Weekend Coffee Share – The last week of summer vacation

Very close to the parking lot, right when you enter Rottnebyskogen there is a table and a fire pit. We could enjoy our coffee here, or take a walk into the nature reserve first, there are many places suitable for a coffee break.

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share! I am delighted that you are here 🙂 This week we’ve been picking blueberries in different nature reserve’s situated in the region of Dalarna, Sweden. I thought that we could enjoy our coffee in Rottnebyskogens nature reserve today. How about that? Would you like to come? There is coffee, tea, and water, along with some homemade taquitos to snack on.

At the entrance, inviting us to enjoy the forest and be mindful of plants and animals.

How are you? How is your week? The weather here have been around 70F most of the week, and perfect for berry picking. The blueberries are ripe in all the surrounding forests. I was planning on going a little further away for a couple days this week, and pick cloudberries, but my daughter wasn’t up for that idea. She really loves where we live, and this summer she have not felt any need of going anywhere else, meaning I’ve also stayed close to home. We have explored living locally all summer, and had a blast doing so. I can live without picking cloudberries. (I did enjoy waffles with cloudberry jam at a cafe last week.)

A short walk up the trail from the parking lot there is a beautiful covered fire pit and picnic area. There is currently a light drizzle, and if you would like to enjoy your coffee out of the weather we can sit here.
The surrounding forest is calming and refreshing. The air is so clean, you can almost touch the scent of the pine trees.

Before my children’s summer break started we sat down around the kitchen table and discussed their expectations and wants for their time off. I had looked into some suggestions that I thought would be positive experiences for our family beforehand, but my main goal was to listen to their thoughts. They both wanted to go swimming as much as the weather allowed, and explore different beaches in the region. Since we choose to not have a car that includes walking, or riding your bike (occasionally taking a bus if it is far away,) which makes me happy since one of the things I wanted for all of us was to get outdoors and exercise. They also wanted to have picnics, and have birthdays parties, and celebrate 4th of July in some way. This is my last (7th) week of vacation and it feels good to know that we visited several beaches together, and that both of them seem really happy about their summer so far. The weather have been most cooperative, all summer actually.

Rottnebyskogens nature reserve. The pine trees around us are about 200-250 years old. Blueberries often grow under pine trees as they offer rich, acidic pine litter for soil and mulch, something the blueberries like a lot.

Going into the summer I had some ideas of beautiful places a little further away in our region that I was thinking that we could visit, and I also had some camping trips planned, but the children enjoyed going swimming here close by so much that I didn’t feel a need to make the other trips happen. Happy and content is what matters, right? My son also went to his dad for a couple weeks. My daughter and I had a lot of time to talk, and hang out together. I am thrilled with how the summer turned out; lots of time with my children, time in nature, and plenty of time to read. I have spent a lot of time reading at the balcony, in the midst of my food forest (another source of happiness,) while my children have been busy with their own games and friends. I’ve also been riding my bike, and taking many walks in the forest by myself. I feel good, and ready to get back to work on Monday. 

I feel that all the time my daughter and I spent together this summer made our relationship even closer.

Do you need a refill on your beverage? Or maybe you would like to have some dessert? Serve yourself to some of the blueberries around us 🙂 Blueberries often grow under pine trees as they offer rich, acidic pine litter for soil and mulch, something the blueberries like a lot. The pine trees around us are about 200-250 years old. I love spending time in old forests like this. Are you comfortable? What’s you favourite type of nature? I really like mountains, but without forests I don’t think I would appreciate them as much as I do. I grew up in the mountains, but as I get older I find comfort in the forest in a way that is new to me. 

Wild blueberries picked in Dalarna, Sweden.

Speaking of nature, I am reading Everything you ever taught me, about a woman in her 50’s (no exact age are mentioned, this is my best guess,) hiking the Pacific Crest Trail 2020. I read about the book in Leanne’s coffee share a couple weeks ago, and ordered it right away. Thank you Leanne! I am halfway through the book right now, and intend to read the last half this weekend. It is written in a very honest and interesting way. If I had to say something that I don’t like about the book, it would be the layout, the pages are crowded, making it not very reader friendly. I still recommend the book since the story is fascinating. The PCT has a special place in my heart. I have hiked, and experienced several sections of the trail in California and Oregon on horseback. I have never hiked the entire length of the trail from Mexico to Canada (although there once was a plan to do so, that is a story for another day…) No-one hiking this trail could do so without being deeply touched by the landscape. 

Me riding a section of the PCT in the Sierra Nevadas (CA,) on my beloved horse Trigger, a little more than nine years ago (notice my big pregnant belly.) My ex-husband, a Marine, did not find anything strange with me riding through most of my pregnancy, something I was very grateful for. He did however carry the supplies on his horse without being asked, when I was pregnant that is. The Sierras are magical, but not a ride in the park.

After finishing this book I will be reading books related to special education needs for a while. I did get into the school I wanted to attend this fall semester. I will be studying Special Education and Social Emotional Difficulties, it’s for teachers that have worked a few years and want to further educate themselves on how to help children with special needs to a better education. I am going to work full time at my current job, and study part time on my own time. I know this will make me busy, but I am excited about adding new tools to my educational toolbox. My plan is that this course is the beginning of getting a degree in special education for young children. It’s going to take me a while to get the degree, as I am going to do it while working, but I do like having a goal. 

I rode my bike around Lake Varpan today. Several of my friends have told me it’s a nice ride, and it truly was. I can’t believe I haven’t done it before. There’s so many great trails in the proximity that I just forgot this one. I can easily see it becoming a new favourite. It’s about 18km/11miles around the lake, and an easy ride, with beautiful views of old cottages and the lake. It took me 50min, including a few stops to enjoy the views. I bet it is going to be amazing with fall colours in a month, or two, I’m going to have to find out!

