Category Archives: post

Halloween in Oslo & Chicago

Hey folks, I planned to release this post on Monday, but major tech issues have plagued me. After spending six hours at the Apple store (argh!), my machine is now back up and running … so here we go, a little late ….

I’m jumping out of my current blog timeline for a moment to talk about Halloween, since the festivities just wrapped up this past weekend. (Plus, it’s a welcome distraction from my USA Election Day anxieties.) Halloween ranks high amongst the many odd American customs that seem to fascinate Norwegians. In fact, Norway has recently imported the trick-or-treat tradition, especially in big cities like Oslo. With that in mind, I thought my readers on both sides of the pond might enjoy hearing more about how each country puts its stamp on the event. Continue reading Halloween in Oslo & Chicago

Ancient Antibes

Like most French cities, Antibes has a charming Vieille Ville (Old Town) made up of cobblestone streets that wend their way around picture-postcard houses dating mostly from the Middle Ages through the 17th century. Meandering lazily down any path will take you past timeworn fountains and churches, through sunny plazas hosting quaint shops and restaurants, and along shady lanes where you can peek into private courtyards for a glimpse of what it would be like to live there. Sounds good, right? But wait, there’s more….click on the gallery photos for captions.

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Antibes: Fun for Francophiles & Francophobes

When last I left you, Matthew and I were headed from Oslo to the French Riviera to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. So here’s your official notice: I’ll be departing from my central storyline (Norway) for a few blog posts in order to cover our favorite summer vacation spot — France. If you’re a Francophile like me, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the upcoming photo galleries that highlight the beauty of the region. But if you hate France (which seems to be a big theme lately in the U.S.), you can either skip this post and chill for a few days until we return to my regular programming. Or, you can swallow your bile and bravely read along. Who knows? Maybe I’ll make a convert out of you 😉

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Hotels, Norwegian Healthcare, and A Harbor Cruise

Two months after returning to Chicago, it was time to repack our bags for Norway. Matthew’s second session of school was scheduled for mid-June, and I’d planned to sightsee and blog while he hit the books hard. (Classes are typically 12 hours a day, six days a week.) But to paraphrase Robert Burns, “the best-laid plans of mice and men do often go awry.” Yes, in keeping with my usual life pattern, a comedy of errors rapidly unfolded the day we left for Oslo. By the way, this is a looooong post covering a motley collection of stories, so sit down and relax for a spell.

Continue reading Hotels, Norwegian Healthcare, and A Harbor Cruise

Sweet Home Chicago?

Orchestrating an overseas move isn’t for the faint of heart. Beyond the house hunting, packing, and other hassles that come with any relocation, there’s a mountain of immigration paperwork and legal logistics for every member of the household, both human and pet. I’d thought moving to Norway had been complicated. (Check out my earliest posts, The Move: Round 1 and Round 2.) But getting back home proved even more challenging. Continue reading Sweet Home Chicago?

New Beginnings & Norwegian Headlines

No, I haven’t given up on the blog, folks, although I know it’s been forever since I’ve written. We’ve been a little busy, and that’s an understatement. Here’s my big news in a nutshell: we’ve currently relocated back to Chicago … though Matthew has begun graduate school in Oslo. How’s that work, you ask? Well, it’s just as exhaustingly complicated as you might imagine. For the next year and a half, we’ll be commuting between the two cities. Yup, we’re nuts.

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The New U.S. Embassy in Oslo

March 8, 2018.  Well, it’s done.  Finally.  After five years of incredibly grueling work for our team (four for Matthew, three for me), our raison d’etre in Norway is complete.  We finished construction on the new American Embassy in Oslo last March, it officially opened for business last May, and we’ve just now put a period on the one-year warranty phase.  I’ve had to remain mostly mum about the project, for obvious reasons.  And though I still can’t say a lot, I’ve only recently gotten the  green light to show you a few approved photos of the place and fill you in on some details.  So anyway, here goes.

Continue reading The New U.S. Embassy in Oslo