August 12, 2008

And the trip ends with sunshine

We have spent the last 10 days in Oslo, Norway, visiting the in-laws and inhabiting a strange land where the children are permitted ice cream for breakfast. Exactly how we were raised, says my sister in law, sardonically. The sun is shining today and we drove up to Bogstad Gard to walk among the animals and hang out by the water. It was the first sustained glimpse of sunshine I have seen since we arrived, last week.

It has been a long visit. Only in summer in Norway can you find yourself distracted by being able to see your breath as you run in the hills overlooking the fjord in the morning. I was not pleased to have it so cold, and gray, and rainy and wet.

But we did have a good time, even if it is starting to feel as if Norway (or at least Oslo) is becoming an Islamic Republic. I could not believe how many women I saw in head scarves or even in the full scale burka (they look like ghosts in those). I was treated to Islamic sermons from fairly radical sounding preachers over taxi audio systems. The Viking Bride and I took a tour of the Royal Palace (cool) where a Pakistani visitor indignantly refused to put the shoe cover things on, exclaiming to his mother (and to us) that, regarding the Palace: "This is not a mosque. I mean, really, this is NOT a mosque." Really, Norway, does this whole path truly make sense to you?

We went to see the Fram (again) with the kids. This year, for the first time, the hatch to the lowest deck where the engines are located was open and the Boy Child enjoyed that so much that he went back down, grandmother in tow, for a second look.

It has been a stressful visit in many ways; most of which are internal to me and not related to the annoyance of being cooped up with my inlaws (although that annoyance should not be understated).

Norway is shockingly expensive. It is now about 5 kroner to the dollar so you can do the math when you find out that 8 beers cost about 730 kroner.

It was well over a hundred dollars to take the kids to the children's theater in Frogner Park to see Pippi Longstocking (very cute). We went with my dearest, oldest friend in the whole world since we were 2 years old. Our children had never met so that was particularly cool. It was interesting to watch them play together.

What else can I tell you?

We leave tomorrow to return to reality. The children are totally spoiled. One of the answers supplied by the Girl Child to the question, what do you like about visiting Norway was: "There are no rules here". By here, she clearly means in her grandmother's kitchen, by the way. Norway has lots and lots of rules.

I think that we are all looking forward to being back in our own house, even if we must first endure a very long plane trip back to Newark, NJ and a long drive back to Connecticut.

So, to be clear, while I have been away, it has not been a vacation. No rum. If there isn't rum, it is not a vacation. Besides, vacations should not involve extended exposure to mothers-in-law.

Hope all is well with you all!

Posted by Random Penseur at 08:11 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack