June 3, 2015: Rest and Relaxation Day in Oslo

It is already the middle of the week in our one week in Oslo, Norway.  We were all still feeling rather run down today, once we got up, but were very happy to have gotten a good, long night’s sleep.  Most of us slept eight to nine hours.  Liesl, who was the most amazing, sleepless trooper yesterday having basically skipped a night of sleep and then walking all over Oslo while Luciana rode in a stroller, slept for something like fourteen to sixteen hours!  She had a lot of sleep to catch up on!

Dominica and I have decided that this is our final trip to be done with a stroller (let alone the two that we brought with us this time!!)  We have not needed a stroller at all and only ever used them only because it was easier to push one than it was to carry it.  What a terrible waste.  They are so heavy and the largest, most awkward piece of luggage that we deal with.  Every time that we are in an airport they are the thing that requires special handling and extra waiting and causes problems.  And when we are moving luggage around they are what cuts our hands or doesn’t fit through a doorway.  We would be in so much better shape without them.  So much so that we, several times, talked about just throwing them away.

I had not wanted to bring any strollers but Dominica wanted them this time.  Thankfully she has seen the light and will never consider them again.  Liesl never needs one, ever.  And Luciana needs them so little that it would be far easier to carry her on those rare occasions than to deal with even one stroller.  And every time that we do this, Luciana is much older than the time before.  This “tour of duty” she went from age three to four.  She will be four and a half when we are back in Spain which is a lot of growth at that age.  If she barely used a stroller at this age, she will need one far, far less by the time that we are back.

So on our next trip to Europe, instead of two strollers we will be dropping to zero.  That one, single change will be very dramatic and will make our packing and luggage moving greatly improved.  We definitely learned our lesson on this trip.  We hated them the moment we took them with us and even more when they did not fit into the Opal Corsa and had to be shoved beneath the girls’ feet on the way out of the airport.  And then they spent nearly the entire trip just standing in the doorway of our apartment in the way.

Today is our nothing day.  No travel, no plans, not even the slightest thought of trying to see anything in the city.

My one thing was running out to the grocery store, called Joker, that was right across the street from our apartment’s front door (we are on the third floor – also called the second floor in Europe.)  As always, I love experiencing grocery stores in other countries.  This one was really unique.

Grocery shopping for an English speaker in Norway is really, really hard.  First of all there is just tons and tons of extremely exotic food choices.  That makes things difficult right off of the bat.  Then everything is written in Norwegian which is the most foreign of any language that I have ever had to deal with first hand.  Much harder than German, Dutch or Portuguese.  But that was just the beginning.  The other challenge was just how tiny the grocery store was – so small that it was all that I could do to squeeze down the aisles sideways, and I mean that literally.  I had to turn sideways and push my way down the aisles.  I actually did not fit!

Another interesting aspect of the tiny little Joker (now I understand the name) was that the refrigerated food section was actually a walk in cooler so you had to go into a back room and freeze your butt off to get your food.  This is also the first place that we have seen cold milk in Europe in quite some time, in Spain it is kept warm.

I picked up about $40 worth of groceries (about one bag’s worth) and walked back to the house.  I managed to score brown cheese, Dominica’s one serious requested food for me to find while I was at the grocery store.  So with that, everything was a success.

We snacked on the groceries and just relaxed around the house today.  Dominica and I both played some Tropico 4 and watched some Love Boat.  The girls were happy to spread their toys all over the apartment and make a huge mess.  They had lost at least one day before we were even getting going here in Oslo and we are only here for a few days!

This evening, for dinner, we wanted to keep things simple so I just ran back to the exact same place that we ate at last night and got food from there again.  This time no pizza, though.

A nice, simple evening for us with me working and everyone getting to bed on the early side.