aka, holding on to vacation—
i spent midsummer with my aunt ulrika, uncle kjell, cousin karin, and karin's man, peter. i was hoping to celebrate some midsummer traditions, and luckily they were all obliging. in the morning, karin and i spent a couple of hours collecting birch leaves in the woods and flowers along roads to create our midsommarstång. then karin and peter and i dressed the pole around noon and made ourselves some kransor. kjell and karin entertained with some singing. ulrika made lots of yummy traditional midsummer lunch, and we forced ourselves to drink snaps and sing drinking songs. karin and i cajoled the rest to dance some traditional dances around the pole (små grodorna, vi äro musikanter, karusellen, o raketen),
which was pretty funny since my aunt and uncle were not altogether into it (or
pretended not to be), and since we barely could reach around the pole to form a ring. challenging to sing and dance while laughing.
karin and i jumped into, and quickly out of, the baltic sea (which swedes do not call the baltic sea, but rather östersjön—since sweden isn't a baltic country). the water was extremely cold since we were up "north" in sweden, on the island alnö (technically it's in the middle, but like san francisco, it gets called northern). some of us lazed around and dried off in the sun.
later we enjoyed champagne and more yummy food made by my aunt, and then dessert—swedish strawberries and whipped cream.
and the blue dusk light lasted all night.