Monday, November 02nd, 2015 / ChrisandChelsea
Chris is the Young Men’s President in our ward/church congregation and back in August (yes I know…still catching up! It’s a never-ending battle) he and the youth went up north Jotunheimen National Park
for a dual-stake campout for all the LDS youth in Norway. It was 5 full days packed with 10 hour drives, lots of gear, campfire food, devotionals, treks across glaciers and summiting Galdhøpiggen: the tallest mountain in Northern Europe.
Tethering together to prepare to cross the Styggebreen glacier.
The summit of Galdhøpiggen
The view from the tip top of Northern Europe!
Building temples out of woodland materials
The end of an adventure.
Sunday, August 30th, 2015 / ChrisandChelsea
Since Lily is our little foreign baby, we had to take a trip to the U.S. Embassy in Oslo to get her birth certificate and passport squared away (FAQ answer: Lily is solely an American citizen. Norway doesn’t grant dual citizenship if both parents are foreigners). We had been to Oslo so many times previously and didn’t want to spend money on a hotel, so we booked flights there and back in the same day. That was a first for both of us!
I’m not going to lie, I felt SUPER cool going to the embassy. I don’t really know why (probably something to do with spy movies) but I was really excited. The embassy is considered American soil and I had in my head an image of a sleek building with ultra-shiny floors, people in black suits and discreet earpieces hurrying up and down the halls on confidential errands and a whole lot of this:
What it actually is is a very 1970s building that is the love child of airport security and a DMV. ::spy movie dreams crushed:: We got Lily’s documentation all settled after a few hours in the waiting room though and spent the rest of the day enjoying the parks in Oslo and eating BBQ ribs on the veranda of TGI Fridays, because AMERICA!
The park and duck pond in the backyard of the royal palace.
Family selfie in Frogner Park
Saturday, August 01st, 2015 / ChrisandChelsea
Our landlords are awesome. They are the sweetest family and are so helpful with whatever we might need as renters. They are kind and caring and we love living in their basement. To top it all off, they VERY generously offered us their hytte in Sirdal, a local ski resort, for a week for our summer vacation. Hytte directly translates to cabin in English, but as is typical with Norwegian it encompasses much more than that. Hytter commonly ARE cabins, but the word can mean all sorts of vacation homes as well.
Our landlords’ hytte
was GORGEOUS! We spent a full week there with just the three of us and it was very, very nice to get away from it all up in the fresh air of the mountains. We spent our days relaxing (as much as anyone really can relax with a curious and energetic 5 month old around), going for walks when it was sunny, playing with Lily, spending time with Skittles, reading, blogging and grilling lots of yummy food on the porch overlooking the lake. Sometimes we take crazy vacations
, but this one was chill and low key and exactly what we needed at this point in our lives :)
I mean…this view!!
This little trip was the sole reason I have finally been able to get caught up on the blog. I was able to sit and finish all the posts I wanted to write during Lily’s naps without feeling guilt for not doing the myriad of other projects I need to do around the house. Like cleaning our fridge. And organizing our bathroom. Yes, this ended up being a much better vacation than if we had stayed at home ;)
Lily spent the week practicing her sitting up skills. I can’t believe how big she is already!
Are we sure it’s the middle of July??
The Grill Master
This is how we do burgers in the Hill household.
And this is how we do babies.
Friday, July 17th, 2015 / ChrisandChelsea
During Grandma’s visit Grandma, Lily and I took a day trip to Oslo just because we could. We took the night train there (sleeping in a sleeper car), bopped around Oslo for the day, and then took the night train back. Oslo is surprisingly doable in a single day, especially in the off-season. Mom got a huge kick out of spending the night on a train for the first time (just like me on my first time!) and even Lily enjoyed it! It was hard to really tell at that age what she liked, but the motion of the train calmed her right down and she slept like a rock!
We hit 4 of my favorite museums (The Fram, Kon Tiki, Viking Ships, and the Norwegian Folk Museum) to give my mom a good dose of Norwegian history and culture. Lily spent the whole day in and out of naps in her Solly Baby wrap and handled the long day like a champ! We’ll make a world traveler out of her yet!
Grandma and Lily taking in the Northern Lights show aboard the polar ship Fram.
The Viking Ship Museum
The Royal Palace
Monday, April 20th, 2015 / ChrisandChelsea
The very last thing we squeezed into our trip to London was the Churchill War Rooms
. We almost didn’t make it. We had planned to go earlier in the week, but lines being what they were over the Christmas holidays we didn’t get to see as much as we had intended. Our London Passes
had already expired, but Dad really wanted to visit the War Rooms so he, Chris, and I paid the entrance fee anyway and spent our last evening in London below ground in the bunkers while Mom and Rick visited the London Science Museum
If you read my previous post about Hampton Court
, you already know that I love the “slice of life” sort of experiences when it comes to historical destinations. The closer I can get to feeling like I traveled back in time the better (if I could only be granted such a superpower…). The Churchill War Rooms fit the bill perfectly! They were the secret underground headquarters of Churchill and his cabinet during the London Blitz. As soon as World War II ended packed up, turned off the lights, and locked the doors sealing it off exactly as it was the day the war ended (right down to someone’s sugar rations left in a desk drawer). The government understood the significance of such a place and such a moment to Britain’s history and they had the foresight to keep it sealed until it was reopened in the 1970s and converted into a museum for the public to see. So with the exception of some glass walls, information placards and wax war officials, it was as close to being there during the actual war as you could get!
Hitler doodle on one of the maps.
From our current methods of modern warfare with drones, computers and satellites it’s absolutely incredible to think that an entire world war was conducted and won from these very rooms with just little pins on giant maps. It was only three generations ago, but we’ve come such a long way since then! The methods they used back in the 1940s were simultaneously primitive and ingenious and it still blows my mind thinking about it as I review these photos.
So many pin holes!
The daily reported death toll during each night of the Blitz. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for Londoners during that time. I expect it must have been terrifying.
Why hello there Mr. Churchill.
Chris’ favorite part of the experience was the part of the museum dedicated to the life of Winston Churchill. In the US we don’t learn much about Churchill outside of the context of WWII but he was apparently quite a character! It was really amazing to learn about Churchill before he was CHURCHILL (you know, the politician Churchill we always read about). We spent almost as much time in this section of the museum as we did in the rest of the war rooms learning about his aristocratic heritage, his adventures as a war correspondent and heroic POW during the Second Boer War
, his daring political career and more. Did you know he single-handedly saved an entire army division, but was captured himself and held hostage, later escaping and traveling almost 300 miles to safety after hiding in an old mine? We sure didn’t! There was way more to Winston than we ever heard about in schools. So much history contained within one short and stout person!
Dad’s and my favorite Churchill quote.
The kitchen that sustained the war.
An officer’s bedroom.
We all left the Churchill War Rooms with a much greater appreciation for England and it’s efforts during World War II. Overall, London just added fuel to the fire that is my ever-burning desire to be able to travel back in time and see history in person. It was a fantastically exhausting trip for this pregnant lady, but so worth it to be able to spend this time and create these memories with my family. We sure love you guys!