Okay, five picture summary, as promised.  Thanks go to DearestBex for the classic London tourist picture and my dad and mom for the rest (as this weekend is the big “off-load-edit-and-sort-a-bajillion-pictures” project for me).

First, a week in England:

Though this comes no where near describing or even adequately summarizing my week, it was a fairly iconic shot.  It was my “tourist moment.”  Remember how I talked about not wanting to do tourist London, except for the Eye?  Well, this was right after I got off the Eye.  The shot was too good to miss.  I wish I’d had time in the last couple days to upload some of my pictures with DearestBex, because THAT would be a true summary of my time there.  She was the reason I went to England, and she made the trip stunningly memorable.  I miss her horribly.

Next, I got on a boat:

The locks that took us across Sweden were sooooo awesome.  Open the gates, sail in, close the gates, fill with water, open the front gates: up and away we go!  Reverse when going down.  The system itself is pretty ingenious, and just plain fun.  I did not get sea sick, as I feared.  Hooray for needless worry.  However, it turns out I am allergic to Sweden.  So, while I was not sea sick, I was the red-eyed monster for several days before we found some eyedrops that worked and the allergic reaction moved to my nose.  Misery.  But pretty!

Of course, work followed me everywhere:

Yeah, so when it got around to the boat staff that I work in rodeo, they thought it would be a good idea to have me throw the rope to tie us up for our nightly docking . . . Not so much.  I do paperwork!  Lots and lots of paperwork!  I work in a business office!  I made this completely clear, but they decided it would be fun anyway and I’m always game for something new (and embarrassing).  Thank heaven for my friends on the college rodeo team who tried to teach me to rope.  I didn’t shame them too badly and I did have a blast.  Turns out, my time as a theatre techie came in a lot more handy than my time as a rodeo manager/desk worker–knowing my knots was helpful.  Thanks, Jamie!

Of course, being in Sweden, we saw a lot of vikings:

Viking relics are everywhere in Scandinavia.  This particular tour guide was showing us a viking town, one of only four in the world.  Vikings generally lived on spread out farms, not in centralized locales.  We saw some particularly awesome relics in a northern town, Gamla Uppsala, as well.  The tour guide there was equally knowledgeable as Andreas, but not nearly as well-dressed.

Last, I made some friends:

There were several monkeys at the second aquarium I went to in Sweden and this particular exhibit you could walk through.  (This would NEVER happen in America, way too many liability issues and animal rights and human rights laws.)  The lemurs decided I was an appropriate perch.  Why, I will never guess.  But they chewed on my shoulder and chewed on my hair.  They decided to be cute and NOT get off.  Of course, there were signs about tendencies to get belligerent if touched (THEY WERE TOUCHING ME!), so I was not about to try any serious antics to get these buggers off.  But, with some gentle shoulder rolling near a branch, we managed to coax the boys onto the tree.

Only for them to jump straight back onto my mother and brother.

It was awesome.

And then we flew home!  I’ll post more when I know what I want to talk about most.  I’ll try to do at least five pictures for each day of the trip if I can.  But there’s the Europe adventure in a VERY small nutshell.  Cool, huh?

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