This is a very Mormon post. Be ye therefore warned ;)
A little LDS fact: Mormons have 2 primary worship buildings. Church meetinghouses where we have regular Sunday services, meetings, activities, etc and temples. Temples are sacred and very special to us. So special, in fact, that Chris and I drove for days across two countries to spend a week at one this summer. We consider them to be houses of The Lord and special sacred ceremonies are performed there. If you want to learn more about why they are important to us and what we do there, you can check out this video here:
We spent 5 days almost entirely at the temple, staying with ward members in patron housing right next to the temple grounds. I wish I could put into words what a special, peaceful time that was. The biggest indicator to me was when we got home at the end of the week, Chris commented that my eyes looked a lot bigger and brighter than they normally do. It confused me, until I realized that I had completely lost the bags under my eyes that had been there for longer than I care to think about! It was just such a calm, relaxing, spiritually rejuvinating week. I don't know if I've ever been more aware of the sacred power of temples before that point.
It was also an amazing bonding experience with our ward! Many-a-night was spent playing music, singing, eating good food and sharing uplifting stories and testimonies long into the night. Plus, we got to see a little bit of Stockholm while we were there!
There will be a few posts to follow this one, since I can't possibly contain everything in one post! Suffice it to say, we were so blessed to have been able to share in this week together in the house of the Lord!
“Notice anything different about me? I'm a sailor. I sail!” – Bob (and Chris)
Remember last summer when Chris and I took a sailing course on the NATO yacht Aurelis II? This June, Chris took the next course and leveled up from Competant Crew to Day Skipper. Which means he's officially licensed to charter the Aurelius! He's decided he wants more practice before we take the boat out for a weekend by ourselves, but next season you better believe we'll be cruisin' all over these fjords!
In the words of an infamous and beloved pirate, “Now…bring me that horizon.”
For a random small city in Norway, Stavanger sure gets a lot of cool artists coming through for concerts. So far we've had the Eagles, Brad Paisley, James Taylor, and KISS just to name a few. Last year, Chris and I went to see James Taylor with our friends Steve and Sarah. This year, we went to see Lindsey Stirling (the dancing violin girl of YouTube fame).
I was pretty excited to see her perform live. I love how she's taken her unique talent and blossomed into what she has become today (and of course, she was at BYU while I was so of course I had to show some solidarity!). Plus, Chris loves her arrangements of video game music. We were looking forward to it!
Sushi dinner before the concert
Tee hee hee, tour bus got a parking ticket! (If you are familiar with the Stavanger parking police you know how hilarious this is)
Unfortunately, the concert was not what we had hoped for. The venue was above Hall Toll near the harbor in a very hot and stuff attic loft. It was extremely crowded and we got beer sloshed on us more than once. The stage was also not elevated, so the only thing we could actually see of the entire concert was an occasional flounce of hair as Lindsey danced around the stage (and what we could see from the photos Chris took when he held his cell phone above the crowd.) That was especially disappointing since Lindsey is the dancing violinist afterall. At least the music was awesome…except when the mics cut out, which happened multiple times. I was finally able to see the finale when we worked our way into a corner and Chris put me up on his shoulders, but of course the sound cut out half-way through the song and they ended the concert right then and there.
It was fun to hear her music live, but overall we were really disappointed with the whole thing. I don't think we'll be seeing any more concerts at Hall Toll, but keep up the good work Lindsey!
And, as if the universe was making up for the lame evening, there was a killer sunset afterwards! So in the end, not a bad night on the town :)