I want more blood pudding

Those are the words out of my three-year-old’s mouth. Yup, blood pudding, you heard right. One of the fun things about living in Sweden is exposing your kids to things they never, ever would have tasted if they were only in the United States. Here you have it. Blood pudding for lunch.

Tips for visiting Gröna Lund with family

Olivia and I on the train at Gröna Lund

I spent a dizzying day yesterday at Gröna Lund, Stockholm’s amusement park on one of the city’s many islands. It’s an incredible spot and if you time it right, on a beautiful summer day (better late afternoon), it’s a blast for the whole family.

Tips for visiting Gröna Lund with family:

1.Make sure the kids are well rested and visit Gröna Lund in the late afternoon, when it starts to cool down and the lines are shorter. The rides are open late.

2. Take one of those aluminum water bottles because they stay nice and cold and you can fill them up easily. I just discovered these things and I’m hooked.

3. Boat it from Gamla Stan to avoid the packed bus traffic which goes from central Stockholm to Gröna Lund and Skansen, another great place for kids.

4. Gröna Lund is split into two sections. The main entrance is for older kids and adults. There is another little entrance for easy access to the children’s section where they have good rides for little kids. It is much easier to go into the children’s section first and then come out of Gröna Lund, get a bracelet, and go back into the main section. The reason? You want to avoid the chaotic baby carriage traffic at the stairs which take you from one section to the other. Trust me, you don’t want to carry or push a baby carriage up and down two flights of stairs. So use the bracelet system instead. They don’t advertise about it, so just ask at the entrance.

5. You can pack food, but Gröna Lund doesn’t have a lot of open space (actually it’s packed with people most of the time), so it’s not too comfortable to picnic. We ate at the buffet at Krejsy’s. The food was solid and they have a big seating area in a relaxed atmoshpere. At 200 kronor ($27) per adult it’s a bit pricey, but well worth it.

Life’s little enjoyments

At around 9:30 last night, I was waiting on the short line for the tea cup attraction with my daughter Olivia. I looked around and noticed that most people were smiling. How amazing that even in this day and age, with all the craziness, these simple pleasures — an ice cream, a roller coaster, a cotton candy — can still create so much pleasure.