Category Archives: Travel

Kaffetur 28 / Coffee Tour #28: Coffee Inn Roasters, Vilnius (Lithuania)

A discount airline with a big sale to a country we’d never visited, taking with us nothing but a backpack and very few expectations.

P1090664Sometimes that’s the best way to approach travel, and maybe other things in life as well. Minimal plans and minimal expectations often result in maximum surprise.

And last week’s quick visit to Vilnius (Lithuania) definitely surprised us, in a very, very good way. Continue reading Kaffetur 28 / Coffee Tour #28: Coffee Inn Roasters, Vilnius (Lithuania)

Yes, we are still here!

Our two months in America flew by, and this past Saturday we returned home to Norway. I’d hoped to blog more while in the states, but we were extremely busy and it just simply did not happen.We do, however, have several things we’ll share in the coming weeks.

The Coffee Tour will kick off again this Monday, with a visit to a coffee roasting company in Duluth, Georgia.

And we’ll share a bit about what we did and what it was like being back after a few years away.

Hope you all had a great Christmas, and here’s to a fantastic 2016!

 

More November Highlights

November is already gone – hard to believe! We are almost three weeks into our nine week visit – and we have been BUSY! In addition to multiple Thanksgiving meals (and WAY too much food) we…

  • Helped decorate for Christmas
  • Had amazing pizza in Atlanta
  • Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden Christmas light display
  • Enjoyed two open house events
  • Had a visit from Sasha
  • Found several cool walking trails
  • Celebrated Jenn’s 40th
  • Celebrated Zack’s dad’s birthday
  • Checked out a coffee shop in Atlanta
  • Went on a boat ride (yes, in November!)
  • Went fishing
  • Ate Mexican food… several times
  • Spent the night several times with grandparents, great-grandparents, and lots of aunts, uncles and cousins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Whole New World

We arrived in Atlanta Friday afternoon. Just in time for midtown traffic. Yeah, welcome ‘home’!

We have done quite a lot in our first few days, in addition to fighting jet lag. Here are a few highlights, plus some observations.

Saturday we had an open house with about 60 people in attendance. Yeah, less than 24 hours after arriving here. Call us crazy. It was totally overwhelming, but also a lot of fun.

We visited our church on Sunday. After three years. Some familiar faces, but so many we’d never seen before. It was big. And slightly familiar. We are grateful to those who welcomed us so warmly.

We had Mexican food after church. At the restaurant we went to often when we lived here. And for the most part, it felt like old times. With friends. The kind of friends where you just pick up where you left off. That was nice.

We began homeschool on Monday. I am quickly reaching a new level of respect for all the homeschool parents out there. Wow.

We went to Target. Overload! The cereal aisle alone had our heads spinning.

There is nature trail just across the street from Zack’s brother’s house. We love that we can walk about 3 minutes and be in the woods!

Yesterday was my birthday, and I joined Zack in the 40 club. So far, 40 feels good. I’m in better shape than I was at 30 or even 20.

Zack and the boys took me for a manicure/pedicure. What a treat! I felt so pampered and spoiled.

We went to the mall. It was big. The music was loud. The people were friendly.

 

 

 

We had Indian food for dinner. It was spicy. And it was awesome.

Plus, a cake from American Cookie Company. So many calories. So yummy. I have zero willpower around those cakes.

More to come!

This week’s roller coaster ride

What should have been a week of ever-increasing excitement instead became one of mounting tension and uncertainty.

For months, we’ve been planning that we would travel to the states on November 13. We had tickets, and were excited. The boys started a countdown around day 100.
One problem: our tickets were with Lufthansa. And in case you didn’t know, their cabin crew union decided to strike beginning last Friday.
That was the beginning of the problems. The airline would then only cancel flights one day at a time, and only one day prior. They would not give full refunds unless the flight was cancelled.
All that to say, we had to wait until today to officially get notice that our flights were in fact cancelled. We got that email around 9:45 this morning.
We then had to wait until around 3:00 our time for the travel agent in Pennsylvania to open so he could rebook us on a different flight.
And as long as this week was, today seemed like an eternity. We watched as rates went up and flights filled. And we wondered if our hopes of traveling as planned might be dwindling away.
But just before 3:00 I left to get the boys from school. And as we walked in the door around 3:25, I heard Zack in the phone.
But more importantly, I saw the smile on his face.
So despite the craziness and uncertainty of the week, we are in fact headed to Georgia tomorrow.
Back soon with more on our American Adventure!
The empty fridge – surely that means it’s time to travel!

The last SIX days…

We are definitely in countdown mode, as we prepare to go ‘home’ for the holidays!I kicked off our Saturday morning by introducing our boys to Neil Diamond. They thought I was a bit crazy, but it was fun singing America!

We are about two-thirds of the way through our packing. I’m struggling a bit as I look at the forecast and see the really warm temps, knowing that we’d already packed away our summer clothes! But we’ll manage – or we’ll shop a bit!

So I apologize that we aren’t totally engaged on the blog right now. We are busy finishing up things here before saying ‘see you soon’ to everyone on this side of the ocean.

But we’ll be back soon, with observations on our first time back in the states as a family in more than three years!

Throwing the Shock in Reverse

Those of you that have been hanging out with us for a likely remember that we’ve written a bit on the blog about culture, and adapting to life in a new country. Things we’ve learned and experienced as we journeyed across the ocean. Differences in Norwegian & American culture. Things that were strange or difficult for us. Things we love about this culture and country.

Things like…
Our “What’s It Like” series (here)
Our “Christmas Cheer” series (here)
The boys’ school experience (here)

Yeah, three years of learning and being challenged, feeling frustrated at times, and at other times quite encouraged, struggling to understand differences, working to find substitutes for things that were once normal for us, finding balance in a new routine, and so much more.

We have grown to love life in Europe. It has become home. Then again, we’ve also learned that the idea of home has greatly changed. There is no longer that one place that is home for us. Instead, it’s a feeling, and it’s more about who than where.

But now it’s time for a bit of reverse culture shock… the Dove family is embarking on a visit to our other home! We’re headed to America soon (in 15 days, to be exact), where we’ll be spending the holidays with family and friends, doing a bit of work, and relaxing a bit as well.

Zack and I have each been back to the states once. But our boys have not been there in over three years. Needless to say, they are a bit excited!

We are excited as well – and maybe a bit apprehensive. Three years is a long time. And we’d be lying if we said this time and experience has not changed us.

Two months in America – this is going to be interesting!

So stay tuned to see just how much we’ve changed – and how much the world and life we left have gone off and changed on us!