Today, I have something a little different than usual for you, and it stars my oldest nephew! His nickname is G Fox (Fox is our shared middle name) or sometimes just G for short. So that’s what I’ll call him here.
I’m a VERY proud aunt to my sister’s four kids (7, 4 1/2, 3, and a little over 1 year old)! It’s impossible not to know this about me if you know me offline, but I rarely write about them here. Mostly because they tend not to travel too far from home (yet)! But if you’ve been following me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have seen an occasional update featuring one of them and our antics together.
They are each uniquely perfect and talented, as far as I’m concerned. Sure, I’m biased, but I’m also right! I’ll (do my best to) spare you the endless list of their accomplishments and sheer brilliance that I could readily unleash given the slightest encouragement. Instead, I’ll just say that being their aunt has enriched my life immeasurably.
G is a smart and sensitive seven year old who just finished first grade. He’s in the middle above holding his youngest brother. G loves to learn about new places and things and recently got a globe (along with fart putty) for Christmas. I encourage his love of learning about new places whenever I can. Sending postcards and pictures from all the places I visit! I even lagged behind to take a video of a funny camel chewing grass near the pyramids in Giza for him and his younger siblings. Not surprisingly, it was a huge hit!
So you can imagine how excited I was when I got this email from my sister right before my recent trip to Scandinavia:
MY SISTER: So, G has to do a nonfiction report for school and one topic is geography/culture, and he wanted to pick a place that you’re going, so he picked Sweden. His presentation is in 3 weeks, so take some good pics!! :)
ME: Yay!!! I definitely will. That’s a good pick. Hello from Heathrow!
ME: I’m in Sweden! Expect more pictures soon!
ME: For G…
Here are two berries from Sweden that we don’t have in the US:
I’ve only gotten to try the lingonberries so far (on my yogurt at breakfast), but I bought some cloudberry syrup to bring home that’s supposed to be good on ice cream. Hard to believe that plants like these can survive such cold temperatures, but they do!
More soon on Sweden. I’m taking lots of pictures. Love you all!
FROM G VIA MY SISTER’S EMAIL: Can you send Sweden pictures to me.
View Stockholm in a larger map
Here’s a link to some basic Swedish phrases. Look for the unique letters that we don’t have in English — å, ä, ö!
I just sent you a postcard too. Now you can see a Swedish stamp, and we can count how many days it takes to get to you!
ME: Hi G!
Here’s another side of Sweden that I didn’t see. Check out these pictures of the Jokkmokk Sámi winter market. The Sámi people are similar to Native Americans in the US since they are native to Scandinavia (the region including Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland). They still use some of the old, original ways of living and have lived in their particular areas for a very long time!
It is a little bit above freezing right now in Stockholm, which is nearer to the bottom of Sweden, and it’s the beginning of spring! Imagine how cold it must be all the way up in Jokkmokk!
Here’s a map to find Jokkmokk & Stockholm: http://goo.gl/maps/TcVaY
ME: Hi G,
Here’s my last email about Sweden! I’m back in San Francisco now, and I just sent you an envelope with some cool stuff.
1) Three big postcards — They’re pictures of Stockholm, in case you want to bring them to school for your report.
2) Swedish money — They don’t call their money dollars; they call them krona (kronor is plural), which means crown in English. I sent you 1 krona ($ .15), 5 kronor ($ .77), and 10 kronor ($1.53).
3) Some Swedish hard candies — The flavors are nut, chocolate, cream, and cream toffee. See if you can guess which is which based on their names!
4) A chocolate Nobel Prize medal — It looks like the official medal given to the winners of the Nobel prize each year in Stockholm, but the one I sent you is filled with chocolate. The winners get the chocolate ones too at the party they attend to celebrate winning the prize. The party is held in Stockholm at City Hall in this room.
Each year Nobel prizes are given for Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Economics, and for Peace. The Peace prize isn’t given at the same time. It’s done in Norway instead. Winning a Nobel prize is a big deal! It takes lots of hard work.
Let me know how the report goes! I know you’ll do a great job.
P.S. – For Mommy, here’s some more information on the Nobel Prize, in case you get a bunch of questions!
Here’s a picture of G with the poster he created for the report. As you can probably tell from his flushed cheeks, he had been outside playing in the hot Texas sun before posing for this. I’m guessing it was a captured in a rare moment when my sister could pull him away from the basketball hoop! To be a kid again, learning about cool exotic sounding places like Sweden and playing full throttle until you can play no more!
Since I’ll do whatever it takes to help encourage my niece and nephews’ love of travel, I’d love to hear your thoughts…
What do you do to encourage a love of travel with the kids in your life? Do you bring home souvenirs? Any standout favorites?
Other Posts From Scandinavia
Here are all the other posts from my trip:
- I’m in Scandinavia! // I visited Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm, and Helsinki and wasn’t ready to leave.
- Daffodils, Fur Hats & Still Frozen Seas, Spring in Scandinavia // It was good, but fun!
- Cloudberries + Bread Cheese = A Quintessentially Finnish Dessert // A great dessert I brought home from Helsinki .
- 10 Uniquely Scandinavian Souvenirs // Including the one I waited 16 years to try again…
- And, The Zen of Norway’s Northern Lights // Just because it’s beautiful!