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As we woke up on New Year’s Eve, we really hadn’t planned to do a whole lot. In typical fashion we starting slowing waking up around 10:30, we are still getting used to the time change and thus staying up late and sleeping in late.  While 10:30 may not be late for some, it is very late for me who is typically up by sunrise.  To be fair sunrise here is nearly 9:00, so I wasn’t too far off.  One of the first lessons learned was,  in Sweden alcohol is regulated by the government, you can only purchase it during limited hours, and days through “Systembolaget” which can be translated to “the system company”. Luckily we were given fair warning with about an hour to spare by our housemates on the previous day, and so we made our way to the nearest location and purchased some wine. Nothing fancy by any means, and not a large amount, but enough to have a cozy night in.  

So back to New Year’s Eve, I woke up, took a shower and got all geared up to take pups on a nice long walk. Coming from Florida, it takes a considerable amount of effort to go out for a walk here compared to there. Once I was all dressed, I gather puppers and made my way all the way to the end of the street, which gave a nice overview of the shops in town and I realized that the large store, “Maxi” was open, when our house mates mentioned the stores being closed(only to buy alcohol), we thought all stores were closed, so this was a welcome surprise. Knowing we didn’t have much planned for dinner or food in the house, I scurry back as fast as I can to rustle the boys awake and let them know the store is open so we can go and purchase some dinner.  Not knowing how long it would be open, we make our way back down the street to the store and get a lovely frozen pizza to accompany our cheap wine for our New Year’s Eve dinner.  It may sound like a lack luster dinner, but it was quite enjoyable. I would say the regular run of the mill frozen pizza here easily beats out Digiorno’s, you know, “It’s not delivery it’s Digiorno’s” any day. In fact it was better than any delivery I have had as well.  We also stocked up fairly well on a variety of delicious gummy candies. Candy is very big here, even the smallest stores have a nice candy section, a danger to those with a sweet tooth…aka…ME! Although, I am doing well at controlling myself, given the small budget we are on. Actual nourishment is better, and is much more filling, not to mention practical.  

Our night starts off with a variety of wine. While we didn’t drink it all, we did try it all.  Selected our favorite two and stuck to those. By the time the 2nd bottle was consumed we decided that we can’t be in Stockholm on New Year’s and not go into the city! Yes we can easily come back next year, but we are here now, and this is a new year, a new life, in a new country, let’s go!  It was cold out, and rainy, luckily our jackets were equipped to handle this, so despite the cold, wet weather we were not too uncomfortable. We made our way to the train station, purchased our tickets to the city and set off. We arrived in the city with about 2 hours to spare before the strike of midnight when the fireworks display was set to begin.  We walked around and explored a bit, but made no stops anywhere, in fact it appeared as though most places were closed and the ones that were open, we were severely under dressed for. The Swedes really go all out for New Years, and dress to the nines. Maybe it’s my lack of girliness, but I can say for sure that there is no way I would be walking around in a dress in this cold! I had on jeans, and underneath that long johns, as well as wool socks, snow boots, a sweater, jacket, scarf, and a hat! No dress here! We settled on a place close to the water to watch the fireworks.  At this point we had about an hour to wait, but with about 20 or so minutes to spare we decide to move, we were getting pretty wet, and the wind by the water was a bit nippy for our liking. We found a slightly more covered area, still in great view of the water and close to where we needed to make our exit, I’d say just about the perfect spot.  It was also quite enjoyable people watching, as all last minute spectators were running to get a good view of the fireworks.  

The clock strikes mid-night, and the fireworks light up the sky.  Sadly I have no pictures for show for it, but the memory will stick for a lifetime.  We got to begin the new year in Sweden and experience a beautiful firework display in Stockholm. What more could you ask for? Even in the bone chilling cold, there was a sense of warmth in that moment, as sense of accomplishment.  You know all those new years resolutions we make and never honor, never finish, and sometimes never start?  We, were living ours in that moment.  

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