Friday afternoon we decided to take advantage of the boys' early finish from school, and head up towards the cottage for the weekend. B boy was home a little before noon, and even though Christopher had a field trip, he was still back at the house at 12:15 pm.
Have I mentioned how much I love school in Norway? I am still not sure if they are actually learning anything, but the schedule sure does suit my social calendar...
By 1 pm, we had packed the car with food (chocolate) and a few items of clothing, including mitts and hats as it can be cold this time of year, and off we went. As we started our drive, we were pretty pleased with ourselves, talking about how efficiently we'd packed, how quickly we'd managed to pull everything together, and how much time we'd still have left of the day when we arrived at the cottage. By our estimation, we'd be there no later than 4:30 pm, with plenty of time to go exploring before sunset.
Looking back now, I can't believe I didn't see it. Things had gone too smoothly. Something was bound to happen. Pride comes before a fall.
The trip is normally 3.5 hours long, provided you don't get stuck in rush hour traffic. This being Norway, the trip consists entirely of single lane roads, so a truck or a tractor ahead of you can easily add unexpected of time to your journey.
However, it wasn't traffic that was our downfall last Friday. Nah, we managed to mess up all on our own. We had been driving for a good one and a half hours - almost two. In fact, we had just made it past the halfway mark of our journey, when I turned to Mike and said "The key! Did you bring the key to the cottage?" Sadly, Mike had not done so, and did not feel like that was his responsibility, either. Of course, I immediately protested the notion that remembering the key should be my job alone. Funny that we'd both feel that way so strongly...hmm...Mike opined that he had thought of almost everything else and couldn't be expected to remember everything, which, coincidentally, was how I felt, too. Imagine that?!
We finally agreed that "discussing" this further would not solve the problem as we still had no key, and in desperation, I called my dad to check if they by any chance had a key hidden somewhere around the cottage for just such situations. No luck, of course, because my parents - responsible people that they are - would never forget to bring a key to the cottage.
Rats! What to do now? If we turned back to get the key, we'd add at least 3 hours to the journey. Plus we'd hit rush hour traffic. Maybe it would be better to just go back home instead? While we debated our options, my incredibly kind father offered to drive and meet us half way to hand over a key to the cottage. Shameless that we are, we took him up on it, and met him some 50 minutes later. I am not particularly proud to think that thanks to us, my father got an extra two hour drive on Friday.
Key in hand, we turned our car around and headed up towards the cottage again. Feeling optimistic about it all, we were probably speaking a tad louder than earlier - when the mood had been rather tense - and unintentionally woke up Benjamin, who'd thankfully been snoozing for the last hour or so. Benjamin, who does not like to drive any length of time due to his motion sickness, promptly proceeded to throw up all over Mike and Christopher's fleeces. Simultaneously, he also effectively removed the "new car smell" that Christopher so detested in our rented Golf.
B boy is usually very good about warning us when he is feeling ill, but this time he was caught by surprise, undoubtedly because he was so rudely awakened from his snooze. Apart from the need to keep my voice down, I learned another important lesson that afternoon: Never let a child prone to motion sickness eat chocolate ice cream before a long car ride. I'll spare you the details.
Scrambling, we got B boy and the car cleaned up as much as we possibly could at the side of the road, and continued on our way. But despite our frequent stops to let Benjamin get some fresh air, the poor kid was as white as a ghost and managed to get sick another few times before we finally made it up the mountain. Fortunately, he was now awake and fully equipped with the requisite bags.
According to the clock, the trip took about 5 hours, but to us, it felt much, much longer. When we finally arrived at the cottage, any urge to go exploring had been zapped. We had a rather uninspired pizza dinner and then we collapsed in front of the TV, watching an episode of the fabulous "Planet Earth" series:
....ah....love that nook...
By evening's end, we had recovered enough to be looking forward to spending the rest of the weekend in the mountains!
Nominee for Hero of the Day: My Dad
Nominee for Trooper of the Day: Benjamin