Saturday, July 29, 2023

Oh the possibilities you have..

I _could_ have done many things.. tidying the house… watering the plants.. packing… sewing.. prepping epp… reading.. but right now I’ll stick to knitting and listening to the radio in a quiet, empty house… which is quite nice, if I may say so. 

Friday, July 21, 2023

A short summary of a long month

It's been quiet from my part of the internet this past month. Not that nothing's happened - but we've been travelling. This year we decided to take the kids to the United States to meet family there, and we were gone for 4 weeks - the longest vacation any of us have had in forever. 

School finished 16.06. and the following Sunday we boarded the first plane going from Oslo to Amsterdam. Suitcases packed, passports and charges readily available. The second flight took us from Amsterdam to Minneapolis - an 8 hours and 11 minutes flight. Arriving in Minneapolis, we picked up our rental car (Dodge Durango) and started our journey north. 

It takes about 4 hours ++ to drive from Minneapolis and up to the farm where we stayed with the family. And since everything is big and far from everything in the US, the car got to go some miles while we were there. A good half hour to get to the nearest store to buy food. A couple of miles from the old farmhouse where we stayed and up to the main farm (where they had internet). 

Trying to fit as much as possible of experiences into these short weeks we were there, the first week was used to get used to a new country and to get to know the area where we stayed. The second week we started the grand ol' road trip - travelling from north in MN, down to SD, through SD and to the east entrance to Yellowstone. We spent two days exploring the park, trying to see as many of the main attractions (well, hot springs, mud volcanoes, animals, etc.) before we exited through the north entrance and started driving east again. Had a short stop in Fargo Saturday afternoon before driving the final 2,5 hours back to the farm. *phew*

The Grand Prismatic was impressive, even seen from the side (there's a path to climb up and see it from above, but we didn't go there). 

Our third week in the US kicked off with the 4th of July parade Sunday July 2nd, and the kids had a blast! The parade is full of people and organisations and buisnesses and floats, each handing out candy for the kids that have come to watch. Both kids came back with a huge bag of candy each - and a couple of ice pops too. 

4th of July was celebrated with a barbecue in the afternoon, and when the sun came down we went into town and found a place near the lake. It was time for fireworks! 

The weekend following the 4th of July the four of us packed our bags and drove back down to Minneapolis for an oval weekend (Saturday - Tuesday) away from the farm. We stayed two nights at the Great Wolf Lodge, which was a huge hotel with a lot of entertainment for the kids - and a pool area competative to Lalandia in Denmark. 

We visited an outlet mall one day, the Mall of America another day (and managed to spend the entire days in both locations). The last night we spent in a small microtel around the corner (considerably less expensive than the logde). Drove back up north on Tuesday, but stopped by SeaQuest on the way through Minneapolis. 

The last three days were spent shopping the final items from our lists (yes, the suitcases were more or less empty when we arrived) and getting everything packed. 

Spent an afternoon on a pantoon on the lake, eating sandwiches and bathing (the kids... the rest of us were too cold), and looking at the sun and sky with the smoke from the canadian forest fires. The sun turned bright red in the early afternoon. 

Saturday July 15th we packed the Dodge full of suitcases and people, bid farewell to family and new friends and drove back down to Minneapolis. The first flight left at 21:45 from Minneapolis, and arrived in Amsterdam around 1 o'clock Sunday afternoon. We had a short stay before our last flight left at 2:30 towards Oslo, and arrived back home (home-home) at 18:30 (including fetching our luggage, picking up the car, ordering pizza and picking that up on our way home. A long two days of travel, with an average of 30 minutes of sleep for each person per plane (we don't sleep well while travelling...). 

That's the summary of our month's vacation. There are more pictures, stories and experiences to be shared - later. Now I'm preparing my next trip, which will be in a few short weeks. My mom and I are off to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham again.