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.
May 27, 2016. So I’ve never before devoted an entire post to an eatery. I’m no restaurant critic, and I can’t claim to have a Cordon Bleu-educated palate like many true foodies. But Matthew and I enjoyed such a delicious and interactive dinner at Bokbacka that I had to share it with you. Keep the place in mind if you decide to pay a visit to Oslo and are looking for a unique dining experience that’s a little off the beaten path (meaning it’s on a side street in our little Frogner neighborhood.) Continue reading Bokbacka Restaurant
December 13, 2015. I bet most of you have heard of St. Lucia’s Day, or at least know the song Santa Lucia. And I’m sure everyone is familiar with some of the holiday’s customs, which include having the oldest daughter — who’s crowned by a wreath of candles and dressed in a white gown — serve breakfast to the family. If you’ve lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Washington, or the Dakotas, chances are you’ve even seen a Santa Lucia procession or two, since these states are heavily populated by Scandinavians. I’ve never witnessed the real thing, however, so attending a Santa Lucia celebration firsthand was one of my goals when we moved to Norway. Continue reading Santa Lucia Day
December 10, 2015. For the last two years, I’ve been lucky enough to be present for the balcony appearance of the Nobel Peace Prize recipients. Meaning that I’ve stood street-side with the crowd as the winners have waved from the second story of the Grand Hotel. But because of timing and work schedules, I’ve never gotten to join the torch-bearers in the parade that winds from Central Station, down Karl Johan’s Gate, to the plaza. Until this year…. Continue reading 2015 Nobel Peace Prize
June 15, 2015. Everybody warned me it would happen. I’ve read articles in preparation for it: culture shock — the moment when the move to a new country stops being filled with wonderful discoveries and instead becomes about combatting daily little irritations. You know what I mean, when people behave in baffling ways quite different from the familiar traditions of your home country, and you run short of patience in trying to rationalize such contradictions. Continue reading Culture Shock
June 12, 2015. First of all, let me warn readers with a weak stomach or a particular fear of creepy crawlies: this might be a post that you’ll want to skip over. I’d recommend it only for those who have a strong constitution and enjoy horror films like Arachnophobia, Creepshow, or Them! The good news is, I don’t have a ton of photos of our infestation. The bad news is, the photos I do have will completely gross you out. Your decision. Read on, if you have the fortitude. Continue reading Moth Invasion
May 27, 2015. I’m feeling a bit homesick today. Memorial Day was two days ago, and usually the whole family converges in Kentucky for a barbecue, so I’m a bit sad to be missing everyone. The good news is, my littlest sister is coming to visit at the end of the week, and I’m super grateful about that. I’m hoping the weather clears up, because Norway is having its coldest, wettest May in 40 years. Definitely a downer. Continue reading Clouds, Flowers, & Birds