I've been in Sweden now for three full days (wow, it actually feels like much more...). As I write I'm sitting on the floor of our apartment in Uppsala, the town where Mia goes to school (at Uppsala Universitet). I'm drinking a glass of white wine, Mia is making dinner and I'm enjoying getting adjusted to life here.
(If you ever fly to Sweden, take Malaysia Airlines, it was the best international flight I've had so far...we left right on time, landed exactly on time, got fed two meals in a 7.5 hour flight, got served champagne, and had personal video screens in each seat).
Customs was pretty smooth too...I departed the plane, was first in line at the immigration line (since I was one of the few non-Swedish citizens), they took one look at my passport, stamped it, and I was d-u-n. My bags came through in 10 minutes, and not 20 minutes after departing the planes I met Mia in the airport and we were off to the car. It was a happy renunion, certainly a long time coming...but worth the wait.
It was raining when we got to the parking lot, which was quite a hike, especially carrying 50 kg of bags. The wipers on Mia's car were absolute crap, so I didn't see much on the car ride to her parents house, except for the scenery going by out the side window. We passed mostly farmland, and to be honest, it could have been Berks County farmland had I not known I was in Sweden...but everything looked older, cleaner and greener than good old BCo...and there were more rocks...and less hills. (This was actually my biggest surprise...I don't know why, but I had envisioned Sweden to be hillier...not mountainous, but rolling, kind of like at home...it's not. In fact, it's pretty much flat as a pancake, especially near Enkoping, where her parents house is).
Mia's family lives in a traditional Swedish house...painted yellow with white trim and lots of angles in the roof...it's situated in the village of Dunderbo ("Thunder Village" - sounds Native American doesn't it?). The village has about 15 houses in it, and it's pretty much exactly what you'd picture a village in rural Sweden to look like...a gravel road leads into a wooded area, and each house is constructed in the same traditional style (though most are red with white trim - this is actually part of the building code is this area of Sweden). The houses even had smoke coming from the chimneys, almost too picture perfect. Mia's yard has a big garden out front (they even have sheep graze it in the summertime), raspberry bushes out back, and a large side deck to the house. The garage / barn sits next to the house and is also the traditional Sweden red-and-white.
Mia's dad has a farm about 2 km down the road from their house...