Thursday, June 26, 2014

Norway Part 2: Shenanigans, Ski Slopes + Mountains

So I left of on Tuesday, with the beginning of Anne Lise's birthday party. We took so many pictures and had so much fun, I had to share more with y'all! Now keep in mind that this was a Texas themed birthday barn party in Norway and it was nothing short of amazing!

Everyone went all out with not only their costumes, but with love for Anne Lise! It was beautiful. They wrote songs, gave speeches and celebrated her! I was so happy to be a part of the celebration and meet all of their family and close friends.

Sisters I didn't understand any of the words :)

Outfit chance #2 of 3!

The Vorkinn Family: Pal, Stefan, Char, Chris and Anna Lise

Kisses for the birthday girl and a Lars photo bomb

We taught the Norwegians how to play flip cup and how to line dance and two step. We also played a little beer pong, ate delicious food and had a fabulous night.

Lots of fun leads to awesome pictures. Really awesome pictures indeed.

Day Four:
The next morning I was bright and cheery. All the smart kids guzzle water at the end of the night instead of partaking in additional drinks/shots that aren't needed :) I wanted to make sure I was feeling great to enjoy each day on my trip. 

That afternoon, Charlotte, Ole and I ventured to the Olympic ski jump slope on a mission. To take the stairs to the top! 

A skiers view from the bottom of the slope!

The slopes have a stair case up the sides which people can climb to the top and it's an awesome workout. There are roughly 800 steps to get to the top! There are a few break points which allows for a little breather and you can shake the lactic acid out of your legs!

One break point was at the top of the smaller slope. Take a look at that drop down! No thank you. I'll stick to the bunny slopes...

A view from the top! At the top there was a cute little restaurant, various hiking trails and a point of rest for those brave enough to venture out there on a warm summer day!

After our climber, we showered, packed and loaded the car for a road trip! Char, Ole, JP and I were headed towards Bergen, but first we had an adventure over the mountains to get to the coast. We decided to take our time and stop and smell the roses (aka check out the sights) when we wanted.

First stop: Helleristninger aka Rock Carvings

Along the river, there is a spot to see true cave man carvings from the paleolithic era. And guess what they're of? Moose! Not my little moose, but the actual animals that dwell in Norway. (We actually saw one from a distance in the woods on our trail run!)

The red markings are there to show visitors where to look and it's better for pictures. You can truly see the indentations from up close. Oh and did I mention just how beautiful this area was as well?

Ole was a wonderful tour guide and informed us of various facts from Norwegian history which I loved! Here is a flag painted into the side of the mountain originally by the Nazi resistance in WWII!

Along the trip there were countless waterfalls. I couldn't get enough of them. Little ones streaming down the mountain, huge ones engulfing a hillside. Just gorgeous.

Our last stop was an old, old church that was erected in 1180. Yes, that starts with an eleven! This is also the church that inspired the church for Frozen during Elsa's coronation. Yes, awesome fact, I know. You're welcome for that.

It's simply stunning. Plus it's pretty amazing to see something that old and fragile still standing.

From there we continued on our trek towards Bergen. We arrived in Fonnes, a town on the outskirts of Bergen, where Anna Lise grew up. After nearly 7 hours in the car, we made it! More on our trip to Fonnes and Bergen tomorrow to round out my Norway adventure.

If you missed Days 1-3 Part 1, check it out!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Norway Part 1

To sum up our trip, Norway was nothing short of amazing. I got to do so many different things and enjoy beautiful scenery and weather. Neither of which we get in Houston, TX...especially during the summer. Prepare for a bunch of pictures from both my iPhone and Nikon. I needed to capture everything! Above is the view of Lillehammer from across the lake on our way in to town!

Day One:
We made it safe and sound to Norway on Thursday morning around 10:00am which meant we had a full day to stay awake and keep going so we didn't get too jet lagged. We started off running some errands and stopping at some of the cutest shops in town. 

Next up was sunshine, outdoors, games and mimosas. Siri came over and we all just enjoyed the beautiful weather. After dinner we decided to jump in the hot tub! The tv was moved outside, so we watched the first half of Wolf of Wall Street until we were pruney. The rest of the day was very chill. The sun doesn't truly set during Norwegian summertime. Around 11pm-midnight it is about dusk and stays that way until the sun begins to rise again around 3:30am. Luckily, I am used to going to bed when the sun is still out (hello 8pm bedtime and 4am wake up calls!), so I fell right to sleep.

Day Two:
We started the day nice and slow. Naturally I was the first to rise, so I enjoyed coffee and a book out on the patio before the rest of the crew joined me. We had quite a full house since we were celebrating Anne Lise's birthday, all of her kids (Chris, Charlotte & Stefan) were home :) That morning the girls went to the mall to pick up some goodies for the party and groceries for desserts! Before we knew it, Charlotte, Ole, JP and I were off to Gjovik to visit Ole's parents!

Before dinner, Ole took JP and I on a 9K trail was actually a bit longer as it took about 4 minutes to run to the trails. The weather was wonderful and I found myself wishing I lived there so I could enjoy running this time of year!

After our run, we enjoyed some wine and one of the tastiest dinners I had in Norway! Ole's mom made us the best of the best pan fried salmon, roasted sweet potatoes and bean salad. To top it off we had strawberries and cream for dessert...and a little more wine of course. It was wonderful meeting Ole's parents after knowing him for so many years! 

Day Three:
Saturday morning we were busy bodies all morning in preparation for the big birthday celebration! It was a Texas themed party out at a barn on the lake just outside of Lillehammer.

The venue was simply gorgeous. I couldn't get over what a perfect day it was for the party. Someone was watching out for us that's for sure! 

Naturally, upon arriving, we needed a photo shoot before the shenanigans were to begin!

The barn was actually an Icelandic horse ranch. I tried to feed the horses a flower, but they said no.

Inside the barn was an open area with plenty of space for both tables and dancing! There was also the most perfect bar area which our boys set up and manned for most of the night. They're so good!

Again, more pictures from our necessary pre-party photo shoot. Check out these rockin' Texas themed costumes...

In case you didn't get it, I'm a Texas flag. Yes, I realize the white part is missing, but you get the drift. Pretty much I wanted an excuse to wear a tutu, let's be honest.

These are just a few of the MANY pictures taken. I had to break the party up in two parts as to not bombard you with too many pictures or tell too many stories. Part 2 of our Norway trip coming tomorrow! Get excited, some of the most beautiful shots from our Norwegian road trip to come!

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