Silicon Valley

Besides living in Los Altos Hills and being in Pali Alto almost every day, we got to see some more of the Silicon Valley on our last half day in California. 

We got up rather early and actually all together jumped into our pool we had. The temperature wasn’t that warm all week and we did not have all too much time to actually use the pool we had, so we decided it to be a must to jump into the pool on the last day! 🙂 let me tell you, it was freezing cold! 

After cleaning up the house and packing the car, we drove around Silicon Valley and went to look at some companies. We went to look at Steve Jobs garage where Apple was founded, checked out the Google Plex/Campus and Facebook. 

After these rather short visits, we made our way to the airport and had some lunch before boarding the KLM plane for Amsterdam. 

9 hours later, we made it to Amsterdam! 🙂 

Xo

Florence

San Francisco by Bike

Another day of sightseeing in San Francisco was on the schedule for today! 

We left Los Altos Hills at 9am and were headed to Lombard St again, we wanted to see it again in daylight after we saw it at night on Wednesday! It was so pretty, we enjoyed it a lot! 

After Lombard St we made our way down to the bay bridge where we would park the car and rent bikes. We then took the bikes on the ferry to Sausolito. It was a such a beautiful sight of the bay bridge and San Francisco skyline from the boat, it was so worth it. 

Once we arrived in Sausolito, we went to eat lunch before we biked to the Golden Gate Bridge. The bike ride up to the bridge from the restaurant was slightly challenging but we had a lot of fun! Once we got to the bridge, we took it very easy and stopped once in a while to take the full experience and sight in. It will be one of those unforgettable experiences in my travel diary! 

After the Golden Gate bridge, we made our way back to Embarcadero. On the way we stopped now and then again for pictures. We also made a quick stop at the Palace of Fine Arts and some of the piers. 

Once back at the port of San Francisco, we returned the bikes and took our car to drive to the tile steps for to catch the sunset. Let me tell you, it was stunning!!! 

As it got dark, we made our way to Mission District where we had mexican dinner. Dinner was fantastic, so delicious! We were already thinking about going back there asap! 

Last stop before driving home was Ghiradelli Square were we went for an ice cream dessert. That again, was yummy but turned out to be way too much! 🙂 

It was a great day, we saw everything we wanted to see and had so much fun! Today was the last time in San Francisco until June, and I’m already sooo excited to come back! 

🙂 

Xo Florence

San Francisco

When efficiency pays off and you get to spend a full day in San Francisco doing some sightseeing with your project group! Winning! 🙂 

Before we made our way to San Francisco, we wanted to have a look at the Tesla HQ which was very close to where we live. But funny enough we got asked to leave the premises before even getting to the parking lot! 🙂 

So next stop was Baker Beach with an amazing view on the Golden Gate bridge. We spent quite some time walking up and down the beach and taking in the view. I took my shoes off so I could dip my feet a bit in the water! 

We then drove to Peer 36 where we just walked around and then enjoyed a delicious lunch at Bubba Gump restaurant. Yummy!! What a treat! 


Moving on, we wanted to walk to Lombard St, but then passed the cable car and got stuck there and went on a one way ride! The ride was done at Union Square, so we went to check this out. They had a huge Christmas tree up and a little icerink, which was tempting for me to go on! 🙂 Time was running though and we made our way back to the car through China Town and some other sights! 

Once back at the car, it was unfortunately dark already and our original plan of driving the Lombard St was then done in the dark. It was fun, driving up and down the steep streets of San Francisco! 

The clock was already around 6pm and we decided to head back home with a couple of stops on the way! First stop, the Pained Ladies but unfortunately, too dark again to get the full experience. So then we stopped at TJ Maxx and Walmart for some shopping before getting back to Los Altos Hills. 

It was a great day, we had so much fun, and it was nice to finally see the Golden Gate Bridge and all the further sights! Our next off day is Sunday, where we will go to San Francisco again for more sightseeing! 

Stay tuned! 

Xo 

Florence

Summer 2017: The Novel

Every summer has it’s own story but mine is a novel, or well at least worth a blog post. 🙂

The summer of 2017 has been a very special summer for me. Not only because of all the travelling I have done but also because of all the new people I have met along the way while travelling. Although the start of my summer was not as planned with a knee surgery, it turned out to be the best summer I have ever had.

After my first year at university in Linköping ended mid June, I travelled home to Switzerd where I stayed with my family for one week. During that week, I met up with most of my friends from Zurich to catch up. It’s great to still have so many really good friends at home, although I’ve been living abroad for such a long time now (I think it’s been 8 years now). Not only did I meet up with all my friends, but I did a lot of physiotherapy and all that for my knee.

After this week in Switzerland, I packed a suitcase and lots of chocolate and got on a plane to Athens where I would meet up with approxiamtely 150 people from all over the world at the International Olympic Academy. This was without a doubt 2 weeks I will never ever forget anymore. I wrote a blog post every single day for the two weeks I was in Greece, so feel free to look these up and find out what I did there! It was an amazing time and the most amazing part was all the people I got to meet and got to know there. Friendships for life developed there in these two weeks.

