Friday, January 30, 2009

Tjosvold øst (CHOOS-vold OO-st)

I brought my camera with me on my morning jog and took a few pictures of their neighborhood, Tjosvold øst.  It was a gorgeous morning, very sunny with a cool crisp breeze. I'm thinking it was around 30 or 35 degrees...

Karmøy's crest
I still get some of my San Diego sunshine! :)

Can you see the North Sea in the background?

One of the routes I take on my jog...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ostrich, anyone?

Sorry I've been lagging!  Today it was cloudy and chilly but no rain!  I looked at the weather for San Diego this morning and saw nothing but sunshine for the whole week.  I am just a wee bit jealous.

After hanging out at the house for a little while, we bundled everyone up and went on a trip to Haugesund (pronounced HOW-guh-soond), which is nearest city on the mainland.  It was about a 30 minute drive... (tangent: in Akrehamn, pronounced OO-kra-ham-men, there are only 2 street lights - there are usually roundabouts where you would imagine a traffic light should be.  Kurt thinks that the roundabouts actually cause fewer traffic jams and accidents...I'm not completely sold on that.  Although I do think that their low speed limit might have more to do with it - around the town on the main roads the speed limit is 50-60 km/hr, which is think 30-40 mph.)  

Anyways, back to my story.  Both Kurt and Anne were telling me that this was one of the bigger malls in their area, so I was expecting something around the size of UTC.  Wrongo.  Don't get me wrong, this place was pretty cool (although the only store I recognized was H&M - holla!), but it definitely wasn't as big as I was thinking. The first floor had maybe 10 stores, including a huge grocery store that took up almost 1/4 of the floor.  The second floor had maybe 15.  They had a great toy store that Andreas loved, and a couple of electronic stores that we could barely pry Ole Martin (pronounced oo-le MAK-tin) from.  Definitely a place I will be visiting again.

We got back too late to make dinner, so Kurt stopped by this place down the street called Strutsfarm...which serves ostrich!  I was a little hesitant but I figured, why not!?  It actually reminded me a lot of carne asada, and it wasn't too bad...I will admit that every time I took a bite I thought of either the Roadrunner or those ostriches Kathy, Jill, Tracy and I fed at the ostrich farm in Buellton.  :(  

Tracy feeding the hungry ost...(Jill, Trace, Kath - can you believe that road trip was almost 3 years ago?!)

Hopefully not it's relative :(

Monday, January 26, 2009

An ode to Norwegians...and ketchup

The saga continues.  Tonight we went to at a local pizza place, Dolly Dimples,  where I learned four intriguing things about Norwegians.  
1.  Their pizza is insanely expensive.  A single large one-topping pizza was $35 USD!
2.  They serve their pizza with a sort of Tzaziki sauce, which was an interesting pairing.  Verdict?............thumbs up!
3.  They provide a special seasoning to use on your pizza which is absolutely divine!  (Think Red Robin's seasoning plus a little something extra).
4.  The majority of Norwegians put KETCHUP on their pizza!!!  I know I'm the resident ketchup fiend, but it has never occurred to me to put it on pizza!  I was emboldened by the look of pure bliss on Ole Martin's face, and decided to give it a go.  Verdict?................thumbs down.  But hey, had to give it a shot!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Moseying along

Today we bundled up and took a nice walk around the town.  We made a huge loop (in the 35 degree weather, I'd like to add) from their front door through their neighborhood, to the harbor, downtown area, and their main shopping center.  Although it was cold, it was very sunny and it almost felt like San Diego.  Almost :).  I loved the small town vibe I got from just walking around - everyone that crossed our path smiled and was very polite...I could get used to this.  I will admit that at the end of our 2 hour walk, I couldn't feel the tip of my nose nor my bottom lip.  

Smalavegen 35

The view from my room (my fave part)

Houses on Akrehamn harbor

The Vilhelmsen family

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Akrehamn, Norwizzle

Goo dag!

After waaay too many hours of flying I made it to my final destination - Smalavegen 35  (pictures are on their way).  Note to self: If you have a connection in Oslo and have checked baggage, you have to pick up your baggage and recheck it on your next flight.  I almost missed that memo.

Kurt and Ole Martin (below) picked me up from the airport in Haugesund last night around 9pm.  It was so cute - Ole Martin was holding up a sign that he made (and they spelled my name right, Paul).  

Kurt and Anne are very nice and accommodating, Ole Martin loves his video games, and Andreas and Daniel are bundles of energy.  They're sleeping right now, so I'll post pictures later.  I spent a today sharing pictures, unpacking, and getting to know the family.  I was really surprised at how well Ole Martin speaks English - he's only 10!  

My room is great - I have a terrific view of the field behind the house as well as the mountains to the East.  Kurt said that during the summer there are sheep that graze the field behind their house...I really hope I catch a picture of that one because I find it fascinating and pretty hilarious.  Who would have thought?

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Packed and ready to go!

It is finally that time!  I've spent the last couple of days running around like a chicken with its head cut off - running last minute errands, packing my life away for the next year, weighing my luggage to make sure I'm under the acceptable limit, trying to maintain my sanity, etc.  At long last, I was finally able to sit down, kick my feet up, and create my first blog. Victory is mine!

I've included a before and after picture for your enjoyment...I still can't believe I managed to fit everything into 3 suitcases.


Success!  (with the help of my trusty aid Sheba...)

My journey starts tomorrow at 5pm: I have a 10.5 hour direct flight from LAX to Heathrow, a 3 hour flight from Heathrow to Oslo, and finally a one hour flight from Oslo to Haugesund.  I arrive in Haugesund on Friday at 9pm Oslo time, 12pm PST.

I'm going to miss you all so much - thank you for everything (pub golf, surprise farewell party, all of the gifts) guys are awesome! 


Tuesday, January 20, 2009


lloyd...petey didn't even have a head!

About Me

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As promised, I proudly present my blog to keep you updated on my year in Norway. I'm so excited to venture on this journey, and I'm happy to share my adventures and experiences with everyone. So sit back, relax, and enjoy Europe with me! :)