Our only record of this is a printout of a February email to an Italian mom friend, casually informing her that no Caribbean vacation was in the works (spring break was coming up) but instead our first European long weekend vacation, in Stockholm. It all started at the table eating nadereh's homecooked Iranian food when ani mentioned this SAS really low season promotional weekend package to Stockholm, a city dr bob knew well from professional collaboration with dr kjell and dr claes. She'd spotted it in the Sunday paper. Of course initially bob had said something like "What, are you crazy?" though more diplomatically put at the time, but when Cyrus said, "Why not?", bob thought, yeah, why not? Early childhood training to reject offers of good stuff with a polite no thank you cracked. Maybe it wasn't so crazy after all. Ani is an American industry wage slave, with 3 weeks max vacation per year, so we don't have the time for long fun vacations, what with the mandatory Italian summer visits and occasional Lebanon trips. So we went. And ani met kjell and claes's families on a bright sunny snow and ice weekend in the city and surroundings. A quick mix of big city excitement, friendship and family, beautiful urban and country scenery, walking on the frozen lakes and city not-a-river but looks-like-one water body, window shopping, European otherness, a visit to the Nobel dinner castle. Memories.
Later followed by Paris, where we ran into more ani relatives (by chance being visited by ani's brother's childhood friend from Anjar then living in Texas) whose Armenian-Lebanese home cooking surpassed everything French we'd found except possibly lunch at Fauchon, recommended by another Iranian couple who'd already done the city. And then Munich, where bob had spent 9 months after his year in Italy, visiting piero and accidentally catching Luigi, an old Rome connection /roomate from bob's HS CFA days. Having friends and relatives scattered around the globe definitely has its advantages.