Tag Archives: nature

Oslo in Spring

No matter how many times we find ourselves in Oslo, we are always finding new areas and new things. And no matter how many times we go, I always enjoy going back.

Oslo is especially lovely when the sun is shining and the flowers are in bloom. And that is exactly how we found it when we there about a week ago.

It was a perfect day for walking around the city, with coffee in hand and friends by our side.

And that is exactly what we did. Once we arrived in town, we kept our distance from public transportation and just enjoyed the city on foot.

I loved seeing all the colors, both in decor, and in nature.





As is always the case in Norway, when the sun comes out, the people come out.

And Karl Johans Gate, the main pedestrian street in Oslo, was certainly bustling with people and activity.

It was another fantastic day in the capital city!




A quick getaway

Thanks to the kindness of some really sweet friends, we spent a couple of nights last week at a hytte/cabin just a couple of hours from home.

It was nice to get away and disconnect a bit. And when I say disconnect, I mean it. No running water, no electricity. But what a charming place with beautiful views, cozy interior, easy access to great hiking, and lots of peace and quiet. We enjoyed laughing together over a made-up game, picking berries, grilling dinner outdoors, and going on a long hike. I was especially proud of the guys. They made it to the top of Reskjemnipa – 717 meters (2352 feet) above sea level! (I made it about two-thirds of the way and then waited for them!)
A couple of photos on the way there…
Relaxing on the porch
Cool waterfalls on the hike
Amazing views
Look how high they were!
On the way back down
Beautiful sunset to end a nice getaway
And once back home, we enjoyed the fruits of the boys’ labors by indulging in homemade blueberry muffins!


Our neighbors to the East

We are enjoying a short visit to Stockholm. We are spending some time with colleagues, and being tourists as well.
I’ll write more later, but here are a few pics from the phone for now. What a fun city!
The Nordica museum is cool. We visited it last year. If nothing else, it’s worth it to check out the beautiful architecture.
We are always looking for free things to do. The Vasa Museum was not one of them. But if you are going to pay for only one thing, this should be it. Very cool.
One of our favorite things to do in a new city is simply strolling up and down the streets. So many beautiful things to see, and especially on a very mild summer day.
Of course we’ve been checking out coffee shops. Drop Coffee Roasters knows their stuff. Highly recommended.
Another gorgeous view.


A kid-free night, thanks to our colleagues! We walked all over Stockholm for a long time. We really enjoy the small streets and shops of Gamla Stan.

P.S. The bracelets are from Agapao Inc. You can check them out and learn more about #loveinaction at http://www.agapaoinc.com.

And you can buy these and other cool Agapao Inc items at http://www.agapaostore.com.

Little pink hearts – what is this?

I’m quite ignorant when it comes to plants and flowers – so I need your help.Zack and I went for a walk this morning. While we were out, we saw this particular flower in several places around the city. It was really pretty. It almost looks like tiny pink hearts hanging from each limb.

Any idea what it’s called, in Norwegian or English?


Exploring a new part of Norway

Two weekends ago we attended a conference in Hovet, a village in central Norway. It is always fun to get to check out new areas of the country, and this is the farthest we’ve traveled (in Norway) as a family so far.The area is home to some ski resorts, but the snow is melting so most everything was closed for the season.  But it was still a beautiful setting and we enjoyed getting to explore it in the afternoon between meetings.

This was our home for a weekend –
a really cool two bedroom cabin.


The view from our back porch


We took this one somewhere along the drive.


Out for an afternoon walk


A ski jump built in between two cabins!













A snake? Stop it.

Are you familiar with Bill Engvall? I remember a part of his standup where he talked about people’s reactions to snakes. Rarely calm or dignified.

I can vouch for that.
I also remember the boys doing research on Norway before we moved here. One thing in particular that they wanted to learn about was whether or not there were snakes in Norway.
I can now answer that definitively. And affirmatively.
Sunday afternoon, following our time with friends on the beach, we decided to go for a family walk at Folehavna (the end of west peninsula in Sandefjord, and the site of a WWII battery). We’d been walking for quite a while, and Daniel and I were winding through some narrow corridors of one of the old firing ranges. The wall to our right at this point was just below Daniel’s eye level. Zack and William were walking on top of the range, just above us. And suddenly, Daniel saw something moving to his right. Zack realized what it was and told us to turn around.And you bet we did! No time for pictures or anything. This dude was HUGE, and Zack was fairly certain it was the one bad species we have here.

But was he right? We only had to wait until the next day, as we hiked at Tønsberg Tønne. This time around, it was the same type, but much smaller, and on a walkway ahead of us. Zack had enough time to snap a couple of photos.


I do not like snakes. And I hope we don’t see any more!

FYI – we confirmed that it is NOT one you want to encounter. Vipera berus is now on my [very, very short] list of things that I do not like about Norway!

Wednesdays Off: thankful for little things

Terrible photo – but who cares!
So thankful for time outdoors.

We are happy to be back in language school. It is good to have that routine back, to reconnect with friends there, and to make a few more steps towards language proficiency.

That said, we are also happy that unlike our last class which was five days a week, we now have Wednesdays free. It is a great time to catch up on work, run errands, and relax a little together.

Yesterday, we finished our errands a little early and had some time before picking the boys up from school. So we went to the park and enjoyed a brisk 2.5 mile walk. So good to get fresh air and sunshine!

Tønsberg Tønne

The Tønsberg Tønne (translated Tønsberg Barrel) is a an old beacon at the tip of Tønsberg Fjord in Sandefjord. We went there Sunday morning for a hike with friends. The weather was overcast and around 6 C (43 F): good hiking weather! It really is a great hiking spot and the weather cooperated well… until we got to the very top where the beacon (?) is. The wind was whipping so hard! It would almost knock us over. On our way back, we stopped on the beach and grilled our lunch.By the way, do you notice anything in the pictures? Yeah, our snow is almost completely gone and it’s still February!








What’s it Like: Nature

The landscape here is really beautiful. And we look for every possible opportunity to get out and enjoy nature. Weather can become a factor if you let it. But instead, you must embrace what we jokingly call Norway’s national motto: Det finnes ikke dårlig vær – bare dårlige klær! Or in English – there is no bad weather, only bad clothing! And it’s true. As long as you go prepared, you’ll be fine!Rather than write a lot about the great outdoors here, I think it’s better to just share some of the pictures we’ve taken over the past year. Enjoy.