Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year: 2014

Godt Nytt År! Happy New Year!

I've been back in Oslo for a week now, and it's taken me about that long to mentally get back into gear after nearly 3 weeks of traveling, hanging out with family, catching up with friends, and enjoying all the amazing food and shopping that United States has to offer. It was a great break and so good to see all my loved ones, but come back to Norway really did feel like coming home. I'll even forgive Oslo for losing it's blanket of snow while I was gone, I'm sure it will come back soon enough to so I can break out those cross-country skis that have been in retirement since my cold, strange year in Minnesota.

Speaking of skis, I used the day after Christmas to take my 10-year old niece up to the local ski hill and get some skiing in myself. 49 Degrees North hasn't changed one bit since I first learned how to ski there 22+ years ago (yikes!). Well, they added a couple more lifts and some great new runs, but the lodge was still an old wooden picnic-table filled space crowded with families eating home-packed lunches and maybe a basket of french fries. Here you won't find any fancy outfits, no top of mountain chalets to enjoy a glass of wine, and certainly no high-speed gondolas. Only cold, slow chairs that drag you up to some wonderfully empty powder-filled runs. I love that place. My niece spent the day in the ski school picking up some serious snow-plowing skills while I tolerated an icy drizzle that had little to no effect on how good it felt to get back on the mountain. Definitely wet my appetite for getting some runs in here in Norway, though I don't think I'll find anywhere near the value of good old 49.

On to Seattle I went nearly straight from the airport up to a cabin with my friends. Carrying a solid supply of aquavit, we spent the next couple of days enjoying the mountain air, playing games, completing a puzzle, and of course enjoying a drink or two. It was a perfect way to spend the weekend. A busy few days of trying to see as many people as possible for a hectic New Years Eve, then back to Oslo. It's never enough time, really.

As for resolutions, I'm sure I have some.

49 Degrees North, an amazing view, and a few lucky souls

Spokane

Flying into Seattle at Sunset

Home Sweet Home

Life at the Cabin