some places we've visited so far

  • maui, hawaii
    The day we got home, we started saving for our next trip. See my blog entry
  • antalya, turkey
    I miss hearing the call to prayer before sunrise every morning, the sunshine and the small winding roads in the old city. But I don't miss the olives for breakfast. See my blog entry
  • helsinki
    The cruise from Stockholm was the highlight. Breathtaking, really. We found Helsinki to be down-to-earth, friendly and a just-right size. See my blog entry
  • london
    Why on Earth did it take me so long to visit London?! Rivals Paris for best city in Europe. Avoid Oxford Street and Covent Garden, and head to Chelsea and Holborn. See my blog entry
  • paris
    It was my third trip to Paris, but our first while living in Sweden. And, more significantly, our first with a baby in tow. Metro ≠ baby friendly. Centre Pompidou = 10x more fun with a little one. See my blog entry.
  • bergen and oslo, norway
    Think Colorado. Flooded. Oslo is a refreshing little city and the fjords offered beautiful views in all directions. Not love, love. But definitely like, like. See my blog entry.
  • prague, czech republic
    Yes, it has beautiful architecture. But no soul. Skip it and go to Budapest instead.
  • berlin, germany
    We only spent a night here, but I could tell immediately that this was a city I could live in. Hope we can get back there sometime soon. Loved the new architecture, friendly people and the gigantic, wooded park.
  • tavira, portugal
    A great place to relax, see endless fields of daisies, drink sangria and be surrounded by the smell of orange blossoms. See my blog entry.
  • amsterdam and delft
    Amsterdam was one of our favorite European cities and Delft is a little gem you wish you could fit in your pocket and take home. Loved the individual style and easy-going nature of the people. See my blog entry.
  • budapest
    Hurry, it's already been discovered. Wonderful cheap food and an outdoorsy mentality. See my blog entry.
  • dalarna, sweden
    Reminds us of home. Really relaxing and laid back. See my blog entry.
  • hong kong and tai pei
    Super friendly people and so romantic. See my blog entry.
  • nice
    Loved Villefranche and the whole area east of Nice. See my blog entry.
  • barcelona
    Loved the tapas and eating paella on the beach. See my blog entry.

about me

  • In November 2005, my husband and I moved to Älmhult, Sweden, for my dream job. Five years later, our little family of three moved back. Except, back turned out to be a brand new place called Portland.

    email me

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October 13, 2009


Hi Ginny,

We have been through the swine flu scare earlier this year and the northern hemisphere seems to be just getting it now.
Its nasty thats for sure but I am also sure that the media hyped it considerably. The death rate was the same as a normal flu season apparently and all the hoopla has completely died down.

We managed not to get it ( I dont know how!) , so I am having the vaccination when it becomes available, including our 2.5 year old.
In Australia, day care centres are considered high risk groups as diseases are easily spread through out the kids.

I get the seasonal flu vaccine each year through work but my husband does not and he came down with some nasty flu this winter and it knocked him around for well over a week.
This my year my son also had the flu vaccine and he had no side effects.

The doctors here gave up testing for swine flu as results took too long to get and most people had recovered by that stage. Tamiflu is only effective if taken in early stages apparently.

Immunisation is also a hot topic down under - we chose to have our son fully immunised and I dont regret the decision.

So Ginny I guess there are no clear answers, its just what is right for you and your family.


Yes! I am stressed. Erik and I were just talking about whether or not we should get vaccinated. I feel like we will. If we don't and Siggy gets sick I'll feel so guilty. But I am worried about the vaccine too. Grrr. Just read an op-ed on the Times website that calmed some of my vaccine fears. What are you two thinking for yourselves?

Sarah, thanks for sharing your story from the other hemisphere! :)

What I have failed to share is that my step-grandfather was paralyzed by a flu vaccine. Others who received the same batch were also paralyzed, though eventually they walked again. My grandfather never did. As a result, I have never gotten a flu shot. And Lewis and I don't plan to get this one, Amy. I know the chances of something happening from the shot are really, really slim. But it scares me. Of course, I would also feel awful if Sophie got sick because I didn't get it. Honestly, though, I think she'll get it at preschool way before she gets it from me.

I'm actually hoping that this is what Sophie and I were sick with last month. It was definitely some kind of flu, not a cold. But we'll never know.

I can so understand why you would not want to get any sort if immunisation - thats scary.
The people who got the H1N1 here were generally off work/daycare for 7 - 14 days. Most got a mild dose.
My next door neighbours 2 yo got it and was put on Tamiflu but he was still sick for a week. But not too seriously . His brother who was about 4 mths never got it - but his Dad did. So go figure.
Can you have a blood test to find out if you have the anti bodies to H1N1 or whatever they test for it ?
I know they can do that for mono.
That might relieve some of your fears.

Ginny, I was worried. I will only get vaccinations for my girls if there isn't mercury in the vaccine. I called the Vårdcentral to ask and the woman I spoke with simply wouldn't answer the question and kept repeating to me that my girls did not need it, since they were not in a risk group. Ugh, I just want to know if they have mercury in these vaccines or not!

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