These two weeks went over so fast, it was disappointing, but I got to spend another week in Switzerland again, which I always look forward to. Here again, I met up with friends and did lots of rehab and therapy for my knee. Then my next trip to Spain came around the corner.

First I was in Malaga, Spain for a couple of days with my friend Zuzana. We had an incredible time there and we also met up with Kris (a friend of ours from Canada) and his entire family for beach days and dinner and so forth. It was great to catch up with people I don’t get to see a lot at all throughout the hockey season or even the year. From Malaga, Zuzana and me went on to Granada for the first ever IIHF Goalie Development Camp. In that camp we were Goalie mentors, which was a challenging experience but yet again, was amazing. This too, you can read more about in my previous blog posts.

Straight from Spain, I took the plane to Zagreb, Croatia where I would spend another unforgettable time. My best friend from Sweden had her bachelorette party as well as her wedding there. It was great to meet her family and all her friends and being part of a croatian wedding! I wrote a blog post about this experience as well. At this point in time, my knee rehab was getting better and better, so I was able to start train a bit more intensively while being in Croatia, which was another great milestone for me.

After the 10 days in Croatia, I went back to Switzerland, but this time to Davos. Since my knee started feeling better and the trainings I did the previous week were going well, I decided to increase the pace again. I went to bike in the Swiss mountains a couple of time in order to do some conditioning training as well as get some strenght back in my legs. It was another great couple of days there.

My last trip this summer was to France. My two best friends from college in Boston and I were going to France for a week. Although the weather was the worst it could have possibly been, we had a great time. As France is known for their markets and the fresh food, we did exactly that. We went to a couple of markets, bought fresh cheese, meat and so forth and spoilt ourselves with delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The last week before returning to Sweden was spent in Zurich again. I met up with friends again, did rehab and my training on a daily basis, met up with my new conditioning coach and had a photoshooting for Ochsner Sport. It seemed to have been the shortest week of all, just because I was so busy from morning till late evening every single day.

Now I am back in Linköping, Sweden. My 2nd year of my Master at Linköping University has started yesterday. Additionally did I go on the ice to do some skating the past two days. Although I am not wearing any equipment yet, it seemed to be going quite well. Hopefully I will be able to continue with my rehab like that, so that I will not miss the beginning of the season which is in September.

So this is pretty much what I have been up to all of this summer, it was a busy summer, with lots of travelling and I loved every single second of it! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what summer 2018 has to bring but first, the most important hockey season of all! 🙂

Thank you to everyone that made my summer so special!

xo

Florence

 

Croatia; an Unforgettable Experience

My dear friend Jelena got married!!!

I met Jelena almost two years ago in Linköping, Sweden when we both started with the Swedish language classes. She’s originally from Croatia and moved to Sweden to be with her boyfriend that is Croatian as well. Ever since we met in school in Linköping, Jelena and me have become really good friends and I was very excited to have received an invitation to her wedding…

It did not take me a lot of thinking until I accepted her invitation and booked my flight to go to Zagreb in Croatia. So this is what I’ve been up to the 10 days I was in Croatia.

I was able to be at her Bachelorette party, where we rented a house out in the woods, where we had a pool and a nice party area. It was an absolut blast! I got to meet all her friends and had a wonderful night celebrating Jelena. The day after the Bachelorette party, we made our way to the croatian seaside, to Cres. We spent a beautiful day at the seaside before we took the ferry back to mainland.

The rest of the week we stayed in Karlovac and would make a couple of trips to Zagreb. I was able to help Jelena with some of the wedding preparations and so forth.

I got to stay at her house with her entire family and let me tell you, I had the time of my life! I was almost overwhelmed by their hospitality, the way they made me feel like part of the family the second I got there. How they treated me and everything, I never had anything like that before. Needless to say, the language was a bit of a barrier at times, but made us laugh a little extra more when something else was said then what was supposed to be said.

Not only did I get a good laugh with the language barrier, but also because of the hilariousness of Jelena, her family and friends. In Croatia there is an expression to say “I’m here with the bike” when you are not following a converstion, so that sentence became a running gag for me during my stay. Let me tell you, I got really tired of biking after going everywhere with the bike… 🙂

As the wedding came around, I felt like I got more excited than Jelena, to be part of a Croatian wedding. The wedding culture was quite different from the one I got to experience in Switzerland and in Sweden, as well as in the US. Jelena looked absolutely gorgeous for the wedding and it was an incredible feast to celebrate the beginning of their wedding. The party started at 12pm on Saturday and lasted until 6am on Sunday and then again on Sunday starting at around 2pm…

I was exhausted after these 10 days Croatia, but I literally can’t remember the last time I was having such a good time for such a long time, it was literally an unforgettable experience!

A big thank you to Jelena, Denis and all the family and friends for making this stay an unforgettable one!

xo

Florence

Some Fun in Spain

Greetings from Spain everyone!

As you might have seen it on my social media channels, I am out travelling again. This time I went to Málaga in Spain with my friend Zuzana.

