After a few days in London and a long hazy week at Roskilde Music Festival in Denmark, I was headed for a lake house in Sweden with my 9 favorite people. Our group for the week was made up of my sister, mother and I from California and our best friends from Denmark and Sweden.
Our three families have met in this Nordic slice of paradise every few summers since I was 9 years old. The house is surrounded by a mossy green forest and overlooks a deep blue lake. It’s about a 100 years old and has neither electricity nor plumbing so we bathe in the lake and use candles at night. Since we’re so far north the sun never entirely sets during summer. Around midnight it will dip just low enough behind the mountains to create a pastel sunset and then rise again a few hours later. The long days help us lose sense of time altogether so we feel very far away from the rest of the world.
For four days we marinated in this sunlit bubble that I know by heart. We rowed around the lake, serenaded each other, danced in the rain during afternoon showers, warmed ourselves by the fire, cooked family dinners, picked wild orange mushrooms (supervised by Thomas who’s an expert), played cards, drank wine, skinny dipped at dawn, picked wildflowers, and hiked through the woods. I also got lots of help from our Swedish friends when location scouting for the photo series I was in the midst of shooting. The forest is their backyard so they knew secret spots that made me so giddy I must have shed at least one tear of joy.
I was well aware at multiple moments during our stay that I was the happiest I could be. It felt like a perfect daydream. I’m so grateful for my viking friends, family, and these adventures that take me out of LA. They are so important and I’ve promised myself that I’ll continue to put each on it’s own pedestal.