Sunday, June 10, 2012

Made it!

Tweak, Ash, Pitch & I boarded a plane 7pm Monday night and got here 8am Tuesday morning. The flight isn't 13 hours long, it's only 7 but there's a 6 hour time difference, hence the 8am arrival time. The dogs made it through with flying colors, although Tweak stress slept alot of that day away. The Borderstaffies just wanted their next meal. :p

My friend Dina followed the next day with Simi as I couldn't take all 4 with me at the same time. That was a little bit of planning that had me relying on multiple friends to have everything go off without a hitch. Susan to take us to the airport Monday and then take care of Simi for me until Kate could bring her to the airport the next day to meet up with Dina, who flew down to Newark from Boston on an earlier flight. But, everything went off without a hitch, all parties are now in Norway and WOW do I have some amazing friends or what!

The first couple of days for me and Dina were about getting used to the time difference and taking small walks here or there. Once we were somewhat adjusted we started doing touristy stuff - went downtown and window shopped, saw the American Embassy which is guarded more heavily than Fort Knox, visited the King's Castle and gardens, spent some time at the wharf at city hall plaza, did some shopping, etc., etc., etc.

The amount of walking these people do is surreal. Man is my ass going to be fine though once I get used to it. I complain all the time about it to whomever will listen but secretly I'm happy I am forced to have more regular exercise in my life. Staying home all the time in an effort to save money doesn't really lend one to have an in-shape physique. Well, I guess that wouldn't be true if I had any desire to exercise but given the choice between being lazy and exercising, I'm picking lazy every single time.

The dogs are adjusting incredibly well. They go for walks multiple times a day and have had a few trips down to the park for some longer walks and frisbee sessions. They aren't reacting to the outside doors opening and closing or people walking up and down the stairs. All in all they're doing way better than I had hoped.

The dog food selection here is really limited. You can feed Pro Plan, Science Diet or Eukanuba and that's about it. Nobody feeds raw here, you can't even buy marrow bones in the market! But we did find one store that carries a limited selection of higher quality food. We visited them yesterday to buy food and found out that they're moving locations next week and will actually be closer to us. I'm cool with that because walking with a 30lb bag of dog food doesn't really give me the warm fuzzies.

Today is Sunday and the world stops in Norway on Sunday. You can probably count the amount of things open on a Sunday on one hand. Luckily for us Museums are exempt from the day of rest and are open. We have plans to visit the Viking Ship Museum (vikingskiphuset) today and maybe a few others that are in the area. But generally a lazy day is planned so we can somewhat recover from the walking tour of Oslo. All of us are feeling it in one way or another. :p


Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Sooooo, I guess I've been pretty awful at keeping up with the blog thing. I'll try harder.

It's been over a year since my last post and a lot has happened in that time. Here's a small recap:

 - LOVED Norway
 - married the most wonderful man in the world
 - got a puppy for Christmas last year
 - got my honey for both Christmas AND my birthday
 - had my personal belongings packed up to move to Norway.

Our wedding was in a cute inn near Mt. Washington in NH. There were a total of 6 people there (including inn staff). It was a dream wedding - no stress, everything done for us during the middle of the week in the fall. I wanted to do it in shorts and a tank top near the pool but honey wanted to have pictures of us all dressed up so I got an official wedding dress. It was *perfect*.

Pitch joined our household in December. He is related to both of my dogs Simi (BC) and Ash (BS). He has the same mom as Simi - one of my favorite dogs, a Border Collie named Tetris owned by my friend Kelly and the same dad as Ash - a Staffordshire Bull Terrier dream of a dog named Hemi owned by my friend Sarah. Ash calls him his mini-me and plays with him when Simi isn't. He is sweet and energetic, just like his siblings. His nickname is Piglet and once life slows down, will start his flyball training.