I met Zuzana last year at the IIHF High Performance Camp in Vierumäki in Finland and we became instant best friends. Although we have only met last year, we’ve known each other for a very long time. As it turns out, Zuzana used to be the goalie of the Slavakian national team and we have played against each other many times at World Championships or even at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. I always enjoyed playing against her, so I guess it came as no surprise that when we actually met, that we hit it off right away.

Once we met, we figured out that we have so much in common like the fact that we played our first collegiate game against each other, the same playing style, same career path and so forth.

So this year, the reason why we are in Spain is that we got asked by the IIHF to be goalie mentors at the first IIHF Goalie Development Camp in Granada in Spain. Since we haven’t seen each other since last year, we decided to take this opportunity and travel to Spain a couple days before to catch up and enjoy the beach.

We spent 4 wonderful days in Málaga, lots of beach time and tanning but also lots of delicious seafood and all. Although we ended up being sad that we were only there for 4 days, we are now really looking forward to the IIHF Goalie Development Camp and our roles that we are going to take on.

Stay tuned for more!

xo

Florence

Bye International Olympic Academy

Two fantastic weeks are coming to an end and with it a lot of mixed feelings…

It has been an unforgettable 2 weeks and although I am happy to go home, I will miss everything and everyone that I had met in Athens and in Olympia. I’ve learned a lot, academically, personally and culturally.

I’ve had the time of my life and wish for everyone that they can experience something like I got to experience the past 2 weeks!

In that way, I want to thank the International Olympic Academy and Swiss Olympic for giving me this opportunity to develop myself while meeting so many incredible people.

Thank you to everyone who made this stay so special, I will never forget anyone of you!

xo

Florence

Athens; 44 Degrees

After a very short night, everyone was packing up their stuff and got onto 1 of the 5 busses that would drive us back to Athens.

It was approxiamtely a 4 hour bus ride, rather quiet, as everyone tried to catch up on some sleep. Once we got to Athens, we had lunch and checked in to the hotel and pretty much went right up to the rooftop pool that the Metropolitan Hotel had.

It was an incredible 44 degrees celcius out and there was no place I would have wanted to be but that pool to cool off. I wanted to go see the Akropolis (as we did not go see it the first day due to rain), but unfortunately it was closed again due to the heat. Even though I did not end up going to the Akropolis, we had a pretty good view of it from the rooftop pool, which ended up being good enough for me. 🙂

People already started leaving from the time we came back to Athens, luckily I had another night there before heading home to Switzerland the next day. My new friends and I made our way to the bar, the same bar we went to the first night of this entire two weeks trip. It was going to be a very special night!

It’s difficult to put into words what kind of friendships that has been established during these two weeks, and even though we said that we are going to organize a reunion, you actually never know if you ever see them ever again. It felt like counting hours until after one after the other left to the airport, painful hours.

20170630_220817

Starting at 2am, our crew got smaller and smaller as that’s when the Andrew from Aruba left… Next one was Indrek from Estonia, follwed by Ugne and Ernestas from Lithuania. Marsel from Albania, Nicholas from Norway and Severin and me left to the airport at the same time. Saying bye was difficult, so there were tons of hugs and much tear sheding.

It was a beautiful night with wonderful people.

xo

Florence

Closing Ceremony

That’s it! It’s the last day of the International Olympic Academy. 🙁

Before the Closing Ceremony started, all discussion groups presented their conclusions of the second cycle of discussions. All discussion groups came up with some very interesting questions and it was very interesting to hear what they have been discussing.

20170629_090611

After every group had presented, the presentation of the participant’s diplomas took place, thus the closing ceremony started. Every participant was called upon their country and name to go to the stage to accept the diploma and a little present from the city of Olympia.

The Closing Ceremony continued by speeches on behalf of the participants, group coordinators, lecturers and the President of the International Olympic Academy, Mr. Michael Fysentzidis. The Closing Ceremony was over after the Olympic Anthem and lots of applause from everyone.

The afternoon was off and most of us headed to the pool at a hotel in downtown Olympia again. It was a beautiful afternoon, so much fun and laughing. The atmosphere was great, although everyone knew that these are the last couple of hours / days before everyone is heading home again. It was our last day in Olympia before heading back to Athens.

In the evening, we had our last social night where 18 nations presented their country to everyone. This social evening was filled with dances, quizzes, singing, laughing and just so much fun. I really enjoyed every single one of these evenings, as it brings the presenters culture closer to you in a fun atmosphere.

After all the presentations, the crew headed to the bar (Zorbas) again for one last time for another short night filled with dancing to all kind of songs but mostly Despasito (was played approximately 10 times a night)!

Xo

Florence

Track and Field Meeting

As the pool in the academy was not filled with water, we were able to have 2 beach days, so today we were off to the beach again!

After a couple of hours at the beach, we went back to the campus for a Track and Field Meeting where we would have 1.2km run, 60m sprints, tennisball throw and long jump. As I unfortunately still could not do any more sports, I signed up for the tennisball throw, although I really am not good at this at all.

Overall it was another fun event that was organized for all the participants, but everyone was very tired after the beach and all this sun and the sport. After the track and field meeting, everyone had time to rest up a bit and get ready for the evening.

We had different participants performing either dances, songs or music. It was another great evening with great people.

 

xo

Florence