Part of the road around Lake Varpan. I met seven bicyclist and saw about the same amount of cars, around lunch time Friday, so it wasn’t exactly crowded. I did see some horses, cows, goats, and a sign with fresh produce for sale as I was enjoying the scenery around Varpan.
Here’s the route, and you can see how close it is to my town Falun. You can also see some of the lakes, and forested green areas. There’s so many! About 70% of the region Dalarna is forest. Falun is the capital of Dalarna County.
Feeling most happy and content about how this summer turned out.

Enough sitting around, are you going to help me pick some blueberries? Thank you so much for the lovely company, and an extra thanks to Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! I shared photos from another nature reserve earlier this week, that you can see here. If you are curious about how my daughter’s birthday cake turned out, the photos are here. Please share with me all the wonderful things in your world! Have a fabulous weekend! 



Published by Maria

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. I now reside in the region where I was born: Dalarna, Sweden. I am a mom, a kindergarten teacher, a minimalist and a gardener. Love, Maria

41 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share – The last week of summer vacation

  1. A wonderful post, Maria! I’m so glad that your summer has been so wonderful for you and your children. The forests look so beautiful and peaceful too. A very different life from over here. Be safe and well! ❤️☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fresh air and sunshine are the perfect complement to a bike ride. 🙂 Glad you had a great vacation bonding with your kids, Maria. You deserved it! Now your batteries are all recharged going into the school year. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We just went blueberry picking a couple of weeks ago and my boys gobbled up all the berries in no time. Sounds like you have had such a nice, relaxing summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! We love raspberries! We’ve picked some wild ones this summer, but I have not seen as much raspberries as I did last year. I hope summer is everything you need 🙂 Thank you for your company!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful area with lakes and forests, Maria. I’m glad you had a happy summer vacation with your children. Now you’re ready to tackle a new school year and your studies. Have a great week ahead! Thank you for your #weekendcoffeeshare.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lovely surroundings! Reminds me of wandering along the creeks and rivers, cow pastures and fields, when I was young. We lived at the edge of a small agricultural community and spent a lot of time in nature. Right now, we are in the midst of another Air Quality alert that runs through Tuesday. I’ve turned up my air filter and packed the outside door with a felt blanket to keep the smoke out. What a change from the community and surrounding countryside where we grew up. Best wishes on your continuing education. Special needs/early education is really important. Makes so much difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! That sounds like a wonderful childhood, very similar to my own actually.
      I hope the air quality improves, so that you can enjoy the rest of the summer ❤ Thank you for your kind comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a delightful post this is Maria! So many things made me smile. I like your expeditions in the park and the lovely photo of you and your daughter. I’m getting the sense ,even from here, across the ocean, that you are happy and that is the best part of all.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of cloudberries. Blueberries are delicious though. I didn’t know they grow under pine trees usually. Glad to have learned something new!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Coffee in the woods was great! I didn’t do any blueberry picking this year – hopefully next summer. Being out, berry picking and trail riding sound great! Glad you had a good vacation. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I hope the transition back to work is smooth 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can’t believe summer is over already! Yet I feel like I’m still planning my summer or just winging it because of all these COVID outbreak lately. I am intrigue by “Everything you ever taught me” because I read “Wild” a few years back. I would love to read to compare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Everything you ever taught me” is a great read, the audience she is aiming for is likely 10-20 years older than the audience for “Wild.” I liked both books. “Everything you ever taught me” is interesting since it covers other aspect, especially since she hiked during Covid. If you do read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  10. Thank you for the wonderful coffee in the forest!! And I’m sharing blueberries as I had some in my oatmeal this morning!! I can hear the happiness in all that you shared and of course one of my favorite photos is you riding your sweet horse Trigger!! ❤️ That is so great you did ride part of the PCT! It’s so wonderful to continue your education which I know will help so many children in the future. I know you start work this coming week and I’m sure you are rested and ready to go! Have a wonderful week!! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I apologise for the late answer…getting back to work…it has been an intense week, not so much the workload, but getting back into routines. It’s been a great first week though. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful week. I was so happy to see your post about Murphys first trail ride. Wonderful news! Talk to you soon ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries!! I’m so dang busy and am having trouble fitting in writing and sharing on my blog! I’m in AZ for Alice’s 6th birthday and my daughter is here too. And thank you! So excited I got out on the trail. I’ve been wanting so much to see how Murphy would be, what a star! I agree, routines help with fitting in everything. I just had to respond! ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for sharing this lovely post about so much happening and what has happened in your life. I’m a retired K-6 Principal and always interested in others’ learning and what they are planning to study. I wish you well in your chosen field. Denyse #weekendcoffeeshare

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Maria. Sorry for the late arrival. We left for some vacation time with youngest son late Friday night and have been on the road or with him ever since.
    This was a great visit. I’d be up for that bike ride around the lade and yes, I’d join you in picking berries. I have some great memories of a bike ride with a certain young gal where we did both and it proved to be a wonderful day. Being young in a much simpler time with bikes, some of the low mountains in Sonoma and Marin counties, and berries along the road – it was a great time and one of those memories you didn’t want to end while you were making it.
    Thanks for a wonderful visit and reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gary, I apologise for my late reply 🙂 How wonderful that you get to enjoy some time with your youngest son. I hope the roadtrip is everything you wished for.
      I am happy to have brought back some good memories for you. During the workweek I don’t have much time off in between getting to work, working, being a momma and all the practical things, but I’ve incorporated time in nature on my way to work, and during my break, it makes all the difference. Happy Friday!


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