Tweak was unimpressed with her little brother and continuously looks at me with eyes that plead for the whole world to go away except for her and I. She'll survive. :p

Jan came here for the holidays and I was *thrilled*! We were pretty busy, like always, but it was great to have him here to experience an American Christmas. I'm looking forward to seeing how the Norwegians do the holidays this year. :)

The movers came last week and packed up everything I was taking in wooden crates to be shipped over seas. It looks like I'll have a month or so before heading over there myself to start the rest of my life with my honey. I couldn't be happier and am seriously looking forward to it.


Day 5 - travel to Bergen/Alesund

We were up at 5:30am this morning (11:30pm EST) so we could begin traveling to the coast. We're on our way (as I type) to visit Jan's parents - our own version of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. We took the bus to the train station and got there early (see what happens when I'm not in charge of timing...). We got some coffee that could grow hair on your chest at 7-11 in the train station and hung around for a bit.

We're currently on the train (has wifi) and will get into Bergen about 3pm this afternoon. We'll walk around, have dinner and then board a ship for an overnight cruise to Alesund. We should be able to get some really good scenic pictures from the boat. It's still light out here around 9pm'ish so light shouldn't be a problem.

The scenery along the way is pretty cool - used Jan's camera and got a couple of cool shots of water/mountains/trees. To me it's similar to driving in Vermont or very western MA, but those places aren't as expansive and spread out. There is still snow on the ground in some places, which is kinda odd. But mostly there are just a ton of trees. No matter where you look, trees. Sometimes there's something in addition to the trees but you can always count on seeing trees. Lots and lots of trees. Did I mention there were a few trees?

Not sure if we'll have internet later or not...


Edit: Found this post as a draft from last year's trip and figured I'd publish. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Day 4 - Vigeland Park

With the Easter holiday and everything being closed, we took the bus (woohoo!) to Vigeland Park in Oslo. What a nice park! It was *huge* and had lots of statues and different sections. I posted some pics on FB so go look there for them.

The park was named after the sculptor that created all of the statues in it, most notably Angry Boy and The Monolith. That park wouldn't last a week in the US as there are naked statues of adults and children doing normal every day things scattered about the park. Definitely something the Europeans have over Americans - not being too prudish about statues depicting people as we were made.

I'm not sure how it happened but we kinda lost track of time yesterday. Going to the park was the only thing we did and we were only gone about 4 hours. I have no idea where the rest of the day went but know we had a pretty good day just being together. :)


Friday, April 22, 2011

Ahhhh Day 3 :)

Day 3 was relaxing day!!

This weekend is the Easter holiday and Norwegians take their holidays seriously - most people have Thurs, Fri & Mon off from work to celebrate. BTW, those are paid holidays. So, with most people off of work, most places are closed. In the US there's always something open - even xmas day some places are open for those that don't celebrate the holiday. You can go to a movie or do a little shopping at select stores. Not here. No way, no how. NOTHING is open.

So we spent the day indoors, talking, playing games, listening to music, watched a movie - basically just being all lovey dovey and enjoying each other's company. Ahhhh.

Jan has made a homemade meal every night so far. Last night was a dish called KlippFisk - a traditional Norwegian dish made with dried, salted Cod, potatoes, onions and butter. The fish was a little stronger than I am used to and I had to eat each piece of fish with a piece of potato due to the high salt flavor but it was pretty good. I told Jan next time we'd have to grab some sour cream - that would change it from good to great for me. :)

The weather has been typical spring weather - nice when it's nice, cold and rainy when it isn't nice. Actually, yesterday was a bit cloudy but that has really been the extent of the bad weather here. It's been mostly sunny and in the low 60's for the most part. Oddly enough, thinking back on our walking trip through the city, most Norwegians were covered up in one way or another and I thought it was beautiful, just has a t-shirt on. For people used to "cold weather", they didn't seem to think it was all that warm.

We have plans tomorrow to take a train to the coast, then take an overnight cruise to his hometown to visit his family. Not sure what is on the agenda today, probably out walking somewhere. :p We'll see what day 4 brings us!