Once I wrap my head around something new, I usually embrace it with open arms. So, Norway or Bust it was! This is one of those moments in life where one simply decides to compartmentalize the experience into “Miscellaneous.” You know, like filing papers. Everything neatly filed away in alphabetical order. (Who files, anymore? Oh, yeah, old people.) On filing day there are always some papers that don’t have their own home. So you give them a community file and call it the “Miscellaneous Condo.”
Sometimes, at the bottom of the paper pile is a long forgotten bonus! Whoa! I forgot we got that insurance refund check. Score!!!
Such, is this trip to Norway. Even on the airplane trip over, I was having a hard time understanding just where this was to be filed. It’s not a vacation. It wasn’t/isn’t in our budget. It wasn’t all business trip. John would have 3-4 days off (HAHAHA – right!) in the middle of the two weeks. It would ideally have been a part of a planned, future trip around Europe, with destinations in mind. What it was/is is simply a bonus that just happened to pop into our lives amidst some complicated and chaotic times.
So we will plop it into the miscellaneous file of life (there’s not a cottage cheese carton big enough for this experience) and treat it with respect.
And that’s just how the first week started.
We left the house at 7am Saturday morning PDT. We arrived to the hotel at 4:30pm Sunday, Norway time. That’s – Sunday, 7:30 am – Oregon time. The flight attendants try to trick you on the plane. They give you sleeping masks, feed you poison and expect you to get some sleep. We planned on it. I even took my infamous Ambien – but only ½ tablet. And, for John and I? We got a great seat at the bulkhead ------- right next to a sweet new mom and her 5-month-old baby. We fell in love. We must have looked like the loving, understanding grandparent types when they assigned our seat at the gate. That darling baby cried the entire trip. John sleeps through anything, but not this time. Neither one of us could sleep, not so much from the noise, but from our parental training of 36 years. If a baby cries you go on alert.
Arriving at Fredriksten Hotell*, I looked around the hotel room, said, “this is nice,” took my picture of “I Can See Sweden From Here,”(see below) and passed out on the bed. John on the other hand who can nap in a blink of an eye, had 40 minutes before he had to get his poor jet-lagged self to his client’s board meeting and annual dinner.
“So long, sucka,” I say as I nestle into my snuggly European duvet and feather bed.
This would not be just any dinner. John and the board ate at the 5 star restaurant we would experience just a few days later.
So, here is the formula:
1 always sleepy John + 1 terribly sleep-deprived John + 1 Bored err, Board Meeting, + 7 courses of fine, fine food+ 8 wine pairings = HAHAHAHAHAHA!
I have no words to describe this. However, later that week when we were hosted at the same restaurant, one of John’s clients kept apologizing to him and promised that next time they would plan the meeting and dinner so he wouldn’t be so tired or jet-lagged. So, I asked John later if he’d fallen asleep. He paused and slowly said, “I don’t thinks so.” I know my John. Anytime he has carbs he is a goner after dinner. Just ask my kids. That is how he became the person doing dishes after dinner. Not wanting to lose any precious time with his kids, he would wash dishes to stay awake. We called it his “stay awake” chore. We don’t really eat many carbs anymore. He still does the dishes and he still falls asleep after dinner if he imbibes in carbs. That is usually no problem – UNLESS YOU ARE AT A DINNER WITH YOUR CLIENTS! I giggle at the thought of John snoring into his kjøttkaker lapskaus and his kaffistova . At least the meatballs probably blocked his snoring.
I continued to sleep. For the most part, stores and most restaurants are closed on Sunday, so, the receptionist at the hotel ”threw together” a shrimp and salmon salad, green beans, the best bread and fruit for me. And, then I slept until John arrived. And then I slept through Monday, taking small walks and just taking in the magnificent view. John on the other had to get up and drive into the office at 7.
Luckily I saw the kaffistova still smeared on his beard, wiped it off and sent him off.
Now, file me under ZZZZZ! We are here.