Thursday, August 21, 2008


Did you miss me? I haven't posted in awhile because it was finally time for our trip to Oslo, aka my first real vacation that did not involve the US. The trip was delightful and ended up with a serious boat theme. We started out our vacation with a quick visit to Braunschweig where Patrick attended a Bachelor party for one of his college friends and I hung out with a bunch of my English teaching colleagues and SingStar. It was really nice to see "old" friends. We had a lazy morning at the local breakfast buffet and then I met up with Patrick for our drive onto Kiel where we would spend the night with his parents and hop on the Color Magic to Oslo the next afternoon. This cruise is not your typical cruise, it's a cruiseferry, it only takes a night to get to Oslo and that is the only destination so you can do a 2 night cruise and have 4 hours in port or, like we did, you can choose to stay longer in a hotel and return on a later voyage. We stayed 4 nights, the first two were spent at a B&B called MS Innvik or as i like to call it our boat hotel. It was actually pleasantly suprising despite the fact that we slept in bunk beds. The beds were comfortable, the location was great (right across from the train station) and the view was amazing (all we saw was the new oper house right out of our port hole). To top it off, breakfast was included and involved make your own heart shaped waffles. So we disembarked from the Color Magic, dropped our suitcase - yes we both packed all we needed for 6 days into one communial suitcase - at the Innvik and then set off to explore Oslo. Day 1 involved loosely following an urban hike I found on the internet which was great if not a bit too ambitious. Unfortunately I didn't save the link so I can't share it but I'm sure Googling Urban Hike Oslo would be a good place to start if you're interested. We saw a lot of the sights along the main street and spent some time at the fortress. One of the first stops on this hike was the cathedral which was, unfortunately, under construction so it looked like a huge box. By the end of day 1 we were tired from walking and excited for Day 2 which could appropriatly be titled Boat day... Below are a few photos of us and/on the Color Magic

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Painting to avoid people

Last night, a friend of Patrick's called and asked if we would be able to provide a place to sleep for a friend of his girlfriend. Aparently she was planning to stay in his apartment overnight to catch and early morning flight while he and his roomates were away. The problem was that he forgot to leave the key with the neighbor. So about 3 hours before she was due to arrive he called us in a panic and asked if we could provide shelter. Now this put me in an interesting place. Of course I didn't want to say no because then she would be in a terrible situation but I also didn't want to spend my Saturdaynight making idle German conversation with a stranger. Patrick being the ore compassionate one, was ready to say yes in an instant. I, on the other hand being DSL was worried about the awkard situation that would leave me feeling uncofortable in my apartent. We came to the concludion that we would let her stay and I would just be doing something when she arrived so I didn't have to get into an awkard evening of German small talk and it all worked out...kind of. I hung out on the porch painting which actually intrigued her and let to small talk but it was in English and she was interesting enough for the 20 or so minutes she was awake considering she got in around 11:30 and needed to leave before 7:00am. < >
In case you are interested, I've included 2 pictures of my painting. This was my first attempt at shading and painting a big flower and I quite like how it came out.