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One day in Oslo
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:
laba.ws_USA_Independence_Day

 

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

 

Category: Adventures, Spawn, Travel  Tags: ,  One Comment
Three-generation date in Oslo

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

 

Oslo: A weekend of cakes and museums

As you know already from my previous post (and probably from my bazillions of Instagram uploads), Chris and I were in Oslo last weekend. I went to attend the Norsk Kakeutstilling, or Norwegian Cake Show, which is the biggest cake convention in Norway. And by biggest, I mean it had one showroom and 4 vendors. Gooooo Norwegian cake industry! We’re slowly growing!

It was still really cool to attend, though. I got to network with a lot of fellow cake decorators, make some new friends, and be inspired by some of the incredible cakes on display!

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Two of my favorite competition cakes.

I had initially planned to just spend the weekend by myself at the convention…but about a week beforehand it dawned on me that I have yet to attend a convention in Norway that would take a one-legged 80 year old lady with a walker half a day to see in its entirety…so Chris decided at the last minute to accompany me so we could play after I ran out of things to do at the conference. And play we did!

We got a 24-hour Oslo Pass (free museums and free transportation*), so we went crazy and crammed in as many museums as we could!

Here’s what we hit up:

Frogner Park (which is what I like to call the “Babies and Piles of People Park”),

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Babies.

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More babies.

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Piles of people.

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Bigger piles of people.

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Double piles of people.

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The Norwegian Folk Museum (the largest collection of cultural history in Norway)

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Sami guy hanging out in a Sami tent to instruct us on the Sami ways. 

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Classic wooden stave church relocated to museum grounds.

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Mmmm… Traditional lefse (Norwegian sweet flatbread) demonstration!

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We have officially been converted to the fresh baked stuff!

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The Viking Ship Museum (three old and buried viking ships that were dug up and put back together)

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The Kon Tiki Museum (home of the ACTUAL Kon Tiki),

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The Polar Ship Fram Museum (where I realized I had no idea how many people have died trying to reach the North and South Poles).

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Not bad for a single day!

* Ok…. so the museums and transportation aren’t exactly free. You still have to pay for the Oslo Pass. But it was 270 nok each for 24 hours and after keeping track and totaling our would-be expenses, we would have spent almost 500 nok a piece if we had paid for everything a la carte. And that’s not including discounts from certain restaurants and other shops. PLUS, you don’t have to take time out of your day to pay at each museum. You just flash your pass and walk right in. If you are going to be in Oslo anytime soon, the Oslo Pass is TOTALLY worth it!

National LDS Church Conference in Oslo

In April, there was a momentous gathering of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Norway. A call went out for as many saints who could make it to gather in Oslo for the first national gathering of church members in over 20 years. Unfortunately, Chris was still doing his 3 week stint in Germany…but I opted to go on my own and was sure glad I did!

The meetings were wonderful and it was awesome to see the church gathered together and unified. And a bit humbling to realize that the entire membership of the church Norway barely equalled the number of members at our Stake Conferences back home.  It’s growing though! Enough so that…drumroll for the best news of the weekend… they are creating a second stake here in Norway! Previously, the church here was organized with one stake in the Oslo area and then the Stavanger district and another district up north.  The Stavanger Branch has now become the Stavanger Ward part of the Drammen, Norway Stake! The members here have been waiting a loooong time for a second stake so it was wonderful news indeed. Now they are hoping we’ll be more on track for a Norway temple!

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Can you find me singing in the choir?

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Finally ran into Sister Jessica Taylor! (She’s a sweet girl from my ward back in Vegas serving her mission here in Norway) 

Since the night train arrived in Oslo at 7am and the first conference meeting wasn’t scheduled to start until 5:00 that evening, I had a lot of time to kill running around exploring Oslo.

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The Royal Palace

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The Viking Ship Museum

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 Chris in a few years.

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I’ve been wanting to see this in person since I was a wee one.

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Tribute to my all-time favorite Doctor Who episode.