Tag Archives: island

Sweden’s Midsummer Celebration


One of the most rewarding parts of travel is when you get to partake in other culture’s traditions that differ from the ones you know from back home. Until preparing for this road trip around Sweden with Volvo I had never heard of Midsummer before. I would soon come to learn it is the 2nd most important holiday for the Swedes after Christmas.

So what is Midsummer?

Around mid June at the time of summer solstice, this celebration kicks off the summer season followed by a five-week annual holiday which is important in a culture with a short summer season. The day begins with the picking of flowers to adorn the maypole, the centerpiece of the celebration where people gather to sing and dance around with traditional songs. Everyone from men and women to boys and girls make flower crowns, and we even saw a few dogs with flower collars! The gatherings of community, friends and family proceed after the morning’s activities to a large banquet lunch traditionally of herring, boiled potatoes with toppings and a good amount of schnapps. Throughout the course of lunch a fun variety of midsummer songs are sung about always ending with a toast and another gulp of the fruity liquor. Toward the end of lunch the songs get quite a bit more racy as the drinking games progress all in good fun.

It was absolutely magical to be immersed into this cultural tradition with our host family Vibs and Robert Sohlberg who made us feel like one of their own and who happen to own the wonderful little down to earth inn on the water, Slussens Pensionat, where we stayed during Midsummer. This hotel is such a fun escape with live music on the water and an organic, sustainable restaurant worth a visit even if you are not staying the night.

Perhaps my favorite tradition for Midsummer is the final of the night. You pick 7 different types of flowers from the garden and place them under your pillow and as legend goes, you will dream of your one true love. Now that is something I would like to bring back home with me.

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Ladfabriken Inn


Tucked away on one of the 8,000 small islands off the west coast of Sweden is this charming and colorful hideaway on the sea, Ladfabriken Inn. Previously an old shipping warehouse, these two creative owners Marcel and Johan (Johan is a Creative Director at Reebok) transformed this old working structure into a living world of light, life and inspiration. Art, quirky collections from world travels in previous careers, and their two dogs make this B&B rich with stories to be shared over a glass of wine while watching the sun slip down below the sea.

We more than welcomed the perfectly prepared home cooked dinner Marcel served up with his colorful and clever table arrangements followed by a breakfast extravaganza that is not to be missed. I think, however, my favorite aspect to this unique place, is the exploding garden that wraps around the entire home. You are greeted by a wash of colors and smells the moment you pull off the main road, and it’s a wonderful welcome. Throughout the Inn, and next to your bedside, Marcel leaves traces of the outside garden with his beautiful flowers arrangements perfuming the entire home.

This is one of my favorite stays on our journey with Volvo around Sweden!

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Nantucket, MA


Recently my friend Molly was married in New Bedford which took us up the east coast on an early autumn weekend. We decided to pop over to Nantucket and make the most of these last remaining days of warm sunlight. Whenever I’m about to travel to a new place and need to research where to stay I always start with the travel site Mr. & Mrs. Smith. It is how I found where we stayed in Tulum and now for Nantucket with the beautiful luxury boutique hotel, 76 Main, which is a contemporarily renovated historic home on Main street and an easy walk from the ferry.

Here are the things I fell in love with about Nantucket: It’s a great bikeable place with a vast changing landscape. Because much of the island’s natural landscape is protected you can really enjoy the serenity of the country side. Beautiful beaches, beautiful houses, beautiful little shops, beautiful lighthouses, everywhere you turn is beauty. I loved how it was much less flashy than say the Hamptons. Here everybody drives old versions of JEEPS and the vibe is a casual chill. The local brewery Cisco is a must see, eat and drink with their live music, food trucks and endless supply of fresh oysters. Nautilus was my favorite dining experience. Oath’s pizza was perfect. And of course, who doesn’t love a view of beautiful sailboats.

We only had a couple of days to stay here and enjoy all that is Island living but I’m already planning my return next year and dreaming of what it’d be like to own one of those charming historic homes on a cobblestone street with a garden of hydranegas and a golden retriever ready for a day at the beach.

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Oscar de la Renta Boutique

Staying in the paradise imagined by fashion design legend can only mean there are going to be some glamorous fashion moments which we found at the resort’s Oscar de la Renta boutique and opened a whole new world of destination luxury shopping. Here it’s resort wear 365 days a year from darling garden dresses to a floating sea of chiffon caftans, perfect beaded mules that are effortless and comfortable for a resort but still put together and chic. They carried every color earring you need to make a true entrance for dinner, which we would call our “Elizabeth Taylor moments”. It’s funny, I’m typically very minimal with my jewelry but here  in this explosion of Caribbean color it felt right to wear a big bold colored jewels, obviously, Oscar knows how to dress a woman for resort life. At dinner Kelly was wearing a beautiful pair of coral ODLR earrings so glamorous when sparkling off the evening night light and when she took them off I had a horrible reaction at how sad she looked just “normal”. From that moment on we were dripped in Oscar’s crystals and jewels. Usually when I think of the brand I think strictly about fashion, about the iconic women he dressed, our version of American Royalty, that I forget about the home wares! Candles and picture frames,  beautiful ocean fish dishes he created from his inspiration of Punta Cana and all the beautiful objects that make a home feel truly special that ladylike way only Oscar de la Renta can do.

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