Our Visit to the Happiest Country

Last October, I was randomly scrolling through Skyscanner. Zach and I love to travel, but since he started school in the fall we thought it would be put on the back burner for a couple of years. But! Then, I saw an amazing deal for tickets to Norway and we had to jump on them.


Norway was nowhere on our list of “Places to Visit Soon” (and yes, we do have one), but this deal was too good to pass up. Anyway, neither one of us is a picky traveler. We just like to travel and explore new places together. So, since October we have been eagerly planning our trip! By planning, I mean it was mostly me making a lot of lists about what we would do while there.

At the top of these lists?

  • See the Scream, by Edvard Munch
  • Visit the Viking Ship museum
  • Explore city hall

On our trip, we saw all of the sites I had listed. But, we also went to the Kon-Tiki museum, which was not on my radar and ended up being one of my favorite parts of the trip. We also unexpectedly ran into a procession at the palace where the royal family of Norway was greeting the king and the head of state from Iceland. Amazing!

For all of my planning, there are some things you can never plan for. This is why Zach is the perfect man. He does not plan, which means that there is always time/wiggle for unexpected experiences.

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During our four days in Oslo we saw a good chunk of the city. It is a very walkable and safe place. We started our days unintentionally early. The hostel we stayed in put us in bunk beds (I call top bunk!). I don’t know if it was our unusual sleeping arrangements or just the time change, but without fail we woke up around 5 every morning. Breakfast wasn’t until 7, so we had some time to kill, which we usually filled by watching Crazy-Ex Girlfriend.

After breakfast, we would head out for the day. Every day we walked about ten miles. The walking plus the AWFUL time we would wake up at, had us exhausted by 8 every night. Many nights, we tried to force ourselves to stay up, so that we could go to the bar across the street from our hostel. It was called the Dubliner and every night at 9:30 it had live music. It became a sad, sad running joke that the Dubliner was our favorite bar that we never made it to. I think of it fondly and wish I’d gone inside.

Apart from missing out on the Dubliner, our trip was a complete success. We saw some amazing artwork and experienced some unique Norwegian culture. Oslo is a wonderful city and if you ever have the chance, I encourage you to go!


SPRING BREAK and March (Birthday) Madness!

Exploding Cake

The title of the post may be misleading, it is not really my spring break (because that isn’t a thing after college); it is Zach’s. Though, it is my birthday week. When I was in college, I always thought it was great that my birthday fell during spring break. I could always relax, go on a cool trip and not have to worry about studying.

Less cool, is that I was born during March Madness. Literally. My dad tried to watch the tournament while my mom was in labor. She had to yell at him to turn the TV off because doctors and nurses, who were not her doctors and nurses, kept coming into the room to talk to him and to check the scores of the games.

Growing up, this meant that the little girls coming over for birthday parties would hear an orchestra of obscenities flying from the living room as my dad yelled at the TV. In Utah, where the culture is predominantly Mormon, this is kind of a big deal. My dad isn’t Mormon, but most of my friends growing up were and Mormons don’t swear. I’m sure more than a few kids went home from my birthday parties knowing brand new words.

The year I turned 15 my mom was out of town, so my dad was in charge of being the adult at my birthday party. He promised that he wouldn’t cuss out the TV when my friends were over. And… he did his best.

That night, after my party, I told him, “Dad, you were swearing a lot when my friends were over.” He denied it, said that he had purposely held back and that he was sure he hadn’t let anything slip. He was so convinced that he was right that he called my friend Shae, who only lived two doors down. He got her on the phone and she told him the same thing I had, he did say, “quite a few bad words,” while they were over.

I don’t know that point of this story, except that every year my birthday has coincided with a lot of basketball.

Except, this year! Zach and I are going to Oslo. We leave on my birthday and come home a week later. So finally, 27 years into this thing, I have figured out how to escape basketball on my birthday– flee the country.