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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

For Sam and the dunes, 2012 was an eventful year. We roamed around the mountains of Gran Canaria; looked for the Man in the Iron Mask in Cannes; researched all museums that exist in Geneva (don’t ask); dined like royalty in Monte Carlo; sweated buckets in Rome and danced the night away in Marrakech.

What else happened? Well, Alex turned 50 (ouch! stop hitting me, Alex!) and that was a big event, of course, while Hanna started blogging for National Geographic Traveler (we are still pinching our arms) and it seems she’s going for the “Blurriest Picture of the Year Award” (keeping our fingers crossed).

Our beloved pooch, Sam (the brains behind the blog) continued to give thoughtful instructions that were followed to the letter.

Now, we plan to get sloshed on glogg and stuff ourselves with various christmas cakes, gain a few kilos, and make the obligatory new year’s resolution: lose weight.

As we stumble along to the bar, we wish you all:

Dog training

After watching the treadmill for 20 minutes, Sam thought it was about time to go and take a look at the dumbbells

After watching the treadmill for 20 minutes, Sam thought it was about time to go and take a look at the dumbbells

O Sole Mio

I was really enjoying the house me and Sam stayed in for three weeks in Gran Canaria. If you by any chance read our previous blog post, you already know I was especially amazed by the kitchen which resulted in that mountain of meatballs we have in the fridge right now.

I told you… the kitchen is inspiring

One who didn’t enjoy the house as much as I did, or the trip for that matter, was our beloved Sam. I thought he was going to love the new house, the garden and the several kilometer long walks we had every day in the mountains but, nope, not at all.

In fact, his behavior reminded me of Ferdinand the Bull (remember that Walt Disney charachter  who preferred smelling the flowers under a cork tree instead of fighting and playing with the other bulls?). In other words, he is the friendliest and nicest dog, at home, but he has tantrums that scare the living daylights out of people as soon as we go out somewhere.

Above all, Sam hates flying. Even though he sits next to me and Alex during the entire trip, there is nothing we can do to calm him down. The barking drama usually starts already in the taxi on the way to the airport. Friendly people might try to say “hello” but he just continues barking and acting crazy. At one point, somebody asked us if Sam was the dog equivalent of Pavarotti (his bark can be described as somewhat tenor-ish). We smiled and said “yes” but we are not sure that the late Luciano and people around us (covering their ears) would agree.

Sam is mentally getting ready to go back home (he can’t even look at a suitcase these days).

Anyway, once back home, the howling immediately stopped, his eyes lightened up and suddenly he became fully relaxed again. And for all we know, he is still sitting under his favorite tree, smelling the flowers, just quietly.

He is very happy…

On our way home (inshallah)

On our way home (inshallah)

Dog-tired of waiting

Alex has been in Washington for well over two weeks and just as long me and Sam has been sitting in a house (far away in the mountains) waiting for him to come back.  Do I have to mention – time is not flying. Even Sam, who is the master-of-doing-absolutely-nothing, has started climbing the walls from distress.

In a desperate attempt to have more fun and think about something else, I decided to try every DIY project imaginable. Necklaces, bracelets, you name it. But somewhere in the middle of the process of producing an eco-friendly soap (out of pine tree!), I gave up.

In addition to my DIY failures, I suddenly noticed that I’m no longer in charge of my own house. These pictures demonstrate exactly what I’m talking about.

Good Morning! Can I have the standard breakfast, please. Yes, scrambled eggs and bacon. No salt, I have to think of my waste line.

Are you ready soon? I need the shower NOW. You know it takes me an era to dry up. By the way, did you buy a new blow-drier as you promised?

Are YOU planning to exercise yoga now? Well, I’m using the mat so you’ll have to wait. In the meantime, check out my perfect “downward dog” pose.

Don’t ask me…I have no clue where you put your slippers *whistling, looking at the ceiling*

Hello I’m back from the mall. Unfortunately no sale today but who cares, I payed with your credit card anyway.

Oh, I must have fallen asleep. Can you take my basket instead? And don’t forget to switch of the light. Remember you have to take me out early tomorrow morning. Good night!

About us – the truth

Today’s posting kicks off our 2nd year as bloggers and therefore we thought it would be a good idea to review our blog to see how we can improve the overall quality.

First, let’s take a look at the “About us” section. How did we describe ourselves a year ago? Does it reflect the correctly? We are going over the text  (with a big rubber) to see if there is anything that needs to be changed.

“Hanna, a Swede who loves reading Dostoevsky” (Here it’s quite obvious that Hanna wants to portray herself in a certain light. But who is she trying to fool?  Sure, she read Crime and Punishment but on the other hand, who didn’t?)

“Alex, a Russian who knows everything about Stieg Larsson” (Yes, he read the Stieg Larsson trilogy several times but does he really know EVERYTHING about Stieg Larsson? Wait. Oh no. I think we are dealing with a full-fledged stalker here!)

“…and their little dog Sam (he is illiterate)” (Good point)

“…You will get to know more about Sam in this blog but let’s start by saying that he is very social and friendly, even though he has the annoying habit of gently (well, at least by dog standards) biting people’s hands.” (Well, the old lady Sam quite brutally attacked last month would probably not agree. Her entire hand was covered with blo… Oh, sorry, we promised our lawyer not to share the details.)

“Anyway, they love to travel, have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world” (…and some of the worst!)

“Basically they enjoy life, drinking good wine, reading, and spend a lot of time trying to find out what their most fitting sports activity might be (kite-surfing is not one of them).” (The truth is that kite-surfing is not a big enough challenge anymore. Nowadays we prefer skydiving – without parachutes.)

“Most of all they like to plan and plot their next trip…” (Unless we buy ourselves a home, we don’t really have a choice, do we?)

“Separately and together they have visited over 60 countries…” (Hanna visited 3, Alex 57)

“…and dined in places like New York and Chisinau (bet most of you don’t know where that is).” (New York is a big city located on the East Coast of the United States.) 

Sam prefers watching historical documentaries on BBC instead of reading books

Sam prefers watching historical documentaries on BBC instead of reading books

Vintage bargains in Las Palmas

Vintage stuff

Beat Vintage is a great (but expensive) second-hand store located on Calle Presidente Alvear in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. It’s a small shop literally packed with cool retro clothes, sunglasses, shoes, etc. This time I (Hanna, Alex is in Washington, remember?) couldn’t resist two stylish wallets from the ’70s and a “golden” bracelet. Detachable collars were definitely the catch of the day and one of them I tried to give Sam but he refused. “I don’t take bribes,” he said.

“Eh, you shouldn’t have…”

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