that. we all became pretty good friends, and we miss our swedish/british buddy!